Ahead Of The Curve

Understanding and accepting 
change is important in any walk of life, but especially so in electrical construction. I’ve seen how innovations in technology have affected the men and women in my business, and it’s exciting to be a part of it. As president of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), I encourage you to embrace the advancements we’ve made and see how they can make a difference in your career and business.

Last October, I outlined some of the products NECA has developed for smartphones and tablets, including the NECA Advocacy app, the Safety Meeting app and the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine app. These tools are convenient, easy to use and available now to download in the iTunes and Google Play stores.

This month, I wanted to introduce you to what NECA and other industry groups have been working on over the past year. That includes several new safety-related apps as well as some app updates that will help keep you connected to NECA and the industry.

ET&D Partnership app: Launched by the Electrical Transmission & Distribution Partnership, this app puts best practices and safety guidelines used in the line-construction industry into the hands of line workers in the field. NECA worked closely with the partnership members to develop the app and redesign its website, ­­­www.­powerlinesafety.org, based on the specific needs of the partnership. The free app provides searchable information on the partnership’s best practices, allowing line-construction workers, company supervisors and managers to quickly and easily access the detailed information from any location. The app is dynamic and expandable for the future, and it features industry news, safety tips and talk outlines, and training information.

OSHA Heat Safety Tool app: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released the OSHA Heat Safety Tool app designed to combat heat-related illness in outdoor workers. The app enables workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their work site and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple click, they can get reminders about the measures they should take at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness.

NECA News app: NECA has revamped its popular news app, providing users with a new look and feel, new functionality including the ability to bookmark articles to read at a later date on- or off-line, and an updated topic list that more closely resembles today’s electrical construction industry. Pre-existing features, such as article sharing and favoriting topics and the ability to turn those features on or off, are still available. The biggest change is that topics are no longer color-coded.

NECA Book app: NECA members can now view the NECA Book on their phone and tablet thanks to a new app that houses the mobile version. Designed to enhance networking opportunities between members, chapters and national staff, the NECA Book app offers easy-to-use search features that pull from the most current data, keeping members constantly updated. Some of the search options include nationwide members, chapters, line contractors, committees and regions. Users also can favorite and add contacts to their devices’ directories.

And don’t forget, NECA will hold several major conferences throughout 2017, including NECA Now (March 27–29 in San Antonio), the Labor Relations Conference (June in Minneapolis), the NECA Convention & Trade Show (Oct. 8–10 in Seattle), and the National Legislative Conference and the NECA Safety Conference (dates to be announced). Accompanying apps will keep you in the loop.

I know how valuable your time is. With a single download, you can make the most of it by staying educated and getting the information you need. It is my hope that the industry and the tools NECA has developed have become an important part of that equation.

About the Author

David A. Hardt

NECA President
David A. Hardt is the current president of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and contributes the President's Desk column monthly. He took office in January 2015 and will serve a three-year term.

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