New Online Courses Teach Linemen How to Safely Work With Steel Utility Poles

WASHINGTON, DC, April 25, 2016 – Two new one-hour online courses developed by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) and its partners—the Metropolitan Community College, the Institute for Safety in Powerline Construction (ISPC), and T&D PowerSkills, LLC—to teach safe practices when working with steel utility poles are now available online at SMDI is a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute.

There are two courses offered: 

1) Students and Instructors: Seven segments provide basic de-energized training covering an overview of the benefits of steel poles, climbing, drilling holes, field deployment, framing, installing and joining. The course was developed in conjunction with the Metropolitan Community College and can be used by instructors as part of their teaching curriculums. 

2) Journeymen and Apprentice Linemen: Seven segments provide basic energized training covering an overview of the benefits of steel poles, joining multiple-section poles, framing and setting de-energized poles, climbing, energized line work, and additional considerations (Basic Insulation Level). 

“The training was developed to assist the present and future workforce as more than one million distribution poles have been added to the national power distribution system in the past decade,” said Robert Wills, vice president of construction for SMDI. “Increasingly, utility companies are adding steel poles to their systems because they are durable, cost-effective, and provide many environmental advantages.”

SMDI also offers on-location workshops directed at students and advanced-level linemen conducted at lineman colleges, apprenticeship programs, electric utility associations, Cooperatives, Municipals and Investor-Owned Utilities. The one-day or two-day workshops include classroom and hands-on training. For more information on scheduling a workshop, visit  

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.

SMDI increases and defends the use of steel by developing innovative materials, applications and value-added solutions for customers in the automotive, construction and packaging markets. SMDI construction investors include: AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, ArcelorMittal USA, Nucor Corporation and SSAB Americas. For more information on SMDI, visit or follow @BuildUsingSteel on Twitter.

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

Deanna Lorincz
Senior Director, SMDI Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4763