Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: May/June 2013

Reducing Risk: Prevention and Mitigation

We accept a level of risk in our daily lives in everything we do; the act of driving to work is a good example. The object is to reduce the risks of our actions, or inactions; reduce the potential that your action, your activity, or lack thereof will lead to an undesirable outcome. There are many ways to reduce the risks associated with the work you perform – it takes teamwork to make this happen. Your success can help take a bite out of the growing statistics of injuries and deaths in our electrical industry.

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Storm Troopers

The cover of IEC member KenMor Electric's hurricane preparedness brochure features wispy clouds floating above a sparkling ocean and the words "The Calm Before the Storm." That phrase might apply to weather patterns, but for electrical contractors, it's a misnomer. As Hurricane Ike barreled toward the Gulf Coast in 2008, the Houston-based company's field crew was working frantically to protect its customers' homes and businesses by securing large signs, disconnecting feeder power lines, and walking properties to point out items at risk.

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Shocking Statistics ... Don't Be One!

While arc flash awareness has been growing over the past decade (as well it should), the dangers of shock and electrocution should not be overlooked. According to the most recent statistics from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), electrocution is the second leading cause of construction site fatalities in the U.S. In an average eight-hour day, 16 workers require time off the job to recover due to electrically-induced injuries.

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The Dollars and Cents of Employees Texting While Driving

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation recommended a total ban on texting by commercial motor vehicle drivers while driving, and the Department of Labor launched an educational campaign aimed at encouraging employers to prohibit texting while driving. That same year, more than 3,000 people were killed in distraction-related vehicular crashes and an estimated 416,000 drivers and passengers were injured in crashes that involved a distracted driver. More recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stated, “Employers who require their employees to text while driving – or who organize work so that doing so is a practical necessity even if not a formal requirement – violate the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”

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System Design and Arc Flash Labeling - The Importance of Protecting Against Worker Injuries

The incident energy from an arc flash event can cause severe worker injuries, shut down a facility, and cripple a business. Since the electrical industry is focused on safety and reliability, it is no surprise that everyone, from engineers and system designers to facility managers and electricians, is focused on minimizing the risk of arc flash incidents.

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The Real Cost of Counterfeit Products From the Eyes of a Contractor

Manufacturers and trade associations have devoted much attention to counterfeit electrical products and their effects on consumers. The U.S. Customs' Consumer Safety and Critical Technology seizures of counterfeit electrical products are second only to pharmaceuticals. According to the Department of Homeland Security, over 3,400 seizures of Consumer Safety and Critical Technology products accounted for more than $146 million in 2012.

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Why Customers Want to Give You Referrals - and Why They Won't

There is no better way to gain customers than through referrals. A customer's personal recommendation adds strength to your marketing program that money cannot buy.

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Workers' Compensation Experience Modification

The only constant in life is change. That holds true for most things, and the Workers' Compensation Experience Modification (e-mod) is no exception to the rule. For many electrical contractors, 2013 may bring an additional level of change when it comes to the e-mod.

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Preparation: The Key to Safety

On May 20, at 4:05 p.m., I received a text from my sister, Juliet, saying "We're safe now, but it's getting close." I was off from work this day so I was more detached from the news cycle than I would be on an average day in the office. I turned to CNN to see video footage of a massive tornado ripping through Moore, Oklahoma, heading toward Oklahoma City - Juliet lives in Oklahoma City close to the Moore border.

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Strength from Partnerships

Every business needs a wealth of information to function and whether it is the products we purchase and install or making sure we have properly protected our employees and businesses, the most trustworthy and valuable information comes from the partnerships we have developed over the years. Throughout my time at IEC, I have come to realize that the most useful resources in my arsenal are IEC's Industry Partners.

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