Asleep on the job: Is dismissal too harsh?

Maintenance Utility Worker George Maris was assigned the disagreeable task of removing the sludge from two tanks in the lab. An hour later, Maintenance Supervisor Carl Hoffman found him asleep on a steel shelf nearby. Hoffman nudged him awake.


Maintenance Utility Worker George Maris was assigned the disagreeable task of removing the sludge from two tanks in the lab. An hour later, Maintenance Supervisor Carl Hoffman found him asleep on a steel shelf nearby.

Hoffman nudged him awake. "That's it, Maris. I've had it with you. Your check will be mailed to you."

"Hey, gimmie a break," Maris pleaded. "I started cleaning out the sludge like you assigned when the fumes started getting to me. If I hadn't rested for a few minutes, I would've passed out."

"That's bull," Hoffman replied. "Guys have been removing that sludge for years. The fumes are harmless. I never heard of anyone passing out from them."

"I couldn't help how I felt."

Hoffman didn't believe him and told him so. Maris muttered darkly that he "would see about that."

Question : Is dismissal too harsh a discipline under the circumstances?

Klein's decision: Hoffman brought his boss up-to-date on his run-in with Maris. Plant Engineer Ralph Klein called Ben Etri, the company's lab director and asked if the sludge in question was harmful in any respect.

"Not at all," Etri replied. "It may smell like a skunk in heat, but it's been checked out by OSHA. There are no ill effects from breathing it."

"Is it sleep-inducing?"

"Not to my knowledge."

Klein asked Hoffman, "What kind of performance record does this guy have?"

"A shade or two short of mediocre. Also, this is the second time he's been caught asleep on the job."

"Case closed," Klein ruled. "The dismissal 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 creating and enhancing a safe workplace in manufacturing.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me