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

April 2004
A lost requirement of OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the Hazard Communication Standard, our industry was overwhelmed. Mountains of paper were assembled to comply. Dangerous physical hazards seemed to take a back seat. This article will revisit those various physical hazards, their danger and general precautions. READ MORE
March 2004
To be safe, take it step by step Controlling hazardous energy or lockout/tagout (LOTO) can be a complex subject for the electrical industry. Different regulations address it from all perspectives. There is the concept of whether the work is construction or maintenance and whether the lines are part of power transmission and distribution or basic installation. READ MORE
February 2004
Back disorders cost electrical contractors millions of dollars each year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that more than 1 million workers suffer back disorders annually. They account for 20 percent of workplace injuries and illnesses. Twenty five percent of all compensation indemnity claims involve the back. READ MORE
January 2004
Thousands of accidents occur in the electrical construction industry each year. Accidents are defined as “an unplanned event that results in personal injury or property damage.” Their severity ranges from minor injury and minimal property damage to million-dollar losses and fatalities. It is often the minor accidents left unchecked that lead to a catastrophic event. READ MORE
January 2004
On March 25, 1911, 146 workers were killed in a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory. The impact of this industrial disaster resulted in fire-prevention legislation, factory inspections and better working conditions for all workers. Eighty years later, on Sept. 25, 1991, a fire at the Imperial Foods Processing Plant left 25 victims dead and 54 injured. READ MORE
December 2003
Safety violations on a construction site or multi-employer work site often present a dilemma regarding responsibility. Who pays? When it comes to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the answer is everyone. Consider the following scenario: An electrical contractor is hired to install and maintain all wiring on a multistory construction site. READ MORE
November 2003
Body belts and body harnesses are often the first things that come to mind when fall protection is mentioned. But confusion arises over where and when they should be used. This article will review Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and select responses to questions about the use of body belts and harnesses. READ MORE
October 2003
The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data reveals that, in 2001, 27 people involved in electrical construction were killed by falls while performing their jobs. This places falls as the second leading cause of fatalities in our industry. They rank second only to “exposure to harmful substances or environments” (which includes electrocution). READ MORE
September 2003
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard came out in the 1980s with a bang. Initially, few businesses were able to avoid a citation for noncompliance to its chemical safety provisions. Hazard Communication remains one of the most frequently cited standards in the electrical construction industry and warrants a review. READ MORE