A compact line crew maintains miles upon miles of overhead and underground lines at the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest energy and science laboratory—Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Up until eight years ago, five linemen serviced the entire laboratory, and ORNL contracted out the construction work to external construction crews.
Recently, however, ORNL has ramped up its field workforce. By hiring more linemen, ORNL can handle not only maintenance, but also construction work. As the ORNL line crew brings more linemen on board, training has become paramount—especially when it comes to fall protection and pole top rescue. Through the refresher courses and investment of new equipment, the supervisors are striving to create and promote a safety culture at the lab to protect their field workforce.
Following are snapshots from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's new pole training yard where the veteran linemen took part in a refresher course. The photos and full article are featured in Transmission & Distribution World's April "Electric Utility Operations" section.