December ’18 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

Since we last talked the trade had two more fatalities.  I’m sure by now all the rumors and speculation have run rampant, companies have reminded employees about the penal aspects of their safety policies, appropriate memorials have been said and two more families have loved ones not coming home from work tonight.

An all too familiar refrain.

A few years back, I took an escalator callback at one of the Greater Cleveland RTA train stations.  After barricading the bottom of the unit, I went to the top, removed the top floor plates and went looking for the errant switch that stopped the unit.  When I was sure I found and repaired the problem, I turned the unit on and stood at the top to observe operation.  After a few minutes I saw people rising up the unit and immediately hit the stop switch before the lead person was able to fall into the running steps.  

After explaining that I couldn’t let them continue on and pointing out the elevator, all but one walked back down.  He was taller than me, larger than me and had on a TSA uniform.  I did my best to stay professional and held firm that he walk down.  After a few minutes of rising tension and a growing crowd, I said to him “when I’m at the airport that is your world. You are in charge.  Inside these barricades is my world.  I’m in charge.”  I then pointed out the cameras trained on us and my access to Load Dispatch and the RTA police and asked him if he would like them to explain things.

After grunting a few not so subtle barbs, he relented, walked down and I continued with my repair.

I owned my job, my safety and ultimately the safety of those who chose to follow someone who blatantly disregarded the first safety rule:  don’t mess with a barricade.

I lost no sleep that night.

Just a reminder that December 15th is the day for the Annual Local 17 Children’s Christmas Party held at the hall.  It is an event that is always well attended and a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and their families.  Santa will visit and pass out gifts to children 12 and under and, of course, there is entertainment for children of all ages.  The fun starts at 1 pm at the hall.

Where are they working:

Joe Sumph and Brian Bond doing a mod at Westerly for Schindler,

John Goggin and Matt Herbold recabling at Penton Media for Schindler,

Gary Thompson and Brian Siether at Moreland Courts doing a mod for Schindler,

Jeff Lindell and Dave Francis at North Coast Harbor installing a four-stop, 

Dave Adrian and Zach Miller doing service work at the steel mill for Otis,

Bill Dudas and Tony Kuhn doing a two-car mod at the Drake for Thyssen,

Jeff Ward and Rob Zadravec replacing a machine at Case for Thyssen,

Dave Gnagy and Matt Carlton at Executive Commons in Woodmere doing a two-car mod for Schindler,

Chris Wyant and Chris DeJesus at Danbury Nursing Home in Mentor installing two 2-stop hydros for Schindler,

John Logue and Pat Pollack at Bridlewood Apartments in North Olmsted doing a two-car mod for Otis,

Scott ticks and Ernie Rodriguez at Middleburg Residence Hall installing two 4-stop are for Schindler,

Scott Villanueva and Bob Connelly at Fairview Parking Garage doing a mod for Otis,

Tim Wood and Zach Lanum doing safety tests for Thyssen,

Dave Dietz and Jason Tischler at Crowne Centre replacing six door operators for Schindler,

DJ Spring and Deven Shields at the Cleveland Clinic Dental School installing three  4-stop traction cars for Otis,

As of this writing there are two mechanics and two apprentices on the bench.

Until next month…

Happy Holidays, work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.


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