Posters pose hazards for utility linemen |

Posters pose hazards for utility linemen

Sally J. Taylor

Posters attached to power poles can be hazardous to utility workers, according to Sierra Pacific Power Co. officials who are asking residents to not attach garage sale signs or other notices to the poles.

Even small nails or tacks in a pole can cause a utility lineman to slip or fall and suffer cuts, abrasions, or worse, said Sierra Pacific Power Co. spokesman Bob Sagan.

“(Linemen) can think they’ve got (their shoes) set firmly and don’t realize a tack or staple is there,” Sagan said. “It gives a false sense. If it gives way, they can go sliding down the pole; a very abrasive slide.”

The hazard is complicated by the fact that utility workers are trained to grab the pole when they start to slip. A pole filled with staples and tacks can leave a worker torn up in what would otherwise be a minor slip.

Problems with posters on utility poles increase in the summer, the most popular time for garage sales. Maintenance workers typically keep an eye out for posters and remove them along with any staples, tacks or nails.

Nevada law and local ordinance prohibit posting signs on utility poles.

Maintaining a safe work environment, including utility poles free of hazards, also allows faster customer service in the event of a power outage, Sagan said.

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