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View Full Version : Being a helpful Engineer can have disastrous effects on your Health and wealth!







Grizzly
13-03-2015, 08:09 AM
Bear with me guys this could be a long one!
Basically a colleague and I were talking to a highly Experienced Electrician on a site last Year
Who like his colleagues used to work for a National company a very well thought of company I may add! But through no fault of his own got TUPE'd. Sound Familiar!
So these guys cover Supermarkets, Schools Offices. etc,

What I was told has changed the way I deal with "While you are here could you just have a look at that bit of kit forever!"

Basically this is a true story which is relayed by me second hand so there may be slight inaccuracies. But the main points are not!


So-

A colleague of said Electrician is at a Vets to look at / check some Electrical items. Whilst there He is asked as a favour to look at one of those rise and fall Tables that the Vets use to Inspect / Treat the Animals.
When He is underneath this Table it Malfunctions / collapses onto him crushing him Badly. Whilst in Hospital receiving Medical Treatment, a member of Company Management arrives with His Contract and Paperwork saying "Sign Here, You are Sacked!"
Having lost his Job, His House, His marriage and finally access to his Children (I believe?)
HE Committed Suicide.
All because He was diligent and Helpful!


I still say "Yes I can Help You" to my customers but nowadays I
Add "Provided my Manager Says I can.

The above is a brilliant pacifier to an irate customer who wants rules bent to suit his needs.
Explaining I will do the job for him within a safe and legal framework where both parties win.
This happened in the UK by the way!

Grizzly

Rob White
13-03-2015, 08:40 AM
.

I need the popcorn emoticon.

I feel this is going to be a good one.

Rob

.

Grizzly
13-03-2015, 08:57 AM
Sorry to disappoint Rob.
It's not as long as it could of been.
Grizzly

Rob White
13-03-2015, 09:43 AM
.

Mmmmmmmmm Sobering thought.

You just never know.

Thanks for relaying.

Rob

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Rob White
13-03-2015, 09:45 AM
Sorry to disappoint Rob.
It's not as long as it could of been.
Grizzly

The sad irony of it, is that it could have
been a longer story with a different outcome,
if he had not of looked under that table.

:(

Rob

.

hookster
13-03-2015, 08:09 PM
It is a sad story and the morals of the employing company should be questioned.

The item that strikes me the most for any engineer working on equipment though is the putting yourself in danger.
Experience and training is what we all have to rely on daily in our tasks to ensure we go home safely every day.

When we walk up to a task, just stop a second and think about what you are going to do! This is a real risk assessment, that piece of paper that you fill out is only a proof that it has been done for you, your employer and the customer as all three have a legal requirement for your safety.

Keep safe out there guys and girls.

RANGER1
13-03-2015, 09:56 PM
A risk assessment is only as good as the person writing it as well.

If you are not familiar with something, then maybe you don't know all the risks & dangers.

But does that stop you from working on something, half of this Forum is based on that, like
wiring up a hermetic compressor to pump up your bike tires!

Maybe the table manufacturer could be sued as well, if signage, warnings not present on the potentially life threatening equipment.
I'm sure there is a lot more detail to this story, but a very sad outcome.
As far as employer goes, if true, you would avoid working for or with them.

There was an accident in Australia a number of years ago, I believe electricians changing a screw in temp transmitter in a screw in pocket (thermowell) in an ammonia line.
Went to change transmitter, unscrewed pocket not transmitter, not a good outcome!
Electricians know everything, so what do you do in that situation?

Grizzly
13-03-2015, 10:20 PM
I believe electricians changing a screw in temp transmitter in a screw in pocket (Went to change transmitter, unscrewed pocket not transmitter, not a good outcome!thermowell) in an ammonia line.

The above is more common than people admit.

It is really easy to blame the guy doing the job,
What is not said is how little time is allowed for many jobs nowadays.
Everyone on this forum I assume is given deadlines? Sometimes by a female co-ordinate in an office that does not have a clue.
I was told a few years ago by an Australian Colleague and friend. About a regional Manager for a huge multi national that was previously a Hairdresser!
Says, it all really.
Mine is a sad tale that we can all learn from irrespective of where the blame is apportioned.
Trust Me when something goes wrong everyone is queuing up to blame YOU.
Learn from it!
Grizzly

install monkey
13-03-2015, 10:38 PM
99% of the time we get away with it, its when it goes tits up then it gets highlighted, last firm we used to do debenhams stores- had a call on a sunday to a water leak, 4 inch cast iron downpipe blocked on the 2nd fl, on the 6th fl it was gushing into the riser- only drama was theres a 3phase 800 amp busbar track gettin soaked- not allowed to isolate the track as this would kill 30% of the tills,shop lights, the 800amp red phase went 4hrs later- taking out the trip switch in the sub, spent 45 hrs continuous stripping out 4 mtr sections drying them out and meggering them- then rebuilding 25mtr of track to keep em going- this from a call to a water leak on a sunday afternoon 8 mile from home
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/debenhams-store-in-manchester-reopens-after-866643

RANGER1
14-03-2015, 03:33 AM
I believe electricians changing a screw in temp transmitter in a screw in pocket (Went to change transmitter, unscrewed pocket not transmitter, not a good outcome!thermowell) in an ammonia line.

The above is more common than people admit.

It is really easy to blame the guy doing the job,
What is not said is how little time is allowed for many jobs nowadays.
Everyone on this forum I assume is given deadlines? Sometimes by a female co-ordinate in an office that does not have a clue.
I was told a few years ago by an Australian Colleague and friend. About a regional Manager for a huge multi national that was previously a Hairdresser!
Says, it all really.
Mine is a sad tale that we can all learn from irrespective of where the blame is apportioned.
Trust Me when something goes wrong everyone is queuing up to blame YOU.
Learn from it!
Grizzly

Las now weld in thermowells which is great as long as you can identify which is what.

mikeref
14-03-2015, 08:45 AM
Sad story Grizzly.
As the rules stand for Queensland Refrigeration mechanics, we can't legally swap out a fluro tube if it isn't directly associated with the workings of refrigeration or air-con. Example: Fluro tubes in a plant room...No.
Tubes in a stand alone 2/3 or 4 door upright glass display fridge? Yes.

Other states of OZ have variations to the restricted electrical licence of a Fridgie.
This boils down to Insurance or Compensation. We have to read between the lines and make decisions on the run.
Regards, Mike.

abp32
13-04-2015, 06:43 PM
i worked for a firm that wanted me to start looking at gas boilers and fire alarms , despite the fact i know jack about gas boilers and fire alarms they were insistant i did it , they bullied a few of the younger lads into doing it who only had a couple of years experience in ac into doing it through fear of loosing their foot hold on the ladder to being a experienced engineer the older guys and myself would not touch it because we knew what would happen when it all went wrong , this was for a well known national ac firm and for a well known national customer they were absolute cowboys who only cared the job got done not how it was done and the engineers safety, suffice to say the cv was updated and i was out of there as quick as i could

PaulZ
16-04-2015, 02:07 AM
Hi Grizzly
Certainly a sad story and similar things probably happen more than we hear about.
I think some of the problem is that some people do not know how to risk assess properly. I spend time with a lot of our younger staff and I am continually stopping them before they put themselves at risk.
As Ranger said the risk assessment is only as good as the person doing it, too true.
Regards
Paul

FreezerGeezer
16-04-2015, 10:57 PM
Sad story Grizzly.
As the rules stand for Queensland Refrigeration mechanics, we can't legally swap out a fluro tube if it isn't directly associated with the workings of refrigeration or air-con. Example: Fluro tubes in a plant room...No.
Tubes in a stand alone 2/3 or 4 door upright glass display fridge? Yes.


Other states of OZ have variations to the restricted electrical licence of a Fridgie.
This boils down to Insurance or Compensation. We have to read between the lines and make decisions on the run.
Regards, Mike.

Hi Mike
Yeah, I ran into that one with my second Oz employer. I found a stuffed fluro ballast in one of my AHU's, so I picked a couple up from the wholesaler to fit the following visit.
Before I got back, the office was onto me asking why I'd bought a coue of ballasts. I explained, only to be told I wasn't loosed to do it as it wasn't A/C, never mind it was in my AHU, powered off it's MSSB & downstream of the main isolator!
The discussion went all the way up to the chief electrical engineer, who came down on the 'it's not fridge, you're not allowed to do it' side. And furthermore, he explained that under the limited ectrical licence, cable is not considered to be a component & therefore you aren't allowed to replace it, never mind install new cable! Not many blokes know that one.
Needless to say, the sparky they sent was ${|??|^ himself over doing the job. He'd never worked on 'proper' electrical stuff, just single phase! Lol. luckily the office gave the poor bugger my number so I talked him through isolating & reinstating the MSSB.
In the 'real world' (that might give you a hint of who I was working for at the time) we'd have just done the job ourselves. Although as you say, I reckon that may be a highly debatable topic, especially if there's an accident.
After that, I just called in one of the sparks any time I had a 'muck about with cable' job, and used the opportunity to show their apprentices some 'real' electrical gear.

I find sparkies often have an over inflated opinion of themselves as tradies, probably because the ETU seems to be the largest & most vocal Union?

Regards, Matt