No Gloves,Shoes! How Risky is Mescom Linemen Job ?
Mangaluru: In spite of few lives lost of Mangaluru Electricity Supply Company Limited (MESCOM) linemen in the past while trying to fix electrical faults, but until now the department has not taken up safety steps to prevent such accidents of their employees. Linemen working for the Mescom often have a risky job. Dealing with electricity, especially during rains and other dangerous conditions, is a must for these employees, but sadly most of these linemen do not have proper safety equipment during such work. They climb the wet poles with bare hands, and chances are that they may slip, fall and get injured or die. Even though the main switch is turned off while these linemen do the work on the electric pole/transformer etc-but chances are sometimes electricity may still be live in the circuit. Attending electrical problems without gloves and other safety equipment is quite risky, and then Mescom authorities should look into this safety issue.
When you look at the Mescom linemen attending calls to fix the electricity problems, none of them use safety equipment like gloves, shoes, proper clothing etc. Seems like Mescom either lack in safety equipment or such equipment have not been properly maintained. Sometimes even the safety of 11 KV high tension and low tension cables and mobile transformers are not as per standards, which may put the lives of these linemen in danger. Mescom should use modern methods for their linemen when they are working to fix any electrical problems.
Mescom should install wireless system for communication between staff and the control room. They should always have safety equipment in stock like safety shoes, hand gloves, head torch, safety reflecting jackets, mobile transformers, lifts with buckets, and other equipment. Cranes should also be ready to be used during certain times. Linemen should be trained to use these equipment and safety standards should be strictly enforced when they are at work. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, one electrical engineer who was at the site when his linemen were rectifying a faulty power wire said, “Even if we provide them with the equipment, we will also have to force them to use it initially. They are used to work without it for too long now. Yes we need to enforce these safety laws strict on our employees, before one more life is lost on the line of duty”.
Apparently, many do not understand what lineman do everyday. These lineman are working around energized lines where there is always the risk of injury or death. Everyday. Like all professionals, proper training and safety are crucial to minimizing accidents; unfortunately, when they happen, the outcome is devastating. If you agree with me or not, lineman have a more dangerous occupation and the statistics prove it. Next, politicians and the public do treat first responders differently than anybody else in the public or private sector.
Even though these linemen do not get much recognition in the public media, these men keep the power flowing to hospitals, factories, stores and homes. Without them, everything from traffic lights to kids video game would go dark. These men serve their communities without applause or even much notice …and without brass band?. Sadly, when one of these linemen die while on line of duty, not many care about them. No brass band is arranged at their funeral. No television cameras, no official speeches. Only their family, kith and kin along with neighbors and friends, will grieve their loss.
Yes, if no proper safety standards are imposed on these Mescom linemen, there could be more lives lost or many others may suffer non-fatal loss of limbs from electrical burns and mechanical trauma. The monsoon will make it imperative that such equipment are properly used by linemen to safely carry out repairs. So, when the television news cameras pan across the destruction, take a moment to remember the utility workers who are putting things together again and making life livable. And remember their families.
In conclusion, Mescom authorities should see to the personal safety and health of each employee which is of prime importance. Prevention of occupationally induced injuries is of such consequence that it will give precedence over productivity, whenever necessary. To the greatest degree possible, as a statutory and moral responsibility, management should provide necessary equipment, procedures and safety policies. The accidents occur due to unsafe conditions / practice/ acts, lapse of management, unawareness of individuals, lack of training, lack of procedures and carelessness. Behind every accident there are several reasons, chances misses. Accidents can be completely eliminated by following Safety principles and procedures.
Management, Supervisors and Technicians have obligation towards safety and prevention of accidents and loss. Management should be committed to safety. Safety should be organised and managed. Few things to bear in mind: Ignorance of rules and regulation will result in accident. No operation/work is so urgent that it has to be performed in unsafe manner. Time is important but safety is more important. Quality gets the business, safety gets quality and recognition. Even the executive engineers of Mescom/top management in line need to lead by setting an example of adhering to safety practices/procedures as high as possible. The concept of behavioral safety should be implemented to reduce the no of accidents and loss of production time. Such a concept, together with reward and recognition for safety adherence, shall help defiantly in decrease of the accidents. If an employee adheres to safety practices, he needs to be recognized- similarly if an employee points out unsafe working conditions, it needs to be accepted and he should be recognized.
Mescom management should look and care for the safety of their linemen. Safety at every stage, safety first and safety always, shall lead to the success of the Mescom company.
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