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Don’t Pick Up Hitchhikers

By Julie Mazur and Wesley L. Wheeler | May 15, 2023
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Every time we board a plane, we hear a flight attendant’s safety briefing, including the message, “Locate your nearest exit. Be aware that it may be behind you."

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Every time we board a plane, we hear a flight attendant’s safety briefing, including the message, “Locate your nearest exit. Be aware that it may be behind you.” If we conducted the same level of risk assessment each time we got behind the wheel as we do on a plane or in the workplace performing a dangerous task, we would stay more alert while driving, make better choices on the road and protect ourselves and others. 

This issue of Safety Leader shines a (head) light on driving. Katie Hebert’s “Stay in Your Lane” focuses on struck-by incidents, how workers can protect themselves, what employers can do and several resources they can use. It is on page 4. 

 It has been reported that losing two hours’ sleep can have the same effect as being under the influence of alcohol or other medications. In her article, “Eyes Up: The cost of distracted driving,” Susan DeGrane interviews NTSB vice chairman Bruce Landsberg, as well as an insurance pro and electrical contractor, about how to deal with this problem. 

We all know that not every text message or phone call on the road results in a crash. However, each time you drive distracted, you knowingly increase your chances of hurting yourself and others. The NTSB’s Landsberg said, “‘Crash’ is an important term to use because, unlike accidents, which are rare and unforeseen, crashes are preventable.” You have the power to avoid them. Read it on page 10.

Tom O’Connor, our safety and Best Practices columnist, adds another perspective to safe driving in “Driving Home the Point,” offering tips for moving safely through construction work zones. Find it on page 14.

As safety leaders, we want everyone to get to work and go home safely at the end of the day. We hope these articles provide you with the information that will lead to safer choices on and off the job site. 

About The Author

A woman, Julie Mazur, smiles at the camera. Image by Julie Mazur.

Julie Mazur

Managing Editor, Electrical Contractor magazine

Julie Mazur is the managing editor of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, Safety Leader and Line Contractor magazines. Before coming to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, she was an editor at Knight-Ridder/Tribune newspapers and the Los Angeles Times and taught English as a foreign language in Egypt and Japan. As managing editor, Julie oversees the whole publishing arc. She plans and assigns the stories for every issue, works with writers and designers and interacts with the printing plant. She has a mass communications B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. Go Bears!

Permanently retired from ziplining, Julie is an enthusiastic sports spectator and radio listener. She likes to read, exercise and cook.

Wesley L. Wheeler

Wesley L. Wheeler

Executive Director of Safety

WHEELER, SMS, CESCP, is NECA’s executive director of safety and is a Safety Management Specialist through the BCSP and Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional through NFPA. He is technical committee member on NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code, Code-Making Panels, and a former technical committee member on NFPA 70E. He also served as an employer representative on the OSHA ACCSH Committee from 2019-2023. Reach him at [email protected].

 

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