"On Topic" "Blame The Worker" Behavior Based Safety or Not?

Integrity

Binge Poster
To My Fellow UPS Workers,

The purpose of this discussion thread is not to gripe or complain about conditions at UPS, management, the Union or for that matter anything at all about UPS. The sole purpose of this discussion thread is to discuss the following work-related issue with other employees as an initial step in engaging in some concerted activity to bring this issue up to the company as a group.

It is my hope that by addressing this issue in concert we not only be working for our own mutual aid, protection and improved working conditions, but we will be working for the benefit of any and all coworkers that may have been adversely affected by this issue.

In the past UPS has been accused in the press of using “blame the worker” behavior based safety programs. Slogans like “Safety by Choice, Not by Chance”, Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility and safety recognition and rewards for “injury free areas”, management control of Union Safety Committees, and workers being disciplined with immediate warning letters as a result of reporting an injury may be indicative that this problem does exist.

Consider the following Struck by Injury:

This injury is a real injury that actually happened approximately 26 years ago. The injured employee was a 2 week Preload Employee working in the unload operation.

The employee was unloading in the typical way of digging out the middle of the wall and letting the sides collapse into the middle. Obviously this method is and has been widely used and accepted as the fastest way to unload. I still observe this unload method being taught and encouraged in the operation, as it obviously was 26 years ago as well.

Unfortunately when one of the walls started to tilt an automobile part which I believe was a gear to a clutch or transmission slid out of the open box from the top of the wall and struck him in the leg. It was a massive laceration and a severe injury.

I never saw this employee again. Not sure what the outcome was but I think this situation provides some information for discussion.

For Discussion:

If you think the employee is responsible for this injury please explain.

If you think the company is responsible for this injury please explain.
 

brownIEman

Well-Known Member
The employee was unloading in the typical way of digging out the middle of the wall and letting the sides collapse into the middle.

Not only no, but hhhheeelllll no.
I started as an unloader, was trained then. Many years later I trained new hires in unloading, and trained trainers to train new hires to unload. I never once saw this method taught. That is literally insane and if you are being taught to unload in this manner someone needs a time out. If you weren't trained to unload like that and you are unloading like that any way, then you are asking for a nasty laceration from a falling car part. You are also giving ammunition to UPS' often unjust philosophy that it is always the employee's fault. (We'll save the question of why a loader put a heavy car part on top of a wall for another discussion)
 

Observer

Well-Known Member
Depends on the hub. Some hubs are not good at training. It's all about hurry up! They also don't have PCM's on a daily basis. This is a common method in some hubs. They will blame the worker, but both are at fault.
 

Integrity

Binge Poster
Not only no, but hhhheeelllll no.
I started as an unloader, was trained then. Many years later I trained new hires in unloading, and trained trainers to train new hires to unload. I never once saw this method taught. That is literally insane and if you are being taught to unload in this manner someone needs a time out. If you weren't trained to unload like that and you are unloading like that any way, then you are asking for a nasty laceration from a falling car part. You are also giving ammunition to UPS' often unjust philosophy that it is always the employee's fault. (We'll save the question of why a loader put a heavy car part on top of a wall for another discussion)
What employees are taught in operations is often very different from what the book and video show.

You obviously trained " by the book".

You know " by the book" is often very far from the real world at UPS.

It often is used just to cover the organization to blame someone for not following the training.

You may want to go observe an unload and actually see how it is being done. It may be far or near to how you trained employees. I hope near, but I have my doubts.

FYI The box for the part was very big and the part weighed only about 50lbs.
 

Integrity

Binge Poster
Depends on the hub. Some hubs are not good at training. It's all about hurry up! They also don't have PCM's on a daily basis. This is a common method in some hubs. They will blame the worker, but both are at fault.
A 2 week employee?

My opinion, the company is responsible for this.

Why do you think this is a common method?

Why don't the part-time supervisors enforce safe unload methods?
 

brostalss

Well-Known Member
Was the box packaged properly? Six sided tape? Proper cushioning of said parts? If not then I blame the shipper.

But sadly in today's world you blame who ever has the biggest checkbook.
 

Integrity

Binge Poster
Was the box packaged properly? Six sided tape? Proper cushioning of said parts? If not then I blame the shipper.

But sadly in today's world you blame who ever has the biggest checkbook.
Worker's Compensation laws create a different relationship between employees and employers depending on the state. It usually limits the employee's rights to be properly compensated when an employer is negligent
 

zubenelgenubi

Well-Known Member
Shipper can not be responsible. It is in the UPS system.

You don't understand tort. If what you said was correct, and the logic applied everywhere, UPS would pay out on all damage claims. It would be hard to prove if the package was damaged by UPS systems to the point that items would fall out, but it would be easy to determine if the shipper used a box that was not rated for the weight.

You said the part was 50lbs, and that the box was on top of the wall. I assume you meant 5 lbs, because the person who loaded that package would be at fault for loading such a heavy package so high. Ultimately, I'm not sure if we're talking about this issue within a legal framework, or a moral one, so it is difficult to say who should be responsible. I work by the company's own motto, "I am the person most responsible for my safety". I use it to justify doing things the way I believe will keep me the healtiest the longest, which isn't always the way the company wants things done.
 
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