How should you deal with an on-the job sleeper?

What discipline is proper for an employee caught sleeping on the job? Dismissal? Suspension? Or should each case be decided on its merit? "In general," says Educator/Consultant/Arbitrator Leonard J.

04/01/1998


What discipline is proper for an employee caught sleeping on the job? Dismissal? Suspension? Or should each case be decided on its merit?

"In general," says Educator/Consultant/Arbitrator Leonard J. Smith, "where a no-sleeping rule is strictly enforced, discharge for its violation is justified in principle. But in practice, extenuating circumstances can play a determining role."

Where the level of discipline is uncertain, these tips from Smith may be helpful:

1. Take the employee's performance record into consideration

2. Determine the employee's degree of responsibility at the time of the infraction

3. Strive for consistency.

Failing to observe No. 3 in particular can trip you up.

Boiler Room Attendant Harry Shuler was fast asleep inside a packing case one day when Maintenance Supervisor Bill Grafton passed by. Shuler was an above-average employee, but a high meter reading approaching the red danger point indication, added gravity to the offense. Remedial action was called for. If too much more time elapsed without an adjustment being made, an explosion might occur.

Grafton angrily jostled Shuler awake. "That's it, pal, you've had it!"

By the time Shuler sleepily got his bearings, Grafton was halfway across the room.

Question: Under the circumstances, do you think Shuler deserves to be discharged?

Price's verdict: Plant Engineer Frank Price agreed with Grafton that Shuler's violation of the company's no-sleeping rule called for the ultimate penalty.

"But before issuing a dismissal notice, I think we should take a closer look at the man's record."

When this was done, the dismissal penalty was reduced to a two-week suspension. On past occasions, it was disclosed, discipline short of discharge had been imposed on employees found guilty of similar sleeping rule violations.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 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...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

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.