Thursday is National Lineworker Appreciation Day


(Photo: Duke Energy Indiana)

(Plainfield, IN) – When the lights go out – whether it is from severe weather, vehicle accidents or animal interference – lineworkers respond by getting the lights on for our customers and communities.

On April 18, Duke Energy recognizes National Lineworker Appreciation Day and the work of these vital employees, who ensure customers and communities have safe, reliable power, and play a key role in enabling the infrastructure that will drive our energy future.

“Our line, substation and relay technicians are invaluable teammates who are among the first to respond in the aftermath of storms and large-scale weather events that can impact thousands, often making the scene safe for other first responders,” said Scott Batson, chief power grid officer at Duke Energy. “Safely powering the communities we serve is our No. 1 job and it could not be accomplished without the extraordinary commitments of these teams.”

Just another day on the job

For these thousands of Duke Energy lineworkers – from transmission technicians working on high-voltage transmission lines that carry electricity from power plants to distribution technicians working on the lines that carry power to homes and businesses – no matter the circumstances, it’s just another day on the job.

Here are a few things to know about this gutsy group and their unique role:
Extreme elements come with the work environment. Lineworkers frequently face challenging conditions, including storms, oppressive heat, bitterly cold temperatures and flooding.
The job is elevated. Line work frequently requires work in challenging weather conditions on transmission towers at heights of up to 120 feet, while attached to a 40-foot pole, or from an elevated bucket truck – always with strict safety precautions in place.
They get physical. Line work is an outdoor, hands-on, physical role. Besides working safely with high voltage, the steel-toe boots, hooks for scaling poles, and climbing belts lineworkers use or wear can weigh up to 30 pounds each.
Commitment is contagious. Lineworkers’ dedication to their jobs, passion for their craft, continued learning and eternal support of one another on and off the job makes a difference in the lives of customers who depend on reliable power.
Family and community are priorities. Lineworkers often live close to and work in their own communities – from larger cities to more rural towns – and Duke Energy continues to hire across the range of geographic areas it serves.
Conversing in code is customary. Lineworkers have their own lingo – nicknames for tools and tasks have been passed down from one generation of lineworkers to the next.
Long-term learning improves expertise. Lineworkers are highly skilled professionals who undergo rigorous training to work with electricity safely and efficiently. Their extensive progression of training over several years includes written and field tests that must be successfully completed to demonstrate expertise and job knowledge.
Safety is foundational. Line teams prioritize safety above everything else – mitigating hazards whenever possible and always watching out for the safety of those around them.

Guarding the future grid

Beyond keeping the lights on, lineworkers also play a key role in power grid improvement projects that are helping modernize and strengthen Duke Energy’s system. This includes protection against storms and other impacts, making the grid more reliable and resilient, as well as integrating new and cleaner energy technologies.

“The grid is a massive, complex system that works nonstop to provide reliable power to our customers. Our transmission and distribution line, substation and relay technicians have a fundamental role in making sure it is prepared to support the growth we are seeing in our regions,” said Batson. “This work can include upgrading lines and poles, undergrounding outage-prone lines where data indicates it is prudent to do so, and enhancing grid reliability through the integration of smart, self-healing technology – which saved more than 1.5 million customer interruptions and avoided more than 3.5 million hours of customer outage time in 2023.”

Hiring and developing craft and skilled talent is critical to address the growing energy needs of customers and to continue to make grid upgrades for the future. The company continues to hire talent and works closely with community colleges across its company footprint to recruit diverse, skilled candidates.

(Duke Energy Indiana press release)