When to clamp down on too much "socializing"

Veteran Engineer Charley Hoffskin liked his liquor. When he appeared flushed and unsteady in the hospitality room at an industry trade show one evening, Hoffskin's supervisor, Project Leader Bill Fallon, also present, was keeping an eye on him.

02/01/1998


Veteran Engineer Charley Hoffskin liked his liquor. When he appeared flushed and unsteady in the hospitality room at an industry trade show one evening, Hoffskin's supervisor, Project Leader Bill Fallon, also present, was keeping an eye on him. Fallon calculated that Hoffskin had downed at least four drinks thus far. When he spoke to him about it, Hoffskin said, "No problem, I'm just socializing." Two or three drinks later, as the evening drew to a close, Fallon's concern heightened.

"Charley, who's driving you home?"

"I'm driving myself."

"I don't think that's a good idea. You're in no condition to drive."

Hoffskin was offended. "I can hold my liquor. I'll have a cup of coffee before I leave."

Fallon tried to reason with him, but Hoffskin was beyond reasoning.

Fallon decided he had to take a firm stand. "I'm sorry, Charley, I can't allow you to drive."

"It's not your place to allow or disallow what I do outside the plant."

"That's not true. Your membership in the association and sponsorship at this conference is paid for by the company. Your safety and well being, not to mention the safety of others, is my responsibility. I'll call a taxi and arrange to have your car driven to your house."

Hoffskin refused to back down.

"Charley, if you insist on driving, I'll have no choice but to fire you."

"And I'll have no choice but to sue."

Fallon sighed. "If that's the way you want it." He told Hoffskin he was fired, and explained the reason to two other staff members who shared his opinion that Hoffskin was in no condition to drive.

Question : What do you think? Is Fallon acting properly, or exceeding his authority?

Markham's response: When Fallon reported the incident to Plant Engineer Harry Markham, his action was supported completely.

"Conference attendance, sanctioned and sponsored by the company, is clearly company business. Hoffskin's own safety aside, if he had an accident and killed or injured someone, the company could have been sued for big bucks."





Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
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.
February 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Jan/Feb 2018
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards
December 2017
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

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

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.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
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.
click me