When it comes to powering the community, we are quick to think about overhead linemen up in bucket trucks working on utility poles in the air. These roles are vital in making sure your power stays on, but there are also many less-visible jobs that are just as important in keeping the energy flowing.
Many people are unaware that underground workers have the responsibility of working both underground and overhead as part of their job. Some of these jobs include cable pullers and cable splicers.
“I realized I wanted to be an underground cable splicer because of the balanced, hands-on and outdoor work the job position provides,” says DTE apprentice Jessica. She appreciates that underground work involves handling a variety of challenges that come up, along with constant opportunities to learn and experience new things.
Underground journeymen and apprentices are in charge of making sure the crew is fully prepared for the job or jobs they will be going to everyday. Each job is different and requires specific tools and materials needed to complete it correctly. In order to gather the correct resources, workers need to know ahead of time what type of job it is and what needs fixed, updated or installed. They also need to know what type of equipment to use for the job, like machines and trucks. Safety is a huge aspect of daily life for this type of work. Many safety precautions must be followed, and proper clothing and gear must be worn by workers before starting any underground job.
Underground workers face many challenges and dangers during their everyday job. Occasionally, cable splicers must go into manholes. Going into manholes are one of the main differences between overhead and underground work. These manholes usually open on main roads and walkways, and workers use ladders to climb down into them. There is little space to move around, and the environment is mostly dark, so working can be difficult. Cables can sometimes be in hard-to-reach areas either near the floor or in a tight corner, putting splicers in uncomfortable positions.
Underground cable splicers are an essential part of powering the community. All different field positions put their individual skills together to make sure DTE works as one large team. With our workers working as a team, we are able to keep providing reliable power for you when you need it.