Soldier Electrocutions Probed in Iraq

If they would use the NEC rules, qualified electricians, and qualified inspectors for electrical work in Iraq they would not have these
electrocutions. We should be thankful that in the USA we have laws to adopt the NEC and that we have many volunteers that help promote the NEC. Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) is a known nonunion scab contractor in the USA and would cut costs by not using the NEC or qualified electricians if it meant making an extra buck. Now they are apparently responsible for electrocuting our soldiers in Iraq.
March 20, 2008 Soldier Electrocutions Probed in Iraq By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 10:31 a.m. ET
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A U.S. House committee chairman has begun an investigation into the electrocutions of at least 12 service members in Iraq, including that of a Pittsburgh soldier killed in January by a jolt of electricity while showering.
Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said Wednesday he has asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to hand over documents relating to the management of electrical systems at facilities in Iraq.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, 24, died Jan. 2 of cardiac arrest after being electrocuted while showering at his barracks in Baghdad.
Also Wednesday, Maseth's parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Allegheny County Court against KBR Inc., the Houston-based contractor responsible for maintaining Maseth's barracks.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages and costs, alleges that KBR allowed U.S. troops to continue using electrical systems ''which KBR knew to be dangerous and knew had caused prior instances of electrocution.''
''I expected that if I lost one of my sons (in the war), it would be due to an IED or firefight,'' Maseth's mother, Cheryl Harris, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. ''I never expected to hear he would be electrocuted, that something so senseless happened to him.''
An Army investigation found that his death was due to improper grounding of the electric pump that supplied water to the building, Waxman said. Maseth died after an electrical short in the pump sent a current through the pipes, the California Democrat wrote in his letter.
Chris Isleib, a Defense Department spokesman, said that the Pentagon has turned the matter over to the department's inspector general for a full investigation.
Since 2003, at least 12 service members have died in Iraq as a result of electrocution, according to the Army and Marine Corps.
In October 2004, Waxman said in his letter, the Army issued a safety alert that noted five soldiers had been electrocuted that year and improper grounding was a factor in nearly all of the cases.
The letter did not give the names of victims other than Maseth. Waxman asked that his committee be provided investigative reports on the dead soldiers and reports and communications regarding electrical grounding in military facilities in Iraq.
In a Jan. 21 memo responding to questions from Maseth's family, the Army's criminal investigations division said the Chinese-made pump was acquired before KBR took over maintenance of the building and did not meet U.S. safety standards.
KBR declined to comment on the lawsuit Wednesday, but said it would cooperate with agencies investigating Maseth's death. The company was formerly owned by Halliburton Co., the oil services conglomerate once led by Vice President Cheney.
Harris said the military initially did not tell her that her son was electrocuted, and then told her he died ''with a small electrical appliance in the shower.'' Only later did she learn the truth, she said.
The investigation was sought by Rep. Jason Altmire, a Democrat who represents a district north of Pittsburgh.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gerald Newton wrote:

Hmmm...
<http://www.safetycenter.navy.mil/photo/archive/archive_151-200/photo178p.htm
Looks safe to me....
<yap...>
--
Adrian C

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Adrian C wrote:

They should have used a live bullet instead of the drill bit. Then they could get the protective cover on and also have some "fuse action"!
--
Joe Leikhim K4SAT
"The RFI-EMI-GUY"©
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gerald Newton wrote:

Going to a war zone requires a backbone. That is something sorely missing in any union electrical worker I've ever met.
--
aioe.org is home to cowards and terrorists

Add this line to your news proxy nfilter.dat file
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 20 Mar 2008 15:52:46 -0400 Michael A. Terrell
| | Gerald Newton wrote: |> |> If they would use the NEC rules, qualified electricians, and qualified |> inspectors for electrical work in Iraq they would not have these |> electrocutions. We should be thankful that in the USA we have laws to |> adopt the NEC and that we have many volunteers that help promote the |> NEC. Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) is a known nonunion scab contractor |> in the USA and would cut costs by not using the NEC or qualified |> electricians if it meant making an extra buck. Now they are |> apparently responsible for electrocuting our soldiers in Iraq. | | | Going to a war zone requires a backbone. That is something sorely | missing in any union electrical worker I've ever met.
The NEC is not just for union electricians. I'd sooner have a lazy slob who at least knew how to do an installation right, than have some rambo sparky wiring it up all wrong just so he could rack up the highest install count of the day.
FYI, not all union tradesmen are lazy. The probably have about the same percentage as any other group. They just get noticed more.
--
|---------------------------------------/----------------------------------|
| Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:

Duh, Phil. You really make some stupid statements, but to equate union memership with knowing the NEC is absurd. What makes you think non union electricans don't know the code, or that union ones do?
--
aioe.org is home to cowards and terrorists

Add this line to your news proxy nfilter.dat file
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Makes as much sense as your previous drivel about 'backbones'
--
Cheers ............. Rheilly



Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 21 Mar 2008 14:44:19 +0900, "Rheilly Phoull"

Well... the IBEW was started, in part, to promote the safety of electrical lineman, who were employed in one of the worlds most dangerous occupations and suffered under lax work rules from employers who put safety last.
Today, one of the advantages of using union electricians is, in general, this group has more experience, stability, time-on-the-job, and pretty much follows standard work practices that promote a safe installation.
This doesn't mean that there aren't bad apples in the group, or that there is a lack of knowlegable and safe non-union electricians.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Beachcomber wrote:

I've met non union electricians who were very well trained, and were near retirement age, after spending their entire working life in the field. They never had a problem with inspectors, or following the NEC. To state that one group is superior because they have a union card is just plain stupid. Some of the non union shops around here are owned and operated by EEs who are very knowledgeable of the business, the technology and the NEC.
--
aioe.org is home to cowards and terrorists

Add this line to your news proxy nfilter.dat file
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

"Going to a war zone requires a backbone. That is something sorely missing in any union electrical worker I've ever met."
The one and the only poster who made such a "just plain stupid" statement, is you.
--
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) snipped-for-privacy@apaflo.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Floyd L. Davidson" wrote:

Don't you have a CO to screw up?
--
aioe.org is home to cowards and terrorists

Add this line to your news proxy nfilter.dat file
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 21 Mar 2008 10:56:42 -0400 Michael A. Terrell
| | Beachcomber wrote: |> |> On Fri, 21 Mar 2008 14:44:19 +0900, "Rheilly Phoull"
|> |> >
|> > wrote: |> >>> |> >>> The NEC is not just for union electricians. |> >> |> >> |> >> Duh, Phil. You really make some stupid statements, but to equate |> >> union memership with knowing the NEC is absurd. What makes you think |> >> non union electricans don't know the code, or that union ones do? |> >> |> |> Well... the IBEW was started, in part, to promote the safety of |> electrical lineman, who were employed in one of the worlds most |> dangerous occupations and suffered under lax work rules from employers |> who put safety last. |> |> Today, one of the advantages of using union electricians is, in |> general, this group has more experience, stability, time-on-the-job, |> and pretty much follows standard work practices that promote a safe |> installation. |> |> This doesn't mean that there aren't bad apples in the group, or that |> there is a lack of knowlegable and safe non-union electricians. | | | I've met non union electricians who were very well trained, and were | near retirement age, after spending their entire working life in the | field. They never had a problem with inspectors, or following the NEC. | To state that one group is superior because they have a union card is | just plain stupid. Some of the non union shops around here are owned and | operated by EEs who are very knowledgeable of the business, the | technology and the NEC.
No one said "one group is superior because they have a union card".
What unions have done is force businesses to take issues like safety, both of the workers, and in many cases the customers and public, first. Without the unions, the non-union workers at non-union shops would have a harder and less safe job opportunity. They also get paid more due to the general upward market pay pressure because the unions, and union shops, exist.
--
|---------------------------------------/----------------------------------|
| Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mar 21, 7:51 am, snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:
ink.net> wrote:

.com> wrote:

.net |

The bottom line is contract law. The IBEW signs contracts to supply qualified help. The IBEW is a labor organization that is bound by this contract. The non union electricians do not have an organization to which a contract can be applied and therefore are hired as individuals not as members of an organization. There is a definite advantage to hiring union help if you want to guarantee less liability. Union electricians have provisions in their contracts for safe work practices and generally raise the overall awareness of safety and use the National Electrical Code rules as a minimum standard for installing electrical work. Contractors such as KBR do not realize this or are unwilling to pay the higher wages to guarantee lessoning of their liabilities. They took the risks and are now being investigated by the US Congress and in the end probably will pay much more in settlements than it would have cost to hire union electricians.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gerald Newton wrote:

So, congress either gave out a contract withot proper specifications, or did no monitoring, and is going to investigate?
If it was a memebr of the IBEW who died they would just shrug and say oh well? They knew better?
--
aioe.org is home to cowards and terrorists

Add this line to your news proxy nfilter.dat file
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The bottom line is contract law. The IBEW signs contracts to supply qualified help. The IBEW is a labor organization that is bound by this contract. The non union electricians do not have an organization to which a contract can be applied and therefore are hired as individuals not as members of an organization. There is a definite advantage to hiring union help if you want to guarantee less liability. Union electricians have provisions in their contracts for safe work practices and generally raise the overall awareness of safety and use the National Electrical Code rules as a minimum standard for installing electrical work. Contractors such as KBR do not realize this or are unwilling to pay the higher wages to guarantee lessoning of their liabilities. They took the risks and are now being investigated by the US Congress and in the end probably will pay much more in settlements than it would have cost to hire union electricians.
I've been union, and non-union. I disagree with a whole lot of what unions have done, and continue to do politically. I will say that if you take a random group of union electricians, and a random group of non-union, the union electricians will have a far better knowledge of the trade, and of safety practices than the non-union. However, a large part of the union group will operate on the idea that their employer and all "big business" is out to screw them at every turn, and exist only to exploit them. This is a notion that is overtly, and covertly promulgated by the union leadership, and many union workers are infected with a "fuck-you" attitude regarding their employers that they use as an excuse for non-production. Market forces and the free flow of information of late have both pushed union membership into it's last bastion, which is government work. There has been a sort of awakening by some of the groups which has manifested itself in programs like the one here in California whereby the public was being made aware of the training level of union workers by "asking for the card". That was a step in the right direction, if you ask me, but it went nowhere after a good start. Unions can no longer hide behind the skirts of their former enablers, the news media, because the news media has lost it's grip on the flow of information. That is why unions are suffering, and have lost so much market share over the past couple of decades. Unions have done excellent work, but not as much as they could have, or should have, and they use their excellence almost as weapon for nefarious reasons. When they cut out the non-sense, and market themselves with a positive image instead of playing "good-guy, bad-guy" with the very employers who risk it all to stay in business, they will gain back some market share. Also, when they quit using their constituents money to fund political campaigns that sometimes over half of the local disagrees with, they will then have a stronger base of membership.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 22 Mar 2008 03:48:05 -0700, "Long Ranger" <lorpkins@earthlink .net> wrote:>The bottom line is contract law.
Here... sure. Over there? Not likely.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Your discussion is worth reading. Over 50 percent of the union electricians have come from nonunion shops. There have been major changes in recruitment of nonunion electricians over the past ten years. For instance in Alaska the IBEW would pay any nonunion State licensed electrician $500 for signing up with the IBEW. The IBEW mainly supplies labor for NECA contractors and the relationship between the two organizations seems to be very well. I will say there are some problems in some locals. One is the lack of inflationary adjustments to pension plans. The dollar has fallen but pensions are fixed. Another problem is that the pension money is kept by the Unions after a member dies. 401K and IRA plans pass the money along to the heirs. But overall, I would say union membership is better than having to hustle your own job and then negotiating your conditions single handedly. It is really great to have people hired to do that for you. Also, after taking a job, if it does not work out, the union member can quit and usually go back to the union hall and get another job without a bad work history following him. It gives the union electrician a lot of independence and allows him to say, "Either I do the work right or I leave." I have seen many union electricians place their jobs on the line when it comes to doing work to Code and using safe work practices. That is probably the most important aspect that could have saved some lives in Iraq.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| On Fri, 21 Mar 2008 14:44:19 +0900, "Rheilly Phoull"
| |>
|> wrote: |>>> |>>> The NEC is not just for union electricians. |>> |>> |>> Duh, Phil. You really make some stupid statements, but to equate |>> union memership with knowing the NEC is absurd. What makes you think |>> non union electricans don't know the code, or that union ones do? |>> | | Well... the IBEW was started, in part, to promote the safety of | electrical lineman, who were employed in one of the worlds most | dangerous occupations and suffered under lax work rules from employers | who put safety last.
What percentage of those employers are corporations?
| Today, one of the advantages of using union electricians is, in | general, this group has more experience, stability, time-on-the-job, | and pretty much follows standard work practices that promote a safe | installation. | | This doesn't mean that there aren't bad apples in the group, or that | there is a lack of knowlegable and safe non-union electricians.
Exactly.
--
|---------------------------------------/----------------------------------|
| Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 21 Mar 2008 00:12:55 -0400 Michael A. Terrell
| | snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote: |> |> The NEC is not just for union electricians. | | | Duh, Phil. You really make some stupid statements, but to equate | union memership with knowing the NEC is absurd. What makes you think | non union electricans don't know the code, or that union ones do?
Duh, Michael. Did you skip reading comprehension class? I never said non-union electricians don't know the code. Go back to my post and look it over very very carefully and see if you can find where I said that. You can't, because it isn't there.
--
|---------------------------------------/----------------------------------|
| Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:

Double duh, Phil. You were the one who claimed to be able to detect sarcasm.
--
aioe.org is home to cowards and terrorists

Add this line to your news proxy nfilter.dat file
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.