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stickywicket

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i have been suspended from work regarding my PAT test machine been out of calibration,i work full time as a PAT Tester.
There is no re-call proceedure set up, i carry a spare meter so sent this to head office to be repaired to cover me when mine went in,this spare machine went missing from head office i told my line manager my machine was now out of calibration he said he would chase spare this went on for months i have e mails etc proving this, my machine had previously been calibrated by a firm who where not seaward approved and couldnt remove service message so didnt have a prompt when calibration was due as it had been on the whole time, work are now pushing gross misconduct and dictating regulations such as EAWR im massively concerned as had told both my managers have e mails asking for my spare meter back and mine was out of calibration! got asked on site to show my calibration certificate couldnt produce one due to been out of date! guy sent e mail to the head boss, now im going to take the fall
my question is should there be something in place to ensure the machines calibration is monitored
im not self employed is it my responsibility only to ensure machine is calibrated
i realise i have a responsibility as an opretive but have not kept the fact it was out of calibration to myself
really confused as feel i shouldnt be getting fired! i never changed the way i tested always inspected etc as
on salary there was no reason to cut corners!
i know i have a resonsibility but is it totally my fault?
any one with a little more insight to the regs etc EAWR im worried i could get in trouble with one of the professional bodies really stressing im sure i will get slated for not been responsible but i was told to carry on as under pressure to complete programe
 
S

Swicade

I'd have thought that as long as you have copies of your e-mails requesting spare tester returned AND copies of e-mails sent about PAT tester needing to be re-calibrated to line leader then your a$$ should be covered.

Add to that copies of e-mails etc of the line leader telling you to carry on testing with a tester that needs recalibrateing and you have a good case for 'only following orders' so your not to blame.

That said, i'm no legal expert so could be massively wrong, i'm only going by the fact that these days it seem's to be all about covering your a$$ with paperwork so the book can be passed on to someone else to get the blame.

I'll also add i know nothing about EAWR rules.
 

sparks1973

Regular EF Member
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well i can smell summat here......if you work for a company with its own test instruments then surely:
a) they would have checkboxes and keep records of individual instruments, when they were last sent to the callibration house and when due...and of course any anomalys that may show up when but on the checkbox....this would of course ensure that any issues are caught early as an instrument is only as good as the day it leaves the callibration house and
b)it may be your responsibility to bring the instrument into the works to be put on the checkbox/rig...but the company also should have a clue of the instruments out in the field.....
 

sparks1973

Regular EF Member
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look, start getting into fixed wiring install will you for christs sake....this patting lark... well just when you think it couldn`t stoop any lower.....
 
A

alarm man

was the spare meter yours or the companies? its up to your line manager to keep plant upto date,when was your last audit.you need advice from a union or cab,you would have a case for unfair dismissal if what you say is right
 
A

alarm man

well i can smell summat here......if you work for a company with its own test instruments then surely:
a) they would have checkboxes and keep records of individual instruments, when they were last sent to the callibration house and when due...and of course any anomalys that may show up when but on the checkbox....this would of course ensure that any issues are caught early as an instrument is only as good as the day it leaves the callibration house and
b)it may be your responsibility to bring the instrument into the works to be put on the checkbox/rig...but the company also should have a clue of the instruments out in the field.....
doesnt always happen tho,and when they **** hits the fan its the lads in the field who get blamed when its not there fault,i had something similar with a piece of plant equip not in date,as soon as the conversation mentioned it was up to me,it was a fyou from me and a union call,the manager got the blame as it was up to him to make sure all plant was checked not me..
 
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stickywicket

EF Member
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the taking it into head office is only for them to send off they dont do the calibrating! the day after this happened all the Pat testers recieved an e mail instructing them to send any copies of calibration certificates in so they could be monitored, i printed this off aswell and took into investigation stating, shutting the gate after the horse has bolted springs to mind, this is a large firm there are failings in the management of this department my line manager has now also been suspended! but our boss is the one pushing all the regs etc! recking my head now been there 4 years and its never been a set procedure
 
A

alarm man

the taking it into head office is only for them to send off they dont do the calibrating! the day after this happened all the Pat testers recieved an e mail instructing them to send any copies of calibration certificates in so they could be monitored, i printed this off aswell and took into investigation stating, shutting the gate after the horse has bolted springs to mind, this is a large firm there are failings in the management of this department my line manager has now also been suspended! but our boss is the one pushing all the regs etc! recking my head now been there 4 years and its never been a set procedure
i wouldnt worry,its not up to you to keep paperwork right,thats the gaffers job..you could seek advice from the cab,but personally id join a union,more so if your working for people who will let you take the flack for a managers failing...
 
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stickywicket

EF Member
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was the spare meter yours or the companies? its up to your line manager to keep plant upto date,when was your last audit.you need advice from a union or cab,you would have a case for unfair dismissal if what you say is right
spare meter was theres! never had an audit, also they havent stated in my contract about calibration been up to me! what im saying is the actual chain of events
> alligations of a failure to ensure your pat tester is anually calibrated
> alligations of knowingly using an-uncalibrated tester which could result in a serious breach of our contract to customer
>allegations that your failure to adhere to the companys and staturory requirements have breached the implied term of mutual trust and confidence and fidelity of the relationship between you" my firm & our customer ????? Dont even really understand this final
 

ruston

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If they are using the seaward software the calibration date will also flag up on their records as well as your machine unless I am very much mistaken ; in the words of the great Murray Walker lol.
 

Arnold Layne

Regular EF Member
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Stickywicket, your situation sounds a little confusing. You appear to be employed, if so are the machines yours ( you need to supply your own kit) or are they supplied by the company. If you are employed you should have some terms and conditions or procedures which outline your responsibilities in terms of ensuring that the machines are calibrated. You need to check those to understand what your position is. There is of course a responsibility to ensure that you comply with the Electricity at Work regs, but you appear to have written evidence of advising your line manager that the machine needed calibration. What exactly was the response? Your Employer also has a responsibility to ensure that the equipment you are using is calibrated and yes indeed there should be a company system to track this, particularly if the equipment belongs to the company. It is somewhat worrying that your spare machine went missing. You need to collect the paperwork and prepare to explain the situation. I assume you will be called to an interview at which you should be given a chance to explain. I hope this gets sorted out for you.
 
A

alarm man

spare meter was theres! never had an audit, also they havent stated in my contract about calibration been up to me! what im saying is the actual chain of events
> alligations of a failure to ensure your pat tester is anually calibrated
> alligations of knowingly using an-uncalibrated tester which could result in a serious breach of our contract to customer
>allegations that your failure to adhere to the companys and staturory requirements have breached the implied term of mutual trust and confidence and fidelity of the relationship between you" my firm & our customer ????? Dont even really understand this final
basically your taking the flack for someone else's mistakes(your gaffer) the fact he's been suspended is all you need to know,
 
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stickywicket

EF Member
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Stickywicket, your situation sounds a little confusing. You appear to be employed, if so are the machines yours ( you need to supply your own kit) or are they supplied by the company. If you are employed you should have some terms and conditions or procedures which outline your responsibilities in terms of ensuring that the machines are calibrated. You need to check those to understand what your position is. There is of course a responsibility to ensure that you comply with the Electricity at Work regs, but you appear to have written evidence of advising your line manager that the machine needed calibration. What exactly was the response? Your Employer also has a responsibility to ensure that the equipment you are using is calibrated and yes indeed there should be a company system to track this, particularly if the equipment belongs to the company. It is somewhat worrying that your spare machine went missing. You need to collect the paperwork and prepare to explain the situation. I assume you will be called to an interview at which you should be given a chance to explain. I hope this gets sorted out for you.
im employed and the equipment belongs to them! they have produced a document which outlines my responsibilities and says im responsible for testing this document required a signaiture from employee and manager i have never seen it before and didnt sighn such a document,that said im not acting dump pretending i dont have a clue as this isnt the case i know what my responsilities are but this is them pushing a point and blaming me, only grey area is the regs apart from the pat testing part!
i have allready had my investigation and fought as much as i could had e mails etc but most where about chasing my spare meter, my line manager has admitted i told him about calibration being out on my meter, i have a dissiplinary on thursday! not in a union just going to have to keep fighting
 
S

Swicade

As alarm man has advised...speak to cab, union, a specialist in these events.

The fact your line leader/manager has been suspended should work in your favour. Also check all work contracts and paperwork involved to make your case as strong as possible.

Definitely,definitely seek advice on this from people qaulified in such cases.
 
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stickywicket

EF Member
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cheers all, i spoke to acas today who advised that i can go for unfair dismissall etc..
but got a feeling they are going to dismiss me on thursday,taken all my stuff out of company van in case,think both myself and my line manager will go, as our boss has covered his ass big time!
 
P

Plonker 3

First thing tomorrow ask for a copy of paperwork stating why you have been suspended, second ask about trade union representation and which union/s they recognize (then phone them up and join).

Then ask your employer for a copy of the companies disciplinary procedures.

Finally again contact the union and explain the circumstance who will then take up your case on your behalf, don't worry about only just joining they should still represent you or find out if you have a shop steward at the company who will take up your case for you.
 

plugsandsparks

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If they have called you for an interview and you know or suspect, gross negligence and immediate dismissal is on the cards, you need to be prepared.

Think about having an advocate, who will take notes, either a union rep or a work colleague or the local vicor it does not matter but a good record of the events at the meeting will be important.

You will need to stake your case and get it on record. Produce evidence to support.
They may well fire you anyway but this is all in prep to help with a case for constuctive dismissal.

I must admit i would have thought it was management responsibility to maintain records of the equipment calibration, especially as its a fundamental part of their trust as they say.

Scape goat me thinks but dont let it blinker you, its a process at the end of the day and if they dont follow it, they themselves can be held to account under employment law.

I dont think EAWR is particularly relevant to your situation. Its about management really.

Sounds like a client has rumbled them and made a big deal about testers not calibrated. I think we all know they can be out the day after or last for years, it really is an arbitrary number
 

Archy Styrigg

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I think we all know they can be out the day after or last for years, it really is an arbitrary number
... and there are plenty of variables which affect measurements anyway.
I bet if you made 2 measurements on a circuit at the same place on separate days they would be different, very possibly out of cal range from each other, especially with two different 'in calibration' instruments.

I'd be interested to see the outcome of this. I've always assumed if it's company equipment, then it's their responsibility that it is 100% functional and calibrated (if necessary). Likewise, if it's your own personal gear, it's yours.



To the OP, I hope you get a positive result out of this, it seems you're being dumped on from above. :mad:
 
E

Engineer54

Invest in a pocket/micro recorder, and take that into this so-called disciplinary hearing. It will record everything that anyone says at that hearing. I have been using one at every official site/project meeting for several years now. They can't then deny anything that they have said or told you at a later date... You can get a fairly decent one for around 30+ notes, that will record for an hour to 90 minutes....
 
A

ACDC

In my opinion, its not your responibility (unless stated in your employment contract) to ensure calibration of test equipment. Your workplace should have systems and procedures in place to ensure that all equipment is calibrated! (What would HSE do if there was a incedent!-Look at systems and procedures for a start)

If you knew the gear you were using was out of date, you should have put your foot down, stopped work and kick up a fuss with your line manager-

I`m in charge of all calibrations and internal checks of our gear, I have a system in place which automatically reminds me 2 weeks in advance when a particular item is expiring. There is no way i would expect our guys in the field to be held responsible for this. (Although i do ask them to report defects e.t.c so the item can be removed from service).

Good luck
 

ruston

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Agreed!!

Who else is down the road probably doing it this way so they don't pay you holiday pay etc for ttime served
Thats one of the ways to go about this. You need the records of any similar cases and see how they were dealt with. I'ts your right.

They must have followed their disciplinary procedures or you are being discriminated against ; and has been said leading to constructive
dismissal. If the facts are as you have related them they do not have a chance at a tribunal.

You must get yourself "a friend "or some clued up representative or they will initially make mincemeat out of you. Don't let them away with it. A lot of good advice has been given to you on the forum, try and use it to your advantage, and as Alarm man has said postpone the meeting on the grounds you are not prepared and that you will need employment disciplinary records etc.
 
1

1shortcircuit

There's only one issue I see here that could still put you in the firing line...

You knowingly took faulty/non calibrated equipment into the field.

Coming from a construction background I know only too well that people will pressure others to get the job done.

I used to be a telescopic forklift operator and part of my job was to ensure before starting work that the vehicle was "Fit to bring into service". The amount of times I refused to take the vehicle onto site was crazy but the BB site was Health & Safety bonkers so I played them at their own game. Slightest sign of any hydraulic fluid - OUT OF SERVICE, please find me something else to do whilst awaiting technician.

Another example was when I worked for an Agency, got sent to site, inspected vehicle and found a massive hydraulic leak. Explained the situation to the site manager who dismissed it and said supply my builders ha ha Don't think so mate, this machine is not fit to bring into service.

Had I have done as instructed "I" would be the one to blame if an incident occurred.

The beauty here is NO harm has been done but having said that I imagine the company in question will have to arrange retests to be done at their own expense.

The fact that all testers have been requested to provide calibration certs shows that there is no maintenance record being kept which I am sure Health & Safety require?

I think the Dictaphone thingy is a great idea for Thursday, if they see that laying on the table at the start of the meeting you may well find that the whole thing gets rearranged.

I sincerely wish you all the best and I hope that you come away laughing:thumbsup
 

snowhead

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Have you been called in for an interview on Thurday, to investigate the cicumstances surrounding this incident.?

Or have you formally been notified of a disciplinary hearing on Thursday.?

If it was going to be serious misconduct /instant dismissal, you'd have been gone already.

Unfair dismissal is very difficult to prove and succeed at.
 

darkwood

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On a cautionary note if you do record any of the meeting it may be wise to inform them upfront as it can sometimes be difficult to use as evidence in a court of law if done secretly, its a kinda of 'means to justify the end result' argument and this will be a battle of their lawyers against yours with no guarantee you vital bit of evidence will be admissable. In telling them of your intent to record the conversation i would then put forward all the questions etc that has been highlighted by this thread, with them knowing it could be used against them it may be the case that this totally dilutes the situe' with positive outcomes... if not you may have the evidence you need to back your case.
 

Risteard

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constructive dismissal
Just as a point of clarification, we are referring to "unfair dismissal" if they were to dismiss him. Constructive dismissal is where the actions of the employer force the employee to leave the employment. It is extremely difficult to prove, but once proven can lead to a subsequent claim for unfair dismissal.
 

mechelec

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I think PUWER is more relavent to you. Check out the HSE view on it ie the employer has a duty to provide equipment that is Safe to use, inspected and maintained. Hope this helps and good luck
 
1

1shortcircuit

I think PUWER is more relavent to you. Check out the HSE view on it ie the employer has a duty to provide equipment that is Safe to use, inspected and maintained. Hope this helps and good luck
That's the one!

Hit them with this:thumbsup
 
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