Did anyone ever bother to tell you that the funny-looking plastic tank mounted on the wall in your facility is not an emergency supply of water but your Emergency Eye Wash station! That’s why I continue to do this series to help you become more knowledgeable and successful at your job because information your boss should have passed on to you never got there and maybe because no one told them.
Any location in your facility that you store and/or work with chemicals you must have an eyewash station. So in any backroom or basement storage area, warehouse, manufacturer, shipping dock, laboratory, or fast food kitchen where you handle chemicals, cleaning solvents or bleach to clean, store, mix or ship, there is the chance of a spill and a chance of getting it in your eye. You only have seconds to flush it out before serious damage can occur to the eye. That’s why you have an eyewash station set up within ten seconds (55 feet)in an unobstructed path from where you are working with those items so you can begin to flush the irritant out and this takes at least 15 minutes of continuous water to flush your eye out correctly. Even if the pain stops before then keep applying water to your eye and have another employee alert management of the situation immediately.
But no one told you this and that thing on the wall, in the dark corner covered in dust and oily smudges with an old soda can sitting on it looks like it hasn’t been touched in months? Maybe Years? Are that algae growing in there? Now someone is in desperate need to use it as the burning sensation grows but the water is rancid or worse, it’s empty! Now as the person in charge you’ll have an employee going to the E.R. OSHA forms to fill out and a possible fine to the company. Do you think the company really won’t throw YOU under the bus?
You can prevent this scenario from occurring by adding to the checklist you’ve developed for yourself, the eye wash station. Begin and continue checking on a weekly basis that it activates as it’s suppose too and you can do it on your rounds. Monday, Wednesday it’s up to you. What ever works. Then add on your list to inspect the unit itself annually for any issues than can cause it from functioning correctly and document it. Also make sure it’s in a well-lit area along with a highly visible sign, “Eye wash station”. There are several types available but they all must wash both eyes simultaneously no more than 8″ above the spray heads, which themselves should be protected from any airborne contaminants. If it’s a wall mount or other without plumbing, you need to treat the water and change it on a routine basis to ensure everyones safety. See the manufacturers guidelines on what they recommend.
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention you can prevent the need to use an eye wash station by wearing the proper PPE when working with any type of chemicals such as a face shield, goggles and rubber gloves. Yes, even if cleaning. Stay safe, be patient, be mindful and listen. You’ll be a success.
As the government continues to trample on the civil rights of people by insisting we wear masks or other PPE and to get vaccinated so we don’t inadvertently kill ourselves or others by accident, the push back by some in our society on wearing masks has been mind boggling but nothing new or surprising. We have a history of fighting compliance and all you have to do is look back to 1966, a time when life was filled with surfing, psychedelics and muscle cars. Driving our cars along the highway or main drag, untethered to the seat with the top down, commuting with nature, the wind in your hair with the music cranked up was a birthright or so we thought. This freedom was about to be dealt a major set back when congress passed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Act.
This new act was a response to the horrible year of 1960 when 93,803 deaths from unintentional injuries were recorded, 41% (38,459 human lives) were associated with motor vehicle crashes just like the one that took James Dean in 1955. Other high profile accidents continued to add fuel to the fire such as Comedian and TV personality Ernie Kovac in 1962 who plowed his station wagon into a power pole and without restraints wound up being thrown half way through the passenger side. In 1963 Country music singer Jack Anglin died in a car crash on the way to Patsy Cline’s funeral. 1964 race car driver Glenn Dunaway died when he crashed into a train at a rail crossing. Then in 1966 we saw the trio of celebrity car deaths beginning in April with musician Richard Farina killed in a motorcycle accident and then in August, both playboy model Tonya Crews died in a car crash as well as JFK assassination witness Lee Bowers when his car veered of the road. Then came 1967 when we lost Jayne Mansfield when her car hit the back of a big rig and Rockin’ Robin Roberts left us in a head on collision and he wasn’t even driving. So as you can see, death by car doesn’t discriminate, but it makes great headlines.
The new act created what is now the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) which put forth the first seat belt law. May I introduce federal law Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, which took effect in 1968. The federal law put the burden on car manufacturers by telling them to include seat belts into all new vehicles. Ah, but would they get used?
The use of seat belts didn’t actually become mandatory until each state in the U.S. which took their time to establish their own seat belt laws, with New York leading the way as the first state to mandate that drivers use a seat belt in 1984. It only took 18 years between when the law took effect and the first seatbelt law. Over the next eleven years 48 other states would institute seat belt use laws and along with hours of Public Service Announcements, courtesy notices and massive crackdowns by law enforcement with high penalties, people accepted wearing seatbelts as gospel. Even today, if you don’t click it you may be pulled over in a crackdown. However, in New Hampshire, where they “live free or die” and they do, as they remain the only U.S. state without a seat belt use law for drivers.
To make matters worse in the area of personal freedoms the first universal motorcycle helmet law was enacted in 1966 as well. In their ever so subtle way of coercion the federal government offered incentives to states to increase helmet use by enacting state helmet use laws, in the form of payments to certain federal safety programs and highway construction funds in their state. Universal helmet laws were in effect a lot sooner than seatbelt laws in 47 States and the District of Columbia by 1975. However, after Federal penalties were eliminated for States failing to have a universal law, about half the States repealed their laws. Several States have enacted or repealed helmet laws since then.
A similar history for workplace safety as congress established OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act signed into law on December 29, 1970. Fifty years later companies still try to cut corners on safety putting human lives at risk just to save a few dollars they can put in their pocket. And here we are, today, still arguing over compliance and our personal freedoms. Compliance is such a funny concept and mishandled in this beautiful country of ours. When a law is made to protect people and it’s not working, instead of looking as to why, we make more laws with stiffer penalties and the fact is if we had enforced the current laws on the books as we should have in the first place, the problem would be gone but yet, full compliance is not achieved, so new tougher stronger laws are needed, not.
So here at his work place, Zeke is an outstanding employee. He’s never missed a day of work and he operates his large complicated machine like no one else. In fact, no one else has ever produced as many widgets on a shift as Zeke. Zeke is a mean widget making machinist. However Zeke has decided that he finds wearing hearing protection unnatural and violates his right to not wear it and go deaf but he wasn’t worried about going deaf as he’s sure he’s immune to deafness and refused to wear the mandatory ear protection. 80% of the manufacturing companies out there would have disciplined and/or terminated Zeke for non compliance. Rightfully so. Sad that, 20% would look the other way for such an outstanding performer. Zeke was terminated and of course sued saying that his termination was not for noncompliance but for being a practicing Druid.
What’s the big deal, Zeke was only hurting himself, no one else and he did such a great job! When Zeke can no longer hear the sound of a human voice, the sound of a spring day, the sound of his grandkids will he blame his beliefs or his employer? We often think about how something affects us today, we don’t often look 20 or 30 years down the road. You don’t know how over time your body responds and changes to stress, repetition of movement, exercise or lack there of and medications. The goal as I’ve been told by my Grandfathers and Grandmothers and Parents is to live as long as possible. So if the word compliance is something you can’t live with, let’s call it love. You want to love and be loved and wearing a mask demonstrates your love for life. Please be kind and mindful of others and stay safe.
We’ve all heard the expression, cleanliness is next to godliness and in any plant or warehouse, that wants to be taken seriously, cleanliness is next to safety. That’s why I started and continue this series, to help you become a better leader because no one may have bothered to point out that good housekeeping and sanitation practices will not only improve safety by preventing accidents but can also help give equipment less time in maintenance and a longer lifespan.
“Cleanliness is the Hallmark of perfect standards and the best quality inspector is the conscience” J. R. D. Tata
No body really seems to enjoy cleaning up but housekeeping has it’s place and by showing employees how to properly breakdown and stack cardboard, to place used shrink wrap, strapping and other trash in containers, and how to keep their work areas clean, the benefit is a reduction of trips and falls which are a top accident occurring in the workplace. By sweeping, mopping and washing your area, immediately cleaning up or containment of a liquid spill that can cause slips and falls. By keeping the work area floor free of clutter, obstructions and other debris will reduce the cause of trips and falls and when keeping it organized helps find tools and parts quicker. You have now created a productive and safe work environment which also leads to less sick time off by employees and increased retention.
Another reason to keep plastic wrap and other debris off the floor is to give forklifts a longer life span. If a forklift or other type of industrial powered equipment drives over it, it can be quickly sucked up into their inner workings and over time as the plastic heats up can literally gum up the works. You do not need the added expense of a down forklift and maintenance service call. Make sure there are enough trash receptacles throughout the facility but located where they’ll get most used.
In a warehouse where perishable goods and other food products are stored, good housekeeping is even more critical and usually referred to as sanitation. This involves more deep cleaning on a regular schedule as well as procedures and programs to control and prevent the entry of pest. A good sanitation program is laid out in a master sanitation schedule which ensures all critical areas are consistently cleaned to prevent any contamination of raw goods and finished food product so the customer receives the finest quality available.
When you keep your part of the universe, what ever it is, a department, a dollar store, a warehouse, a factory, clean and organized bosses and visitors usually don’t feel compelled to look further into what’s going on as it looks as it is, under control and that gives credibility to your abilities. Remember, you’re in charge, be in charge.
As many of you know, what’s great about volunteering is it’s not only the act of kindness donating your time to help benefit others in your community but it gives you an incredible rush of feel good! I find the hardest aspect of volunteering for most is what to volunteer for and how to get started and totally understand that so I say the best thing to do is Google it, find something you do the best and then just do it! While you’re looking through that list may I bring something to your attention that you may never have considered? Become a CERT – Community Emergency Response Team
As the name reflects, in the event of a natural disaster such as a flood, wildfire, earthquake, tornado or manmade catastrophe like a natural gas explosion, thanks to the training you’ll receive, you will be able to assist your neighbors with first aid, guidance, communication and reassurance during those initial minutes after which is critical until emergency responders are able to get to your neck of the woods.
Why is this important? As we have seen of late you can not count on your local, city or state officials to be prepared let alone able to respond. Large cities like NYC have fabulous central command centers staffed with well-trained leaders directing other well trained, dedicated professionals, ready and able to respond to any emergency scenario. Smaller cities do not have that luxury thanks to budget cuts, covid and other circumstances on any given shift there are only so many firefighters on duty. They must safely handle house fires, other structure fires, vehicle crashes, grass fires and other emergencies, and even with the heroic efforts of first responders throw in a good sized earthquake and they can be quickly overwhelmed.
Once that happens 911 will be forced to begin triage of all the emergency calls responding to the most serious while minor injuries and emergencies are put on hold. If the roads and bridges are not usable after the quake they won’t even be able to count on backup from the other shifts as many first responders live out of town. Mutual aid will not arrive as they’ll be too busy with their own town’s emergencies.
However, if you have done your homework correctly as a CERT you have previously instructed your neighbors on being prepared for such a day by having them assemble and store emergency kits with batteries, portable charger, water, blankets and food in each home. A CERT can also dole out minor first aid to those in need and aid, comfort and prepare others in more serious condition for transport when the calvary arrives. Working together you can ensure you and your neighbors will have a better chance of surviving a catastrophe and there is no rule that there can be only one CERT per neighborhood, the more the better. I became a CERT in 2016 and have enjoyed every aspect of the experience immensely. Even if this is not your cup of tea, at least make sure you and your family assemble an emergency kit/to go bag.
Another Super Bowl is in the books and it didn’t turn out to be quite the close game many thought it would be. It was entertaining to watch the seasoned veteran out play the young determined student. Never under estimate an old master, we always have a trick or two up our sleeves. It also demonstrated what fantastic leadership can accomplish as Tom Brady has now taken two different teams to Super Bowl victories. Every time the team would huddle up, he created magic in there with clear instructions and encouragement so everyone knew their role to make sure the mission was successful. This is something you can bring to your team by beginning each day with a huddle.
That’s why I continue this series, because through no fault of your own you may have not received the information or training needed to be successful at your job. A new supervisor faces many challenges and hopefully this will help give you the confidence to do the job correctly and an edge over the competition while impressing your bosses.
You can get the huddle habit going by having the staff assemble at a convenient location usually where they’ll begin working every morning or start of the shift, so the loading dock, warehouse floor, construction site, forklift area, shop floor, or the break room are all great locations. Make sure to join them in the circle and for the next five to ten minutes, no longer, address your staff in a positive and inspirational manner about any topic you need, to make sure they have a safe and productive day. The topics can cover the upcoming days activities, a safety reminder about wet floors during the rain storm, informing about an unusual number of cases to be picked and loaded, reminder on changing the production date stamp, commending a worker for their extra effort or just to say, thank you.
Once you’ve established your daily huddles you’ll open the floodgates to open and honest communication between you and the staff which is critical for any supervisor, manager or leader to build trust. You may not have the best knowledge of how a machine operates but if you can properly communicate and can relate to people you’ll learn everything you need to know. Then you can slowly incorporate a weekly safety tailgate/lunchbox meeting which is usually 10 -15 minutes, and then a monthly safety meeting which may last up to a hour depending on the topic and who knows maybe a quarterly safety committee meeting.
Remember, trust and open communication can be totally trashed with one miscue on your part and then it’s even harder to rebuild that trust. Always get back to staff on their questions or ideas even if it’s to say you don’t know but you’ll find out. Always be mindful, kind but firm and you’ll be a success.
Here we are, another month in another new year. As we all know many things can happen over the course of a year and with about 260 work days it may be tough to remember what occurred on a Tuesday, ten months ago. Why is that important? That’s why I continue this series, because through no fault of your own you may have not received the information or training needed to be successful at your job. A new supervisor faces many challenges and hopefully this will help give you the confidence to do the job correctly and an edge over the competition while impressing your bosses.
The best investment you can make during your entire career is a 3 X 5 note pad. Yea, it’s analog technology but it won’t crash and can’t be hacked. This note pad will help you keep track of events that occur during your shift and is easy to keep in your back pocket while you are making the rounds on the shop floor, warehouse stacks, shipping docks or around the outside of the facility.
Events? During the course of your busy day you have many events to handle. [First this – if you document employee actions in your 3 X 5 note pad it is now a legal document and you need to be very specific in your notes with no color commentary.]Event 1 – if you do annual reviews you don’t want to rely only on recent events that stand out in your mind to evaluate an employee, it’s not fair to them. So when you look back to Tuesday, ten months ago you’ll see your note of an observation that Bob stopped his forklift and got off to pick trash up off the floor and dropped it in a container. No good deed should go un-noted and even though you told Bob then, good job, you’ll see the pattern of responsibility on his part in your notes and recommend and develop him for a leadership role. So for good and bad, keep notes for reviews, raises and recognition. When I observed an employee properly wearing their PPE on a consistent basis I made a note and made sure they received a certificate of recognition and noted on their review. If I had to remind an employee once in a great while to wear PPE and they complied, never bothered noting it but if it became several times a week then yes, make a note. You need to protect yourself as well and if the employee goes and gets injured and his lawyer tried to say you never said anything, you have proper documentation. There are good notes and bad notes but you need to record all the notes in straight forward language without any color commentary. In other words, just the facts.
Event 2 – You deal with different vendors on a daily basis as well as staff, including but not limited to overnight delivery services, shipping companies, temporary staffing firms, HVAC and refrigeration, facilities maintenance, grounds keeping, forklift maintenance and repair, equipment rentals and other various suppliers from office supplies to raw materials. Track the quality of service you receive, do they resolve issues quickly, do they return phone calls in a timely manner, do their drivers follow your facilities rules, do their repair staff respect your facility? These are good indicators especially when it comes to repairs and maintenance of equipment, do repairs last or do they come out often? Check with corporate as they may keep a report card on vendors and your information will be very helpful for future contract negotiations. Never wait until the end of the year and blindside a vendor with a laundry list of issues. Give them an opportunity to work them out before they become a serious issue so bring to your representatives attention right away.
Event 3 – Like a circus juggler performing in the center ring, you have many different items up in the air at the same time so while you walk you facility it helps to use your note pad when you come across items that need attention. Make note right as you see them and before being distracted by another item in the air. These items can be but not limited to broken cross bar, emergency exit light not working, missing extinguisher, leaking valve, machine guard missing. When you get back to your desk you can refer to your notes as you complete work-orders for the repairs.
Event 4 – Another great reason to carry a 3 x 5 notepad is you never know when an idea is going to hit! Like being in the shower when great ideas pop into your head, something you see happening in the facility could spark an idea. Write it down, you don’t want to forget it. An idea for a safety meeting topic or an area needing additional lighting? Even make note of ideas employees bring to your attention. Look into it, then make sure to get back to the employee on the status of their idea.
When you take the position of a supervisor, you are responsible for the safety and well being of your staff and customers. You are responsible for delivering the best experience for your customer within a safe environment as well as safe and nurturing for your staff. You are caught between and need to find a way to balance the goals and culture of corporate with the realities of your location and situation. They don’t want to hear excuses, they only want the goals met so how you get there is somewhat up to you. Take advantage, be creative but most of all treat people with respect, develop their talents, be firm but always fair and make sure to make notes.
The relationship between a company and a contractor consultant needs be one of trust, transparency and all about the customer to be successful. In addition the ability of the consultant to listen should be extremely refined to hear what the company braintrust wants the new system to accomplish but also and maybe even more important listen to how the employees will operate the system to obtain maximum efficiently in the task enhanced by their product. After a period of listening and mirroring employees the hope is the contractor will deliver that much needed system to make everyone happy.
At the time we were owned by an Investment firm who really didn’t have a clue about what went into the making and packaging of the product we made and had no interest to learn. The equipment was ancient and abused being kept together with baling wire, duct tape and the sheer determination of veteran mechanics using every trick in the book to keep production moving. Downtime was a common occurrence and a great source of frustration for each and every department. With all that going on, the Investment firm in their infinite wisdom decided the most important thing to do was improve invoicing. Not the equipment needed making the product to sell so we can have something to invoice but invoicing itself as the sooner an invoice went out the quicker we could get paid, but not so we have money to improve production but so management can give themselves bonuses. Well, I guess when it’s put that way, it all makes sense.
The contractor consultant the software company sent to work with us seemed a nice enough guy at first. He spent little time with the employees for their input but a lot of time hob knobbing with the investment firm executives. I expressed concern but was assured he was spending time on the floor with employees getting the important input but after investigating found that was not the case. The most critical part of a software upgrade is during the transition period when the employees begin using it live. You want them to know how to do their job correctly to help build their confidence using the new system and this is usually accomplished with training material provided by the vendor. As intuitive as the consultant thinks his system may be for users this may not actually be the case with your people if the consultant didn’t listen properly or replaced their information with his own beliefs on how it should be used.
Our consultant procrastinated and when we went live our newly upgraded Management System that was to better track inventory, streamline shipping and speed up invoicing wasn’t! You know the old saying, garbage in, garbage out, that’s what was happening. Without the training material people were making scanning errors, weren’t sure how to use the printer let alone how to reload it with labels. Bar codes were incomplete or just plain wrong and product was being incorrectly identified. We spent every morning, recounting inventory and readjusting it which ate up valuable time that the new system was suppose to save for us. It was a mess and of course the usual finger pointing began between the investment firm, the contractor, the consultant and the workers. Fun was had by all.
I wanted my crew to succeed and could no longer wait on the promises of a procrastinating consultant who didn’t seem to share our concerns. On my own time I made enlarged copies of the bar codes, with the name of the product boldly displayed and placed them in plastic protectors. Wrote out the procedure to sign on to the scan gun and where to apply the printed label then double checked that the whole super sack crew were in the system and had the proper access. As soon as the production meeting was over where we found out we had three kinds of super sacks to pack out I went to the station to have a huddle with my staff. We covered the scanning process and gave them the bar codes and other materials but most importantly I told them there was going to be a no fault policy in effect. If they made a mistake all they had to do was tell me right then and there so I could make the necessary adjustments immediately in the system. I watched them for a while, could see they had it down and went on my regular rounds. The crew loved it and their confidence soared thanks to the no fault and materials so much so they set a shift record for the number of super sacks produced. We left copies of everything at the super sack station and told the other superintendents what we did. The inventory errors went away, productivity improved, the inventory manager was happy, our customers were happy and most of all, the investment bankers were happy as we could now enjoy the benefits of the new system.
I did however make one underestimation. As it turns out the V.P. of Finance, one of the investment bankers who championed the upgrade of our inventory/shipping/invoicing system had been paying attention to what was going on after all and after our procrastinating consultant complained to him that I had jumped the gun and what I did, oh how dare I want my staff to be successful, the V.P. brought him to our next production meeting and thanked me in front of everyone for my efforts. I had made a new ally and was able to get a few more improvement projects completed before they sold the company to a larger manufacturer who understood what we did.
It’s easy to complain when things don’t happen as they should, it’s another thing to put your money where your mouth is and take care of the issue with a little extra effort. There is always a solution, don’t fear thinking outside the box.
I was only eight days old when the family gathered around and watched as the moil and I took center stage and in the tradition of my fore fathers, was circumcised,. It is our way. It was not only my first public performance and I’m not sure how I felt about it or what the reviews from relatives were but also got my very first taste of wine and ritual involvement. My next significant ritual was at 13 years old for my Bar Mitzvah, where I was allowed to read directly from the Torah and being recognized before the congregation as an adult. It was my first paid speaking engagement and attended and reviewed by most of the same people who saw me at eight days old. My dad and uncles decided I had earned my first shot of whiskey as well so away and out of sight from the moms, I joined the adult men, l’chaim! Mmm that was much better than the Manischewitz.
So far, rituals haven’t been so bad. A little work a few hours of practice but interesting and rewarding experiences unlike the next ritual that would come my way. It was the year I made the varsity football team which was a goal I had set for myself before the summer. The extra workouts I did during that time and other hard work paid off, I was excited. The team captain told us to meet at the field the night before our first game of the season and under the cover of darkness I was introduced to a new ritual, drinking alcohol as a team. Even though the drinking age was only 18 in New York at the time, except for a few seniors most of us were underage forming a bond of silence of our illegal team building activity. Except for the occasional holiday glass of wine, I didn’t have much of a drinking history so it was overwhelming having to finish a quart size bottle of Colt 45 malt liquor to ensure my commitment to the team. We won our first game pretty big over a rival school and then went on to lose the next 9 in a row.
Unfortunately trust rituals don’t stop in high school and I don’t mean the team building exercises like catching someone falling backwards. My childhood friend always wanted to be a New York City Police Officer. It was his dream and he did everything he needed to do to ensure when he graduated High School he could get into the academy. He did. He did great and passed and was assigned to a precinct and a training instructor. He was ready to learn a become the best police officer New York had ever seen. His first night on patrol with his new training instructor was a rainy nasty night and his instructor drove over to a movie theatre, parked the patrol car and walked into the movie theatre. The chain and sign blocking the entrance to the balcony said it was closed but it didn’t stop his T.I. from entering with my friend in tow. What were they going to do? Was there a call he didn’t hear? As his eyes adjusted to the darkness he saw several other training instructors with their trainees in tow, sitting in the theatre, avoiding the rain, his heart was broken. He knew this was a test to see who can keep quiet and trusted if the need were to arise and who they’ll ostracize.
There is nothing wrong with rituals. Some are fabulous and well thought out like the rookie pitcher who has to carry a pink backpack full of goodies for the other pitchers in the bullpen. It’s not a test of secrecy but for a sense of humor. Then there are those sinister rituals where a boss tells you a very graphic ethnic joke knowing full well it’s wrong but wants to see if you’re one of the boys or not. Any ritual that requires your secrecy can’t be good in the long run and you’ll have a decision to make for yourself. When it comes time to keep quiet about something that happens, to look the other way, to see nothing, how far are you willing to compromise your beliefs, your morals, your individuality? Will you be able to stand up for yourself and not bow to the threats, the rumors, the hearsay and outright lies. How strong can you be? When you observe that ritual behavior and go along you are no longer the individual you once were, you now belong to them.
May I introduce another honorable public servant. Ohio PUC Chairman Samuel Randazzo who abruptly resigned four days after the FBI searched his home https://buff.ly/3pNKqZo He was only trying to help other companies achieve their goals and oh yea, allegedly took a $4 Million dollar bribe.
And yet another honorable corporate executive who only has others best interest at heart and not himself but somehow still left his heart and wallet in San Francisco as Former Recology executive charged with laundering bribes worth more than $1M in SanFrancisco https://buff.ly/3m1X0ln.
How about this honorable company, Duke, who now won’t foot its up to $9B coal ash clean up bill even though they knew the coal ash was dangerous to the environment to begin with. To add insult to injury, the shareholders could still absorb half of the cost, court rules https://buff.ly/37kVoye
The honorable company, Mid Oregon Builders, LLC refuses to provide a safe workplace for their employees. They have recently been fined $42,000 for continued job safety violations, exposing workers to falls that could kill them and this is not the first time they’ve done this, https://buff.ly/37BerTY
This is the last Companies Behaving Badly for 2020. A year we can all agree, we’ll be very happy to see go. Thank you for taking time out of your day and stopping by to read my blog. I hope it makes you a better leader and a better person. Stay safe, do social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands, be kind to each other and get ready for a beautiful and productive 2021.
This was selling as, ahem, a bagel in one particular supermarket chain in Northern California. First Croagel?
In another branch of this supermarket chain in Northern California this was selling as a kaiser roll. I do believe they were inspired by the “Top of the Muffin” episode of Seinfeld.
These are examples of why I continue this series, because through no fault of your own you may have not received the information or training necessary to be successful at your job. As we have see many times in small businesses with high employee turnover and unfortunately even in large corporations sometimes things just drop through the cracks or worse, misinformation like a game of telephone going horribly wrong. Hopefully these blogs will give you an edge amongst your peers, impress your bosses up the food chain and give you the confidence to do the job correctly. Now for your information these issues also happen in manufacturing as well if proper training is not done.
Excess glue can happen if you are not shown the proper way to purge the line after changing the barrel or filling the reservoir to avoid clogging the glue gun. When you don’t do it right you wind up gluing everything together.
Even machines can be corrupted by humans if not properly adjusted during production. These are both out of the same package and are as much twins as Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie of the same name but it was close enough to pass in the weight check.
The manufacturers manual is a great resource for general information on operation and maintenance and after the equipment is installed you will not find a section on the exact fine tuning needed for your specific applications. It’ll tell you what parts, dials, or buttons to push to adjust for filling different size boxes or going from 1 lb. poly bag to a 2 lb. poly bag but not how much to move the needle so to speak or in conjunction with moving several needles. I have yet to meet a maintenance manager who is worth his salt actually need to read a manual but I’ve also seen an untrained rookie over adjust a machine to the point it took two days to get it back to normal operation ready. So for young or new operators the fine tuning techniques will come from watching and doing during training or their apprenticeship. When the opportunity comes to work with a seasoned veteran, listen to what they say, don’t interrupt, listen until they finish the thought, digest it and then ask. Watch what they do and again don’t interrupt but make note of questions to ask in fact take notes the whole time you’re training and hope there is a need for them to trouble shoot while you observe. Troubleshooting a piece of equipment is essential especially when on an off-shift so every opportunity to get to observe that, take it! After watching for a while ask if you can do it yourself under the watchful eyes of the senior operator.
A tip to help win over the senior operator and learn his or hers tricks of the trade. Don’t come across like you know it all, be respectful or you’ll never get anything with that attitude. Be genuine in your thirst for knowledge and listen, watch and ask. It won’t hurt to find out their favorite item in the snack machine or dessert or drink and be willing to do some of the crappy related tasks, it demonstrates your willingness and determination to learn. If your aspirations are to move into management and leadership you may to document all that you learn for future generations to draw from.
Open and honest communication can achieve almost anything. A morning huddle with the staff before the store opens or the shift begins, just ten minutes for a great opportunity to say thank you for their efforts, outline the days challenges, or make aware of critical deliveries or wet conditions due to weather. It’s the same in production, asking honest questions on how something operates and treating each other with respect.
“And when we draw lines in the sand with regard to certain basic things that are vital to our interest and to the interest of democracy and our friends around the world, we have to be willing to back that up” –Fred Thompson
“We have …drawn a line in the sand.” –George H. W. Bush
“Everybody’s life is either a warning or an example. You’ve got to decide what you’re gonna be and you have to draw a line in the sand.” –Tony Robbins
The line. The magical line we draw (figuratively) in the sand and dare someone to step over. We all say it and turns out to be a popular expression as you can see in the quotes above. What is your line in the sand? Are your one or two lines in the sand something that you stand firm on, no matter what the consequences of your decision or after being shunned, ignored or threatened with being ostracized do you buckle and compromise erasing your line. How often do you change your stance, compromise and when you do, is it because you thought it through on your own weighing good information or did someone push you to thinking their way there by compromise your beliefs? When you constantly move your line in the sand it is hard to be taken seriously and the flip flopping doesn’t help your credibility as a leader.
When it comes to moving that line you made in the sand, how far are you willing to bend the years of work your parents invested to give you a proper upbringing. Are you willing to trash it all along with your morals to obtain a specific goal and is the size of your indiscretion in direct correlation with the amount of money you can take or the amount of power you can gain? Once you compromise your morals the rewards make it so easy to keep the cycle going, making excuses to continually justify your actions. My favorite is, “everyone else is doing it” “They don’t even miss it” or “They don’t appreciate us enough”. Now drunk with your new power of moving your line at will to suit your needs you’ve pushed your lines so far out of whack you are NOW compromised so when the test of loyalty from your new buddies comes and you are asked to lie to an EPA inspector so how can you suddenly put a line in the sand?
A very old piece of equipment was restored and brought back for use once the company discovered there was a market for the product it produced. The problem was the amount of dust it produced, no matter how much it was tinkered with, still exceeded the limits of dust allowed to be put into the environment. The local town and many of its residents filed complaints which led to a pending visit from the EPA to personally inspect the equipment. Simultaneously a very large order from a prominent food market chain for this product was also pending, so where was the line in the sand drawn by the company? They lied. When the inspector arrived they decided to tell her to her face the machine was not working, they didn’t know when it would be in operational again since the repairs were going to be extensive so we’re not using it. She left and would return when they told her the machine was repaired and going to be used. As soon as she left the premises, swing shift was told to prepare the machine for operation so graveyard shift could run it to fulfill the order and in the morning it’ll be shut down. What’s a little dust in the night sky since bonuses and profits are more important than breathing.
There is nothing wrong with drawing a line in the sand as long as the line doesn’t take advantage of others who don’t look or sound similar just to line their own pockets or obtain power just to use it to abuse others for the sake of power. Working together can accomplish so much more. We are in this crazy concept of life together while standing on a spinning orb hurtling through space.
Meanwhile in honorable corporate America — FirstEnergy fires CEO, 2 other top #executives in wake of $61M political bribery scandal https://buff.ly/2HGhjWZ They along with four lobbyist thought public funds should be used at their discretion.
Gee, I wonder how deep the roots of corruption go? — Facing credit downgrades after the firing CEO FirstEnergy board launches further internal investigation https://buff.ly/2JpV47U
Here’s another utility company that has decided to take after their mentor, PG&E — UGI will pay $1.1 million fine in 2017 FATAL gas explosion that leveled a house https://buff.ly/35Tlu9E Just like PG&E they failed to properly react to a hazardous situation when its workers responded to. report of a gas leak including not following their own written procedures which it turns out were deficient. In case you weren’t sure killing customers and employees is not a good move for any company. It’s not sustainable.
OSHA is investigating Table Talk Pies over workplace safety concerns https://buff.ly/3nKoqNt Valid concerns as they have been fined many times for a total of $400,000 in the last three years for safety violations. Because of their line in the sand they have wasted money on fines (may have been budgeted as part of doing business) instead of reinvesting in their employees. Don’t understand such waste.
During Pandemic, It’s All Tricks and No Treats for Mars Wrigley Workers Their line in the sand was to deny their employees protection so they could keep safely working so the company could make money. Apparently protecting workers from Covid19 was not in their plans as they fired people for asking. Why would anyone want to work for a company who couldn’t care less about you. Might as well go work for Amazon. Oh, wait!
Thanks for stopping by. If you have a line in the sand when it comes to safety at the workplace, never keep quiet but speak up for the life you save may be your own. You are an intelligent human being who took in all the facts about safety, PPE and equipment and decided it is not worth dying to save the boss a few bucks. You can make an anonymous call to the OSHA HOTLINE – 1 – 800 – 321- OSHA (6742) or your state OSHA. Politics has no place in workplace safety, we ALL deserve a safe workplace. Until next time, please stay socially distant, wear a mask, wash your hands and stay safe.