Electric Power Linemen and Cablemen

Summary

Asbestos has made its mark across a great range of industries and fields, including the electric power industry. This means that many workers from the industry, such as electric power linemen and cablemen were often exposed to asbestos in addition to the regular hazards they face on the job.

Electric Power Linemen and Cable Men Careers

Electric power linemen and cablemen accepted some level of risk by taking on these specialized and often hazardous jobs. They often had to partake in dangerous repair jobs of fallen or damaged lines, and often worked from significant heights. Electric power linemen are also working in proximity to live electricity, adding an extra layer of danger to every day on the job.

While these jobs were often risky, no one signed up to be exposed to material that could cause them to experience health issues for years to come. These workers’ exposure to asbestos was both unanticipated and unfair—and certainly not a risk that they accepted.

Electric Power Linemen and Cablemen Roles and Responsibilities

Electric power linemen are in charge of transporting electricity from power plants to homes, offices and other buildings in regions under one power grid. They work on transmission and distribution lines alike. Linemen will often be required to install new lines and attend to lines that have been damaged, compromised or toppled by weather or age.

Cable men often work in telecommunications and are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing phone lines, cable TV lines and fiber optic cables. They will also sometimes be required to inspect cable lines, lay ground cable and make repairs on towers and poles.

Electric Power Linemen and Cablemen and Asbestos Exposure

Electric power linemen and cablemen were exposed to asbestos in many ways. Asbestos was commonly used for its insulative properties, which are highly applicable in these industries where protection against heat and electricity is paramount. Asbestos was also used as insulation in power lines to protect both the line itself as well as the public.

It quickly became industry practice to use asbestos in power lines, and as a result, most lines and cables are assumed to contain asbestos (unless specifically stated otherwise).

Although the practice of including asbestos in power lines and cables was halted in the 1980s with the realization of the extent of asbestos’ danger, many of the lines put up before this time are still running today. Although there are ongoing efforts to replace and repair these older lines, replacement projects take time and significant effort. Also, the workers overseeing these projects are still at risk of exposure.

It’s clear to see that the asbestos-related hazard for power linemen and cablemen is not yet a thing of the past.

Hydropower Plants

As well as being present in power lines and cables, asbestos was used in hydropower plants, insulating generators and turbines. It was also sprayed on conduits and pipes. In addition to these industry-specific uses, asbestos exposure for electric power linemen and cablemen could have come from any one of its general uses, from ceiling insulation and fireproof coatings to its presence in construction materials such as concrete and bricks.

Electric Power Linemen and Cablemen and Mesothelioma

When asbestos is disturbed, it starts flaking and crumbling. This can also happen on its own when friable asbestos ages. As the material flakes, its fibers become airborne and it becomes possible for them to be ingested or inhaled. This can lead to several health conditions and challenges, including asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma develops when the asbestos fibers become embedded in the lungs, heart or abdomen. The fibers can cause genetic damage and lead to genetic mutations that result in cancerous tumors. Mesothelioma symptoms can take decades to develop, making it even harder to discern exactly when and how the exposure occurred.

Because of its long latency period, mesothelioma in electric power linemen and cable men may only now be diagnosed—long into retirement or decades after working in the industry.

Compensation for Electric Power Linemen and Cablemen

If you were exposed to asbestos while working in the electric power industry, or you know someone who was, there is legal help for you. Years of successful asbestos litigation has made it possible for many asbestos victims and mesothelioma patients to receive the compensation they deserve.

The best way to ensure that you receive the financial compensation you’re entitled to is to work with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Your lawyer and law firm should have a strong track record dealing with similar cases so that you have the best chance at receiving the best settlement. Just doing your job should not put you at risk of developing an aggressive, life-changing disease. If you were exposed to asbestos on the job and have developed an illness since, you should be compensated accordingly.

The Mesothelioma Justice network is dedicated to helping to helping victims seek justice. Contact our Justice Support Team today for information.

View Author and Sources
Sources
  1. Study.com “Cable Technician: Job Duties & Requirements." Retrieved from: https://study.com/articles/Cable_Technician_Job_Duties_and_Requirements_for_Becoming_a_Residential_Cabling_Technician.html. Accessed on April 6, 2018.
  2. Job Hero. "Lineman Job Description." Retrieved from: http://www.jobhero.com/lineman-job-description/#. Accessed on April 6, 2018.
  3. U.S. Forest Service. “What's the difference between friable and non-friable asbestos?” Retrieved from: https://www.fs.fed.us/eng/toolbox/haz/haz07b.htm. Accessed on April 6, 2018.
  4. Hydro Review. “Asbestos in Hydro Powerhouses: Challenges and Solutions." Retrieved from: https://www.hydroworld.com/articles/hr/print/volume-32/issue-6/articles/asbestos-in-hydro-powerhouses-challenges-and-solutions.html. Accessed on April 6, 2018.

Last modified: April 16, 2018