Issue/Problem

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The issue/problem I have is with my supervisor. Today at work, my fellow co-workers and I were finishing up building a half ton front end down flow unit. In the process of using the hoist to pick the unit up, the hoist broke on the top right corner that it was attached to. The one end had dropped and swung around almost smashing me and two other co-workers. My first reaction was to push my other co-workers out of the way. Second, I ran to the unit and told the hoist operator to lower the hoist so I could reconnect it to the unit. My work leader had come by to ask what had happen and my co-workers and I had explained to him the situation. In doing so he had looked at the hoist and noticed a couple chain links had broken but still attached to the hoist. He had notified the supervisor and she came to take a look. The first thing that came out of her mouth was is the hoist still functionally? We all looked at her, then looked at each other and said it works but is NOT safe to use. The supervisor said: go ahead and load the unit carefully and I will call someone to come and look at it.

I called my union representative before we moved the unit onto the line to get his opinion on what I can do to avoid working with a half broken hoist. My representative grabbed his union constitution and stated to me: “If any employee feels there is a problem or an issue with ANY machinery, for unsafe production, to notify the supervisor and also maintenance to resolve the problem or issue.” So I said thank you sir, that’s all I needed to know. By this time my supervisor had come back and asked us why we have not loaded the front end on the unit. I proceeded to explain to her we all agree this is unsafe, that the number of units you get out the door do not amount to someone’s life if it means working with unsafe machinery. She did not say anything to use and walked off.

Ten minutes later, four maintenance people came to look at the hoist. After they had inspected the...
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