SMDI to Provide Steel Utility Pole "Hot Line" Training for Members of Nebraska Rural Electric Association

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 25, 2011 –The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) will conduct a “hot line” training session for utility linemen and managers on May 24-25, 2011 at the Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska. The session will focus on the procedures for installing steel utility distribution poles in a live-line situation. The linemen and managers are employed by utility companies that are members of the Nebraska Rural Electric Association (NREA). 

The training will be conducted by veteran lineman and safety consultant Gary McDonald, who has trained 1,921 student linemen and apprentices, as well as 126 instructors, at 44 different training facilities and technical schools across the United States.

“Live-line installations are a necessity for all utilities,” Dan Snyder, manager of SMDI’s utility pole program, said. “No matter how brief, power interruptions inconvenience customers and are a source of lost revenue for utilities. Steel distribution poles help utilities keep distribution systems intact and lines live.

“The exact same safety precautions must be followed when using steel, wood or any other material,” Snyder said. “This session will provide hands-on training that focuses on the installation of a steel distribution pole in a live-line situation and answer any questions that the linemen and managers may have.”

SMDI held a live-line training session in Sidney, Nebraska last year. A short informational video of the session is available here.

Snyder said that more than 600 electric utility companies in the U.S. use steel poles in their distribution systems. For more information on the SMDI steel utility pole workshops, contact Dan Snyder at or visit (Construction>Utility Poles section).

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth opportunities in emerging steel markets.  For more news or information, visit

The steel utility distribution pole program is conducted under the Construction Market Council of the Steel Market Development Institute. The investor companies of the Construction Market Council include:
• AK Steel Corporation
• ArcelorMittal Dofasco
• ArcelorMittal USA LLC
• Nucor Corporation
• SSAB Americas
• Steelscape, Inc.
• ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
• United States Steel Corporation
• USS-POSCO Industries

Debbie Bennett
Manager, SMDI and Construction Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179