Safety Leader

Executive Director's Note: The Human Factor

Published On
Nov 17, 2020

People are fallible and human error often causes accidents, so assessing worker performance is an important part of maintaining a safe work environment. Incidents can be avoided by understanding what contributes to human error and impacts safety. 

All the features in this issue of Safety Leader look at different aspects of the human element. 

In “No Compromises,” Claire Swedberg interviews several contractors about how they used their initiative to solve the problem of bringing safe, temporary power to the job site. 

In “The Power of Teamwork,” Marlena Chertock takes us to Centennial Park in downtown Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Electrical contractor Hilscher-Clarke worked quickly and safely to finish the project honoring the NFL’s 100th anniversary. However, the pandemic delayed the opening ceremony.

Our final feature is a forum for company leaders to explain how they preempt and deal with predictable, manageable and preventable human error and protect their workers. Read about how they lead by example in “Safety From the Top Down,” by Susan Bloom. 

Three factors in the construction industry contribute to safety risks. Workforce shortages due to retirements mean experienced people with superior skillsets are leaving the field. Training new of workers takes longer than the time to complete an apprenticeship program. Finally, the amount of overtime hours an employee is required to work directly impacts productivity and increases risk because of exhaustion. 

This issue completes the first year of Safety Leader, in which we brought you close to 100 pages of award-winning, valuable, safety-centric information. In fact our February issue earned a 2020 American Inhouse Editorial Design Award from Graphic Design USA. We hope you have found it useful, interesting and thought-provoking. Safety is not just our duty or yours. Everyone needs to take responsibility and model their own safe behavior to raise the safety level of an office, a job site and a family.

About the Author

Michael Johnston

Executive Director of Standards and Safety, NECA

Michael Johnston is NECA’s executive director of standards and safety. He is a member of the NEC Correlating Committee, NFPA Standards Council, IBEW, UL Electrical Council and NFPA’s Electrical Section. Reach him at

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