Utilities have enforced COVID-19 protocols to keep their field workers safe during the pandemic. Due to a swath of spring storms--from a wind and rain storm in the Northeast to a series of storms resulting in 1.2 million outages across the Southeast--utilities must find new ways to protect their linemen while they are restoring power in their communities.
According to the Edison Electric Institute, electric company lineworkers and crews are out in the field doing mission-essential work to keep communities connected and provide safe and reliable energy, but they are facing challenges in the field.
"We are hearing directly from electric companies that employees are being approached, and at times even harassed, by people who are demanding that they stop doing work," EEI stated. "Or in other cases, customers just want to thank these employees for the work they are doing to make emergency repairs."
As linemen are performing essential work in their communities, the EEI urged the importance of maintaining a safe distance of at least 6 ft.
"Safety is our top priority," the EEI advised community members. "While our crews continue to work in our communities during this time, we understand that people may want to ask questions or thank them. Please remember the importance of practicing social distancing so all remain healthy and are able to be there for all of us."
To learn how the electric industry is powering through COVID-19 together, visit EEI's Web site.