Can you demote a health-impaired employee?

It was disclosed some months after his employment that Jeffrey Irving, a crane operator in the maintenance department, was an epileptic. On two occasions, he had completely passed out and fallen during his seizures.

09/01/1999


It was disclosed some months after his employment that Jeffrey Irving, a crane operator in the maintenance department, was an epileptic. On two occasions, he had completely passed out and fallen during his seizures.

His boss, Maintenance Supervisor Art Janklow, spent more than one sleepless night worrying about what action, if any, he should take. Irving was a family man with a good work record. He needed the job and in a tight labor market, he would have difficulty relocating.

Janklow was aware of the two seizures that had been reported to him. He was unaware of how many others might have taken place in the past. Fortunately, Irving had not seriously injured himself thus far, although his face and one arm had been bruised. But the supervisor couldn't deny the reality that crane operator was a dangerous job for a person afflicted with Irving's illness to have. If he retained Irving in this classification, should serious injury take place, it would be his responsibility.

Janklow decided he had to face this reality. He learned that a job opening existed in the assembly department that would not constitute a hazard for a person with epilepsy. Confronting Irving with the situation, Janklow explained his safety concern and offered to transfer him to the assembly department.

The worker frowned. "That would mean a cut in pay, wouldn't it?"

"I'm afraid so. About 20%."

Irving's frown deepened. "I can't do that. I'm in a financial hole now."

"I'm sorry, it's the best I can do."

Irving's frown deepened. "You can't downgrade a man because of a physical affliction."

Question: Can Janklow remove Irving from a job he considers unsafe?

Marshall's decision: Plant Engineer Harry Marshall told the supervisor, "When you told Irving that getting him transferred was the best you could do, you were leveling with him. Difficult as it may be to make life harder for him financially, safeguarding the health and well-being of subordinates is a supervisor's first and foremost responsibility. You had no choice in the matter."





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.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems

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.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me