Would you risk termination by refusing to operate unsafe equipment?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by UpstateNYUPSer, May 1, 2010.


Would you risk termination by refusing to operate unsafe equipment?

Poll closed May 3, 2010.
  1. Yes--safety is most important.

    50 vote(s)
  2. No--my job is most important.

    4 vote(s)
  3. I would let my management team make the decision and work as directed.

    8 vote(s)
  1. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Well-Known Member

    705red started a thread in the discussion forum in which a UPS feeder driver was terminated for refusing to pull a trailer that had defective equipment. OSHA determined that the driver was wrongfully terminated and not only received back pay but was awarded punitive damages and interest.

    My question is whether or not you would risk the loss of your job by refusing to operate unsafe equipment.
  2. dilligaf

    dilligaf IN VINO VERITAS

    Yes, absolutely. In a worst case scenario, I could be fired for taking out unsafe equipment and being involved in an accident as a result of such.
  3. over9five

    over9five Senior Member

    Good poll!

    You gotta think about how you would feel if you ran over a child with that unsafe equipment. Safety of ourselves and the public has to be Job One.
  4. RoyalFlush

    RoyalFlush One of Them

    I don't think anyone is, or should be expected, to operate equipment that is truly unsafe. Unfortunately we have people that sometimes use the "unsafe" card as leverage to create unnecessary conflict. I personally believe that we should apply the same cost/risk at work as we would with our own vehicles. If I had a tail light out or a something minor wrong on my own car, I certainly would not pull over to the side of the road and call a mechanic or a tow truck if it was going to cost me a few hundred dollars and cause me to be delayed. I would proceed cautiously and get it fixed when its convenient and cost effective. Brakes, steering, and things that truly are unsafe are a different story.
  5. dilligaf

    dilligaf IN VINO VERITAS

    I started to expound upon this earlier and got side-tracked.

    I'm sure everyone has heard the phrase, 'captain of the ship'. As drivers that is exactly what we are and when it comes to the safety of our 'ship' we ARE the ones that are responsible. UPS has no dog in this fight. It is not their decision and if they tried to make it their decision by forcing me to drive a vehicle that was unsafe they would have a fight on their hands. So far, they have never pushed it that hard. If they ever did I would have no problem advising my mgt team of the error of their ways. I would also have no problem telling them that I would drive out of the yard, park down the street and call DOT. Most drivers do not carry a CDL and can legitimately claim no knowledge of DOT regulations beyond what is given to them by UPS. I am not afforded that luxury. I do have a CDL and because of this I should be aware of what DOT regulations are.
  6. RoyalFlush

    RoyalFlush One of Them

    All drivers of commercial vehicles are required to know and abide by DOT regulations. Any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight over 10,000 pounds used for business is a commercial vehicle. This applies to nearly all UPS vehicles. The only exceptions are the small air van type vehicles. In a court of law or discipline hearing, ignorance (no offense intended) is not likely to hold up. This applies to the company and management also.
  7. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    When in doubt the question you should ask yourself, would you drive your family in this vehicle in its current state? Im not talking about dirty, old etc, but safety.

    Im glad to see that all 10 votes have been for NO! How could anyone of us ever live with ourselves if something truly bad happened to a child or another human because we felt pressured to take out a truck. Hell NO
  8. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    I couldn't answer the poll because I don't understand how management makes the determination the equipment is safe. You have an equipment defect you take it to the shop. the mechanic fix's it and signs off on the repair on your dot required dvir?

    ok found the other thread.
    Last edited: May 1, 2010
  9. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    They dont, yet they feel they have the right to force someone to work unsafely, indangering the employee and the general public, where have I heard that sentence before?
  10. dilligaf

    dilligaf IN VINO VERITAS

    I stand corrected. I mis-stated.
  11. dilligaf

    dilligaf IN VINO VERITAS

    Tie, not all of us have a shop to take our trucks to. My sup calls my mechanic if I have an issue with my truck. I have to go through my sup first. So yes, mgt is involved in our process and therefore is a determining factor.
  12. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    not sure I don't recall anyone being "indangered" :happy2::happy2::happy2:

  13. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown KoolAid

    If you are being pressured by management into operating equipment that you feel is unsafe, or under conditions that you feel are unsafe...here is a trick that has worked for me every time. Simply respond by saying "I will be more than happy to comply with your instructions after you have put it in writing that you, not me, will be fully responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur as a result of following those instructions."

    Its funny how even the most hard-assed sup will experience a profound change in his attitude once you ask him to put it in writing.
  14. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    upstate I think the poll as posed is a no brainer. everyone within those narrow confines will answer the same way.I've seen this particular scenario play out before. Clearly the driver has the right to refuse to move the equipment based on safety reasons. Clearly management should never threaten discipline for this refusal. Step past that issue and it is possible to safely bring the equipment back with high beams and four ways and I know of many dedicated feeder drivers that would have done so to make service on the packages.

    I know we have many of those guys lurking in the background I'll challenge you to speak up before this point gets twisted all to hell.
  15. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Well-Known Member

    The point I was trying to make with this poll is how many of us here would feel that strongly about a safety issue to risk losing their jobs over it. This is why I posted the third option and it was specifically for the so-called minor safety issues, such as the horn not working, or a headlight out, or a broken mirror. The safety issues in red's thread were significant enough to where the feeder driver felt it unsafe to put that trailer on the road. He felt so strongly about it that he risked his job over it. I would think that it if were something more minor that he would have simply written it up and been on his way.

    Please feel free to post your own poll. I will be curious to see what you come up with. Dave.
  16. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    I have,on more than one occasion,gone toe to toe with management over this issue. I`m fair about it,as mentioned above I won`t refuse to bring a load back because of a marker or maybe one of the tail lights. But a completely dark tlr because of an electrical failure,no. Something more serious,structural or suspension,then the trailer isn`t going anywhere. Another sometime issue is the "hot load" that was just wrapped up and needs to get to the railyard by its cutoff. Problem is the only way to get it there is to speed. Sorry,it ain`t going to happen. I`ve been threatened over this enough times that they know to not even look at me if these trailers come up. But they find someone to do it and the dice are rolling as to when someone finally balls one up and maybe hurts someone.

    The tip mentioned above,having it in writing,works well. So does pulling a witness over to hear and see the person direct you to work or else.

    The one thing I`ll tell every rookie in feeder is that at the end of the day even if you no longer have a job the primary goal in your life is to go home in one piece. Making sure others do also is goal number two.
  17. 1989

    1989 Well-Known Member

    Some people would call this unsafe equipment and refuse to drive along with a marker light out or a flat dully. On a couple occasions I've had to take a car to the local tire shop for replacement of a flat dully. I am unfamilar with feeder proceedures, but I can't think of a case that I would be instructed to take an "unsafe" package car on the road.
  18. stevetheupsguy

    stevetheupsguy sʇǝʌǝʇɥǝndsƃnʎ

    Is a seatbelt that broke out on the route, unecessary conflict? What about no headlights after dark?
  19. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    I'm thre guy here that has his family attacked and then gets attacked by the dog pack when I object. I have no interest in running any polls.
  20. 1989

    1989 Well-Known Member

    I would call those unsafe.
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