Sunday, 16 November 2008

The farce is strong with this one

Grown up work has been a veritable hive of frenzied activity over the past week, as we all prepared for a visit from one of the company head honchos. We shall call him Mr M. This activity has mostly been the industrial equivalent of hiding all your crap under the bed when you're told to tidy your room.

One of the things Mr M. would be very keen to see was that we had control over all of our inventory, that work was being processed in an ordered and organised manner. As such, fire corridors crammed full of a random assortment of turbine blades on trolleys would most likely not go down well.

Not well at all.

The sensible thing to have done would have been to organise the flow of work better; but it was too late for that. So what we did was take all of the random trolleys full of random work, hid them in a room with no windows and locked the doors.

Another thing that Mr M. would be very keen to see was that we had control of all our fixed assets; machines 'n' that. So the "Blaster Graveyard" at the end of the finishing department, filled as it was with decaying and disused bits of equipment, would most likely not go down well.

Not well at all.

For the most part, we pulled the same stunt again but on a slightly different scale; instead of a separate room, we hid all the crap in a separate building. All apart from a pair of non-functioning rework booths. These things are basically 4' x 4' workbenches, with a dust extractor on top that sucks air through the bottom of the bench, filters out all the crap, and spits out air that almost certainly won't increase your risk of contracting lung cancer. What they lack in footprint, they make up for in height; these things are 16' tall.

Which was a problem.

Because the tallest doorway out of the finishing department is only 14' high.

The sensible thing to have done would have been to take them apart and move them out bit by bit; but it was too late for that. So what we did was just move the rubbish broken rework booths within the finishing department, putting them next to some working rework booths in the hope that it would look like they were supposed to be there, and we just happened to not be using them that day...

Of course it all worked a treat, and no-one had to get nailed to anything.

But the farce doesn't stop there, oh no. It continues in the new year, when we will be subjected to an internal audit. The company wants to ensure that all policies and procedures are being complied with; including good ol' health 'n' safety. Apparently, everytime any contractor comes on site to do anything ever, they must provide us with a Method Statement (detailing what they will be doing and how), and a Risk Assessment (detailing what hazards they have identified with the work that they will be doing, and what measures they have in place to reduce the associated risks). At least twice each month, we must check that contractors are sticking to their method statements and risk assessments, that the correct PPE is in use, and that probably no-one is likely to die; and we must document it all.

In the last six months, this has happened precisely once.

And so in a few weeks, my most important task will be to invent method statements and risk assessments; and to then falsify our records so that it looks like we checked up on it all like we should have.

I had always suspected that life in industry would be something like this; but I wasn't quite prepared for the fact that life in industry would be
exactly like this.

In other news: as alluded to last week, we have a new housemate. Sam, the Jolly Buffoon/Human Trombone, is gone. In his place we have some guy called Mike, a twenty-something floor fitter with good hair. Mike is incurably northern, and had just about got his life back on the rails - until he moved in with us. His girlfriend - who won't be living with us just yet - has thankfully intervened, saving him (and us) from himself, and hopefully ensuring that the rent will get payed at the end of the month.

And finally... I couldn't find a relevant picture to go with this post. So this one's for the nerds.

No comments: