Friday, March 27, 2009

When a NEAR MISS Isn't

I had a rather close call at work last weekend. A robot dropped an 80 pound tool and it just barely missed my head. It seems that management dropped the ball when it came to the safety of the employees. They documented this incident as a "NEAR MISS". I prefer to document it as GROSS NEGLIGENCE on the part of management.

We have a Lock Out Policy in place that management disregarded in an effort to keep the line running. They didn't even bother to identify the issue to us when we came in at the start of the shift. While it was my head that ended up on the chopping block (no pun intended), it could just as easily have been my partner's that day. If I had been the only one at risk I would be calling this ATTEMPTED MURDER.

Of course they are now back peddling and trying to fix the issues, however they have not acknowledged the fact that they are actually at fault. If they did I am sure somebody's head would roll (again no pun intended).

I am doing my absolute best to make sure that every other employee is aware of exactly what happened and I am making as much noise about this to anyone who will listen, lest the incident be swept under the carpet to save face for the company.

Our union is at the 11th hour of contract negotiations with the company. So far they have offered us nothing but job cuts, longer hours, less pay, forced overtime, scheduled vacations (they choose when we can have them), reduced benefits and whatever else they don't want us to have.

This is a company that made a profit of 1.15 BILLION dollars in 2008. This is a company that purports to CARE about it's employees. This is a company that feeds your kids.

This is the company that almost killed me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Joint Rocks

Things are progressing slowly with all the usual set backs. The dishwasher decided to quit and we had to buy a replacement. We chose a Maytag because I had an old Maytag a few years back and you couldn't kill the thing. Unfortunately we are not so lucky with the new one. It seems to want to leak around the vent and control panel. We are trying to get service for it but it's a little difficult as Maytag seems to be tied up with a refrigerator recall.

Things in the shop progress slowly. I got the band saw all tuned up and I am in the process of making a quick tension release lever for it. It still needs some fine tuning. I found the plans for it online and I think it will work just fine. I didn't want to for out the $175.00 for the one from Lee Valley.

In order to keep the spouse unhappy, I bought a new Craftex Jointer from Busy Bee Tools. I do believe this is the final tool required to complete my shop. However I have been wrong before. So far I am pleased with the purchase mainly because I got it on sale for $399.00. It was reasonably easy to set up and it runs very quiet. I have yet to plane anything on it. But I am not finished fine tuning it yet.

Once I finish buying tools and paying for the dishwasher I may actually be able to buy some wood and BUILD something. The closets are still waiting.

The computer business has somewhat ground to a halt. They keep making them cheaper and cheaper that they have become disposable. I can't honestly justify charging someone more then $150.00 to repair a computer when they can buy a new one for a hundred dollars more. And it will probably be faster and bigger then what they want fixed. I guess wood working will have to become my new sideline. Won't THAT make the spouse happy.