Volume 9, Issue Number 1 January 1, 2004

NECA, IBEW, OSHA Working to Improve Line Construction Safety

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the electric utility industry are working with OSHA to reduce fatalities and serious injuries in high-voltage line construction.  NECA-member line contractors and senior staff met with OSHA representatives in Washington, DC on December 11 to discuss formation of an industry-wide partnership aimed at improving safety.

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NECA Texas Chapter Fights Unsafe Wiring Practices

Developers of a 37-story building in Fort Worth must use standard commercial wiring practices, a city board ruled on November 13.

The Construction and Fire Prevention Board denied an exception to city building codes to allow Type NM cable for interior wiring of high-rise apartments and condominiums. Fort Worth codes prohibit the use of NM cable in buildings over four stories. Taller structures must use more fire-proof wiring methods such as conductors installed in conduit. The Tower’s developers requested a variance on the grounds that using NM cable within residential units would save about $150,000, a small portion of the luxury project’s overall electrical cost.

The appeals board rejected the request 8-0. Electrical and fire safety groups opposed expanding the use of NM cable to taller buildings. NECA’s North Texas chapter, the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers (IBEW), and the Fort Worth Fire Fighters Association all testified against the proposal. “If you or I were buying one of those high-rise apartments, we would want it wired in the safest way,” said T.A. Huston of Lone Star Electric, a NECA-member company.

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“Toolbox Talks” CD Now Available

NECA has released a collection of 100 toolbox talks developed especially for the electrical contracting industry, in CD-ROM format. 
100 Safety Training Talks for Electrical Construction Work covers workplace electrical hazards and other common construction safety risks.  Subjects covered include:

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Input wanted for “NECA Manual of Labor Units”

NECA is beginning work on the next edition of its Manual of Labor Units. Updated every two years to stay abreast of evolving technology, it has been the electrical industry’s most authoritative estimating guide for over 50 years.

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Bill King Retires from CPSC

William H. King retired from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on January 2, after 31 years with the federal safety agency.  As chief engineer for CPSC’s directorate of electrical and fire safety, he was a tireless advocate for safer home wiring practices and safer electrical appliances.

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New textbook by NECA standards director

Brooke Stauffer, executive director for standards and safety at the NECA, has written an authoritative new reference book.  NFPA’s Residential Wiring: A Practical Guide Based on the 2002 National Electrical Code is now available for purchase from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and technical bookstores everywhere.

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Motors and controllers are subject of NEIS

The newest Nat-ional Electrical Instal-lation Standard (NEIS)® is NECA 230-2003, Standard for Selecting, Installing, and Main-taining Electric Motors and Motor Controllers (ANSI).

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Oregon counties let contractors self-certify

The tri-county area around Portland and Salem, Oregon has adopted a “Minor Label” program that allows contractors to self-certify compliance with applicable codes on small construction jobs (including electrical).  The contractor purchases labels at a price of 10 for $135 and then applies these label on “minor” jobs.  The jobs are then randomly inspected (about 1 in 10), but the penalties for non-compliance are mild.

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Code Calendar

Upcoming meetings of interest to the codes & standards  community:

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Veteran ANSI staffer honored

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