8 ELECTRICALCONTRACTOR | MAY. 15 | WWW.ECMAG.COM
PRESIDENT’S DESK BY DAVID A. HARDT
NECA WAS FAMILIAR WITH the Electrical Safety
Foundation International (ESFI) way back when it was the
National Electrical Safety Foundation. In 1994, this nonprofit
organization launched as a cooperative effort between the
National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Underwriters
Laboratories, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. NECA has worked as a contributing supporter with
the ESFI ever since and has been represented on its board of
directors from the beginning.
The ESFI is best known for sponsoring National Electrical Safety Month each May as a public awareness campaign.
However, the foundation’s daily mission is to reduce electricity-related injuries, deaths and fires, saving lives and property
through public education and outreach. Like this important
ally, NECA promotes electrical safety every day. And like the
ESFI, NECA reinvigorates its approach continually and keeps
up with evolving safety concerns.
The influence wielded by organizations such as NECA and
the ESFI continues to grow. We’re seeing more electrical safety
stakeholders step up their efforts to relieve the production,
manipulation and use of electric power from as much inherent
risk as they can, though some risk will always remain.
I’m particularly proud that NECA contractors are constantly raising the bar on safety performance. The evidence of
the upward trend is in the fact that the NECA Safety Excellence
and Zero Injury Award Program attracts more participants and
certifies more winners every year.
We’re also seeing electrical safety advocates use National
Electrical Safety Month as a platform for launching exciting
and productive programs of their own. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration called for a National
Safety Stand-Down from May 4–15 to focus attention on preventing falls, the leading cause of construction fatalities. The timing
was no coincidence. All contractors were urged to be part of the
largest occupational safety event ever by supporting this important campaign to raise worker awareness. We hope you took part.
As for our association, we’re celebrating National Electrical
Safety Month with the fifth annual NECA Safety Professionals Conference presented by Westex. Its purpose is to bring
up-to-the-minute information on regulations, compliance,
management techniques and standards development to those
who manage our safety and health programs or have similar responsibilities within our companies. Rapid changes in
technology and techniques, and corresponding changes to
the codes and standards that govern our daily work, affect
our industry more than most. It’s essential that the people we
make responsible for our company’s safe performance have all
of the information they need—information that can be applied
immediately on the job.
As in previous years, the 2015 NECA Safety Professionals
Conference (May 18–20 in Phoenix) includes both electrical
line construction and inside electrical construction educational
tracks. Along with in-depth sessions exploring a wide variety of
topics, multiple opportunities to help attendees deal with the
2015 edition of NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the
Workplace, are on the agenda. I’m really pleased that NECA
is offering this vital education for the safety directors, human
resource professionals, project managers, risk managers and
supervisors working for member companies.
But don’t forget: anyone can take advantage of relevant safety
resources available in the online store at www.necanet.org.
Considered to be the most important document applicable to
electrical construction and maintenance, NFPA 70E is a critical
tool for protecting electrical workers from shock, arc flash and
arc blast hazards while also safeguarding customers and their
personnel and facilities. All inside contractors and their safety
personnel need to understand and abide by it.
By the way, NECA has been represented in the continual
refinement of this standard by John Luke, top safety director
for member-company ESCO Electric Co. of Marion, Iowa, for
more than 20 years. In addition, NECA is represented on each
of the 19 National Electrical Code (NEC) Code-making panels,
NECA contractors hold six chair positions on NEC technical
committees, and NECA’s Michael Johnston (executive director,
Standards and Safety) chairs the NEC Correlating Committee.
That’s why NECA is recognized as the leading voice of electrical contractors in codes and standards development.
NECA is also one of the 10 industry organizations in the
Electrical Code Coalition (ECC). The ECC’s mission is to
increase focus and emphasis on electrical safety for people and
property through direct and full adoption, application and uniform enforcement of the latest Code edition as the standard for
safe electrical installations.
Here’s a great National Electrical Safety Month activity:
Visit electricalcodecoalition.org to see which states have
adopted the 2014 NEC, which have started the adoption process, and which may need you to help bring it home. Be sure
to check out the adoption support kit.
Let’s all make safety a standard practice—every day, all day,
all year long!
David A. Hardt, PRESIDENT, NECA
Make Safety a Standard
Practice All Year Long