Alleged mistreatment no excuse for safety violation

Maintenance Utility Man Jess Hargreaves felt that his supervisor, Maintenance Foreman Cliff Thorne, was giving him a disproportionate amount of the undesirable assignments because his boss had a grudge against him.


Maintenance Utility Man Jess Hargreaves felt that his supervisor, Maintenance Foreman Cliff Thorne, was giving him a disproportionate amount of the undesirable assignments because his boss had a grudge against him. One day, he appeared at Thorne's desk to complain about it.

"What's the problem, Hargreaves?''

"This is the third time in a row you stuck me on cleaning out the sludge tanks. It's the dirtiest job in the plant. How about giving it to someone else for a change?''

"Maybe next time. Right now you're the only man available.''

"I could switch with Jenkins. He could do the sludge tanks. I could finish painting the storeroom.''

"I hand out the work around here, Hargreaves. Do the job you're assigned, or clock out.''

"But -- "

"You heard what I said. I'm busy. Get back to work.''

Hargreaves shuffled off, grumbling.

A few days later Thorne observed Hargreaves in a hazard risk area minus the safety helmet he was required to wear. This was the second time he was caught for the same offense. Thorne handed him a 30-day suspension, which the worker promptly protested, and recruited Plant Steward Lon Crouse to plead his case.

Crouse threatened to grieve on the grounds that Thorne was picking on him because of a personal grudge. To support his contention, he submitted a list of complaints, mainly related to assignments to prove that Hargreaves had indeed been given a disproportionate amount of the department's least desirable tasks.

Question : If the worker's complaints are justified, should this alter the suspension decision?

Metcalf's verdict: In reviewing the case, Plant Engineer Alex Metcalf told Crouse, "If you feel Hargreaves is being prejudiced against in connection with work assignments, it's your right to grieve on this basis. But that has nothing to do with the safety violation which is separate and apart from your beef about assignments. The suspension stands.''

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me