'Engineers', my buttocks

14th October 2009 – 4.46 pm

The laboratory I work in is a dedicated area of The Company's building. It is similar to other laboratories in the building but different in feel because of the sound-proofed rooms, smell of grease, and large industrial chambers, plants and machinery, instead of electronic test equipment. Never the less, I tend to expect engineers from other disciplines to have some form of intelligence, the kind that stops them from arbitrarily opening doors to environmental chambers that have nothing to do with them or their tests. I am surprised far too often by my apparently unrealistic expectation. Luckily for them, the chamber was running a maintenance cycle and not involved in a days-long qualification test, but it was still an astonishing display of poor judgement.

When their test finishes, the same engineers decide that, rather than finding someone from my department, the best course of action is to switch off the chamber themselves. So it is that a large, noisy, industrial environmental chamber, controlled and data-logged by software running on a remote computer, is interrupted by untrained personnel turning off its three-phase mains power. This despite a warning from their previous incident. I swear, this is why bridges collapse.

  1. 4 Responses to “'Engineers', my buttocks”

  2. Where I work, if anyone arbitrarily turns off equipment without checking with the head of that department, heads would roll.

    Do you have anything new to kick in your hallways?

    By Squizz Caphinator on Oct 14, 2009

  3. The senior engineer told me this morning that if he had been there when they turned the chamber of he would have 'broken their legs'.

    They didn't even simply turn off the chamber, they switched it off at the three-phase isolator! When the power was resumed, the chamber powered on in uncontrolled manner, which could easily have caused problems. The idiots involved have been rightly rebuked.

    By pjharvey on Oct 15, 2009

  4. They turned it all off?! Are you kidding? I'm astounded. First rule of laboratories is that you don't turn anything off, not even the lights.

    By Stacia on Oct 17, 2009

  5. Yep, which is why I am baffled trying to follow their 'thought' processes.

    By pjharvey on Oct 17, 2009

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