With social distancing and stay-in-place measures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, many line worker schools have closed, making traditional training avenues impossible. But students and journeyman/apprentice line workers can continue their instruction with complimentary remote and online resources from the Steel Utility Pole Coalition (SUPC).
The free-to-use “Essential Lineman Training: Working with Steel Utility Poles” course was initially developed to assist with the minimal learning curve associated with installing and maintaining steel utility poles. Today, over 600 electric utilities are using steel distribution poles, and training with steel poles has become standard for helping students and line workers gain valuable skills and knowledge. The training course was developed in partnership with respected industry leaders in utility safety and linework training, including the Institute for Safety in Powerline Construction (ISPC) and Metropolitan Community College (MCC).
Two different training modules are available for students/beginners and journeyman/apprentice line workers. These modules cover:
- An Overview of Working with Steel Poles
- Climbing Steel Utility Poles
- Drilling Steel Utility Poles
- Field Deployment of Steel Utility Poles
- Framing Steel Utility Poles
- Installing Steel Utility Poles
- Joining Steel Utility Poles
Journeyman/Apprentice Line Workers
- An Overview of Steel Poles as Distribution System Structure
- Joining Multiple-Section Steel Poles
- Framing and Setting Steel Poles—De-energized
- Climbing Steel Poles
- Energized Line Work
- Additional Considerations
To begin the online training, users create a free user account at https://steelutilitypole.talentlms.com/training. They complete each of the seven segments within the training program, which include watching a video created specifically for the segment, reading a short document that provides further details on information covered in the video, and completing a short quiz to evaluate comprehension after the segment (prompts are provided to assist if incorrect answers are provided). After the seven segments are completed, the user receives an email with a Certificate of Completion.
The SUPC can provide a training module setup for a specific college or training center, allowing the instructor to view which students completed the various segments and the quiz scores they received. The SUPC also provides complimentary in-person training, workshops, classroom sessions, and teaching materials for qualified schools, electric utilities, and associations; but these activities have been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Steel Utility Pole Coalition is a coalition of industry groups, manufacturers, and end-users whose goal is to promote steel poles for use in sub-transmission (69kv and below) and distribution through education, research, and marketing. For more information, please visit https://lineman.steel.org/.