our so-called "safety committees"

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by soberups, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    At some point I have to speak up and call B.S. on what our so-called "safety commitees" have been turned into.
    In theory, a safety commitee is supposed to represent the employees of a workplace by finding and correcting unsafe work conditions. You see something unsafe; you report it to your Safety Commitee; they in turn report it to management and the problem is fixed.
    Unfortunately, we dont have an authentic Safety Commitee. What we have...is an Acronym Commitee. A 10-pt Commentary Qiuz Grading Commitee. Our "Safety Commitee" is nothing more than a group of management-selected employees who are given preferential treatment in exchange for not holding the company accountable for anything. We have one guy who only goes out on route about 3 days a week. The other 2 days he gets paid a full wage to grade asessment papers, put "safety stickers" in the package cars, draw safety posters, and go to Coscto to buy bottled water and muffins to hand out as prizes for those emplyees who can regurgitate the 10 Point Commentary on cue like a trained parakeet.
    The reality of the situation is that UPS is required by OSHA to have a Safety Commitee, but they dont want that commitee to have any actual authority. So they keep it busy doing meaningless things like grading tests and handing out doughnuts. The members of the commitee have a vested interest in "not rocking the boat" because they are rewarded for their obedience with lighter dispatches. Its a lot easier to grade asessments in an air-conditioned office than it is to bust your ass on a package car. But hey, it all pays the same!
    I have pointed out numerous safety issues to our Commitee; nothing is said or done. If it doesnt have anything to do with the HABITS acronym or the Commentary, then it isnt their problem. We get a newsletter; we get new acronyms to memorize every month; we get stickers and posters and doughnuts and candy; what we DONT get is any meaningful response to complaints of unsafe working conditions.​
  2. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    do you have any examples? Not a challenge just a question. Years ago I was on the safety committee, once a month we would meet at a restaurant for breakfast(self paid and off the clock) to talk about gimmicks to encourage safe work methods. What a waste of time. I did get a nice windbreaker out of the deal though.
  3. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    I am a co-chair and almost everyday, I question whether or not it is worth it.

    I run a regular route every day. I have had 1 day off route for training. I start half hour early, 2-3 days a week to prepare demos, sit through safety calls or attend a safety meeting. I bring all the concerns that are brought to me, back to management.

    For what???

    To be routinely derided while walking to my package car. The goal of our safety committee is to help our coworkers make it to retirement injury free. Why is that such a hard effen concept to understand?????

    I have had 3 8-hour requests "granted" with 10+ hour planned days. I regularly run +.15- +.65, so I completely missed the events that an 8-hour would have allowed. It MIGHT be worth it, if, maybe there were some perks on my route (lighter day on safety days, etc.), but I sure as hell don't see it.

    I work the methods and when things get out of hand, I call and ask for help or an air meet or someone to cover pickups or whatever. Every employee can make the decision to work safe or not.

    If you decide to not work safe, than suffer the consequences and get the :censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2: off my back.

  4. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    Doesn't sound appealing to me.

    HEFFERNAN Huge Member

    Soberups is right
    I'm not saying safety isn't important but these committies have gone absolutly nuts
    These people act like their saving the universe by handing out brown bags with water,granola, and apples in them
    This has nothing to do with safety
    WHAT"S NEXT.......memorize your 4 basic food groups.........nurse's office in center for scoliosis test
    They walk around just like management people, like I'm suppose to give them extra respect 'cause they come in early and talk about DVIR's
    None of them would be in it, if they weren't getting paid, and secondly leave all that bs for management to do.
  6. Load Stand

    Load Stand Guest

    Couple thoughts...the dude that feels nothing ever gets done when he brings thing to the attention of the safety committee, is the one that is likely asking for things that are more comfort issues than issues that usually result in injury. Go through your list of injuries in the entire district and you will see the vast majority are issues in which our employees failed to think twice before they lifted a box, before they walked or stepped somewhere or before they made a decision with the vehicle. Our data shows it's about human behavior primarily. Granted we have physically demanding jobs, but we all understood that going in and have accepted that. Now it becomes a game of somehow making peple think twice as mentioned above. And that is where the rubber meets the road.

    I tend to agree that some of these safety activities are getting a little out there. Fruit and nuts are fine, and ultimately may save a few of us fat ones that don't think twice about personal health, ultimately affecting our bottom line and your bottom line. But to have a safety committe member push it may not be the best use of our assets.

    That non-management co-chair should be the avenue for the employees to come to with reasonable issues. Don't try to use them to vent about your dispatch and your non-power steering vehicle. We must get beyond that stuff. If you don't like your job set-up, leave. There is nothing deemed outside of any OSHA/DOT safety standard that we have.

    What we have are a bunch of hard-working folks that need reminded often to work under control. We simply cannot afford injuries and accidents. We are competing against a company that uses workers but does not consider them employees, and avoids millions in labor, liability and taxes. We have made some nice safety imporvements, but we must all be over this safety issue as it plays such a large role in our costs, and it really is the right thing to do by our employees.
  7. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    I think everyone understands that Mohammad didn't move that Roman mountain in one day. No one with any logical thinking would expect UPS to retro fit all package cars with power steering. But how about a rollup back door that is out of adjustment so bad that the driver is literally lifting 100 lbs to get it open and the mechanics for what ever reason ( their bosses won't give them the time or parts) can't seem to get it fixed? Is that sufficient concern? How about a broken slide or roller that has a sharp piece of metal that has been protruding for more than a year? There are many issues that should be considered other than a worker thinking twice.
    Maybe the Safety Committee should change their name to the "Work Method Awareness Committee", if for no other reason than truth in advertising.
  8. Fnix

    Fnix Active Member

    Dont goto a safety person and tell them. I found out in my 2 years that you must goto the Plant Engineer and the Engineer who looks over the things that need to be fixed. Ask around who he is. You can usually find him near the end of preload and afterwards with a tool belt and a flashlight. Goto him directly and show him.

    I have voiced several concerns and they are always fixed. Although he is usually on top of things and gets them fixed before they are noticed.
  9. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with Soberups.

    And forgive me any of you that are safety committee members, but if you had an ounce of self respect you would resign immediately. Can't you see how they're using you??? Your fellow drivers see you as fools, and you can't honestly say you are doing anything related to actual safety.

    When I see anything unsafe, I report it to my supervisor. There is no need for a safety committee that has nothing to do with safety!
  10. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Power steering and a 3-point seat belt are not "comfort issues". I know drivers who have been forced into early retirement from bursitis caused by fighting a non-power steering truck their whole career. In my division we have had 3 unavoidable head-on-collisions in the last 5 years, one of which resulted in a fatality for the person who hit us at 55mph. The only reason our driver is alive today is because he was in a newer pkg car with a shoulder belt. Its the shoulder belt that saved him, not an acronym or an asessment or a muffin.
  11. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Actually, it sounds pretty logical to me. We could simply take the many thousands of dollars we are currently paying our "safety committee" members to grade papers, hand out muffins and draw posters and apply that money towards something that might actually matter...like improving the equipment that we work with.
  12. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    We don't have a plant engineer in our building, those folks visit us about twice a year unless there is a major issue. All building maintenance is either done by automotive or contracted out. No one to inspect the facility, telling a supervisor just gives him/her one more thing to think about that they already don't have time to do. Those things are SAFETY ISSUES, why not expect the Safety Committee to handle them?
  13. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    I don't disagree with you, however it won't happen. The company can make more by spending less this way because of tax write offs and such. Plus adding power steering and three point seat belts won't get OSHA off their a..... uh...backs.
  14. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    What would be nice is if the various "safety comitees" around the country would choose to network with one another and become united. If EVERY commitee got together and presented the company with an ultimatum, you might actually see some results. 3-point seatbelts and retrofit power steering would be a start....they could demand that UPS make a certain number of these improvements to its fleet per month, or the entire commitee RESIGNS nationwide. Imagine...UPS being forced to explain to OSHA why their entire safety commitee walked out! Imagine UPS management being the ones to have to hand out the muffins and grade the papers and draw the posters! I'm all for having a safety commitee, but it needs to be a REAL commitee that produces REAL results and not a group of hand-picked quasi-management wannabes who do nothing but pad their own hours with busywork.
  15. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    "....or the entire commitee RESIGNS nationwide."

    That will never happen BECAUSE the safety committee is mostly made up of their handpicked, low seniority brown-nosers.
  16. BigBrownSanta

    BigBrownSanta New Member

    Load Stand,
    With all due respect, you're full of :censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2:!!!

    It's amazing how you convienently leave out the first part of the factors that contribute to injuries, which is the "sense of urgency" from unreasonable production standards. I'll bet if you were to closely examine every one of those injuries, you would find that the employee was trying to hurry to meet some sort of production quota such as making a commit time for NDA or getting to a pickup before they close, or wrapping up a load area before the driver's start time... I could go on, but you get the picture.

    People don't think twice because they don't have the time to think twice. Their choices are very clear, think twice and take longer which leads to harassment from management because you're not trying hard enough or just hurry to keep people off your back. Most will just hurry.

    My interpretation: We don't care about addressing a safety issue because we meet OSHA/DOT minimum standards. Don't like it? Quit.

    It seems (to me) the company CAN afford injuries and accidents when it turns a blind eye to the true factor that leads to injuries and accidents and works at just meeting the MINIMUM OSHA/DOT safety standards by having a dog-and-pony show of a "safety committee". If the company were truly sincere in reducing injuries and accidents, then they would work at finding legitimate solutions that actually reduce injuries and accidents not just trying to meet the "minimum standards".

    Waaagghhh!!! Using the competition as an excuse to force employees to choose between safety or production is a cop-out. This company has made a profit every year even with fedex, the post office and dhl being in existence.

    I have never seen a company that whines as much as UPS does about competition...

    The post office subsidizes itself with mail... waaaggghhh
    dhl is owned by a government, waaaaaaggghhh
    fedex doesn't have to pay labor costs, waaaagghhh

    Everything you posted is nothing more than corporate minded propaganda, or BS. Maybe this company should take the time to focus on servicing their existing customer base and getting it right before trying to develope more volume.
  17. brownmonster

    brownmonster Man of Great Wisdom

    "Keeps you away from billboards". At least we should have to memorize useless info that makes sense. Unless you actualy go off the road and run into a billboard.
  18. Channahon

    Channahon New Member

    I just have to share some insight from when I was still at UPS a couple of years ago and attended safety meetings to an assigned center as a division manager monthly.

    First and foremost the committee had the support of the union steward and he ran the meeting. There were three other regular drivers and on ocassion, drivers who recently had an accident or injury were invited to attend. And in most cases, the invitation was accepted.

    An agenda was prepared, the previous months meeting notes were reviewed. Then injuries and accidents were reviewed. Discussion was held on all avoidable and unavoidable accidents and injuries. If an avoidable accident was challenged, the result of the challenge. Now the challenge would involve the District HR and Safety manager. And on ocassion an avoidable accident was overturned.

    After the meeting, a safety committee member would give a PCM regarding safety.

    The only time I had issues with the committee, is when one member requested a pregnant center manager to lug bottled water or sports drinks during the summer months. I ask one member if it were his wife would he expect the same? There were working ice machines in the building for all to use. That ended that request. Not to say, drinks were not available for drivers on the hottest days of summer. They were simply brought in another way, during the day, and put on ice.

    If a committee is structured, with all requested committee members the awareness needed to create a safe work environment is attainable.

    Like any other activity you may be involved with, be it at work or in your personal life, the effort you put into a cause, generally brings the same result.

    Do nothing, you get nothing, do something and you can enjoy your accomplishments.

    As you may guess, employee safety is and was near and dear to my heart.
  19. outta hours

    outta hours Active Member

    According to the contract here is what a safety committee can do and how it should be working. If it's not in your center do something about it.

    Section 20.4 Safety and Health Committees
    There shall be Safety and Health committees to cover all full-time and part-time employees. There shall be one (1) committee per Center unless the number of employees and/or job classifications within a center dictate the establishment of more than one (1) committee. The respective committees will be comprised of a mutually agreed to number of bargaining unit representatives and up to an equal number of management representatives.
    Bargaining unit members who seek to serve on the Safety and Health committee may volunteer to do so, with approval of the Local Union. The Union co-chair of the committee(s) shall be selected by the bargaining unit members of the committee.
    Each committee shall meet at least once each month at a mutually agreeable time and place. The Employer shall provide committee members with adequate time to perform committee functions, as described in paragraphs 1 through 7 below.
    Each committee shall perform functions including, but not limited to:
    1. Creating sub-committees, on an as needed basis, to investigate specific issues of safety and health concern. These committees shall report to the full committee.
    2. Developing and maintaining minutes for all meetings, with copies to all committee members and posted on designated safety bulletin boards.
    3. Conducting periodic inspections of the facility to ensure that there is a safe, healthful and sanitary working environment in each center.
    4. Accompanying governmental, union, and/or Company health and safety professionals on facility inspection tours. The Employer may limit the number of bargaining unit members of the committee accompanying such an inspection tour.
    5. Receiving information pertaining to lost workday injury/accident causes and review results of the investigation of such injuries/accidents.
    6. Receiving copies of the center�s OSHA Illness and Injury logs and the facility�s man-hours.
    7. Receiving the Company sponsored training to enable committee members to effectively perform their respective functions as safety and health committee members.
    Any information provided to a CHSP committee will not be shared outside the committee without the Employer�s consent.
    If the committee is unable to resolve a safety and health concern and all steps of the Comprehensive Health and Safety Process (CHAP) have been exhausted, the issue will be subject to the grievance procedure.
  20. Overpaid Union Thug

    Overpaid Union Thug Well-Known Member

    Safety Committee = brown nosing, non-union drivers

    That's how it is in my building anyway. The only safety issues that are dealt with are the ones that directly affect the drivers on the safety committee. Anyone else's suggestion are shrugged off.