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Reference, Questions and Help => Nuke Q&A => Lessons Learned => Topic started by: radradtrouble on Mar 09, 2004, 04:17

Title: Timing and Work Planning
Post by: radradtrouble on Mar 09, 2004, 04:17
I am basically new to outage work having been involved in only 5 outages and just finishing at Limerick, why isn't it a norm in planning and scheduling that work is not coordinated?  The "I want it done now" seems to prevail when I considered the timing wrong and spoke up about and then I watched the work delays, hard feelings erupting, and cut backs that occurred become an everyday incident, instead of everything operating smoothly.  Waiting to work on a problem at the drywell entrance the first day of an outage, and tying up the main entrance instead of waiting 1 1/2 hrs. when that area was clear seems to me to be poor planning.  But its not allowed that you can speak your opinion to your immediate superviser.  The raised voices and vulgar language got to me, especially when my work crew were the ones doing the assigned work, that had to be done now!  We were the ones that the anger was targeted at, but we didn't plan the whole project the engineer did.  It makes me want to finish my engineering degree just to set things straight.  I'm a little angry, yes, but they were more so.  Try having 20-25 people backed up at drywell and see how your work crew is treated.  The wasted money paid in salaries because 20-25 people had to wait about 1 1/2 hours while we did the "now" project made me ill.  They cut my report date 2 days to save money but let all those trades people wait that long instead of waiting till 5-7pm when the drywell entrance area is basically empty.  How do I tell them or show them prior to all this, which I tried to voice, to wait a little while and save alot of aggravation.  We finished our job but got a f--- y-- along with it.  Job well done! Sure.
Title: Re: Timing and Work Planning
Post by: Roll Tide on Mar 09, 2004, 06:14
Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us Trouble,

First off, I have never done an outage at Limerick, and you haven't convinced me to start now. Different utilities have different means of scheduling outages, with different amounts of compliance enforcement. It even varies within the utility at different sites in the same year!

At St. Lucie (FPL), the scheduling group controlled when every job was done: the work control center coordinators were frequently labelled "Schedule Nazis" for their goose-stepping schedule compliance! If you wanted to stage the materials in an area where you were scheduled to work in 4 hours, it had to be approved by the "war room"! Of course, it makes sense in many cases, such as your drywell entrance scenario, and it made people accoutable for putting their group's work in the outage schedule.

At Turkey Point (FPL), the schedule seemed to be a general set of guidelines which the work control center could deviate from with impunity, as long as the required safety systems / defense in depth was maintained.

To be honest, there's not a lot that can be done when the outage is already in progress to make the schedule better. You can provide input to the "outage critique / feedback" or ALARA system set up at that site to make future outages better. With these shorter outages (compared to the '80s) it gets hard to explain that the "critical path" might actually be "bulk work" vice a particular job.

As far as the treatment of you and your workers, do not participate in or accept unprofessional behavior. How would your family feel if you were fired for "sexual harassment" because you didn't put a stop to profanity used against your crew (or by your crew)? Have high standards, and demand it of others. This is not National Lampoon's Outage Adventure, it's OUR profession.

In my experience, most people do not insist on using profanity when they know you don't use it and have requested they not use it. A little talk with a foreman or next level supervisor can usually take care of the others. Just make sure you don't live in a "glass house" before you say anything.

If you become an engineer, I am sure you could do a better job. Remember, the real question is how well you can perform in your assigned position! Don't give up, find a way to improve the situation (even if the effects won't be seen until next outage on the schedule)!
Title: Re: Timing and Work Planning
Post by: radradtrouble on Mar 09, 2004, 08:14
Thank you for your response, you should have been there you would of known what to do, I didn't.  I'm a female and not well respected of course, so all I could do was ask "where's the engineer now"  with all the hemming and hawing going on when crews showed up to work and can't enter the drywell to complete their assigned tasks.  All very heated and not a situation anyone wanted to deal with.  I think everyone just threw their arms up and wanted to walk away, and many probably did never to work another outage and opted out by voluntary layoff.  Myself I'm stung by the situation because I was reported/talked about trying to stand up for my crew.  Just learn and grow as an individual from what life experiences your put into I guess.  I kept my head but others didn't.  Hopefully it won't happen again and the engineer was made happy he got his way with his 2nd pipe under the grating.  Take care.
Title: Re: Timing and Work Planning
Post by: Roll Tide on Mar 10, 2004, 01:12
Thank you for your response, you should have been there you would of known what to do, I didn't. 

Of course I know what to do when someone else had a rough time. I also know exactly what I should have done differently all those times I REALLY messed up.

I didn't mean to sound preachy, but it is important to stand up for what's right.
Title: Re: Timing and Work Planning
Post by: JEBako on Mar 10, 2004, 11:07

I haven't worked outages in a decade, but I remember that few seemed well coordinated. Coordination is an upper level management function.

Hatch seemed very laid back, but got the work done on time and much quicker than the other plants I've worked with similar task loads.

The biggest single problem I could identify was that Carpenters would build scaffolding prematurely, the scaffolding would be in the way and have to be removed or modified and then rebuilt when it was no longer in the way. No sense blaming the carpenters, it wasn't their fault. Poor work control was to blame.

Todays outage environment is different, de-regulation means that maintenance and operating costs are not treated the same. As a result, tempers are more likely to flare since supervisors are required to show improved performance.

Try not to take such flare ups personally, but there is nothing wrong with demanding professional behavior from those you lead and interface with. Roll Tide was correct in his statements regarding workplace harrassment.

The coordination problem still resides in upper management. A supervisor is and should be held accountable for their own performance as well as those under them. If your supervisor is pushing the job too hard )interfering with other work), it is up to their supervisor to note and correct this. As Roll Tide said, this correction usually happens next outage.

You might want to suggest something to upper management regarding such apparent conflicts. There are usually several methods available. How you state the problem is often more important than what the problem is. 'That d___ a__ engineer keeps pushing too hard'. vs.'I've noticed that the work my crew has been assigned too seems to interfere with other work groups frequently and could have been done a little later without impacting schedule'. Be ready with at least one specific example.

Bad news is you might get promoted to fix the problem.