Author: Nathan Boutwell, CUSP

Nathan Boutwell, CUSP, is the supervisor of health and safety for Avangrid Networks, Central Maine Power. He has 11 years of experience in health and safety and has worked in various industries, including utilities, power generation, energy delivery technologies and manufacturing.

Effective Tick-Repellent Strategies for Field Workers

If you read any job description for a lineworker, you are sure to see a reference to working outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. This is one of a number of requirements that draw people to the profession; most lineworkers enjoy spending time outside. And from time to time, every lineworker will have to work in tall grass or brush. One of the risks of working in grass or brush is, of course, exposure to ticks and the diseases they can transmit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, tick-borne diseases – such as Rocky Mountain spotted...

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Mitigating the Risks of Aerial Patrols

A safe and reliable operation is built on a foundation of strong, continually evolving programs that adapt to changing regulations. Federal requirements now mandate that electric transmission utilities perform annual vegetation inspections on all of their rights-of-way. To complete these inspections, many utilities rely on helicopters, which pose high risks due to low-altitude flying and close proximity to lines where the danger of a strike is always present. In the U.S., helicopter wire-strike accidents account for 5 percent of civilian helicopter accidents (see

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