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Posting to utility poles presents safety hazards – and it’s illegal

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 9:00 am

As part of Duck River Electric’s routine line inspection program, numerous potential safety hazards have been identified throughout the service area as a result of the public attaching items to DREMC utility poles.

While we recognize that members may find it convenient to attach equipment to our poles, this can be hazardous because of our high-voltage power lines. Unauthorized attachments also pose danger to co-op personnel who must climb poles when either restoring power following storms or while performing routine maintenance to ensure system reliability.

“Unauthorized hazards pose a threat to the linemen’s ability to safely climb wooden poles,” said DREMC safety coordinator Timmy Orrell. “Small objects such as nails and tacks keep climbing gaffs from penetrating the pole, increasing fall potential. Larger objects such as flags, birdhouses, basketball goals and satellite dishes make it difficult for the linemen to navigate a pole while climbing and could cause a fall.”

Under the laws of the state of Tennessee, “It is unlawful for a person to knowingly tap, cut, burn, break down, injure, destroy, or otherwise interrupt or interfere with the current, lines, cables, poles, towers, fixtures or appliances utilized to furnish service to the general public by any telephone or telegraph company, or electric light or power company engaged in furnishing communication, light, heat or power by electricity; or in any way to injure, remove, destroy or interfere with any gas fixtures or appliances.”

DREMC has the responsibility to provide protection during the installation, operation and maintenance of electrical supply lines and equipment.

To safeguard against any foreseeable situation that could cause harm or create an unsafe circumstance for area customers as well as line personnel, DREMC has a long-standing policy prohibiting member’s property from being attached to any cooperative pole.

Anyone who may currently have posted any equipment or signage of this nature, please make arrangements to have it removed. Safety is of the utmost concern when it comes to working around energized power lines. Contact your local DREMC office if you are concerned about removing items yourself.