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matelot1965  
#1 Posted : 14 March 2019 21:56:08(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
matelot1965

Hi All, I am looking for a solution that can allow supervisors at a glance to be able to identify if our MHE operators are trained to use particular types of MHE. Someone has suggested that operators wear armbands which `I think in principal is a good idea. Has anyone ever used this method and if so where can I purchase these armbands ? I have done the obvious and googled the subject but could not find anything. Thanks in advance for your replies
Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 14 March 2019 22:55:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

For Manual Handling Equipment do you have thousands of staff at the site and a multitude of significantly differing equipment?  I ask given that if your supervisors are adequately and competently conducting their duties in their work zones they will know "who" without the need for such visual prompts. If you are talking about rotating supervision and shifts that is what training matrices were intended for.

Why not adopt a training regieme where every operator achieves competence on every piece of kit which then gives a significant flexibility across the entire workforce and you can stop worrying if Fred is trained to operate..

Adopt the system and someone will ask what about, and someone else will ask about.... then when you have tens of identifiers and each employee resembling a cub scout with their various proficiency badges so you end up close enough to ask what each one means which is counter productive to the proposal.

FLT driver, FAAW, Fire Marshal, MHFA, Shop Steward, Safety Representative, Works Council Member, H&S Committee ... are these employees also displaying?

matelot1965  
#3 Posted : 15 March 2019 00:17:40(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
matelot1965

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post
ForManual Handling Equipment do you have thousands of staff at the site and a multitude of significantly differing equipment? I ask given that if your supervisors are adequately and competently conducting their duties in their work zones they will know "who" without the need for such visual prompts.If you are talking about rotating supervision and shifts that is what training matrices were intended for.Why not adopt a training regieme where every operator achieves competence on every piece of kit which then gives a significant flexibility across theentire workforce and you can stop worrying if Fred istrained to operate..Adopt the system and someone will ask what about, and someone else will ask about.... then when you have tens of identifiers and each employee resembling a cub scout with their various proficiency badgesso you end up close enough to ask what each one means which is counter productive to the proposal. FLT driver,FAAW,Fire Marshal,MHFA, Shop Steward, Safety Representative, Works Council Member, H&S Committee ... are these employees also displaying?
Hi Roundtuit Your plan above sounds great which I understand where your coming from. What you state above is where we want to be but we are not there yet we are in a transition period trying to get to where we want to be. I have been in the job 3 weeks. The culture is not good and basically the whole senior team are relatively new in post in an effort to sort this What we want at the moment with the armbands is a short-term fix to identify at a glance our trained operators because we just do not know. For example yesterday morning I found out an operator had not reached the required level of competence when trained going back to June 2018. His supervisors were informed and specifically told him that he was not to drive MHE. In the afternoon while I am walking the patch I see this operator driving MHE after being told specifically not to. He is now heading out the door via the disciplinary route collecting his P45 on route. So my question still stands has anyone ever used these armbands ?
Dave5705  
#4 Posted : 15 March 2019 08:00:17(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

I don't understand. That worker wasn't wearing an armband when he used the equipment. Under your new system, he still wouldn't be wearing an armband, but still would have operated the equipment, so what have you gained if you do this? You won't reduce the risk by issuing armbands to trained staff, it's the untrained staff's behaviour you need to modify. Are you really saying there are so many staff and so much equipment that the line managers don't know who they are or if they are trained and they just use what they feel like using? Sounds like the wild west. I totally understand where you are, I guess the management don't want to take this seriously, it puts you in a very difficult position.

In answer to your question, no, I've never heard such a thing, apart from a certain guy called Adolf was fond of them.

Matealot, armbands are not a sustainable answer, they won't make your problem go away, it's supervision and communication that is needed. I doubt any of your wayward staff would get in a vehicle they are not licenced or insured to drive on the public roads. This is no different, they don't follow the rule because they don't understand why it's there.

Ask them why they do it. Then go back to the HSWA section 7, "duty to take care of other persons who may be affected by his act etc" and explain if they use equipment they are not allowed to use and hurt someone etc. Explain it's just like driving without a license, even mention manslaughter a few times. Explain that anyone who does this is not having a lark, he is endangering his fellow workmates, spouses, children's future etc.

Find a few technical questions about the equipment that only a trained operator would know, and ask them to answer them, to demonstrate their lack of knowledge and that it's not just about being able to press a throttle (or whatever). Then explain the disciplinary procedure.

If they then still don't follow the rules they know where it will lead. It's gross misconduct I would think. You would be justified in dismissing them if they knowingly put their own lives and those of others in danger. As an employer, you can't allow this to continue or you will be demonstrating failures in your H&S Management, it will be the director in court.

But armbands, you'll just give them something else to lark about with, it will be the butt of the jokes for weeks. 

Roundtuit  
#5 Posted : 15 March 2019 08:41:08(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Thanks for clarifying it is a new management team so currently getting to know the who can do what.

Never seen armbands used to denote operator competence but have seen hard hats and "Hi-Vis" vest colours used for readily identifying individuals at a distance for particular tasks - again though you need to carefully select who you are trying to identify and there is always the possibility someone will borrow the marking.

If your site already mandates Hi-Vis why not issue competent operators with a red braces version?

fairlieg  
#6 Posted : 15 March 2019 09:00:36(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
fairlieg

Originally Posted by: matelot1965 Go to Quoted Post
He is now heading out the door via the disciplinary route collecting his P45 on route. So my question still stands has anyone ever used these armbands ?

There might be more to it but seems a bit harsh he's being fired for the organisations lack of control.  What other options did he have?  MH instead? Did he seem incompetent other that the lack of a certificate?  Will his departure help you fix the culture which you mentioned is poor of will it reinforce workers to hide mistakes for fear of getting the same treatment

chris42  
#7 Posted : 15 March 2019 09:14:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

You can get them for first aid people to wear to help identify them, that may be a starting point. But how many different types of MHE are you trying to differentiate between. Just Who can drive a fork lift truck, or is there other equipment? if too many items then all the colours could become a bit confusing especially if a particular person can use 3 items of equipment. It’s so hard to find 3 armed employees😇

CptBeaky  
#8 Posted : 15 March 2019 10:18:58(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Personally I would go for the hi vis with "MHE Operator" printed on them. Two solutions for the price of one then. Most Hi-vis supliers will have print options.

Although I am in agreement with the others, I don't think this will solve the problem. Won't they just borrow someone else's band/vest?

MrBrightside  
#9 Posted : 15 March 2019 10:40:08(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
MrBrightside

Hello,

Rather than armbands, might I recommend looking at key control for your MHE (providing they have keys, fobs etc). Either issue keys to operators who you know have been trained or put the keys in a lock box, which only Managers / Supervisors have access to, with an approved used list displayed next to the Box. 

James Robinson  
#10 Posted : 15 March 2019 10:44:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
James Robinson

You can get, and retro-fit keypads to most MHE where it only recognises PIN numbers. Each user has their own number, etc.

I do feel that as others are saying in general, this is a sidesways step from the reality of poor supervision/managment. I am sure that if discipline is focused one level up the management tier you may get better results? A team leader or manager discplined for not managing their staff I think will get a much quicker and robust response. But, managment culture seems as you say to be all about pushing things down to the shop floor, rather than starting at the level of those responsible for the shop floor.

matelot1965  
#11 Posted : 18 March 2019 16:42:23(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
matelot1965

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all your responses and apologies for taking a while to get back to you manically busy moving house. I have taken note all of your points all of which have their  own merits. I do disgaree with one point if you specifcally tell someone not to do something amnd then a few hours later he just ignores wha has been said then quite rightly he gets given his P45

AcornsConsult  
#12 Posted : 18 March 2019 17:27:52(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
AcornsConsult

Clearly stating a whole new process that has been alien to the cmpany.  Armbands/Hi-viz is basically doing away with the supervisors role.  If there really is supervision of the MHE, then see how they know which of their staff can operate which equipment. They may be supervising 'in ignorance or acceptance' that becasue a person has operated equipment in the past that they can continue into the future. Do you have a copy of the authorised operators - if no then its likely that the supv do not either so they are already being asked to do something which is not achievable.  Consider setting up a short term but very pro-active (aggressive, draconian) system for issue of keys or work so that all operators know they are likely to be challenged.  Set some timescales and monitor closely.  The arm bands are okay but the issue could be resolved even before they have been delivered. 

johnc  
#13 Posted : 18 March 2019 17:41:06(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
johnc

Just a small warning about the use of keypads and PIN numbers. Recently was at a company which had fitted keypads and PIN numbers only to find everyone using the same one for every machine. It was the one used by the maintenance engineer and was common to every type. Maintenance company have now been spoken to with regard to security of their number and new number issued.
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