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

November 2004
NFPA 70E offers standards for a complete safety program The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) enforcement emphasis on the use of proper electrical safety practices based on the National Fire Protection Association 70E standard has brought more attention to its requirements. A great deal of this has focused on the arc flash and shock hazard analyses. READ MORE
October 2004
Protect them from temperature extremes More than 700 people die of hypothermia each year in the United States and more than 300 die from heat-related illnesses. The numbers are highest in December to January and July. However, there are at least 30 deaths each month related to temperature extremes. READ MORE
October 2004
With the turn of the century, innovative methods for providing employee safety training have become more accessible to the average employer. Offers for e-learning (i.e. computer-based and online training) have bombarded the electrical construction industry. Topics range from general safety to industry-specific programs, such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E standard. READ MORE
September 2004
Fire extinguishers are effective and simple Within 30 seconds a small flame can get totally out of control, causing a major fire. Dangerously high levels of black smoke usually fill a structure in minutes. In many cases, the fire will result in injury or death. In fact, 4,000 deaths and 25,000 injuries occur each year from fire. READ MORE
August 2004
‘The right tool for the job’ is more than just a cliche The war rages on about ergonomics. The available science, costs and responsibility for musculoskeletal injuries seems to be the focus. However, in the wake of the battle, solutions offered to increase the compatibility between the work environment and the worker have resulted in better comfort for the worker and greater productivity. READ MORE
July 2004
Slips, trips and stumbles can lead to serious injury Falls may not sound like a serious topic, but they cost billions each year. They account for 15 percent of workplace injuries and one-third of construction fatalities. In response, an electrical contractor might invoke safety precautions such as guardrails and personal fall arrest systems. Unfortunately, this focuses on falls from an elevation. READ MORE
June 2004
Safety should be the best motivator It’s hard to resist telling morbid stories of occupational accidents to motivate individuals to take safety precautions. However, the ease with which foreign objects can enter the eyes should speak for itself. Add to this the damage an arc flash can have on an electrician’s eyes and it should be reason enough to wear the proper eye and face protection. READ MORE
May 2004
When a Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) visits an unprepared job site, the reactions can be amusing. Usually, the word travels throughout the site and employees scramble. Personal protective equipment, such as hard hats, may be put on. READ MORE
May 2004
Avoid the hazards of chemicals whenever possible Electrical contractors can find themselves in a variety of environments. But whether you are rewiring a chemical industrial plant or simply working on a residential site using a lubricant to help pull wire, you can be exposed to hazardous chemicals. In fact, all chemicals can be considered hazardous. READ MORE