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Author Topic: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?  (Read 34495 times)

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Offline HydroDave63

Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2014, 02:59 »
Next someone'll be harping how they fail miserably in preaching proper screwing partner selection,...[whistle]
(sic)

0:56 to 1:45, then 2:49 to the end
[/youtube]

On-topic:

"I would have to understand how that is implemented,...

If it is a condition of employment for all RP techs that would be fair, as I see it,...

If it segregates the techs into the healthy $36/hour techs spending 2/3 of their time dressed out in high heat cycles and then the unhealthy $36/hr techs sucking up the air conditioning at access for 2/3 of their time,...
"

So perhaps there are two choices:

A) The physical hazards should be written into the position description, identify the bona fide condition of employment, and perform physicals (including treadmill cardiac stress testing) to ensure all hired meet the standards for this hazardous work.

-or-

B) A smidgen more staffing to allow more breaks for those doing heat stress exposure work, a Heat Stress monitor at the work location etc. Folks may appreciate that the site cares for their well-being, and productivity increases.

 [2cents]

Content1

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2014, 05:40 »

On-topic:

"I would have to understand how that is implemented,...

If it is a condition of employment for all RP techs that would be fair, as I see it,...

If it segregates the techs into the healthy $36/hour techs spending 2/3 of their time dressed out in high heat cycles and then the unhealthy $36/hr techs sucking up the air conditioning at access for 2/3 of their time,...
"

So perhaps there are two choices:

A) The physical hazards should be written into the position description, identify the bona fide condition of employment, and perform physicals (including treadmill cardiac stress testing) to ensure all hired meet the standards for this hazardous work.

-or-

B) A smidgen more staffing to allow more breaks for those doing heat stress exposure work, a Heat Stress monitor at the work location etc. Folks may appreciate that the site cares for their well-being, and productivity increases.

 [2cents]


I remember back as recently as 2006 they used to require full physicals to find that out ostensibly to qualify for respirators, when, in reality, it would weed out those with high blood pressure, and morbidly obese from site.  To save money they simply stopped doing medical exams except for respirator only, a much lighter requirement.  Not requiring this results in the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, where someone with a disability that can be reasonably accommodated upon arrival at a job, keeping them from the 6 hour jumps in full plastics.  You can't set up a job requirement criteria for only the worst possible job assignment for all workers unless that is the reasonable requirement for all, like at some DOE sites with no engineering controls requiring all to be in respirators all the time.  Somebody could sue if you exclude them when accommodations are possible.

Offline GLW

Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2014, 07:11 »
I remember back as recently as 2006 they used to require full physicals to find that out ostensibly to qualify for respirators, when, in reality, it would weed out those with high blood pressure, and morbidly obese from site.  To save money they simply stopped doing medical exams except for respirator only, a much lighter requirement.  Not requiring this results in the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, where someone with a disability that can be reasonably accommodated upon arrival at a job, keeping them from the 6 hour jumps in full plastics.  You can't set up a job requirement criteria for only the worst possible job assignment for all workers unless that is the reasonable requirement for all, like at some DOE sites with no engineering controls requiring all to be in respirators all the time.  Somebody could sue if you exclude them when accommodations are possible.

so then the grumbling about fewer people pulling work in high heat environments for longer shifts has little to do with the company's prerogatives,...

it is the ADA which essentially compels a company to accommodate as many unfit people as possible, thus transferring the burden of the physically demanding work to those who are fit, while paying everybody, fit and unfit, the same wage for different performance expectations,...

am I getting your explanation correct?




did you catch my spelling on that 1st attempt?!?,....that'll teach me to type before coffee,...(sic),... [coffee]
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 09:08 by GLW »

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Jr8black3

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2014, 08:25 »
I believe everybody knows there limits, I know to this day still I can be pushed pretty hard, but I also know that if Im getting tired or not feeling good I can always go to a supervisor and say hey not today, and never get any back lash from it..I have first hand seen a guy go down in a Rx. Cavity, he didn't make the flight home the way we all did. It sucked. It was pushed from Management and Supervision, cause it was a critical path activity, I have not been back to that plant since 96..That job was a SOB..

chuckdhuff

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2014, 08:44 »
Not many other 'real world jobs' include prolonged heat stress exposure coupled with up and down lots of stairs (especially BWRs). Those that do, like ironworking and other construction trades, are listed as #5 and #10 on the '10 Deadliest Jobs List'.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/08/22/americas-10-deadliest-jobs-2/

Which means, if the outage workers aren't getting adequate breaks, how can the utility credibly claim that they are properly hydrated and not under heat stress.


Of course there is a variety of causal factors, including health, lifestyle, etc. , but in 'real world jobs' where there is a death on the job site, OSHA goes to the jobsite and investigates. Since OSHA inspectors can't/don't/won't go into nuclear power plants and NRC can't/don't/won't enforce industrial hygiene, then that stuff in the OSHA Tech Manual like http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_iii/otm_iii_4.html gets ignored.
Exactly!   :(
Well here is my list of jobs that I would rate as more strenuous than Nuclear Plants.
1. Residential/Commercial Construction - No. 4 on your list
2. New build fossil plants, i.e. coal, gas, or ethanol
3. Fossil plant outages
4. Pipeline work
5. Process Plants, i.e. paper mills, plastic production, etc.
6. Chemical plants
7. Oil rig platforms, or oil field work
9. Commercial boats, i.e. fishing, tug, or transport - No. 2 on your list
10. Natural Gas fracking sites
11. Large operation bridge and road crews - No. 10 on your list, maybe?

Only three on my list correspond with your quoted list of 10. I'm not trying to downplay the work or it's importance. I'm just saying it isn't as hard as some make it out to be. More physically demanding than an accountant? Yes, but that is apples and oranges. Compared to other Industrial Construction jobs nuke plants are the safest which makes it easier work.  [2cents]

chuckdhuff

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2014, 08:50 »
I agree but disagree at the same time. Yea there are some plants out there that understaff and overwork people and yes the average age of an RP these days are 50+years old, but the problem is that RP techs fail to take care of themselves health wise. They eat alot of junk and processed foods and that in itself worsens their health and puts a damper on their performance. I worked an outage 6 years ago where an RP fell and died instantly but he was also severely overweight. Safety personnel fail miserably in preaching proper nutrition to us RP's and the industry as a whole. You can also factor in the cost of healthcare which is on the rise even with the ACA being implemented, there have been no differences in prices and its all going up and may possibly bankrupt that industry as a whole where we the people will be paying  for the bailout of that industry to come. I personally eat as much organic as i can and exercise faithfully and maintain great health because i think the best person to take care of your health and you is YOU and not some beauracratic govt.

The ACA is the primary reason healthcare costs are on the rise. Who do you think is paying for the "free" health insurance for those individuals that can not pay for their own?

Offline Rennhack

Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2014, 12:01 »
Who do you think is paying for the "free" health insurance for those individuals that can not pay for their own?

I am.

By the way, this is getting political, and will have to be moved to the Gold Member area where political topics are discussed, if it does not swing back to the original topic, and away from politics.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 12:02 by Rennhack »

radbrat

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2014, 02:12 »
Well here is my list of jobs that I would rate as more strenuous than Nuclear Plants.
1. Residential/Commercial Construction - No. 4 on your list
2. New build fossil plants, i.e. coal, gas, or ethanol
3. Fossil plant outages
4. Pipeline work
5. Process Plants, i.e. paper mills, plastic production, etc.
6. Chemical plants
7. Oil rig platforms, or oil field work
9. Commercial boats, i.e. fishing, tug, or transport - No. 2 on your list
10. Natural Gas fracking sites
11. Large operation bridge and road crews - No. 10 on your list, maybe?

Only three on my list correspond with your quoted list of 10. I'm not trying to downplay the work or it's importance. I'm just saying it isn't as hard as some make it out to be. More physically demanding than an accountant? Yes, but that is apples and oranges. Compared to other Industrial Construction jobs nuke plants are the safest which makes it easier work.  [2cents]

Actually this list is comparing apples to oranges....
These are..IIRC... a list of dangerous occupations and the mortality rates.
Nuke power may be a lot safer...but it doesn't mean it is less strenuous...especially for the older tech's and the obstacles they have to overcome due to the current mandate of shorter outages and fewer tech's.
Here’s my observation and sorta what sticks in my "hmmmm craw" about these ruminations,…

Let’s take a trip back to the 1980’s when most of the techs who are the subject matter of this thread were somewhere between 25 and 35 years of age,…

How many times have I listened to these old war horses tell war stories relating how the contemporary techs have no idea what it was like to pull a six hour stint dressed out in plastics or a bubble suit, breathing stale forced air while pissing in your boot during a mondo generator jump?!?!?!?

It was the time of Randy Savage, Hulksters, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Die Hard, Cyborg, Robocop and mondo macho RP techs if you listen to the tales and the stories,...

And then I read this:

So what is it?!?!?!

Were the current gaggle of greater than half a centuries really spheres to the vertical surface monster techs in their prime?!?!?!

Or were they a bunch of pampered wussies working three in and three out with company sponsored keggers and hundred dollar cheeseburgers getting ‘em through the horror of being dressed out 50% of the time, then running the cribbage board the other 50%?!?!?!

‘circa 1981 IRM school of cool, da luders.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2014, 02:30 »
having done my first outage in moor than a decade, I can say their where rough moments, the first third of the outage comes two mind. they're normal work frames, like the middle. the last third was a bit stressful, after slugs hit the hi-way four the next lettuce bin.
understaffed? yes. killing anybuddy? no. the weigh aye remember outage work? yes n no, same old work, lots more front line management ala job briefers, a.l.a.r.a. reps, etc. wasn't bad, butt eye am still buying mega millions and power ball tix.
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Offline Rad Bimmer

Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2014, 06:13 »
I am.

By the way, this is getting political, and will have to be moved to the Gold Member area where political topics are discussed, if it does not swing back to the original topic, and away from politics.

Sorry Rennhack. Im not a gold member lol but i think i got a very good point across. Yea there are some political points to it but the major point is safety and health of the workers

chuckdhuff

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #35 on: Jun 06, 2014, 05:30 »
Actually this list is comparing apples to oranges....
These are..IIRC... a list of dangerous occupations and the mortality rates.
Nuke power may be a lot safer...but it doesn't mean it is less strenuous...especially for the older tech's and the obstacles they have to overcome due to the current mandate of shorter outages and fewer tech's.

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this. For me, aside from the rad protection and enhanced quality requirements, work at fossil and process plants isn't any different than work at a nuclear power plant. Pipe is pipe, valves are valves, and breakers are breakers. The ultimate goal at all of them is to get the repairs and modifications done as quickly as possible so you can get back to production. The parameters of the shut down may vary depending on the facility, but the maintenance is the same. It doesn't really matter if you are producing electricity or plastic cups.  [2cents]



BetaAnt

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #36 on: Jun 06, 2014, 11:57 »
A perception problem between crafts and RP are the hours worked. The crafts are done at the end of shift or when relief shows up. RP is done when and if relief shows up and the survey is at least started (if not done). And in those times when your workers get contaminated, you have to survey to show who, how, and why you failed your job. Then you get reprimanded because of too many hours. It is easy to work those 14-16 hr. shifts.

Then safety becomes lip service. A job scope is to lay out the parameters for worker and equipment safety. But, how many jobs have started w/o all the boxes checked and departments informed (i.e. calling RP after the system breach and several gallons of RCS is in the floor)?

The nature of the nuclear beast has changed and most techs have a lack of 'give a s#!t' attitude.

Skypuppy

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2015, 03:37 »
When one gets so-so pay in a high-stress, high-output job, and are treated overall like scum, it is very difficult to retain a good attitude.  It is impossible to maintain a positive attitude after about the second or third week (if you're in your 20's!) of 6 and 7 12-hour days per week.  At that point, you are physically and mentally exhausted and the bank account is not increased by very much.  If you're 50+ you know a bout more about maintaining cash reserves but you must do so because of the parcity of outages per year coupled with the extremely short (compared to the old norm of 3 months) outages of today. 
It just ain't a winning proposition for any age.
My worst ever contract, money-wise, was 9 DAYS, and had a 1,300 mile drive each way to get there.  The staffing vendor failed to tell me their outage was almost over.  I actually lost money on that one.

All in all, rent-a-tech'ing is a hard life.

I don't know why anyone does it.  I only did it for 12 years, and 2 years of that was management, and 3 years was engineering.

Content1

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2015, 12:41 »
The problem with the getting older population just have to know when it is time to hang up the rad gloves.  If they don't, and management doesn't speak up, you will have people die at the job.  It can appear unsafe only because the workers aren't what they were in their 20's and 30's like in the Navy.  The problem is it is hard to train senior HP's who aren't also senior citizens with such short outages.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2015, 09:34 »
The problem is it is hard to train senior HP's who aren't also senior citizens with such short outages.
wotinell? yins training sr hps? this a remedial coarse oar are yew upgrading jrs? is it moor ez two train senior citizens too bee sr HPs than it is to train a jr hp whose yer jr in years?
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Content1

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2015, 10:27 »
Many younger Sr. HP's resent senior citizen HP's who can't do what the younger do physically, like the are overpaid if they can't climb up and down the five set of stairs or they can't wear a respirator.  Maybe they have a good argument.

Offline Old HP

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2015, 09:51 »
Content you do have a point in regard to some of the "Senior" Techs and their physical limitations.
However I have also experienced a very high number of Junior and younger Senior Techs that cannot climb ladders, wear respirators or work in high heat areas.
So maybe there should be a physical ability test as part of the in processing process at each outage.
What is your time for a 2 mile run ?

Content1

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2015, 01:51 »
Content you do have a point in regard to some of the "Senior" Techs and their physical limitations.
However I have also experienced a very high number of Junior and younger Senior Techs that cannot climb ladders, wear respirators or work in high heat areas.
So maybe there should be a physical ability test as part of the in processing process at each outage.
What is your time for a 2 mile run ?

I don't run.  That is why most techs used to be ex-navy, where the Navy passed them physically and if you hired one, it was a good bet they were in good health.  They may have to reinstitute health checks good for the year from the persons own doctor (Physicals are supposedly free under Obamacare) or by the company when they arrive.  Many who can't perform can't pass the physical; however, there are some who may pass the technical physical but can't climb stairs or be in extreme heat.  I guess it is up to the client who could claim they cannot make reasonable accommodations to some disabled.

Offline Marlin

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2015, 02:51 »
That is why most techs used to be ex-navy, where the Navy passed them physically and if you hired one, it was a good bet they were in good health. 

 :o Really  :o


Offline Mike McFarlin

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2015, 05:07 »
Experience can't be bought!
"Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less." General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #45 on: May 08, 2015, 06:32 »
yew used two be able to free climb to get to a valve sew the scaffologists could build and maintenance could start they're work, butt know more. at won time, running stairs was a desirable attribute for a rover to have. their were many tex who wood climb down into the cavity with a 6112b over one shoulder, an ro2a over the other, and carry the hi vol with one hand wile doing it. watts the cents in physical fitness if their isn't an application four it anymore?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 06:34 by SloGlo »
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Offline Rerun

Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #46 on: May 08, 2015, 08:11 »
My favorite part is the physically fit Navy guys

Content1

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #47 on: May 08, 2015, 10:10 »
yew used two be able to free climb to get to a valve sew the scaffologists could build and maintenance could start they're work, butt know more. at won time, running stairs was a desirable attribute for a rover to have. their were many tex who wood climb down into the cavity with a 6112b over one shoulder, an ro2a over the other, and carry the hi vol with one hand wile doing it. watts the cents in physical fitness if their isn't an application four it anymore?
When I first went to McGuire some younger HP tried to wear me out during a tour of their strange containment.  He went as fast as he could and back then I could follow.  He did carry a high vol in one hand while climbing a 30 foot ladder, along with the other instruments on a strap.  I told him you should not climb a ladder that way and used a rope to lift my high vol..  I was like an old guy even back in 2006.

Offline OldHP

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2015, 01:22 »
That is why most techs used to be ex-navy,

Wrong!  Even today less than 30% are 'former navy nuke (ELT)'

When I first went to McGuire some younger HP tried to wear me out during a tour of their strange containment.

It is an 'Ice Condenser" Plant, tight containment, tighter after TMI!  You should have been there when we started it up!  The only 30 foot ladder went to the polar crane, the rest were max 15 foot!
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SpringChinook

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Re: Are understaffed outages injuring techs?
« Reply #49 on: Jun 20, 2015, 06:51 »
And where are these plants you are referring to? I like to think we do things a little different here at Columbia.

I agree with the fatigue rule being a "joke"...........for the most part.

I don't believe Columbia is like that...

 


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