Employee Success In The Energy Industry

Description

Name _Evan Johnson___ course and section number _ (ENER-1240-102)________ Assignment instructions Complete the worksheet on this following page. Turn in only this worksheet. If you submit the three pages of reading material I will deduct 10 points from your grade for failure to follow instructions. You cannot be an operator if you do not follow instructions. Write a half page report on each scenario explaining why you want a certain crew supervisor and why you do not want the other supervisor. I deduct one point for each misspelled word, one point for bad punctuation, and three points for poor or bad syntax. Your report should fill the rest of this page, otherwise you haven’t thought seriously about the scenarios. Your report can be longer than this page if need be. How dangerous is it to be an Operator? I have found out that a lot of students have a misapprehension about how dangerous it is to work in a petrochemical plant or a refinery. A lot of them have written homework stating that if they aren’t following the rules and doing everything perfect that they may be responsible for killing a fellow operator or a careless crew member may kill them. Fatalities in the plants are rare and serious injuries (multiple broken bones, bad burns) are rare. You are safer working in the plants than 1) being a home owner and doing yard work or house repairs or 2) driving on any freeway in the Houston area. I worked 18 years in the plants, 14 at Amoco Chemicals and four at the BP refinery. During that time I was aware of only two serious injuries; an engineer breaking his ankle coming down from a ladder and an operator during a turnaround falling 15 feet into an open vessel that was under repair (he was wearing a harness but did not tie off). He suffered a broken arm. Most major accidents are caused by equipment failure, usually due to thinning pipe walls or vessel walls caused by erosion and corrosion, which is why plants have turnarounds—to detect and replace these potentially hazardous pieces. These major accidents usually result in a fire or explosion. It is almost impossible for an operator to open the wrong valve or press the wrong button and cause serious harm to a fellow worker. What will occur is alarms will go off alerting them that their area is about to go off-specification and they are about to have the unit making slop, or the board operator will notice the variable change and radio the operator and ask what happened. Nobody dies or gets blown up. To build a process unit takes a lot of money and management doesn’t want to see it blown up or burned down, hence when they design the process unit to be built engineers and safety supervisors review the design for potential serious design flaws in the way of safety. Also, safety engineers ensure there is no valve or switch if turned or pressed at the wrong time will result in something disastrous. Operators have constant safety training and safety reminders. Management does not want its operating force to get hurt of sickened, hence the PPE and constant safety training. It is expensive to test applicants for jobs, and costs thousands of dollars to train a new hire for six weeks and then have him killed or seriously injured and hospitalized for months. The most common injuries to operators are back strains, shoulder strains (opening large gate valves), and pinched fingers. The greatest danger to an operator in the plants, in my opinion, is the numerous hazardous chemicals operators have to handle. Many are complacent when handling them, especially the small samples they collect daily because there is no danger of them tearing an arm off or exploding into a big fireball. The danger is that 25-30 years of collecting samples as an operator in continual exposure in micro-doses due to careless handling the operator will develop a severe illness (leukemia, cancer, etc.) just as they are about to enjoy their retirement. As a supervisor I often caught my people handling chemicals barehanded and would ask them what kind of cancer or crippling disease they preferred. HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Scenario 1 Jose just got hired by petrochemical company XYZ and Jim, the foreman of the crew to which he was assigned, meets him at Human Resources and walks him out to their unit. Jim invites Jose into his office and tells Jose to sit down as he sits behind his desk. Jim gives Jose a friendly smile, then says, “Jose, on this unit we have stuff that can hurt you. We’ve got gases from 200 to 12,000 pounds per square inch. That kind of pressure will blow a hole in you if it hits you. We’ve got temperatures in some vessels and pipes all the way up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, not to mention that many of our chemicals are highly flammable and have health hazards, such as cancers and nerve toxins. So, I want you to be careful, ask questions, and don’t make mistakes. Now, having told you all that I know and you know that we are only human, and humans make mistakes.” Jim smiled and leaned back in his chair. “I expect you to make some mistakes, just don’t make any serious mistakes. Hell, a serious mistake causes an unbelievable headache of paperwork. You understand what I’m saying, Jose?” Jose smiled and nodded. Jim smiled and said, “Little mistakes, that’s okay. You’re only human. No big mistakes, okay?” Jim stood up and offered his hand. “I understand,” Jose said, and shook his hand. Scenario 2 Jose just got hired by petrochemical company XYZ and Jane, the crew supervisor of the crew he was assigned to, meets him at Human Resources and walks him out to their unit. She invites Jose into her office and tells Jose to sit down as she sits behind her desk. Jane gives Jose a friendly smile, then says, “Jose, on this unit we have stuff that can hurt you. We’ve got gases from 200 to 12,000 pounds per square inch. That kind of pressure will blow a hole in you if it hits you. We’ve got temperatures in some vessels and pipes all the way up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, not to mention that many of our chemicals are highly flammable and have health hazards, such as cancers and nerve toxins. So, I want you to be careful, ask questions, and don’t make mistakes. Don’t make big mistakes, don’t make little mistakes, don’t make any mistakes. Is my message clear to you?” Jose gulped and nodded. Man, he thought, she is coming on strong!” Jane smiled and leaned back in her chair. “I want you stop, look and think before you do anything. This crew has gone three years without me issuing even a Band-aid. You understand what I’m saying, Jose?” Jose nodded, and thought: My god! Eight people on a crew and three years and no one’s been hurt! How lucky can a crew be? Jane’s face grew sterner. “Don’t you come on this crew and screw up our safety record. Your safety has nothing to do with luck. You are the person responsible for your safety, not OSHA or plant management. They aren’t out here on the unit with you. You’re going to get mandatory safety training, you’ll have a 15 minute safety meeting every workday. There is no excuse for you to get hurt, unless you decide this is your day to show up dumb and careless. With me you get two strikes and then you’re outside the fence looking for another job. Are we clear, Jose?” Jose nodded, and thought, Dear God, I’ve got assigned to a foreman from hell! Jane stood up, offered her hand, and said, “Follow me and I’ll introduce you to the crew.” Assignment instructions Complete the worksheet on the following page. Turn in only that worksheet. If you submit the three pages of reading material along with the worksheet I will deduct 10 points from your grade for failure to follow instructions—which is one way to get hurt and fired if you are an operator.

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