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Electrical Safety in the Field

By Phill Feltham

Protecting utility workers using mobile technologies

BY TOM OCONNOR, Panasonic Solutions for Business

Nearly every lineman has heard of a colleague who has been injured—or worse—while on the job. Because of the dangers inherent to their job (that is, electrical safety in the field), these brave men and women must take every precaution to get their work completed efficiently and safely. The realities of the economic slowdown add an additional level of complexity—the expectation that workers do more with less.

In an effort to increase their productivity in the field, linemen may be tempted to take shortcuts. A better solution is to take advantage of technologies that can improve productivity, while maintaining a safer working environment. These technologies can include faster communications; new software processes; and mobile computing solutions, all of which can affect how effectively linemen perform their jobs safely and cost-effectively.

A lineman works in all weather conditions at all hours of the day and must have a working knowledge of a variety of disciplines. On any given day, he/she may be involved in surveying, heavy equipment operation, calculations, and foliage management, to name a few.

Mobile technology has become a valuable asset for linemen in the field. Replacing the clipboard, the map and the camera, a single device can be used to provide turn-by-turn directions, collect pertinent information, and record and retrieve data electronically from virtually anywhere in their service territory.

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