Safety Leader

The Normal Now

Published On
Aug 7, 2020

COVID-19 continues to test safety and health management systems on every level. While many organizations scrambled to develop or shore up their safety practices to deal with the pandemic, others saw it as business as usual. 

As Mark Lynch says in “Smart Safety Solutions,” “A safety plan is only expensive if you don’t have one.” When a company has effective, practical safety management systems, it can apply them in any situation. Our crew of industry professionals is back in this issue to address technology and other trends in electrical contracting.

OSHA regulations, risk-assessment processes, infectious exposure control plans, respiratory protection, use of PPE and establishing policies are all important components in dealing with the coronovirus pandemic. Marlena Chertock interviewed  members of two contracting firms to learn how they are maintaining COVID-19-free employees, construction projects and offices. The Toolbox Talk is useful for learning about employee and self protection against COVID-19. 

The third feature this month is by underground construction expert Jeff Griffin. He covers potholing in “You Can’t Dig Too Carefully." The rest of this issue of SAFETY LEADER is filled with useful information for all levels of safety professionals. Katie Keuhner-Hebert talked to Ron Hall, who was brought out of retirement to work as a part-time safety director at Cogburn Bros. Inc., in Jacksonville, Fla. This month, we introduce a new column on training by Susan DeGrane. Read “Wind Power Practice Makes Perfect."

Lives are being lost every day to COVID-19. In the same way that each employer and employee must share responsibility for a safety and health program to be effective, everyone needs to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 as vaccine-development work continues. Whether on a construction project, in an office setting, or in a one-on-one conversation, please respect one another’s health and well-being.

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

Stay Informed Join our Newsletter

Having trouble finding time to sit down with the latest issue of
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR? Don't worry, we'll come to you.