Safe Travels

The ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR staff travels quite a bit. And thanks to modern technology, we can continue to work as a team on a magazine whether we’re in Bethesda, Md., or scattered in Memphis, Tenn., Las Vegas or Mexico. Wherever we are, we can coordinate decision-making, assign articles, edit copy, or remark on the real world when we see a notable electrical installation.

The editors of this magazine are not trained electrical professionals. Our backgrounds are in journalism, publishing, business and the English language. But we take pride in our extended list of contributing editors (see left) who are our sources for expertise. That said, we have been reading this magazine too, and we’ve picked up on a few things.

When we’re out there on the road, we often see electrical installations that give us pause. For instance, recently, Tim was on vacation in Mexico at a resort (one with a globally recognizable brand name) and found this installation (image at top), which violates multiple sections of the National Electrical Code (NEC). To the untrained eye (read: ours), intuition suggests something strange is going on here. To the trained eye (read: Michael Johnston, NECA’s executive director of safety and standards), it’s hazardous and unsafe.

Experiences such as this support our appreciation for the NEC and other electrical codes and standards. Not only is this installation unsafe, but it also is unsightly and inconvenient, placed in the middle of a luxurious resort’s brand-new foyer floor. Sometimes it’s difficult to comply with the NEC, but doing work the right way isn’t always easy.

So, for this issue, which is delivered in National Electrical Safety Month, we pay tribute to the codes and standards that keep us safe from electrical hazards in the United States.

In “What’s New? What’s Changed?”, Jim Phillips reviews all of the significant upcoming changes for NFPA 72. After you read it, head to and register for Jim’s webinar on this subject. If you miss it, we will have a recording up afterward.

Also this month, Michael Johnston wraps up his 10-part Code Comments series on the 2017 NEC significant changes. For the full series, head to Mike also writes about general safety issues in “Safety Is a Lifestyle.”

Jeff Gavin’s “The Forward Momentum of Safety,” covers employee well-being and safety culture as a foundation to keeping workers safe. Jeff is also concerned with building occupants. In “Take Your Construction Vitamins,” he writes about the WELL standard.

We know you probably travel, too, and we imagine you see all kinds of crazy electrical installations. We invite you to share them with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or email us at

About the Author

Julie Mazur

Julie Mazur is the editor of Electrical Contractor magazine. Contact her at .
About the Author

Timothy Johnson

Timothy Johnson is editor—digital for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine. Reach him at

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