Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: May/June 2014

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NEC and Worker Safety

The National Electrical Code® (NEC) is a document that seeks the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. This document offers value to those who work on electrical systems. The NEC is an installation code that includes provisions from which the electrical contractors benefit. These provisions exist in the system for years after the structure is built and in operation.

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Code Corner - May/June 2014

We bought a home with early 1920s knob and tube wiring as per the home inspection survey, and our plan is to remodel several areas. Can we keep this system in place and add to it?

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Where Have The Dollars Gone?

There is a song called “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” but my question is, “Where have all the profits gone?” Profit dollars that you don’t even realize you were holding in your hand, and they slipped through your fingers without you realizing you were holding onto them. There are many areas in the contracting world that money is made and money is lost. Let’s examine some of them so that you will understand that besides adding a profit of 10 percent to a job and hoping you make it, controlling your business through good management, a set of rules that everyone follows, and the accountability of employees will increase your bottom line.

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Infrared Certification Comparison: Importance of Proper Training

About a decade ago, thermal imagers (necessary for infrared thermography) were out of reach for most contractors due to the high cost to purchase. Infrared technology is now more affordable. Paired with great training to ensure proper use of the technology, the use of infrared cameras can become a huge asset for many businesses.

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Cracking the Code for National Electrical Safety Month

American life has drastically changed since the National Electrical Code® (NEC) was first established in 1897. Even at the time when the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) became the sponsor of the NEC in 1911, only about one quarter of American homes were electrified. In contrast, the average American home today has more television sets than people. As our dependence on electricity increases and our home technology evolves, it is important that consumers understand the importance of updating their home electrical systems to keep up with these demands.

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Complying with GHS

Many people assume that because the revised HazCom standard went into effect in May 2012, along with the first deadline to train employees on the formatting changes to labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) was December 1, 2013, all of the new SDSs must be ready and waiting. This is not the case, nor is it likely to be for several years.

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Is Safety Worth the Cost?

Safety needs to be a high priority for all construction contractors because of its direct impact on productivity and profitability. Based on the latest data available in the United States, the construction industry alone accounted for 16 percent of all fatal work injuries in 2012, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The construction industry is, by most statistical rankings, among the top 10 most dangerous work environments in the United States often just behind logging, commercial fishing, or aircraft operations.

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Using Fall Protection Helps Save Lives

Twenty-five-year-old construction worker Luis Gilberto Tenezaca Palaguache was attaching new shingles on the roof of a house in New Bedford, Massachusetts. As he turned to yell to his co-worker 30 feet below, he lost his balance and fell off the roof, hitting the concrete driveway. Unfortunately, the employer had not provided fall protection to prevent Palaguache from falling. Palaguache died from his injuries, and his family is left with memories of a man whose life was just beginning.

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AFCI Circuit Breaker Usage is Up. Residential Electrical Fires are Down

Residential electrical fires dropped nearly 20 percent over the seven-year span of 2002 to 2009, according to a 2012 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report. Instituted in the 1999 National Electrical Code® (NEC), at first, only bedroom circuits required arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) circuit breakers. Since then, the NEC has continued to expand for greater protection throughout the home, and the incidence of fires involving electrical distribution and lighting equipment has declined as well. Unlike a standard circuit breaker, AFCI circuit breakers identify arcs or sparking in wiring and quickly de-energize a system to prevent a fire. As contractors, no one better understands the dangers of electricity and can appreciate the importance of making our homes safer.

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What OSHA Has in Store for the Construction Industry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been focused on enforcement, as have other federal workplace agencies. OSHA forecasts that it will inspect almost 38,000 workplaces in 2014. OSHA’s plans for the construction industry include these compliance initiatives.

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