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We honor our co-op linemen

Chris Meyers

It is fitting that we have a selected day to honor these unsung heroes in our communities. However, we owe these brave men and women our gratitude every day of the year.

The lineworker profession has been deemed one of the most dangerous jobs in the market— and, it’s no wonder. Linemen work with thousands of volts of electricity atop powerlines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep electricity flowing and maintaining the energy infrastructure we have to power this great nation. They put their lives on the line to keep the lights on, no matter the day or the hour. They have missed holidays, birthdays and special family occasions to ensure we have reliable and safe electricity. Linemen work in brutal weather conditions and oftentimes serve as first responders during storms and other catastrophic events, working to make the scene safe for other public safety officers. These resilient men and women regularly labor in the Oklahoma wind; they brave rain, ice, snow, and the summer heat.

Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives employ approximately 750 linemen who maintain more than 116,500 miles of distribution line. To ensure each lineworker returns home safely at the end of the day, it is vital that electric cooperatives maintain a strong culture of safety for line crews. The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives’ Safety and Loss Control Department works with each cooperative in the state and holds approximately 15 training schools and conferences. Additionally, the department provides safety visits to cooperative member-systems to ensure compliance and crew inspections. For electric cooperatives, safety is a priority. Next time you see a lineworker in your community, make sure you express your appreciation for all that they do to keep the lights on.