Many components go into any successful electrical construction project. Throughout my career, though, I have championed safety and creating an environment that is conducive to excellence. Unfortunately, a few contractors do not share that commitment. Violating safety rules to achieve an advantage over a competitor, for example, is wrong.
Prioritizing safety can be demonstrated in a number of ways. If you’re not already making strides in this area, I encourage you to adopt the policies and practices outlined in NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. Implementing this safety culture is something that cannot be ignored. That means paying attention to the gulf that can develop between management and the front line, where risk is elevated and the chances for an unsafe work climate can rise. Ultimately, safety is a shared responsibility between employers and employees. If you’re on the right track, it will take a lot of time and effort to address risk-takers. On that front, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) works hard to educate contractors about the best ways to promote safety. Pass on these lessons to your staff. You can visit NECA’s extensive library of NFPA 70E resources at necanet.org for additional reference.
NECA has and will always uphold the highest standards and integrity into its operations, specifically as they relate to compliance with safety rules. Safety is embedded in NECA’s mission statement as a core value of the association. Responsible electrical contractors need to put in place effective policies that employees at every level can understand. There is no doubt that cultural differences in the field can provide mixed messages, but there must also be consequences and accountability for companies and their workers who bypass the common-sense safety protocols outlined in NFPA 70E. Become familiar (or more familiar) with the requirements of NFPA 70E that apply directly to employers and employees, and know that you are making an important investment in yourself, your company and the industry. Safety takes work, but it’s worth it, and the alternatives are not.