An issue.

Discussion in 'UPS Partners' started by WhereDoIWorkAgain, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. WhereDoIWorkAgain

    WhereDoIWorkAgain New Member

    Recently as I was leaving my building, I overheard a relatively new hourly who tends to do exactly as he is instructed tell his part-time sup. About a leaker and say he needed a haz-mat responder.

    This was at the very end of the sort, and our building has a single person assigned as a haz-mat responder on that shift. (though there are 2 or 3 others to fill in as needed in practice that never happens).

    Knowing that area of the building there is about a 98% chance that the leaker was a non-ormd box of shampoo, soap or lotion going to a local distributor of nature save natural products.

    The lone haz-mat guy is also in an area of the building under this part timers supervision, and likely swamped with his non-hazmat related loading.

    The sup also is typically a fairly good sup in terms of meeting numbers and looking out for his employees.

    However in this case he made what I would consider a fairly glaring mistake of telling the hourly "there is no leaker, send it!" and then confirming this statement to the hourly without even looking at the package.


    I understand the pressures to keep hours down and this one package of what was likely nothing would have stopped one belt for about 20 minutes and added at least an hour with clean-up and reboxing and such to the responders time and his hourly rate is rather high.

    I know its not procedure to have the sup come and see that it is a slimy box of shampoo and take it back to the hazmat responders area to rebox and do the paperwork on when the responders trucks are loaded and the day is ending but I would have been ok with it.

    But telling an employee who he knows will listen to him to pass on a leaking damaged package without knowing what was inside for certain (he knows that it is extremely likely to be be a soap or lotion) to the receiver really rubs me the wrong way.

    Even worse is that it was in an area of the building where he could have been overheard by many other far more senior people if they were paying attention.

    I would like suggestions for the best way to handle this situation as the part-time sups coworker.
     
  2. Gazelle

    Gazelle Race me!

    My thoughts are that you "over heard this conversation". That being said maybe the hourly had complained about it earlier in the night, and the sup checked out the package only to find that it was wet but not leaking, which happens all the time.

    In my building the haz mat hours are put under the primary hours, and the loaders are specific to their center or boxline. As a supervisor working with loaders I wouldn't "feel the pressure" about hours that I can code out. I can code him out to the hub or primary for any hours that were used for leakers. I doubt this is an issue about hours.

    In my honest opinion you are "piecing together" a story as you "think" it went. Perhaps he did have the haz mat person look at it at some point, perhaps the box had a small wet stain on it that clearly wasn't an issue. Do I think he handled it correctly... Can't really tell you that because there seem to be no solid facts. You didn't see the package therefore its not your call to say that the sup wasn't doing his job. Perhaps he shouldn't have been so loud about it in front of other employees, but no one was there with this person to confirm what happened.
     
  3. WhereDoIWorkAgain

    WhereDoIWorkAgain New Member

    Confirmed/backed some things up on this. No it wasn't seen directly by the sup in question, at the time it was going on. He did latter check up on it, however it was a box of hand lotion. Part of an ongoing problem with the daily load going to this company spoke with the part timer in question about it on Friday morning we're now simply setting aside leakers going to that load until the end of the day at which point the 20 to 40 packages daily that have various levels of problems will get reboxed in a controlled manner. Anything that has a major leak will of course be handled in a more urgent manner.

    Its a case of the load has issues every single day because of poor packaging on some of this companies suppliers using very cheap packaging, and our building in truth being fairly rough on a large number of packages especially during peak due to higher volume and size of packages than what the building was really intended to handle. This means we have packages of ooze everyday in certain loads.

    Charging off hours for hazmat responders sort of works in our building but it pretty much comes down to our asking the primary hazmat responder to estimate how much time he spent loading and how much time he spent responding. Each time you pull him away from his load even if he is gone for a very short while adds considerably more time to that load than what he spent actually responding due to a full belt, and slide and the jammed packages resulting from that, as well as possible damages to other items.

    The other part time when we spoke on it sort of realized that the way it was handled could possibly have created some problems. What we were seeing is two on-going larger problems in our building creating a small situation that could have been handled better. One of them was solved with the whole set aside thing that we have started now, though I have a feeling that "solution" may run into questions when we get safety audited. The other ongoing issue of our primary hazmat responder being on a busy load that very few of the other people in the building knowing, and constantly getting pulled away from is another issue that will take rather more to solve and is outside of my ability to do more than make suggestions to others, nor do I have the sort of relationship with the people in that area to do more than ask if there is anyway I could help.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  4. rod

    rod retired and happy

    Once again---preaching safety out of one side of the mouth while yelling faster-faster out of the other. And you wonder why you don't get any respect from anyone who has been there for any lenghth of time. How many times has that same sup made the hourlies recite the "don't touch-notify management-leave building" song and dance lie. And to Gazelle---you have your "it can't be our fault-it must be the hourlies fault" speech down pat. What page of the "How to turn everything around and blame the wrong person" mannuel is that speech on?
     
  5. stoni24

    stoni24 New Member

    U guys are over analyzing the situation. As a responder I can tell u the one reason the spill was handled wrong. The lazy PT sup didn't wanna load cars while the responder did the spill. Talk to the center manager or get the responder to.
     
  6. Gazelle

    Gazelle Race me!

    I never said it was the hourly's fault, stating instead that the OP didn't see the situation first person, therefore the story can be thought of as hear say. Do hourly's lie? Yes. Does management lie? Yes. It's a two way street.

    Our responders are usually in the primary sorting or scanning so it's easier to pull them away. If someone has a leaker, I check out what it is and if its not hazardous I will move it aside, and let the dmp cage know. Most of the time it sits till the end of the night because its damaged and will not go out for service anyway.
     
  7. Kis124

    Kis124 Member

    I have had a lot of leakers in my trailers. Unless I don't know what it is, or if I know that it is potentially dangerous, I don't bother my sup anymore. I keep getting told to work around it and get the trailer out on time. I had a box of some aresol cans drop and spray something that froze the box. Told my 2 unloaders to get out of the trailer and don't go back til the responder came and took the box out. Then I had a box of animal shampoo burst open. I went and got some kitty litter and had the unloader use it as he uncovered. Got a cart, and put all 30 boxes it affected on it. Saftey means squat in my building unless someone gets hurt, or an audit is coming. I have to pay for my clothes, I don't think I should have to wear the crap that leaks on them.
     
  8. WhereDoIWorkAgain

    WhereDoIWorkAgain New Member

    As a clarification, I was on the ground about 12' to the left of the hourly and underneath the belt on my way out the front door from the hourly at his pick-off point as he was sorting boxes between his two loads. I heard him call-out "leaker" to his part-time sup, who was approaching on the ground toward me from the direction the belt travels. The part time sup was approx the same distance to my right. As kis said we have a weird relationship with safety, as long as you are meeting goals, and we aren't being audited safety is making sure that there are no injuries severe enough to have paperwork filed on them. The hourlies and management have an understanding that cuts and contusions get shown to the sup on break or at the end of shift, the next shift the management asks the hourly if they are ok, if they can work normally its all good, if not they get put on a light area or pick-off. Long term injuries are to be worked through until insurance pays for getting surgery on them. Moderate injuries you try and talk the hourly out of filing injury reports assuring them that they will be put on light duty till healed. Severe injuries you have no real choice but to file on. We've had a couple of people sort for weeks with a splint on their hand from broken fingers that occurred and no paperwork was done. There was also a broken ankle from falling off of a load stand that wasn't reported either.

    Its also humorous how due to our building being older everyone knows that most of the c slides in the building are going to buckle and fall every time a box over 25 to 30 lbs is put on them. This means they are ignored save when an audit is going on. The safety chains on the top of many ladders as either totally ineffectual as they are at heights where most employees would just flip over or slid under if they lost their footing, we even have two that are required to be closed where in order for them to do anything the employee would have to fall up 3 or more feet up a ladder. Those exist only to cause an employee pause while climbing take a hand off of the ladder rail and disconnect or connect the safety chain. Others are 20+ year old thin pot metal spot welded to a rail, if someone over 150 or so lbs actually fell into it the chain would either separate or the weld break. Its lip service at best and ironic comedy at worst.