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Electrical safety training helps keep Iraqi workers free from harm
US Army Corps of Engineers ^ | Nov 23, 2005 | Jenna Bisenius

Posted on 11/23/2005 4:04:15 PM PST by SandRat

Electrical safety training helps keep Iraqi workers free from harm

By Jenna Bisenius

Iraq Project and Contracting Office


Iraqi labors in northern governorate of Erbil receive ladder safety training. (Photos courtesy of PCO)

Iraqi personnel responsible for working on power pole lines receive appropriate training. (Photos courtesy of PCO)

Iraqi personnel responsible for working on power pole lines receive appropriate training. (Photos courtesy of PCO)


Baghdad, Iraq – While western construction companies have long recognized that employee safety is paramount to their success, the concept of a safe work environment is novel to most Iraqi crews. During Saddam’s reign, safety training was rare or virtually nonexistent and workers were unfamiliar with safety mainstays such as protective goggles, enclosed footwear, or hard hats.

Recently, in an effort to prevent work-related injuries at electricity project sites, Washington International, Inc. (WII), a contractor for the Project and Contracting Office’s (PCO) Electricity Sector, provided refresher safety training to Iraqi laborers. The training focused on numerous topics such as site safety, grounding, ladder safety and fall protection, knot tying, scaffold erection, inspecting for hazards, and inspecting fall-protection equipment. In addition to supplemental training, all work sites instituted daily and weekly safety meetings.

The WII commissioning engineers also presented a course on basic electrical safe-work practices, after which, Iraqi workers were required to pass an exam testing their safety knowledge levels.

According to WII, their Erbil pole-line workers gleaned positive results from recent refresher training and by the corrective actions taken by Iraqi superintendents and safety inspectors. The contractor reported that the 11-kilovolt crews working there are performing quality work in a safe manner, thereby avoiding on-the-job injuries.

“Safety in the workplace is definitely our top priority,” said Thomas Waters, Electricity Sector Deputy Program Manager and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civilian. “People are the most important asset we have. We want everyone to go home to their families at the end of the work day free from injury or harm.”

“The idea of having to wear closed-toed shoes instead of flip-flops on a work site is foreign to many Iraqi workers. They are not used to wearing hard hats at project sites, goggles when using a circular saw, protective eyewear when welding, or safety harnesses when working on scaffolding.

“All of these things might seem quite natural to a construction or electrical worker in the U.S., but here, these things have to be taught and then reinforced. That’s an important part of our job: to make sure our Iraqi associates are performing work in the safest manner possible,” said Waters. They can then take that knowledge with them to other jobs down the road. Maybe it will even save someone’s life one day.”

This type of knowledge building, known as capacity development, prepares Iraqis for the future and is an important facet of the Electricity Sector program.

“These are all little steps on the way to building a modern nation that can meet international standards for safety and quality,” said Waters.

The Electricity Sector is one of four PCO sectors managing reconstruction projects throughout Iraq. The other sectors are Oil, Public Works and Water, and Facilities and Transportation.

-30-



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: electrical; free; from; harm; helps; iraq; keep; safety; training; workers

1 posted on 11/23/2005 4:04:16 PM PST by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

Corps of Engineers PING!


2 posted on 11/23/2005 4:05:13 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Safety is No Accident!


3 posted on 11/23/2005 5:20:11 PM PST by Tarantulas ( Illegal immigration - the trojan horse that's treated like a sacred cow)
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To: SandRat
Good job!
No use wasting valuable time training someone to work on high voltage lines, if they fry themselves fresh out of training.
Teach them how to fish, do not give them a meal...
4 posted on 11/23/2005 5:51:24 PM PST by sarasmom ("The French are revolting." Some phrases are true on so many levels, it's mystical!)
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To: SandRat

BTTT


5 posted on 11/24/2005 3:13:12 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: SandRat
They can borrow Louie the Lightning Bug if they wish.


6 posted on 11/24/2005 3:20:46 AM PST by Larry Lucido
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