Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) — Research for Safe Work

Electrical contractors are a specialty trade within the construction industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 13,000 electricians in Washington State in 2003. Employment for electricians is expected to grow faster than average (projected to increase by 21 to 35 percent) through the year 2012.

In 2003, SHARP held focus groups with:

  • Electrical contracting managers.
  • Apprentice and journeymen electricians.
  • Apprenticeship program trainers.

The purpose of the focus groups was to identify successful strategies to reduce or control occupational injuries and illnesses. The groups identified and prioritized their top health and safety concerns and discussed potential solutions. Many of the strategies that contractors are using to reduce injuries include education, training, and the use of personal protective equipment.

While these strategies do play a role in preventing injuries, more emphasis should placed on identifying and eliminating hazards altogether. An Executive summary (54 KB PDF) and the Electrical Contractors Focus Group Report (370 KB PDF) is available online.

Common Ground

The publication, Common Ground, was developed to promote successful safety and health strategies used by electrical contractors. Common Ground emphasizes hazard identification and hazard elimination. The examples given are meant to raise awareness of this approach to injury prevention. Common Ground shares practical, real-world ideas that can and do work.

Common Ground is mailed to all electrical contractors in Washington State bi-weekly. There are a total of five editions:

Electrical contractors are encouraged to try at least one or more new ideas from each edition.

Looking for more good ideas

If you have a safety strategy that you would like to share with other electrical contractors, we would like to hear from you. Big or small, strategies that work for you are worth sharing because they may work for others too. Please contact us.

Tell us what you think

We would like to hear your comments about this publication. Did you find the ideas in Common Ground useful? Please contact us.

Electrical Contractors Industry resources

See the Washington State Employment Security Department's profile on Construction and Specialty Trades ( for market and labor information.

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