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Old 2nd May 2020, 12:40 am   #21
G8UWM-MildMartin
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

You should see the depth of the burn mark in the side of my desoldering and soldering station at work!
I still don't know how the iron escaped from its holder while I was alone in the room and just across the room for a minute or so getting a couple of components.
But it has only done it once in over 10 years.
I always switch it off when leaving the room.
These things do happen very occasionally, which is why you and I take precautions so the consequences are not seriously dangerous.
A switched-off soldering iron melting just the lid of a socket made of fire-retardant plastic just once doesn't strike me as serious.
I doubt any reasonable person would disagree.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 12:44 am   #22
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Hi!

Quote:
[this is the sort of treatment I wouldn't even expect to give a naughty schoolboy, let alone a grown-up employee. 'Sent home'. Are they serious? I would move on. Life's too short.
Unfortunately they were and confirmed the same in writing!

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Old 2nd May 2020, 1:13 am   #23
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

I have to agree with everyone else, the way you've been treated (and the way others must feel they're treated if they can't unionise) is bang out of order.

It's the employer's responsibility to make sure that your tools and workplace are as safe as possible, be that idiot proofing them or coming up with procedures to reduce risk. They didn't do it, there was a consequence, their fault.

There's been few times in my life where bosses have given me trouble unfairly, and every time I gave them ten times as much back.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 7:20 am   #24
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Have you tried contacting Citizens Advice? They can be surprisingly helpful.

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Old 2nd May 2020, 8:28 am   #25
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Hi!

Our local branches are closed due to the c.v., but I have contacted the regional office of Unite – ACAS say you're entitled to request informal advice from any trade union even if not specifically a member, so I've done so and await their reply!

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Old 2nd May 2020, 9:52 am   #26
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Your use of the word mishap would suggest that your actions were unintentional and as such you have not committed any offence. Put another way, an accident has occurred. Insurance policies are used as remedies for accidents not legal or forceful behaviour.

That being said, if any such mishaps were to continue possibly by others as well it may suggest that the person associated with it may need review.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 9:57 am   #27
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

It could also be argued that the soldering iron stand the company supplied was not fit for purpose, if it's easy to knock over, or knock the iron out of place!
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Old 2nd May 2020, 10:01 am   #28
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

If the socket lid was on a workbench and in the vicinity of a soldering iron why isnít it made of metal to prevent this type of accident? Or am I mentally picturing the wrong sort of socket etc.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 10:03 am   #29
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris55000 View Post
I must have accidentally knocked my iron out if it's stand...…..

Chris Williams
From what I read there's no proof of that at all. I hope you didn't admit it, especially not in writing.

If they sanction you, you could take them to an Employment Tribunal.

https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals
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Old 2nd May 2020, 10:19 am   #30
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Well it sounds very heavy handed and smells of jobsworth to me .
Maybe they need to do an upto date risk assessment of the environment ?
I really think you have been unfairly treated , just a be more careful dont bl...dy do it again would have sufficed.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 10:55 am   #31
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Hi. Does your employer have an approved Safety Management System ( SMS)?

If so what does it have to say about a no blame culture?
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Old 2nd May 2020, 11:01 am   #32
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Does the employer have a high staff turnover, Chris?

It seems just bizarre, the reaction. These days, rights seem to be generally biased towards the employee, and (as for this thread's title), in days past, it was easier to get rid of bad employees than it is today! Now, the onus is on the employer to provide a safe workplace; years ago (before my time) it was much more down to the employee to not be daft, and if they were, then... Out!
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Old 2nd May 2020, 11:41 am   #33
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Apart from a very short spell over forty years ago, my working life has not been spent in anything to do with radio/electronics (though my experience back then was that health and safety didn't exist!).

My work has taken me into lots of different firms for contracts of varying duration and I have seen plenty of the stuff you describe go on. The other element and often of considerable significance is, of course, workplace politics. I've often seen instances where certain people are picked on unfairly, or treated in a different way to others, and indeed I've occasionally been the victim of it myself. The reasons can be many and varied and there is always an element of whether one's face fits. Unfortunate incidents often provide a convenient excuse to achieve other aims.

The cunning manager knows how to stay just short of constructive dismissal whilst employing tactics to make life difficult enough for those they want removed. The industry I work in consists of mainly small firms where union representation barely exists and those that are members of a trade union will only use it as a last resort - to assist in a claim for unfair dismissal for example - as once it is known you are a member of a trade union your card is marked.

It's astonishing how many more experienced and conscientious people I have seen removed by these tactics. (There are, of course, other more straightforward means of dealing with those who are not very competent.)

The situation where you are told to observe two sets of rules which contradict each other is a stock management tactic. The other one is not being informed of procedures so that you can then be pulled up for not doing the job (in someone else's opinion) the correct way. This tactic is as old as time and usually employed as a means of putting people in their place. In my experience, working in places where you have to spend a lot of time 'playing the game' removes energy from doing the job at hand and is never a satisfactory experience.

From what I've read of the account the treatment seems unduly harsh. A recent incident at a place I was working resulted in everyone sitting down and deciding what should be done so that it didn't occur again. This usually works in environments where everyone's ability and experience is respected.

Sadly, in situations such as you describe you are invariably on a loser. Unless circumstances change the best you can do is bide your time and pick the best moment to find pastures new.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 12:45 pm   #34
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Like many have said, the reaction is way over the top for this type of incident. The risk it posed to yourself or anyone else was minimal and the cost of repair would have been in the £10 or less category. It sounds like someone higher up there is trying to make a name for themselves.

Is there someone at your workplace you could talk to, informally for a start about the situation, Maybe your H+S or HR representative or maybe someone higher up the chain. With no risk assessements operating procedures Audit trails ECT. they are on risky ground legally. How long have you worked there and have you witnessed any other unfair behaviour.

I presume that the workplace deals in industrial control electronics with repairs down to component level ? Would it be possible to have a bit of an insight in to the company and its services?

My second job was working for a security equipment company and I did repairs to component level to very sophisticated cash handling units. I got very good at the job which annoyed my supervisor because he didn't have a clue at what I was doing. I worked in this position for approx. 8 years by which time the equipment was severely life expired and they would not listen to me when I was telling them that the equipment needed new PCBs due to fatigue cycling and were no longer really repairable. I gradually got more fed up and after a particularly nasty threat from my supervisor over some equipment which was returned faulty, I walked out of my repair bay straight to the HR office who knew me as quiet and always keeping my nose clean, and I let them have it rather straight to the point. I was in a particularly severe stressed condition as I knew exactly what I was intending to do which was to never work underneath this supervisor again
They gave me a weeks paid leave and paid my remaining holiday leave and I left never to return.

This was probably the best move I had ever made as I had told a friend who was a volunteer what I had done. His company were looking for a skilled electro/mechanical engineer to work on resurrecting some old BR shunting locomotives and I was able to start work straight away on considerably better pay, better working conditions and doing something I enjoyed.

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Old 3rd May 2020, 10:30 am   #35
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by high_vacuum_house View Post
I got very good at the job which annoyed my supervisor because he didn't have a clue at what I was doing.
This is depressingly familiar.

These situations never improve - the only answer is to move on.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 10:51 am   #36
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Chris, doesn't your company have a grievance procedure you could use?
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Old 3rd May 2020, 12:35 pm   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junk Box Nick View Post
.

The cunning manager knows how to stay just short of constructive dismissal whilst employing tactics to make life difficult enough for those they want removed. The industry I work in consists of mainly small firms where union representation barely exists and those that are members of a trade union will only use it as a last resort - to assist in a claim for unfair dismissal for example - as once it is known you are a member of a trade union your card is marked.

It's astonishing how many more experienced and conscientious people I have seen removed by these tactics. (There are, of course, other more straightforward means of dealing with those who are not very competent.)

The situation where you are told to observe two sets of rules which contradict each other is a stock management tactic. The other one is not being informed of procedures so that you can then be pulled up for not doing the job (in someone else's opinion) the correct way. This tactic is as old as time and usually employed as a means of putting people in their place. In my experience, working in places where you have to spend a lot of time 'playing the game' removes energy from doing the job at hand and is never a satisfactory experience.

I went through such an experience 25 years ago when a large certain service
centre put me through absolute hell.

They had a system where engineers were financially penalised for ordering spares.

They demanded you complete 30 repairs per week, no matter how difficult or easy they were. They refused to pay me for overtime that I'd done because i hadnt completed 30 repairs.


If you asked for anything such as leave to take my wife to Paris for her 30th birthday, they almost made you beg.

If you were a field engineer and you couldn't complete all the calls you had to make, then tough, you did them in your own time.


In the summer, it was so hot, the sweat was pouring off our faces, there were no windows, no air conditioning (except for the computer room) and when we opened the one door to let some air in, security forced us to keep it closed.

Many people left, no one was happy.

i was sacked after inadvertently speaking out on a Toshiba training session. it wasn't Toshiba complaining it was another rather nasty colleague who did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junk Box Nick View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by high_vacuum_house View Post
I got very good at the job which annoyed my supervisor because he didn't have a clue at what I was doing.
This is depressingly familiar.

These situations never improve - the only answer is to move on.
One of the managers didn't know what a circuit diagram was!
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Old 3rd May 2020, 12:51 pm   #38
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Same as it ever was, the "peter principle" is still alive and kicking.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 2:01 pm   #39
Chris55000
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

Hi!

Quote:
Does the employer have a high staff turnover, Chris?
No, not at all – I have worked there 4 years and 5 months and many chaps much longer – my friend who I live with has worked there nearly nine, he has had a run in with the same manager which was more of a personality clash – he got a suspension and written warning, now expired.

Quote:
[One of the managers didn't know what a circuit diagram was!
Mine doesn't and can't read one either!

My friend told me there was a much more serious accident involving a large motor started up without checking it carefully enough and a large shaft fixing key was propelled across the workshop at very high speed and enough force to seriously injure anyone it hit – (fortunately it didn't hit anyone!)

As far as I know the employee concerned wasn't penalised for this!

I'm only thankful I've been there long enough to gain unfair dismissal rights, and I'll let everyone know the outcome!

Thank you everyone, for all your kindness and support!

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Last edited by Chris55000; 3rd May 2020 at 2:06 pm.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 2:49 pm   #40
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Default Re: Was there any disciplinary procedures in British R & TV factories?

PS!

There is a grievance procedure which both me and my friend have tried (it called the "Ombudsman" scheme) because we felt at the time (and still do!) that this particular manager penalizes us both unfairly in general, and they managed to sweet–talk their way out of it!

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