Joe O'Connor

Freelance Writer

Joe O'Connor is with Intec, a safety consulting, training and publishing firm that offers on-site assistance and produces manuals, training videos and software for contractors. Based in Waverly, Pa., he can be reached at 607.624.7159 or

Articles by Joe O'Connor

February 2006
On certain jobs, electricians can find themselves in an environment where the noise level exceeds the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) time-weighted average limit of 90 decibels. A noise level of 90 decibels is approximately that of a lawn mower or subway train. READ MORE
January 2006
While taking time to look at the construction year ahead, don’t forget safety. While preparing your 2006 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (posting deadline Feb. 1), reflect on changes needed to prevent future accidents. Review industry OSHA citations for the previous year as well. READ MORE
December 2005
If you have been following this column, you generally read about actions to prevent injuries. At times, an accident review is used to provide insight into safety procedures that can avoid reoccurrences. This article began as a lesson in what to do to avoid an electrical shock. In focusing on electrical-related injuries and fatalities, several questions arose. READ MORE
November 2005
Approximately 50 electrical workers die and thousands more are injured each year from electrical accidents. Many of these are due to burns from electric arcs. Using the key phrase “electric arc,” the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Accident Investigation Database (, 496 cases can be found that reveal the cause. The following is a typical summary. READ MORE
October 2005
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 2.3 million construction workers (65 percent of the total construction work force) frequently work on scaffolds. Electrical contractors are no exception. A large portion of their work is performed on scaffolds and aerial lifts. READ MORE
September 2005
The threat of terrorist attacks has brought attention to company emergency action plans including construction employer programs. Almost every government agency, in particular, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has increased efforts to ensure employers have emergency response plans. READ MORE
August 2005
Law enforcement recruits are taught to identify and protect themselves from edged weapons, and interestingly enough, the most common edged weapon used in a homicide isn't a knife-it is a screwdriver. Knowing this, consider the number of times a screwdriver is used by an electrical contractor to perform daily tasks. READ MORE
July 2005
The Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom) continues to be one of the top 15 OSHA standards violated by electrical contractors. It was first developed to protect against the possibility of chemical-source injury or illness. It requires that employers and employees have adequate information available to identify chemical hazards and take precautions against injury. READ MORE
July 2005
Like most professions, electrical construction requires attention to proper selection and care of tools. Tool safety for electrical work has many facets. The wrong tool or a tool in disrepair can lead to injury. In addition, certain tools used by electricians serve as a form of protective gear. Insulated tools are designed to separate the user from an industry hazard-electrical energy. READ MORE