Safety Leader

Mind-Body Connection

Published On
May 18, 2022

Ideally, all of you readers operate in electrically safe working conditions. The outlook of your employees also plays a part in how you and they work. We believe SAFETY LEADER’s purpose is to support and educate safety professionals about mental and physical safety. We have resources on both topics in this Electrical Safety Month issue.

We like to know what you’re thinking about and want to address your interests, so we’re pleased to report that the first feature was requested by a reader who asked if the magazine could cover the difference between electric shock and arc flash. ­Electrical Contractor’s arc flash safety expert, Jim Phillips, writes about both paths in “Electrical Current Through Tissue and Air” on page 4.

“Don’t Take Anything for Granted,” page 10, brings that theme to the extreme. In it, poet and writer Marlena Chertock recounts a fatal incident that inspired a one-time troubleman to take a deeper interest in safety. The troubleman is Mike Starner, who is now NECA’s director of outside line safety. Following that, on page 12, is a first-person account of “getting bit” by electricity. That story also includes some takeaways from the 2022 IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop. We will bring you more from that conference in future issues.

To maintain a safe workplace, safety professionals and electrical contracting firm owners need to create a safety culture. Tom O’Connor explains how successful organizations do this in “The Benefits of Employee Buy-in” on page 14.

From the body, we turn inward to the mind. As NECA’s director of safety, Wes Wheeler emphasizes the need to expand mental health training and assistance in the electrical and construction industry. Jeff Gavin delves into the promotion of well-being at work and provides background about the recent ISO standard: “Psychological Health and Safety at Work—­Guidelines for Managing Psychosocial Risks.” Find “Bringing Mental Health to the Forefront” on page 18.

For more on mental health and whole-worker articles, see our archives at and Stay safe.

About the Author

Wes Wheeler

Safety Director

Wes Wheeler is the Director of Safety at National Electrical Contractors Association. Wes may be contacted at

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