NLI Lineworkers Build Safety Demo Trailer

Lineworkers Nick Hagen and Dan Wanous demonstrate the hazards of power lines using a safety demo trailer built by lineworkers. See the demo live at the annual meeting June 20. Photo by Kristin Mettke

Typically, Northern Lights Inc. lineworkers do not want to see things arcing and burning around power lines. However, when it comes to our safety demo trailer, we want to demonstrate exactly that to educate others so they can see what can happen.

NLI lineworkers built a safety demonstration trailer to visually share the hazards of power lines. The trailer has been used the past few years for events at NLI’s Sagle office.

This spring, NLI hosted firefighters and other emergency response personnel for a demonstration and discussion utilizing the trailer. The event was well attended.

It was a great way to show what may happen if you attempt to remove a downed tree that is touching a power line. If someone hits a power pole and a power line is lying across their car, our lineworkers demonstrated needed precautions to keep everyone safe.

Emergency first responder personnel are not trained in handling power lines. They need to keep the public away until an NLI lineworker can respond and ensure the line is grounded and de-energized.

With the demo trailer, NLI lineworkers show what happens if a squirrel, bird, kite, mylar balloon, ladder or tree branch contacts an energized line. A small section of underground cable is used to demonstrate the hazard of digging into a power line.

Lineworkers can connect a generator to demonstrate the danger if a member were to incorrectly hook up a generator and cause backfeed onto NLI’s system.

The safety demo trailer has been a great tool for educating and showing members and emergency response personnel about the hazards of power lines.

During NLI’s annual meeting June 20, lineworkers will use the safety trailer to demonstrate those hazards for members and answer questions about power line safety.

It is also a good time to tell the NLI lineworkers thank you for their hard work for members.

Kristin MettkeNorthern Lights Engineering & Operations Manager Kristin Mettke is an electrical engineer and has worked in the electric utility industry most of her career.