Check your identifiers


PapaBraus

RXO
405th Regiment Officer
I wear many a hat at work. This week I got to be a “lead boiler technician”. The job description is basically “run the boiler crew while maintaining production so the project supervisor doesn’t have to worry about that jazz”. Its pretty simple. Control the chaos that is running a boiler job, and don’t yell too hard at the workers. I used to do this almost a decade ago. Lets knock the dust off and re-figure it out.

A boiler technician is bound by 3 things. Elevation, tube number, and position. When looking at an assignment sheet, you have what we call “identifiers”.

Identifier 001 might mean +36’ 6” on one assignment, and on another it might mean “front of IK 3/4". If you don’t check your identifiers, you mess up your assignment, have to talk to the computer guy to fix it, then go back upstairs to finish the parts you didn’t ruin.

Guess who forgot to check his identifiers this past two weeks? Yup, that’d be me. I’m still knocking the dust off.

“Braus, where are you going with this?”

“Patience………….”

If you are not familiar with the swiss cheese model, please watch this video right quick:

Great little model in my opinion, and its something I teach whenever I’m running a rope access course. Its simple, and I love cheese.

Last night I got into the boiler and made my way up to the nose arch. I’m explaining where I was for me, not y’all. I look over at one of the assistants who is getting ready to start cleaning tubes with a 4.5” grinder. The grinder has no guard installed.

whatinsamhill.jpg

These grinders run at over 11,000 RPM. If the wire wheel he was using caught his glove, well, goodbye finger. “Go get a guard, you aren’t supposed to be doing that.” I called the Supervisor to let him know, and he said he would bring one up. #safetysquad

Guard is installed. He gets ready to start work. “Bro, where is your face shield?” “days didn’t give us any”.

listenhereyoulittlesh*t.gif

“Dude, what’s the minimum PPE requirements for using a grinder? Go get a faceshield…” He gets a faceshield. “Man, heres the deal, I take safety seriously. You’re going home the same way you came in. I care about you. We spend more time at work right now than we do with our families. We are family. This conversation stays between us, and I’m not going to bring it up at the office. Get your head on straight man.”

Check your identifiers. For those of you that watched the above video, you may have noticed we slipped through two slices of cheese. We then hit the third slice. The young man seemed a bit off. “Bro, you okay?” *Choking through tears* “Me and the wife are fighting”.

Welp, theres the root cause. I put my equipment down, turned around, and found a spot to park my rear end. “Then sit down and lets talk.” Life on the road is not easy for people that don’t trust each other. His wife thought he was out on the road being unfaithful. She doesn’t like this. I talked him down, grabbed his hardhat, and pulled him over to my shoulder like any other burly construction guy would do. “Bro, I get it, this isn’t an easy way to live, but you and the wife need to talk it out when you get home and have that conversation.”

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Identifiers and the swiss cheese model. Three pieces of cheese and mentally his elevations were off. It took me 30 minutes to fix him. Me and the boss had him laughing by the end of shift.

On sites that I have a leadership role in, I don’t care if you cry, but I do care if you are having a rough day. Your bad day can make mine worse. I’m pretty sure I can make yours better though.

This little story is as much a vent for me as it is a lesson for y’all. Keep an eye out if you can. Don’t stretch yourself thin to the point where you can’t worry about your own problems, and you focus on others but take that moment to see where the cheese falls. Best case, you save someone a finger.

Then I had to jump his back end for only using one glove. Hello fourth piece of cheese…….

Identifiers and the swiss cheese model. Three pieces of cheese and mentally his elevations were off. It took me 30 minutes to fix him. Me and the boss had him laughing by the end of shift.

On sites that I have a leadership role in, I don’t care if you cry, but I do care if you are having a rough day. Your bad day can make mine worse. I’m pretty sure I can make yours better though.

This little story is as much a vent for me as it is a lesson for y’all. Keep an eye out if you can. Don’t stretch yourself thin to the point where you can’t worry about your own problems, and you focus on others but take that moment to see where the cheese falls. Best case, you save someone a finger.

Then I had to jump his back end for only using one glove. Hello fourth piece of cheese…….
 
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