A Day to Honor Lineman

Posted on:April 18, 2016 7:41 am CDT
Thanking the linemen who work in dangerous environments to keep us safe

By Mark Klein

Today the nation pauses to give thanks to the thousands of men and women who risk their lives working as electrical linemen. April 18th is National Lineman Appreciation Day, established by U.S. Congress to honor those who regularly put their lives on the line to keep our lights and power on. Linemen repair downed power lines in the middle of hurricanes; bring lights back on during snow storms; and work atop poles over busy highways. We're glad to have a day dedicated to thank those who work in harm's way to keep us safe.

Thanking the linemen who work in dangerous environments to keep us safe

Utility line work is recognized within the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with more than 19 workers in every 100,000 killed on the job every year. Linemen work hundreds of feet above the ground installing and repairing electrical lines and are often the first peopled called in natural disasters, severe weather and times of crisis. They regularly clear a scene before first responders can assist with rescues, fires, traffic controls or other dangerous liberations. In fact, following Superstorm Sandy which struck our country just three years ago, President Obama made a strong call to designate utility workers as first responders, asking that electricity be a first-responder issue to avoid unnecessary "red tape" during an emergency. We see this as respect for the dangerous work linemen do, and the work they must continue to do to keep other servicemen safe.

Klein is committed to making linemen's jobs easier, safer and more efficient. We know linemen are on high alert during crisis scenarios, but we also know it can be easy to overlook small details that put themselves and others in danger. Klein is committed to doing everything possible to develop the safest tools making it easier for linemen to do their job in all conditions. Mathias Klein, founder of Klein Tools, was inducted to the International Lineman's Hall of Fame for his dedication to the lineman's trade and we work daily to honor his commitment to the craft and to safety.

As part of our ongoing promise towards safer practices, Klein developed the "Head of the Class Award" which recognizes outstanding electrical instructors and the ways they give back to their communities. Our last award was received by a lineman instructor of over 20 years, Roy Smith, who heads a utility technology program teaching the next aspiring generation of lineman. Klein also supports training and education with tool donations to lineman schools and facilities all across the country. This helps ensure apprentices begin their training with quality, safe tools that are tested and trusted on jobsites.

We are thankful for the work these men and women do in order to keep us all safe and comfortable. Klein, its counterparts and greater community will continue assisting this dedicated group of tradesmen to ensure they have long and successful careers.