Utility Poles Are Not Billboards

It’s a familiar image — a lineman climbing a utility pole as they work, but it is not as simple as one may think. The skill to climb poles and perform duties (sometimes nearly 40 feet up in the air) is unique to linemen; it requires physical and mental strength, great attention to detail, proper training and specialized equipment.

As warm weather approaches, it’s essential to keep the safety of line crews in mind. Attaching items like balloons, fliers and metal objects to utility poles poses a hazard for linemen who repair or maintain infrastructure. Items like nails or staples can interfere and cause damage to gaffs, clothing, and safety straps, another essential tool for climbing poles. Signs and items posted on utility poles can also impact the stability of utility poles over time and create distractions for drivers.

Linemen require various tools and equipment, all essential for doing their job safely: bucket truck, hard hat, rubber gloves, arc-rated clothing, gaffs that sink into the poles, and leg shanks that hold the gaffs in place. This specialized equipment allows our linemen to climb poles safely.

This summer, remember to avoid using utility poles as billboards. Find an alternative location for signs or post your event online to keep our crews’ work environment safe. Consider our poles and electrical structures our linemen’s office; keeping them clear allows them to work safely and continue to power our members.