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Safety Professionals Institute Launched in May as NECA's Newest Educational Program

May 24, 2023

Workplace safety is one of the main focuses for NECA as it aims to better serve its members and improve the electrical contracting industry. Safety and health programs are formed to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and employers. That is why NECA opened its inaugural NECA Safety Professionals Institute on May 24th, 2023.  

The goal of this program is to provide training and awareness to help reduce incidents, injuries, and fatalities through an established Safety Management System, adaptable for all organizations. Joint efforts between employers and employees to implement recommended best practices for safety will also bring other benefits and a return on investment in employee engagement. Some of these benefits can help businesses to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, improve compliance with laws and regulations, and reduce costs, including significant reductions in workers' compensation premiums. “There are many aspects of managing safety and simply, an OSHA 30-hour course does not cover all the information needed to be a safety professional,” said NECA Executive Director of Safety Wes Wheeler. “NECA wants to ensure our workers have the best personnel overseeing worker safety in the electrical industry, those with the proper foundation to build from." 

The NECA Safety Professionals Institute is designed to educate new safety directors; either foremen or project managers who were moved into the roles of safety managers, site safety officers, safety coordinators or safety specialists. Candidates must be recommended by a senior executive at their company in addition to submitting an application. Regarding the new program, NECA’s Executive Director of Outside line Safety Mike Starner said, “The NECA Safety Professional’s Institute (NSPI) will equip the ‘new to role’ safety professional with skills that are essential for managing safety within their companies with the ultimate goal of protecting lives.”  

The program is formatted into two separate safety focuses: inside wireman and outside lineman. As the indoor and outdoor workplaces differ in setting and duties, so do several safety procedures and requirements. "I feel this program is needed for our newly appointed safety personnel to provide them with the proper overview of what managing safety for an electrical contractor entails.  Whether it is for the inside electrical or outside utility construction sector of our industry, they need the education and resources to help them be successful," encouraged Wheeler. 

Upon completing this program, participants will be able to describe common workplace hazards, define common safety regulations, identify the hazards electrical employees are exposed to, create an emergency response plan and a plan to reduce risk, as well as communicate safety rights in the workplace and the safety department’s responsibilities to employees. This course will equip safety professionals with the knowledge to provide coaching and mentoring to employees on safety. 

More information about the application process, the application form and a glimpse at the course curriculum can all be found on the website, as well as the course timeline. Completed applications or questions can be emailed to [email protected]