As I’ve traveled around the country, I have met countless electrical contractors who perform all kinds of specialized construction work related to the design, installation and maintenance of electrical systems. Whether it’s high-voltage power transmission or low-voltage lighting, they ensure these systems work in a safe, effective and environmentally sound manner.


To the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and its members, safety is paramount. As a matter of fact, May is National Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, an average of 51,000 electrical home-structure fires occur each year—claiming almost 500 lives, injuring more than 1,400 people and causing more than $1.3 billion in property damage. In addition, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that nearly 400 people are electrocuted in the United States each year.


NECA continues to look for ways to promote safety. The NECA Store is a great place to find safety publications about such topics as hazardous communications, PPE, lockout/tagout procedures and more. Just recently, a series of digital resource guides based on existing popular NECA Safety publications have been released in the NECA Store. The guides contain additional materials not provided with the publication purchase. The applicable titles include NFPA 70E Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Selector Guide, NECA Guide to NFPA 70E Employer (Contractor) Responsibilities, NECA Supervisors Guide to Jobsite Safety Training, and NFPA Guide to Decision-Making, Energized vs. De-Energized.


NECA also has developed several safety-related apps, which are designed to provide a consistent, cloud-based, user-friendly platform. All are available in the iTunes and Google Play stores.


Last year, NECA released the 2015 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Selector App, based on the 2015 edition of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace and designed after NECA’s popular print publication, NECA’s NFPA 70E PPE Selector. This easy-to-use and informative app is meant to help electricians and supervisors determine the appropriate PPE to wear when working around energized circuits.


There’s also the NECA Safety Meeting app, a powerful smartphone and tablet-based tool designed to streamline the process of required safety meetings and delivering required job site safety talks. It includes hundreds of general safety talks and NECA’s customer safety talks for inside and line industries. There’s also a useful web portal for the office that allows for efficient company administration of employees and provides real-time accounting of safety meetings held in the field.


NECA is committed to helping you do your job in as safe a manner as possible. The annual NECA Safety Professionals Conference, taking place May 23–25 in Indianapolis, is the electrical construction industry’s premier safety event and continues to experience unprecedented growth. Open to all NECA members, it provides the most useful and up-to-date information on regulation, compliance, management techniques and standards development that affect health and safety in the electrical contracting industry.


Whether I’ve been on the job or at home, I have always made safety a priority. I encourage you to be a positive example when it comes to creating safer environments for everyone.