Safety Leader

Be Safety Smart

Welcome to Safety Leader. The need for effective safety information in the electrical trade has grown exponentially in recent years. To keep you up to date, the Electrical Contractor magazine team brings you this new publication that will focus on and emphasize industry trends, OSHA rulemaking and other valuable topics. Being safety smart requires diligence and commitment from both the employer and employee, as these responsibilities are shared by both parties. Each must implement them accordingly. Electrical contractors’ ultimate objectives are to be successful, productive and profitable. 

As prior generations of electrical workers retire, they take valuable skillsets with them, including excellent safety skills and best practices. Having an adequately trained workforce is becoming more of a challenge. 

With this significant turnover, one can’t help but be concerned about safety’s impact in the electrical field. NECA and its labor partner, the IBEW, have always been viewed as the leaders in the industry, especially when it comes to safety. We are on the front lines regarding compliance, meaning we have to get it right. Whether it is outside transmission or distribution line construction or inside electrical construction, NECA and IBEW deliver power to communities, empowering lives for well over 100 years. 

Whether it is drone technology, robotics, prefabrication, use of power over ethernet, cable or smart devices in control of electrical systems and equipment, electrical contractors are at the center of it all. When it relates to the electrical industry, all of the above is electrical work as clearly indicated in the Master Format specification system.

Technology is evolving and changing the way we do things. There are many more useful tools that can be deployed by contractors to implement, monitor and effectively manage their safety systems. Production is important, and it is vital that electrical contractors remain at the top of their game in business. Those that integrate safety systems into their preplanning, planning and business models are far and away ahead of and leading their competition.  

We are truly excited about Safety Leader and the value it will bring. Operating safe businesses and protecting all employees is an integral part of achieving those business objectives. Management commitment toward safety must align with the goal of ensuring every employee returns home to their families after a fair day on the job. Safety does not end on the job. It is a lifestyle … we all should live it.  

—Michael Johnston
NECA Executive Director Standards and Safety

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 chair of the NEC Correlating Committee; chair of the NFPA Electrical Section; and a member of the IBEW, NFPA Education Section and the UL Electrical Council. Reach him at mj...

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