Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative makes safety a priority in a dangerous job

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- A broken pole caused power outages for more than 300 people on Monday.

According to the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, every situation is unique. But when crews get a call to restore power, how they answer that call is the same every time.

Before crews head out after a storm, they meet to talk about the best way to stay safe. Each job poses different risks.

Ben Cash, the distribution systems manager for SVEC, said working out of a bucket truck is already dangerous, but adding the element of wind or snow increases that danger.

Crews on the ground keep an eye out for hazards above and below them.

That's why crew members have each other's backs when it's all hands on deck.

"Our mission statement is that we exist to serve our members and we have to provide a safe and reliable electricity. That's very important for us to be our brother's keeper," said Cash. "There's so many unknown hazards that you have on a job and having all eyes on the hazards is very important."

Some of those hazards can include equipment failure and falling debris.

Cash said a lineman's job is ranked the ninth most dangerous job in the world. Their goal is to make it as safe as they possibly can in the Shenandoah Valley.

If you need to report a power outage, SVEC has a 24-hour operations center and they can be reached at 1-800-234-7832.