To ensure a safe and well-functioning electricity network for Belgium, it is vital that the high-voltage grid remains in optimal condition at all times. This requires regular inspections and measurements. And that isn’t a job for the faint-hearted, because such maintenance work often involves climbing pylons – to heights of up to 100 metres. But Cable and Line Technician Jean-Baptiste is more than up for the challenge.
Jean-Baptiste has a good head for heights, which is just as well because as a Cable and Line Technician he regularly has to don his climbing gear. Climbing electricity pylons is part of his job, which entails maintaining, and when necessary repairing, the cables and lines on the high-voltage grid. “Our cables and lines are thoroughly inspected each year by the largest inspection and certification company in Belgium. They detect any irregularities. And that’s good news, because safety – for all stakeholders, from consumers to local residents – is Elia’s number-one priority. My colleagues and I carry out daily patrols and site visits to ensure that our infrastructure is very thoroughly maintained.”
“With a team in each province, it’s all hands on deck to keep Elia’s high-voltage grid in tiptop condition. But our job involves more than just carrying out maintenance and repairs. We also keep customers and local residents informed about the work we do. For example, when a company wants to build a high-bay warehouse underneath a power line, it’s very important to weigh up all the pros and cons.”
Choosing between desk work and fieldwork is a no-brainer for Jean-Baptiste. “I’m a man of action. Every day I look forward to getting behind the wheel of my vehicle and rolling up my sleeves on site. All this hands-on experience means I learn something new every day. I also enjoy sharing that knowledge with colleagues and customers. At team meetings, for example, I’m able to do my bit to make the use of our infrastructure even safer.”
“If I had to choose between teamwork and working by myself, I’d play my joker because I don’t really have a preference. I am quite a team player, but I also like doing my own thing – I’m focused and passionate about my job. Besides, being able to work independently is one of the qualities you definitely need as a Cable and Line Technician, along with an eye for detail.”
Maintaining electrical cables and lines to a professional standard is impossible without an in-depth knowledge of the latest technical regulations. “I’m very grateful to Elia as an employer for giving me enough time and space to keep my technical knowledge up to date through training, including through the training leave system. This proactive approach is a win-win for all concerned: employees, end customers and, of course, Elia itself.”