Safety First

NLI lineworkers practice pole-top rescue

By Elissa Glassman

Two lineworkers on a power pole.
NLI Lineman Bill Murray practices pole-top rescue as part of NLI’s ongoing lineman safety training.

Becoming a journeyman lineman requires an incredible amount of training.

A Northern Lights Inc. lineman apprentice must successfully complete a three-year apprenticeship that includes on-the-job training, school and testing on Saturdays, and several weeks of additional training at Camp Rilea in Oregon. The Camp Rilea training includes additional classroom instruction, testing, and hands-on training.

An apprentice must maintain a high GPA and, after three years of training, pass a thorough and intensive exam in Spokane before becoming a journeyman lineman.

Every month, NLI provides our linemen with a thorough safety program that includes:

  • Ongoing first aid and CPR training
  • Pole-top and bucket-truck rescue
  • Gas line awareness
  • Electrical worker training
  • Certified enclosed space and shoring excavation training
  • Blasting training
  • Safety awareness and highway flagger certification
  • Snow and avalanche training
  • Certified 24-hour first responder training for hazardous materials
  • Winter preparedness