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Trinity Valley EC News

Keep Utility Poles Free of Obstructions

Pole attachments pose a threat to lineworkers and the community

A utility pole might look like a convenient and free bulletin board, fence post or light pole, but you should never tack on a yard sale sign, wrap it in barbed wire or surround it with stored items.

Safety issues caused by pole attachments and items surrounding poles place the lives of lineworkers and the public at risk.

It might seem innocent, but a small nail partially driven into a pole can pierce a lineworker’s glove, damaging critical gear that protects against high-voltage electricity. It could also cause a lineworker to get snagged while working at heights.

Your electric cooperative’s line crews need safe access to climb utility poles at all hours of the day and night—in even the worst weather conditions—to maintain and restore power. This includes service poles on your property as well as the poles along roads and fencelines.

Your cooperative’s lineworkers have reported poles used as community bulletin boards and satellite mounts and even poles that support legs for deer stands, lights and carports. These attachments put at risk not only line crews but also anyone who illegally places items on poles; they come dangerously close to power lines with thousands of volts of energy streaming overhead.

Additionally, large attachments could compromise the structural integrity of the pole, putting it at risk of weakening or failing. A fallen pole means downed power lines, which are extremely dangerous and can lead to outages.

It’s always smart to keep any structure at least 10 feet away from utility poles.

Unauthorized pole attachments violate the National Electrical Safety Code. In Texas it’s a crime to attach any unapproved item to a utility pole, and doing so can result in a daily fine.

Please help us keep our linemen—and our community—safe. Do not attach any unauthorized items to utility poles, and contact your electric cooperative to remove any unauthorized items you see.