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Engineers! Why don't they follow the rules?


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Simon

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:53 PM

Hi Gemma,

Use approved suppliers and operate a permit to work system where there is an inspection and clean up after any work carried out.

Kind regards,

Tony :smile:

Sounds good to me.

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Charles.C

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 04:59 PM

Dear Gemma,

Stop production when there might be a significant risk of "things" dropping into the product. Seems the textbook requirement to me. Popularity is a different issue. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C


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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:29 PM

Thanks guys :thumbup:



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Posted 25 January 2011 - 06:54 PM

Hi - not to pile it on, but my head engineer is one of the most insufferable human beings I have ever met. I try to stress quality, and his constant response is "...but OSHA says...." He just can't seem to grasp the concept that while he may be acting within the LAW, our customers can, and do, demand more from us.

He refuses to institute a PM program, or any documentation thereof, leaving me to pore over equipment manuals (waaaaaay beyond my expertise) to come up with a sort of bare-bones schedule, then he flips a gasket because "the quality girl is trying to do my job!" If he doesn't think something is necessary, he won't do it. Period. And he will make sure nobody else does it either, because he is very territorial about his department.

As a result, in my SQF process, I keep putting off til later anything that has to do with him or his department...but it's going to come to a head sooner or later!



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Posted 25 January 2011 - 07:53 PM

Hi - not to pile it on, but my head engineer is one of the most insufferable human beings I have ever met. I try to stress quality, and his constant response is "...but OSHA says...." He just can't seem to grasp the concept that while he may be acting within the LAW, our customers can, and do, demand more from us.

He refuses to institute a PM program, or any documentation thereof, leaving me to pore over equipment manuals (waaaaaay beyond my expertise) to come up with a sort of bare-bones schedule, then he flips a gasket because "the quality girl is trying to do my job!" If he doesn't think something is necessary, he won't do it. Period. And he will make sure nobody else does it either, because he is very territorial about his department.

As a result, in my SQF process, I keep putting off til later anything that has to do with him or his department...but it's going to come to a head sooner or later!



Have a meeting where you explain to each department what the requirements are; explain them and give clear guidance and then have several update meetings until the real thing explaining that each section head will have to present their department to the auditor then if he still refuses to conform; let him hang himself. Sometimes it takes pressure from outside.

I've probably whinged on this thread; I'll have to go back and check but actually the person I normally get on best with on a personal level is the Engineering Manager. I've worked with some great ones over the years. Sure, they don't always comply with what they should but I normally find it's the shop floor engineers who are the real issue, the Engineering Manager is normally a sound bloke (IME always male!) who understands that feeling of operations seeing them as a necessary evil.



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Posted 25 January 2011 - 08:47 PM

Just to add to what the other members have said...Tools can be controlled during normal day to day as all engineering activities that are required to be carried out should be known and therefore the tools required to carry out those activities can be identified, standardised and provided by the company. It may not be possible to have absolute control but one can and should try. Obviously wooden handled tools are not allowed.

I remember talking to an engineer at a food packaging factory several years ago. He had a large chocolate tin (Quality Street) on his mobile workbench, it was full of every washer, spring, screw, nut and bolt imaginable. When I asked where they were from and what they were for he proudly said “it’s what I’ve collected off the factory floor over the years…” :helpplease:



Just gone back through the thread and saw this post I didn't see at the time. You know Quality Street also contain nuts right? So your bits and bobs are now in a tin getting nicely contaminated.

I suppose though he's only done a black bag exercise. Kinda....



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Posted 25 January 2011 - 10:35 PM

Hi - not to pile it on, but my head engineer is one of the most insufferable human beings I have ever met. I try to stress quality, and his constant response is "...but OSHA says...." He just can't seem to grasp the concept that while he may be acting within the LAW, our customers can, and do, demand more from us.

He refuses to institute a PM program, or any documentation thereof, leaving me to pore over equipment manuals (waaaaaay beyond my expertise) to come up with a sort of bare-bones schedule, then he flips a gasket because "the quality girl is trying to do my job!" If he doesn't think something is necessary, he won't do it. Period. And he will make sure nobody else does it either, because he is very territorial about his department.

As a result, in my SQF process, I keep putting off til later anything that has to do with him or his department...but it's going to come to a head sooner or later!



You know what, remind him that you only have to fail your audit once, and if his inability to create a PM system is the cause, gently remind him who'll lose their job! Works...believe me!!! ;o)


Simon

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:02 PM

Hi - not to pile it on, but my head engineer is one of the most insufferable human beings I have ever met. I try to stress quality, and his constant response is "...but OSHA says...." He just can't seem to grasp the concept that while he may be acting within the LAW, our customers can, and do, demand more from us.

He refuses to institute a PM program, or any documentation thereof, leaving me to pore over equipment manuals (waaaaaay beyond my expertise) to come up with a sort of bare-bones schedule, then he flips a gasket because "the quality girl is trying to do my job!" If he doesn't think something is necessary, he won't do it. Period. And he will make sure nobody else does it either, because he is very territorial about his department.

As a result, in my SQF process, I keep putting off til later anything that has to do with him or his department...but it's going to come to a head sooner or later!

Although the engineer uses OSHA as a convenient weapon if god forbid a serious accident should occur relating to a machine if there is no PM system or maintenance records then that is negligence. PM is important for food safety, quality, health and safety and production management. The guy's a dinosaur.

Regards,
Simon

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:05 AM

I have read, your experiences with maintenance engineers....... and in the past Ive also shared those experiences.
The Engineer we currently have must be the odd one. He is proactive, conforms to hygiene standards, solves problems with practical solutions..... and no you cant have him.
Cosmo



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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:19 AM

I once had an EM who had OCD. It was brilliant!



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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:56 AM

I think there should be more women engineers they’d be far better in every way. I recently visited a printing company in mainland Europe they had a number of print machines and printers, one press was (manned) by women. The production manager told me they outperformed the men in every single measure and they were also happy, motivated and committed. They were all time served printers. A refreshing change.


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Posted 01 February 2011 - 08:58 AM

What hygiene /food safety training does everybody give their engineers?
I remember a good video called something like "Food Hygine for Engineers" but it doesn't seem to be available any more.
I sent all our maintenance supervision on a one day course "Food Safety for Engineers" with the view of them taking some responsibility and developing their training systems......so far no luck :thumbdown:



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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:22 AM

You can lead an engineer to food safety training but you can't make them think!



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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:29 PM

What I've decided to include in their training is:

  • Details of the CCPs in place, where to find the critical limits and the consequences of by-passing them;
  • glass / perspex breakage procedure;
  • food contact materials and food lubricant details / controls;
  • task specific risk assessment / controls;
  • tool control and hygiene;
  • sign back procedures;
This is in addition to the standard food hygiene they all receive (personal hygiene, HACCP, allergens, pest control, etc.).
Can anyone think of anything else which would need to be included?:dunno:





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Posted 07 February 2011 - 03:50 PM

Dear monkeyman,

Details of the CCPs in place, where to find the critical limits and the consequences of by-passing them;


Your engineers are not genetically modified by any chance ? :rolleyes:

Rgds / Charles.C

PS :fixed:

(Can't live with them, can't ......without them :smile: )

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Posted 10 February 2011 - 10:53 AM

Dear monkeyman,



Your engineers are not genetically modified by any chance ? :rolleyes:

Rgds / Charles.C

PS :fixed:

(Can't live with them, can't ......without them :smile: )

:clap:

I think they are a slightly different species to us but I'm not sure about genetically modified.

I included details of the CCPs because I can never quite in the past, when installing new machines, I have been told "you want a sieve in this one as well....that's going to put us back 2 weeks".:angry:


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Posted 12 May 2011 - 04:29 PM

This has been a very interesting topic to me as I am one of those engineers...

I too ocasionally do not follow all rules for various reasons.

I have been known to remove my apron, booties, hair net, and beard net. But only when there is a direct threat to my own safety. I'd rather throw out a batch of product than have my wife arrange my funeral, or have to go through cosmetic surgery to correct a horrible disfigurment. The workers safety always should come first.
The aporon, hair net, and beard nets present a potential snag risk. We often have to climb into tight spaces with moving cogs, belts, actuators ect...
I also tend to feel a little nervous working with high voltage when the insulative properties of my boots are potentially compramised by damp booties.
Now, that said, I always concider how anything I do will impact food safety. So I always schedule these activities before a full line clean if possible.

As for emergency repairs, we have to asses our own safety first. Then food safety.



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Posted 12 May 2011 - 07:09 PM

In my experience engineers love to use health and safety as an excuse not to do something. :smile:


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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:52 AM

In my experience engineers love to use health and safety as an excuse not to do something. :smile:



I thinik I'm going to have to agree with you on this. But I would like to add a slight correction to your comment.

They will use health and safety as an excuse not to wear food safety equipment. Then in the same breath will make an excuse as to why they don't need to wear steel toe boots or safety glasses.

We do encounter a lot of resistance though. It seems as though many of the other workers in the plant think that the machines maintain them selves. I can't tell you how many times I've been standing in one spot for 5-10 minutes watching and listening to the machines for clicks, ticks, whistles ect. To have someone complain that I'm not doing anything. Other examples fun examples are: being told I cant bring my voltage tester into the production room while production is running. But they still want me to change a few blown fuses on a 240vac 30amp circuit. Right, I'll just hop in there and assume that there is no charge.

We have to constantly do risk assesments on food safety and our own safety, while also keeping down time to a minimum, and production numbers up. But still, I agree, not all of us think of food safety at all...


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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:32 PM

Yep, Gramslam, I understand your points and concern about health and safety and have generally had good relationships with Engineers in the past but there are some who will do something they know they're not meant to as soon as your back is turned. It does get frustrating. I did an audit on New Year's Day 2010 and it was the engineers I picked up with GMP lapses not the operatives, presumably because they didn't expect me to be in. I've also encountered an attitude from some Engineers of "it doesn't apply to me". Not all admittedly; it's probably 30% who display this attitude to some degree. I find it frustrating because it comes across as arrogant; "I'm well trained and don't have to listen to your rules".

I get a feeling with some engineers that it just becomes a big joke to "get one over" on technical. Nothing makes my blood boil more.


Edited by GMO, 14 May 2011 - 05:33 PM.


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Posted 14 May 2011 - 06:25 PM

I thinik I'm going to have to agree with you on this. But I would like to add a slight correction to your comment.

They will use health and safety as an excuse not to wear food safety equipment. Then in the same breath will make an excuse as to why they don't need to wear steel toe boots or safety glasses.

We do encounter a lot of resistance though. It seems as though many of the other workers in the plant think that the machines maintain them selves. I can't tell you how many times I've been standing in one spot for 5-10 minutes watching and listening to the machines for clicks, ticks, whistles ect. To have someone complain that I'm not doing anything. Other examples fun examples are: being told I cant bring my voltage tester into the production room while production is running. But they still want me to change a few blown fuses on a 240vac 30amp circuit. Right, I'll just hop in there and assume that there is no charge.

We have to constantly do risk assesments on food safety and our own safety, while also keeping down time to a minimum, and production numbers up. But still, I agree, not all of us think of food safety at all...

It’s clear you’re not the average, stereotypical food factory engineer. Your comments are valued on the discussion; I’m sure we have a lot to learn form each other. By the way a few weeks back I was in a factory manufacturing high risk food packaging, I passed an engineers trolley which had a tin full of every nut, bolt, spring and washer imaginable; I asked the engineer if he thought this was acceptable in a high risk department and he said it saves time going back and forth to the workshop. I recommended he get a small cabinet with labelled drawers for each item needed...at that point he gave me a look that said he was no longer so keen on lean and reducing wasted time and effort. I wonder where the tin contents came from?

Regards,
Simon

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:30 AM

Good to have an Engineer on board, he has actually put some good point across - hear him out. Gramslam welcome mate - we need to hear from your side too.
Gramslam points about safety are pertinent and please QA consider those facts next time you see a maintenance man bend the rules.

Only thing is there are more who do their own thing, like wearing earnings to production (male) - how crazy is that, having tools in every pocket. Call them for a quick repair and they will take ages to come in and fix a problem. A lot of it is to do with attitude, another is that some started from the bottom and climbed the ranks with no formal training and that is a hard nut to crack.
It takes time and constant reminders and vigilance to get them on board, as for the ones who blatantly say no - seek higher power as in Operations manger or CEO - hoping they obey the rules.

Ricky


Edited by Ricky E, 13 September 2011 - 07:33 AM.


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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:24 PM

Quite honestly most engineers I've met including the current incumbents are just plain stupid. They can understand the workings of complex gearboxes and plc boards but try to explain why they should wash their hands before fixing a sanwhich depositor and it's like trying to explain quantum physics. I guess they are just wired differently, most of the "thick" kids I went to school with did things like metal work and woodwork, whereas those with a slight ability to read did english maths and computer science type topics. Similarly the good looking girls did cookery and needlework and the plain janes did shorthand and typing........ :whistle:

Harsh but fair????


You have got to be kidding me! I hope that was a joke. Who do you think you are lumping kids into groups like that?? I would like to see you build something with lumber, or take apart an engine and put it back together! Where do you think their foundation started?? I can not believe this comment was allowed to stay in this forum. How utterly bigotted.

Edited by paulajgr, 12 January 2012 - 07:05 PM.


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GMO

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:03 AM

You have got to be kidding me! I hope that was a joke. Who do you think you are lumping kids into groups like that?? I would like to see you build something with lumber, or take apart an engine and put it back together! Where do you think there foundation started?? I can not believe this comment was allowed to stay in this forum. How utterly bigotted.



Yeah, most the women I know kicked every man's a$$ at science anyway! :whistle:

I wouldn't rise to it.

I find that Engineers are generally single minded. I find that the ones who are poor on hygiene are also poor on health and safety in my recent experience. You do get the occasional 'jobsworth' but generally if following rules for H&S isn't in their mindset, neither is following rules for hygiene.

I don't think H&S and hygiene have to be naturally opposite anyway. So much of H&S is actually complimentary. In fact, I often cite H&S examples where I feel it's useful and compliments my hygiene message. I also try and explain concepts like HACCP through engineering terms (FMEA) which helps engineers understand where I'm coming from.

Surely it's all about adapting your language to the audience which is a key management skill?

Yes, it's always an area of concern but you can't just give up. We have a problem with contractors using fire doors in my site. I stamped down on it as soon as I started as the doors lead directly outside and there's no handwash sink on entry. Recently I saw footprints when I was auditing leading from the doors. I had a chat to the production manager in the area and he had a word with the engineer (who was the person at fault on a day I wasn't in.)


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:49 PM

Culture change takes extraordinary constancy of purpose, investment of incredible amounts of time and effort and every management skill in the book. It can happen and in my experience men in general are late adopters and it just so happens that most engineers are men. For engineers read printers in my experience they are just the same. Men in touch with their feminine side do well, but most of them are quality managers and don’t like getting their hands dirty.


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