As part of continuing efforts to improve safety and health for electrical workers, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has renewed a strategic partnership with the Central Ohio Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 683 of Columbus and Union 1105 of Newark.

“This partnership reflects our mutual recognition of the importance of electrical workers’ safety and health and solidifies our cooperative goal to develop effective safety programs while improving communication,” said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director in Columbus. “Together, we will take an aggressive and positive approach to place workplace safety and health at the forefront every day.”

The goals of the partnership include researching and implementing safety and health programs, decreasing employees’ injury and illness rates, and achieving measureable improvements in electrical worker safety by designing an open and continuous communication channel among OSHA, its partners and participating companies. The partners also will work in conjunction with the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) to develop improved, effective and meaningful safety training programs for the electrical trades and construction industries.

The partners have agreed to adopt and require the use of an industry standard checklist designed to exceed OSHA’s requirements for performing work on energized circuits, require mandatory OSHA safety courses for all field employees and supervisors as well as site-specific safety training for new hires, and conduct regular third-party safety audits and quarterly meetings to discuss industry best practices. The partnership will be evaluated annually.