Safety and Professional Etiquette, military to civilian - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    I worked for a company that always boasted safety first and accountability. Co worker an old hack constantly leaving chuck key in the lathe. Put end mills in 1/2 albrech chuck until that wouldn’t hold now uses a keyed chuck! I was his lead and 30 years younger. I had asked nicely and he then began giving me a hard time. It got bad and the company pretty much ignored it. I was pushed out lead position that I didn’t want to begin with. I still had to work with this hack. Everything he did was down and dirty. I couldn’t take his physical abuse of the equipment we had to share as well as mental abuse. I had to leave after 9 years.

  2. #22
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    Have you ever worked in an R&D environment before? It is VERY different, culturally, from production.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William Payne View Post
    Haha I worked in a place for a number of years where if you asked about health and safety you basically got a "Whats that?" response. It was a great place though and accidents were kept to a minimum.
    In preparing for a field job we asked a customer if they had mandatory onsite training/orientation and were told "Don't get hurt, there, done". Another advises "employees and contractors will be fired on the spot if you don't honk three times before backing out of a parking spot.

    All further proof that the world is going mental

  4. #24
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    Have you ever worked in an R&D environment before? It is VERY different, culturally, from production.
    Why, yes, I have. It was a blood-spattered nightmare because of the idiot ignorant arrogant Ph.D.s running loose out of control because it was "research" and not "production."

    The company recorded OSHA incidents. And this small 24-employee R&D site of a larger company was required to record & report OSHA Recordable Incident Rates for the site. Out of all sites, globally, of a 30K-employee company, we had the highest injury-incidence rate. We were told to fix it, or they'll chain the doors closed.

    That put us on an 18-month trajectory of improvement resulting in a sustainable zero incident rate. We also increased our productivity metrics because the procedures, practices, and equipment were put in place to keep employees from getting injured. Funny thing: it turned out that they worked harder because they did not have to protect themselves against stupid lazy idiot managers who gave lip service to safety, but allowed the hazards to exist anyway.

    I am ashamed to admit I also had some of these Neanderthal attitudes displayed in this thread. I fought the new safety procedures, tooth and nail, because of "efficiency" and "time wasting sh!t OSHA makes you do" and any other pathetic excuse for allowing hazardous work practices to exist. There were two defining moments in the 18-month trajectory:
    • Older co-worker fell off a ladder, landed on a table edge. He's disabled now.
    • I sliced my thumb immediately after a "useless safety meeting." Blood dripping down my hand, I sarcastically asked the Safety Guy and the Ops Manager if it was OSHA Recordable. It was a small cut, first aid needed only, therefore: "NO." Ops Manager asked if I was wearing my gloves per SOP. My meek answer: "NO" because of efficiency. He informed me that all it would have taken was a 1 mm deeper cut to require stitches. Which WOULD have been OSHA recordable. And Administrative Hell would have rained down on the site.


    Now I get it. I am a strong advocate for safety and pursuing a hazard-free work environment. I bristle to the point of barely restrained anger when I encounter some of the attitudes presented in this thread. I hope you guys figure out that you are on the losing side of this argument.

    OSHA statutes clearly specify that employers must provide a workplace free from all known hazards and employees must follow all safety rules. OSHA clearly defines what rights workers have, and that they have the right to work in an environment free from unreasonable hazards. And employees can invite OSHA in for a friendly visit, or even make an anonymous complaint. All without fear of retaliation or discrimination. Google it. OSHA doesn't necessarily FORCE anyone to do anything, they just assess problems and administer penalties. It's the lawyers in the legal and insurance industry that provides the motivation for getting your act together.

    Now I teach at a university, Industrial Safety and Manufacturing Processes among other things. I am involved with uneducated, ignorant, untrained students engaging with very hazardous shop equipment. Again, subject to Ph.D.'s who won't follow safety directives because it is "academic" and not "industrial." Never mind the argument that an injury is an injury, regardless where it occurs. Silly me for being so non-progressive in my thinking.

    But I know the students must have exposure to a rigorous safety culture for success at their future employers. The litigious society in which we live will require it. I have become "that guy" regarding safety and I am unapologetic about it. We have a machinist (2-year degree) as our Lab Manager who shares those anti-OSHA attitudes. He has declared all the safety directives I have implemented are stupid and "wasteful OSHA sh!t". Even the Department Chair has refused to address the poor safety practices in this shop environment. Lab Manager told me once that every worker should expect to get cut at least once a day else they aren't doing their job. Well, he has had a Come-to-Jesus incident that dimmed his outlook.

    The critical event was when he (third offense) allowed a female student to work on a mill with long hair not tied back. I was able to intercept this girl from getting scalped and other professors got involved. Ultimately many people got involved with this incident. It required a visit to Human Resources to complain about working in a demonstrably unsafe work environment with a demonstrably unsafe co-worker that was putting students at risk before any substantive improvement was made. Disciplinary action resulted, and things are slowly improving.

    Be as diplomatic as you think you need to be. Use every means of influence that you can muster to make improvements, eliminate hazards, change attitudes. We should all strive to operate under the premise that there is no reason for any injury to occur under normal circumstances. I would choose to state my requirements, INSIST on full support of the Management, and Stand Your Ground.

    Or move on, because you don't want to work for losers. When the injured parties' lawyers are looking for scapegoats to pay compensation for missing eyes or fingers or worse, make sure you can show evidence of having done everything in your power to make it better.

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  6. #25
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    1. Tell each new person coming into the shop to do a Google image search for the term "lathe accident".

    2. Ask each company's CFO and CEO if they understand their company's financial liability if one of their employees has an accident resulting in permanent disability.

    Engineers here (R&D medical device company) were leaving the key in the lathe chuck, so I hid it and got a self ejecting one to leave out.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscpm View Post

    There are two kinds of safety: (1) crazy, time-wasting shit that OSHA makes you do, and (2) actual practices that are useful to do for safety reasons.
    That ties in exactly with my view that 'Health and Safety' can be likened to cell division in the body (put your biology head on for a moment...). Cell division is essential for a healthy body, but if it gets out of control it becomes a cancer.

    The OP's problem, on which I can offer no advice, is to establish where that healthy balance lies.

    George

  8. #27
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    I worked at a large company with that was pretty serious about safety. I think the list is very good, although I would make minor changes:

    -Comply with the production request guidelines and shop training policy
    -Wear PPE
    -Do not pass through construction zones without wearing PPE, attending the safety brief, AND having permission
    -Do not use equipment you are not trained to use
    -Comply with posted safety warnings and instructions, regardless of which organization has posted them

    While useful, not a big safety concern:
    ***-Schedule and log equipment use at the appropriate terminal or website***

    -Do not remove signs, tags, or warnings from equipment

    I would also add "-ALL accidents and near misses are to be reported to (someone deemed responsible)". This isn't just OSHA reportables, it's anything that occurs. Near misses are a learning opportunity. The next time could be a hit.

    Failure to report an injury was a potential firing offense.

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  10. #28
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    OP thank you for your service...

    An old thread worthy of revival...

    Safety is a cultural thing that needs a buy in from the top.

    If the CEO walks out into the shop without Safety Glasses on that gives everyone permission to do the same. Anyone with the responsibility to enforce the rules was just undermined and by removing "positional authority" should be able to tell the CEO to put his Glasses on without recourse...and if the CEO challenges this it should be pointed out he is paying a person to do a job and he is getting a value for the dollar paid if he is told to put his Glasses on.

    Our Safety Director is responsible and thus handed full authority to be successful...102 man fab shop, 2 years without an OSHA reportable incident.

    But I am challenge by what I refer to as a "crusaders" on the Safety Team...forever coming up with many, many, many ways to spend the company monies on Safety Improvements (some good, some bad) but will not invest in pair of Steel Toed Boots with the Company picking up a percentage if they buy from the Boot Truck when it stops in twice a year??? Irony.

  11. #29
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    The OP's Military-to-Civilian switch is interesting, we have the opposite issue. I and several of my coworkers come from the Marine Corps; we can fall into the "accomplish task at all costs" mindset sometimes, when it's not at all necessary. We have to take a step back and realize it doesn't matter what number of widgets we produce if someone gets hurt. Take a few minutes to fix the guard or get the right tool- it might lose some time, but it might get the job done faster AND safer.

    There's a balance, I just want to land on the side the keeps all fingers and eyeballs intact...

  12. #30
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    ^ I have a milatery friend who will absolutely not go parachuting any more in the civilian market place as he can't get his head around how lax the safety and checking precautions are. He recons before a typical jump he would have check anyone jumping under him and most of them would be checked by other members and each other multiple times on the way up. He has hundreds of millatery jumps and was a instructor, his view jumping out of a aircraft in the millatery in a time of peace your biggest and really only risk was a bad landing, everything else was so error checked its as near safe as looking both ways and crossing the road.

    With you coming from a forces back ground were people naturally follow the rules and very much have each others backs i do see why you find it surprising that us civilians kinda don't. If you don't have management behind you with a iron fist supporting it then IMHO your pissing into the wind and your going to end up the skape goat if something bad does happen. Hence best advise i can give you is document and keep a copy of all your interactions on this stuff. Safety is a multi person thing and everyone needs to be on board and not fighting it.


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