Twelve teams, 13 individuals win awards at APPA national rodeo

Twelve teams and 13 individuals won awards at the American Public Power Association's sixteenth annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, APPA said on April 3.

The rodeo, which was held April 1-2, in Minneapolis, Minn., is a series of competitive events demonstrating lineworker skills and safe work practices.

This year's rodeo was hosted by the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association and Shakopee Public Utilities.

APPA noted in an April 3 news release that sixty-three teams and 130 apprentices from not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities across the nation participated.

"Lineworkers risk their lives on the job every day, as much as firefighters, construction workers or security professionals," said Mike Hyland, senior vice president of engineering services at APPA. "Public power utilities and national standard-setting entities are vested in protecting lineworkers' safety."

The awards honor lineworkers' expertise. The events are judged based upon safety, work practices, neatness, ability, equipment handling, and timely event completion.

All safety rules established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the APPA Safety Manual were observed during events.

The complete list of 2015 winners is detailed on the rodeo website.

There are two levels of competition within the rodeo — journeyman and apprentice. The journeyman teams consist of three members — two climbers and a ground person — and can include an optional alternate.

A qualified journeyman has more than four years of experience within the electric utility trade. An apprentice lineworker has four or fewer years of experience.