Lee Shelby

Line Life Podcast: Safety in the Line Trade

Jan. 20, 2022
The January 2022 podcast features an interview with Lee Shelby, a motivational speaker in Tennessee, about the accident that changed his life as a lineman.

For our January 2022 Line Life podcast, we are focusing on safety in the line trade. Five years ago, Field Editor Amy Fischbach met Lee Shelby, a motivational speaker and journeyman lineman, who shared his personal injury story at the International Lineman's Rodeo safety conference. 

For the latest episode, Fischbach interviews Shelby about his life-changing accident, his view on safety and the importance of wearing personal protective equipment. Shelby, the author of No Hands and No Excuses and Consequences: Workplace Safety is Not Optional, travels around the country to spread his safety message.

"Every time I got out in front of people--whether there were 10 or 1,000 in a room, it was therapy," he says. " It releases problems and the issues you have pent up inside of you when you do it. I still find it therapeutic."

Back in 1991, when he was 28 years old, Shelby had an electrical contact accident. He spent 23 days in the burn unit, seven months in rehab and 10 months and 23 days away from work. After both of his hands were amputated, he worked with an occupational therapist to discover how to use his prosthetic limbs. He first learned how to perform the activities of daily living like cooking and self-care and then started to re-discover how to enjoy his favorite hobbies like hunting with his dog. 

"My hand therapist asked me who I was before I walked into the door injured and what I wanted to learn how to do," he recalled. "One day, I told her a bunch of guys could bring a pole and set it inside her therapy unit so I could learn how to climb again. She said she would teach me anything but that. She said I needed to forgive myself and create my own normal, and I did." 

To listen to the full episode, click on the link below. You can also send comments to [email protected] or visit the landing page to listen to episodes on everything from women in line work to storm restoration. You can also learn more about Lee Shelby and book him as a speaker for an event by visiting his Web site

Attention linemen: For our February 2022 Line Life podcast episode, we will be focusing on storm work. What is the most memorable storm you've worked on, and why? Simply record a voice memo with your name, title, company name and your description of the storm response on your smart phone and then email it to Field Editor Amy Fischbach. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Line Life Podcast: Now on Podbean
T&D World's Line Life Podcast is now on Podbean, and starting in January 2024, it is moving from monthly to weekly distribution. Follow us on Podbean to be notified when new episodes are available. If you have a suggestion for a podcast guest, email us at [email protected]. Check out our latest episodes below. 

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