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Placing Items on a Utility Pole Could Endanger the Life of a Line Worker

What do yard sale signs, basketball hoops, deer stands, satellite dishes, and birdhouses have in common? They’re often found illegally attached to utility poles. But this isn’t only a crime of inconvenience. Safety issues caused by unapproved pole attachments place the lives of line workers and the public in danger.

 

It may seem innocent, but a small nail partially driven into a pole can have deadly results around high-voltage electricity.

 

Nolin RECC’s line crews climb utility poles at all hours of the day and night, in the worst of conditions. Anything attached to utility poles can create serious hazards for our line personnel. Sharp objects like nails, tacks, staples, or barbed wire can puncture rubber gloves and other safety equipment, making line workers vulnerable to electrocution.

 

Not only do these attachments put line crews at risk, anyone illegally placing these items on poles comes dangerously close to energized power lines with thousands of volts of energy pulsing overhead.

 

Unauthorized pole attachments violate the National Electrical Safety Code, the accepted manual containing guidelines for safe electrical engineering standards. Utilities strictly follow this code that includes a section that reads, “Signs, posters, notices, and other attachments shall not be placed on supporting structures without concurrence of the owner (the utility is the owner of the pole). Supporting structures should be kept free from other climbing hazards such as tacks, nails, vines, and through bolts not properly trimmed.”

 

Please help us keep our line workers—and our community—safe. Don’t attach any of these unauthorized and dangerous items to utility poles. Fixtures not belonging to the cooperative or another utility will be removed by co-op line personnel; the co-op is not responsible for any losses if an item is damaged or destroyed during removal.

   

 

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Mickey Miller
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