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The New Safety Man

The company hired its first professional safety director in the 80's.

We were primarily a distribution contractor, however the fellow they hired came from the mining industry. Our crew did mostly feeder re-conductors, hot.

One time the other lineman was on vacation, so the foreman filled in for him. Now this particular foreman didn't care much for the safety man. We were in the air on a three-phase pole with a three-phase tap. All the wire was still hot, both old and new, with bypasses everywhere. We were in the process of transferring load from old to new.

When the foreman saw the safety man pull up, he said to me " don't go down, we're gonna' stay up here ‘til he leaves."  So, I had to pretend to be doing something when I really needed to drop to the ground and get a jumper or some material.

Our safety man talked to the groundmen, asking questions, and finally driving off. We went down and asked what was said. One of the guys told us that he wanted to know what was hot on the pole. He was told that only wire that had rubber on it was hot, even though you could see bypasses running from covered wire to bare! The man didn't have enough knowledge to realize what he was seeing.

Safety is good, safety and experience is even better!

Dick Weaver - Retired Lineman

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