Injury stuff

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by supercool, May 7, 2007.

  1. supercool

    supercool Member

    First off, I'm a PT sorter at a hub, been with UPS for two years. I've had two past injuries at work. I'm not really concerned about those because they happened awhile back, but my most recent one is irritating me with regards to how management has handled it.

    I dislocated my shoulder while sorting ~1.5 weeks ago (very light box slid off the transverse and I reached to catch it, it caught my palm and pulled my shoulder out). I immediately reported it to my PT sup, who radio'd for upper management to come look. At first they were deliberating whether it actually happened, with questions like, "well does it hurt? can you raise it up?" When it was pointed out it was obviously out of the socket, the manager asked, "would you like [safety supervisor] to pop it back in?" I said no, obviously, and that I wanted to go to the hospital. We sat there for a few minutes and management talked amongst themselves, when the manager told me to follow him (from the front-end to the other side of the building -- walking that far with a dislocated shoulder hurts). He asked halfway to where we were going, "so, does it feel any better? Can you move it yet?" No, obviously. "Oh, well I thought walking it off might help." I sit in the office for what seemed like forever (probably 15-20 minutes) while the safety supe went and grabbed his car. He tried applying an icepack to my shoulder but it wouldn't stay (I could have just held it anyway). Anyway, after all that, I got in the car and they drove me to the ER, where it was put back in. The safety supe was in the room with me the whole time (which was kind of annoying/seemingly inappropriate and I wanted to tell him to leave but wasn't thinking very clearly at the time). The doctor gives me a things saying no work for 3 days, then light duty after that until I see a doc again (no timeframe), and that I'm to wear a sling (no timeframe). The safety supe was under the impression I'd be back to work the next day, just fine, and didn't understand why I needed time off.

    We get back and safety supe calls up the hospital asking if by no work that means I can come in and do safety tests on the computer and paperwork. It didn't sound like the doctor was definitive, but safety supe interpreted it as a yes. I came in the next three days, shoulder in sling, did paperwork/etc. I didn't want to not take that TAW because I can't really afford to miss any work. On Monday I was supposed to be on light duty, so I came in and was told to do rewraps. He asked me if I had scheduled the dr. appointment yet, and I said no, since I didn't feel ready to see the doctor (I knew the shoulder hadn't healed so I thought it made more sense to wait until it was more healed for the doc to look at it). I was pestered every day last week asking if I had made an appt. yet (which I have not -- I will this week).

    The last thing they're doing is trying to find a way to pin this on me, but they can't. There's no training about catching falling packages from belts, so they aren't able to say "he didn't follow his training" and say it was my fault for not following the trained methods. They're reaching for straws with what they're putting on all these forms, and trying to make it out like I did something I wasn't supposed to. The box that dislocated my shoulder was maybe 3 lbs., so my natural instinct was to just reach out and catch it since I had no idea something like that could happen. They're REALLY frustrated that there's no method about this -- the day after at PCM, they PCM'd a new safety method or habit or whatever: don't catch falling boxes.

    Every website I look at says it takes 4-6 weeks for a dislocation to heal properly. I dislocated it once before and was told to wear a sling for two weeks, so I think I took it off early this time. Anyway, my TAW still states I'm on light duty until May 23, and I've got a few contentions with how they handled this:

    - waiting to take me to be treated, having me "walk off" an obviously dislocated shoulder, asking me if I wanted management to pop it back in
    - sitting in the ER room with me (kind of a privacy thing -- he didn't need to be there, I was fully able to answer all their questions. He later joked about what I said while under sedation when they put it back in since I have amnesia during that time)
    - essentially forcing TAW on me because they couldn't handle me missing three days of work after this
    - trying to pin it on me as far as not using my methods. This is VERY annoying. They're reaching for straws and probably making stuff up.
    - being consistently pestered about when I'm going to go back to the doctor/come back to regular work (if they looked at any sort of medical documentation it would be clear it's not an overnight thing)

    Maybe I'm just ranting, but is there anything that can be done about this? I'm sick of being harped on about this. I hurt myself on site, and they don't want to be responsible for any of it. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm super irritate and just want to be left alone instead of being the object of all their contempt (oh yeah, I ruined a 11,000 target 0 day streak, too -- oops)
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  2. over9five

    over9five Senior Member Staff Member

    Don't worry about any of it. You did all the right things.

    You should definately go see your doc, and tell him you're not ready for full duty if you're not.

    Don't worry about their safety streak, and don't worry about how they will lie on the report when they blame you. (Just don't sign it!). Have your steward with you for all meetings.
  3. disneyworld

    disneyworld Active Member

    In a word-typical.
  4. Blue Bell

    Blue Bell Guest

    You have to grow thick skin with management, if your not released off of light duty your still on light duty. They can throw out all the remarks they want to make a person feel bad. Remember going back too some will only cause harm in the long run!!! Good luck!!
  5. The-UK-Guy

    The-UK-Guy Tea anyone ?

    Get a workers comp lawyer , they are free and you will get almost all of your wages while your not working plus a little for pain and suffering . Best part is you are not suing UPS just their insurance Libarty (idiots) Mutual . I just went through a similar situation as you , my shoulder was dislocated out on route and I was made to work 9 hours . makeing that call was the best thing I ever did . PM me if you want any more info
  6. Cole

    Cole New Member

    Wow now they want to practice medicene without a license?! That's the types running the show now, makes me feel real good about the future! Suppose he did it, and messed your shoulder up more, brilliant!

    You can file grievance under Article 37 for harrassment, coersion etc...The article also says we are to treat each other with mutual dignity and respect, but it sounds like it's one way in your case.

    Remember it's your shoulder/wager earner, and you have to put your safety first.

    UK, you're a trip with that avatar
  7. The-UK-Guy

    The-UK-Guy Tea anyone ?

    Its only in fun cole
  8. supercool

    supercool Member

    I'm working (on light duty) and didn't miss any time for this, so I don't know if they could do anything. In my state the state is supposed to provide the insurance for this sort of stuff, but for some reason UPS is self-insured (I didn't even know that was legal, but apparently UPS can loophole anything).

    I guess what I'm wondering is if there's any sort of grievance that can be filed for how they didn't promptly take me to the hospital/offered to pop my shoulder back in. That seems so ridiculous to me. It should have been a no-brainer, no questions asked.
  9. ms. HABITS

    ms. HABITS New Member

    UPS is not self insured, they are insured through Liberty Mutual, and anyone can self insure as long as they have the financial backing and follow federal regulations(it's called a MEWA plan, vs your typical ERISA plan, which is regulated by the sates).

    I'm the safety compliance supervisor at a pretty large hub and recently had something similar happen. We had an employee break his toe and my Division Manager, against my advice, made him walk up a flight of stairs and then proceeded to interview him for over 30 minutes before allowing him to get medical attention.

    I went to the union (even though I'm a pt sup) and they gave me a formal complaint 1-800 number (it's through an independent company, you can choose to remain anonymous, although I did not). I filed a compliant against my Division Manager and HR got involved, etc... I'll look that number up for you - I highly recommend calling it. The more people who file formal complaints the more likely harassment will stop. Give the number to every coworker you can! UPS will cave in on itself if they do not learn to treat people with respect and it is up to us to demand that they do!!!!

    Remember - you are NEVER expected or required to do anything ILLEGAL, IMMORAL OR UNSAFE - and I think your situation fits into two of those. Stand up for yourself, show up on time, and they can't touch you.
  10. BCFan

    BCFan Active Member

    :thumbup1: Article 14 should do the trick and for good measure add 37 and the phrase "and all that apply" :thumbup1: BC
  11. Six Sides

    Six Sides Member

    So you’ve worked for UPS and had two prior injuries that you’re not concerned about. That’s an injury every 8 months, you need to be concerned. The method you failed to follow is to work safe, and that is your fault, not UPS or your supervisor (insensitive or not). What did UPS do for you, drive you to the doctor, stay with you, drive you back, put you on TAW so you still get paid, and will pay all your medical bills. So when do you see the doctor again, so you can back to your real job. I have yet to see a doctor that did not set a follow-up appointment for a W/C injury. Sounds like a poor one sided story.
  12. Six Sides

    Six Sides Member

    You need to update and change your name to ms. SWM