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Who's Responsible for What and Who's in Charge Here?

Posted by MWidra, 06 February 2015 · 2,779 views

responsibilities
So we had our morning production meeting today. The question was raised by the Plant Manager about why a Maintenance worker did not perform a particular cleaning procedure after working on something. The Maintenance Director said his understanding was that the production workers were to perform that after maintenance notified them that the repair was completed.

The Maintenance Director reports to the Plant Manager, who also is in charge of production. And we have a non-food grade industrial product line that is made in a separate building from the food grade, so it's a complex site.

The obvious answer is to have a document that says who does what. I proposed that. You would think that I had insulted them, but if they know the need for a document, why hadn't they written one? Just do it, was my thought, biting my tongue.

But the greater problem here is that the Plant Manager is also the head of Production, but considers that the production workers are "his" workers and that the maintenance workers are not always so favored. As more evidence mounts, the attitude is changing, but some of the damage is already done.

IMHO, the Maintenance Department should be independent of Production. They are at odds too much, and maintenance has to fix too much that the production workers break carelessly. There's no doubt about that, I can see the evidence too much as the safety officer as well as the food safety officer. We have some talented forklift and crane operators in the production ranks, they can manage to hit things that are way out of where they should be working.

It's outside of my power/responsibility to say that this is not a good situation, that the Maintenance Department should have equal clout as Production. But it's how I feel.

It sure would make it easier to get an agreement on who should do what if all those at the negotiations are on a level playing field.




Sorry but I couldn't resist.......

 

 

 

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accountability-joke.jpg

Love it Snookie.  It fits the situation.

Personally I would have maintenance under production and have a clear organization chart with roles and responsibilities that are all aligned with the goals of the plant.  Easier said than done. :wink:

Simon, that may work very well most places.  Here, there is a LONG history of production shielding their workers from consequences and blaming it on maintenance.  Some of our workers have been here a long time yet still cause incidents because they just don't want to follow the rules.  So, the last production manager basically made up stories to keep from having to replace workers.

 

We have a fairly new production manager now, who started out listening to his workers and not investigating everything, so nothing changed.  I'm hoping that I'm seeing a real paradigm shift and not that he's saying one thing to one person and another to the rest.  I have indications that this may be the case, but nothing concrete.  But I don't think that maintenance feels comfortable telling upper management their side of the story due to repercussions for their workers.  This would be much easier if maintenance were independent.

 

This has a greater impact on safety than food safety, as the better workers are working in the food grade line and the main problems are in the non-food grade line.

 

I have worked places in science where maintenance was independent of "production" and it worked out fine, sometimes better than when people who don't know much about maintaining a building or equipment try to tell maintenance how to do their jobs.

Sounds very complex Martha, the goal would be to have all under one roof, but for that you surely need an enlightened production head.  Let's hope you've got one.

 

Regards,

Simon

Simon, that may work very well most places.  Here, there is a LONG history of production shielding their workers from consequences and blaming it on maintenance.  Some of our workers have been here a long time yet still cause incidents because they just don't want to follow the rules.  So, the last production manager basically made up stories to keep from having to replace workers.

 

We have a fairly new production manager now, who started out listening to his workers and not investigating everything, so nothing changed.  I'm hoping that I'm seeing a real paradigm shift and not that he's saying one thing to one person and another to the rest.  I have indications that this may be the case, but nothing concrete.  But I don't think that maintenance feels comfortable telling upper management their side of the story due to repercussions for their workers.  This would be much easier if maintenance were independent.

 

This has a greater impact on safety than food safety, as the better workers are working in the food grade line and the main problems are in the non-food grade line.

 

I have worked places in science where maintenance was independent of "production" and it worked out fine, sometimes better than when people who don't know much about maintaining a building or equipment try to tell maintenance how to do their jobs.

I agree with MWidra. Both Mtn and Prod department should be independent of each other just as how QA should be from Prod. I view Prod as a "villain", throwing anyone off who is in their "way". I may be wrong but from my experience, this is the case. 

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