Driving Innovation

Lineworkers get creative in social distancing

April 24, 2020

A ComEd crew swapped their hard hats for thinking caps and found creative ways to incorporate social distancing while working. 

Since the State of Illinois issued its stay-at-home order, field crews are experiencing an increase in customers attempting to interact with them and ask about the work they’re performing. Many are people who are working or whose children are e-learning at home who are curious to know if there will be planned power outages to do work on ComEd’s equipment.

Magnetic sign on ComEd truck

The crew suggested creating a magnetic sign for trucks to remind customers to keep at least 6 feet away for their safety and the safety of employees.

Now, ComEd employees are using variations of this innovative solution in more than 2,000 places throughout the communities they serve as magnets, A-Frame signs and decals.

A barrier created with cones and caution tape

They also had another idea up their sleeve.

When they arrive at a job site, they use cones and caution tape to create a barrier to keep the public 6 feet away from their work area. ComEd has these materials in storage, making them available for all crews to use. 

Other than maintaining a safe social distance with the public, crews are also finding ways to practice social distancing with each other.   

For instance, to eliminate the need for two people to work in close proximity, lineworkers are using a device called a “Christmas tree” that holds de-energized wires up and out of the way to perform to work. Usually, this task would require two lineworkers to position themselves within 6 feet of one another.

ComEd has also rented more than 300 vehicles and allowed employees to use their personal vehicles to ensure each employee is traveling alone to a job site. 

ComEd is putting the health and safety of its people and the public first during this unprecedented time. Please remember to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet away if you see ComEd lineworkers in your community.