Electrical Linesperson

Environments

Menu

Technical Cable Joiner

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

Practical or MechanicalAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 2

Electrical linespersons install, repair and maintain overhead lines and cables carrying electricity to domestic, commercial and industrial users and electric train services. Future Growth Decline

Electrical linesworkers install, repair and maintain the network of overhead powerlines and cables that carry electricity from generators to end users. For example: in the south west corner of WA alone, stretching north from Albany to Kalbarri and east to Kalgoorlie, there is over 88,000 km of powerlines to maintain.

In addition to working on the lines themselves, electrical linesworkers also install power poles and associated equipment including supports, cross arms, street lights and electrical equipment such as transformers and circuit breakers. During emergency situations, such as when live wires have been knocked down by severe weather, electrical linesworkers are called out to safely repair the damage and remove hazards.

Alternative names: Electrical Distribution Trades Workers.

Specialisations: Electrical line mechanic (distribution) (NZ), Electrical line mechanic (transmission) (NZ), Electrical linesworker (distribution), Electrical linesworker (transmission), Railway traction line worker

Electrical Distribution Trades Workers prepare, install, repair, maintain and patrol electric power distribution networks.

Did You Know?

A lineman (American English) or linesman (British English), also occasionally called a lineworker or a powerline technician (PLT), is a tradesman who constructs and maintains electric power transmission and distribution facilities. The term is also used for those who install and maintain telephone, telegraph, cable TV and more recent fibre optic lines.

Linemen
"Linemen"

The occupation began with the widespread use of the telegraph in the 1840s. Telegraph lines could be strung on trees, but wooden poles were quickly adopted as the method of choice. The term 'lineman' was used for those who set wooden poles and strung the wire. The term continued in use with the invention of the telephone in the 1870s and the beginnings of electrification in the 1890s.

This new electrical power work proved to be much more hazardous than telegraph or telephone work because of the risk of electrocution. Between the 1890s and the 1930s, line work was considered one of the most hazardous jobs in existence. Approximately 1 in 3 linemen were killed on the job, mostly from electrocution. This led to the formation of labor organizations to represent the workers and advocate for their safety.
(Source: Wikipedia)

 

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • enjoy outdoor work
  • enjoy practical work
  • willing and able to work at heights
  • awareness of safety
  • normal colour vision
  • good with hands
  • able to work well as part of a team.

Duties and Tasks

Electrical linespersons may perform the following tasks: Power Linemen

  • patrol electrical lines and inspect poles and towers
  • install earth stakes, power poles, towers and guy wires using power tools and other equipment
  • install and maintain aerial equipment such as conductors, cross arms, insulators, street lights, customer supply points, transformers, pole-mounted circuit breakers and switches
  • trim tree branches clear of power lines using machinery
  • cover live wire with insulating materials
  • adjust the tension of cables and join overhead conductors using compression and wrap-on fittings
  • perform emergency repairs such as isolating live wires
  • make sure that conductors are correctly connected between the mains and customers' premises when performing installations or repairs
  • monitor safe working conditions, and practise resuscitation, rescue and first aid procedures.
  • installing conductors and aerial equipment, and underground cables and equipment
  • installing and maintaining equipment associated with electrical supply such as transformers
  • attending to electrical breakdown and emergencies
  • maintaining poles and associated hardware, and continuity of electrical supply and street lighting
  • conducting routine maintenance on the aerial and underground electricity supply network
  • conducting low-voltage switching operations
  • fitting pole hardware and crossarms
  • preparing lowand high-voltage cable joints and cable terminations while connecting and installing electrical equipment and overhead lines
  • using heavy plant equipment such as elevated work platforms and portable equipment such as hydraulic drills
  • may undertake substation installation and maintenance, and specialised testing and revenue meter installation

Working conditions

As electrical linespersons work with high and low voltages at considerable heights, they are given extensive training in safety procedures. They may be called out during emergencies at any time of the day or night and in all weather conditions.

Some large companies with high energy usage, such as mine sites in remote locations, may operate their own private network. Electrical linesworkers work outdoors in most weather conditions, at heights and with extremely high voltage electricity. In order to minimise the danger, they must follow strict safety requirements. They may be required to work shifts, which can include nights and weekends. These workers may also be expected to be on call to respond to emergencies that occur outside of regular hours.

Tools and technologies

Electrical linesworkers use special line-testing equipment to measure the strength of the electrical current and help identify where faults are occurring. Ladders and elevated work platforms can be used to reach the tops of poles, where they use tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, drills and wire strippers to carry out maintenance and repair work. Safety equipment is very important to these workers, and they are usually required to wear gloves, boots, overalls, safety glasses, hard hats and reflective vests.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an electrical linesworker you usually have to complete an apprenticeship. An electrical powerline worker – distribution apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete.

Did You Know?

ABC Catalyst
10 August 2021

This video shows, in the first few minutes, the role of the linesperson in cleaning the insulators with demineralised water, that does not conduct electricity.

Watch and see the work done by this particular team.


Catalyst August 2021



They use a helicopter to get within 10m of the electrical insulators. See how they spray demineralised water to clean the insulators.
The helicopter is hoovering near live wires.

Catalyst


Environments

Practical or MechanicalAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 2

 

Technical Cable Jointers join insulated electric power cables installed in underground conduits and trenches, and prepare cable terminations for connection to electrical equipment and overhead lines. Future Growth Decline

Cable jointers lay, joint, terminate and repair underground power cable. Cable jointers lay new power cables through underground pipes and terminate them at electrical equipment. They also conduct tests to check cable integrity and locate faults.

 

 

Technical Cable Joiner
(Source: MRG)

Duties and Tasks

  • Installs and maintains equipment associated with electrical supply such as transformers.
  • Attends to electrical breakdown and emergencies.
  • Conducts routine maintenance on the aerial and underground electricity supply networks.
  • Prepares low and high voltage cable joints and cable terminations, while connecting and installing electrical equipment and overhead lines.
  • Uses heavy plant equipment such as elevated work platforms and portable equipment such as hydraulic drills.
  • May undertake substation installation and maintenance, and specialised testing and revenue metre installation.

 

Working conditions

Cable jointers work outdoors in most weather conditions, and may be in confined spaces. In order to minimise the risks associated with working with high-voltage electricity, they must follow strict safety requirements. They may also be expected to be on call to respond to emergencies that occur outside of regular hours.

Cable jointers can be employed by government owned electricity network operates, by specialised cable jointing companies, by electrical contractors or by large companies who operate their own private electricity network.

Tools and technologies

Cable jointers lay insulated power cables and use specialised tools and electrical equipment to joint and terminate these cables. They also use electrical instruments, such as multimeters, insulation resistance testers and specialised instruments to assess the cables integrity and whether it is performing appropriately.

Safety is a key concern when working with power cables, so cable jointers must wear protective clothing including, protective clothing, safety footwear, safety glasses and for some tasks they must wear specialised personal protective equipment.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a technical cable jointer you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. The electrical supply industry (ESI) cable jointing apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete.

 

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

Electrician

Electrician
Helicopter Pilot

Helicopter Pilot
WHS Officer

WHS Officer

Electrical Linesperson

Farmer

Horticultural Assistant

Zookeeper

Civil Engineer

Viticulturalist

Horticulturalist

Surveyor

Beekeeper

Landscape Architect

Lifeguard

Horse Trainer

Forester

Shearer

Greenkeeper

Stonemason

Crop Farmer

Livestock Farmer

Aquaculture Farmer

Miner

Mining Engineer

Petroleum Engineer

Jillaroo Jackeroo

Arborist

Horse Manager

Wool Classer

Farrier

Waste Water Operator

Horse Groomer

Grain Oilseed Pasture Grower

Animal Attendant and Trainer

Coastal Engineer

Geographer

Olericulturist

Environmental Consultant

Farmer

Horticultural Assistant

Zookeeper

Civil Engineer

Viticulturalist

Horticulturalist

Surveyor

Beekeeper