Effectiveness impaired by health: What to do?

When Instrument Repairman Frank Nelson lost an eye in a car accident, it created work problems in addition to the physical and psychological trauma. A competent employee before the accident, Nelson's performance was adversely affected.

07/01/1998


When Instrument Repairman Frank Nelson lost an eye in a car accident, it created work problems in addition to the physical and psychological trauma. A competent employee before the accident, Nelson's performance was adversely affected. His productivity faltered. He made excessive errors reading and adjusting gauges.

This saddled Maintenance Foreman Chuck Raven with a problem. On the one hand, Frank was a longtime and valued employee who had been hit with a health catastrophe. It was against Raven's nature to strike a man when he was down. On the other hand, Frank's poor productivity was playing havoc with the schedule, and his errors were producing problems.

Raven discussed the situation with Frank, who promised to be more careful and try to work faster. But Frank's problem wasn't motivation, attitude, or experience. He was less productive because of his impaired eyesight.

"Frank, does the doctor expect your sight to improve?"

"He's not optimistic, but you never know."

Two weeks passed with no change. If anything, the errors grew more numerous. Raven was torn between his compassion for Frank and his supervisory responsibility. He decided to consult his boss.

Pulaski's advice: Plant Engineer Jeff Pulaski frowned as he heard Raven out. "This is a tough one. Frank's a 10-yr veteran with a fine work record. But we can't ignore the reality. He works on close adjustments and sets gauges not always easily accessible. The job call for above-average vision. A person with impaired sight couldn't perform the work efficiently."

Pulaski shook his head. "I know of no openings for a man with Frank's talent and experience. Still, you can't fire a man with his fine record and length of service. I can think of no way to use him productively, unless -- "

Pulaski looked thoughtful. " -- unless we created a job for him. How would you feel if we made Frank a troubleshooter? He would be used to identify problems and work out solutions, then turn over the detail work to someone else."

Raven's face brightened. "That's perfect!"





Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
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.
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
July/Aug
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
August 2018
Choosing an automation controller, Lean manufacturing
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me