Sunday, September 23, 2012

Head case

I’ve explained before how my work went from 3 8 hr shifts. to 4 12 hr shifts.  Don’t worry, I won’t complain about the hours.  This complaint is because all of our maintenance men and operators on the other shifts are short.  On 8 hour shifts, all the maintenance department employees worked on 1st shift, so any work that was done, was done on our shift.  On the 12 hour shifts, there is at least 1 maintenance guy on each shift.  They have given the duties of any crane maintenance to one of the off shifts.  Why does this matter?

I run an overhead crane.  The crane box is suspended in the air on a coil, so when you let it go, it bounces back up so they aren’t at your head level and are just above it.  On the 8 hour shifts, when they were fixing the coils, they would always have me stand there and set it to recoil enough that the box was just over my head because I was the tallest guy on the line.  Now that they do it on the off shifts, I don’t know who they use or if they use anybody, but gradually, they are replacing all the coils and putting the crane boxes about 6 feet off the catwalk.  The problem is, I’m 6’3”.  Which means I keep hitting my head on them.


As you can tell by the picture to the left, the crane boxes are solid metal, and thick metal protects the buttons.  In other words, it hurts like hell when these hit me in the head (or I hit my head on them).  About a month ago, I took one of the corners of the box right into my temple.  For the next hour, if I opened my mouth, I could feel it in my jaw.  And of course, since it was the least possible moment that I could deal with it, I got a case of the yawns.  It was a very painful hour.

The next tallest person on my line is under 6 feet so I’m the only one who has issues with it.  Which of course means nothing will ever change.  Unless they bring them down lower because that seems like something they would do.  It would be something about it being a safety issue because that crap is always backwards.


  1. This seems like complicated work. You must be quite skillful.

    1. It takes a pretty good memory and common sense, that's about it. The common sense comes in when you think "should I stick my hand in that 220 degree tank?"