A lineman is a tradesman who constructs and maintains electric power transmission and distribution lines and equipment.
You have to be a certified tradesman in the field of Electrical studies before you can be able to be a lineman as you deal with electricity on a daily basis.
In 2013, SIEA embarked upon training of its linemen with 43 participants completing Module 1 of a four Module program.
Training covers areas such as:
- hazard identification and control in the workplace
- Use of and care of personal protective equipment (gloves, belts etc.)
- identification of electrical circuits
- use of electrical instruments and test equipment
- climbing and working on electricity structures
- electricity industry regulations and codes
- the SIEA power systems and single line diagrams
- safe systems of work
- best work practices
- earthing and isolation
- installation and operation of pole fuses and switches
- installation of overhead conductors, power transformers and accessories
- chainsaw safety and tree cutting
- pole top rescue, first aid and CPR
- worksite safety - lifting/rigging
From the 10th of March 2014 to the 14th of March, a total of 22 staff including nine new linemen recruits, technical staff and staff from the outstations attended Module 1 of the Training.
The group who completed Module 1 training in 2013 will undergo Module 2 from 17th March to 4th April.
This training was facilitated by a reputable Trainer, Josefa Bale Rakuita from Fiji Islands.
Robin Simpson, SIEA’s Occupational, Health and Safety and Development Consultant is assisting him.
Mr Rakuita and Mr Simpson have over 68 years of experience between them in the electrical industry and were previously trainers with the Fiji Electricity Authority.
Mr Rakuita has 20 years of experience in constructing high voltage transmission towers, lines (132 KV, 33 KV) in Fiji as well as 11kV, 415-240 volts distribution lines.
In addition he has 14 years as a Lines Construction Instructor with the Fiji Electricity Authority and has carried out training with other Pacific Island nations.
A Lineman Training Yard is under construction in Henderson as part of the training program which is expected to be fully livened up and dedicated to the ongoing training of our staff on live and dead networks.
The week long training was intensive but the SIEA staff appeared to have enjoyed it. “The training was very interesting because it will help us to work competently and to standard,” said Albert Ohamana, a SIEA staff who is on training at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU).
Another student at SINU who is also doing his Apprenticeship with SIEA, Claudius Malavolomo said, “The training helped me to gain more new ideas in the electrical trade and now I realise the importance of Safety and how it is put in practice when working in my chosen field. I have learned a lot and I am very happy.”
A meter technician, who went through the training, Rennie Solomon, said that although he will not deal directly with lines on a day to day basis, the knowledge will aid him especially when carrying out pole fuse disconnections and reconnections.
Patterson Bale, a staff from Tulagi Station who came over for the training also stressed that the training was very useful.
“This was a great experience for me because we learnt how to work on poles and assisted me in upgrading my skills,” Mr Bale said.
On Friday they held a certificate presentation for the trainees and the General Manager, Norman Nicholls, was on hand to present the certificates to the participants.
The General Manager expressed the importance of such training for the company as it will equip them with the skills and Know-how that will enable them to work more efficiently and effectively in ensuring that the distribution network is running smoothly and means less faults and outages for us customers.
Mr Rakuita will stay on for the next three weeks to go through Module two of the training with the linemen that did module one last year.
Most of us will spend most our work days behind desks, or steering wheel or at least on the ground but for these special and hardworking people they will be up in the sky, because most of their time will be spent up in the air attending to lines.