How to replace a light bulb in the workplace so that you are not fired?
For three years now I have been living and working in Germany. Last December, one of the fluorescent lamps burned out in our office. But not just stopped shining, but, as is often the case with fluorescent lamps with a starter, began to constantly go out and turn on again with a characteristic click. My colleagues immediately called the secretary, who called an electrician. Three days later, the secretary said that the lamp will not be replaced soon, since they are not in stock and must be ordered. This situation categorically did not suit me. This blink irritated very much.
We have a pantry on the floor where exactly the same lamps stand. Only in this pantry do people go once a week. The simplest solution is to replace the lamp in the cabinet with the lamp from the pantry. And when new ones come, do it right.
In general, this lamp is very easy to change. I had such lamps both at home and at work. As an administrator, I turned this trick with replacing lamps many times.
I took a bar stool and asked a German colleague to move - a lamp hung directly above his workplace. Niels asked what I was up to, and I shared my idea with him. He joyfully exclaimed: “Cool, we will be very grateful to you, otherwise she’s already tired of everyone!”, And then added in a whisper: “... but I would not advise you to do this!”
I asked to explain. And Niels put me on the shelves:
- Consider the first scenario: tomorrow the lamp will fall out of the ceiling and hit me on the head. This is a work injury. They will call an ambulance and send me to the hospital. To pay for my treatment and sick leave will be an insurance company. But not the one in which I am insured, but the one in which the employer is insured. The fact is that each employer is responsible for injuries sustained by employees at the workplace, as well as on the way to work or on the way home. The employer usually insures these risks with insurance. The insurance will organize a workplace audit and will find out how this could happen and who is to blame. She will try to transfer her expenses in recourse to the company that was installing the lamps or the one that was repairing the ceiling, or any other scapegoat. And then it turns out that a fool changed the lamp on his own initiative, also without permission to work with electrical appliances. All expenses for treatment will be thrown to you in full. And it can easily pull a few thousand euros. Plus you get fired with bad recommendations.
- Option two: a few days later, a fire will begin in the building. A historic wooden building in the city center will burn. It will most likely be impossible to establish the true cause of the fire. One of the main versions that will be worked out is a short circuit of the wiring. They will begin to find out who carried out any work and manipulations with the electrician in the last year. Do the firms have the appropriate licenses, and the workers who carried out the work, tolerances, etc. And then you come up with your lamp. It may be possible to fight back with a good lawyer, or maybe not . Damage could already reach several million euros. Plus you get fired with bad recommendations.
- The third option: no one will suffer and nothing will burn. Just someone will tell the director about your initiative. You are not an electrician and you do not have permission to climb inside electrical appliances. And this is a gross violation of safety regulations. In addition, this prohibition is expressly stated in your employment contract. Have you read your contract at all ??? Even if you had an education in this profile in Russia, but it was not recognized in Germany, it’s all the same that it wasn’t. Yes, in order to change the lamp, it is not necessary to be an electrician, but in any case, you must undergo training or safety instruction when working with electrical appliances and obtain permission. Without it, all you can do at work is plug a desk lamp into a power outlet and flip a switch, but nothing more. And this is done in order to avoid the situations of paragraph 1 and paragraph 2.
- Fourth option: no one and nothing will suffer, no one will know anything. We will thank you. But are you ready to take a chance for thanks?
We discussed a little more about how I can change bulbs in a rented apartment without permission. But I caught the essence of the attitude of the employer in Germany to amateur performances.
After this conversation, I went straight to the pantry in order to return to that place the lamp that I had already previously disassembled there as soon as possible. Everything had to be done until no one saw and informed the director about it.
The whole next week I thought a lot about this and remembered several cases from my life in which incompetence could lead or led to sad consequences:
- The first situation: many years ago. I work as an admin. In the morning partners should arrive. For them, the CEO prepared a presentation. For presentations, we used a huge plasma TV worth several thousand dollars. When checking in the evening, it turns out that it does not turn on. Everyone is in a panic. I take a screwdriver and climb inside. Expectedly I find a blown fuse. The fuse is soldered to the board, but I do not have a soldering iron. And there is nothing to replace the fuse with, so I wrap it with several turns of copper wire from above. The TV worked, the boss is satisfied, they gave me a bonus. I walk, proud of my versatility and resourcefulness. Here is a fool ... Well, a fool ... And then it could be closed. Not only a TV, but a building in the center of St. Petersburg could burn out. People could suffer. But then it was not familiar to me.
- Situation two: a work colleague rode a company car. I decided to save money and add brake fluid on my own. But I mixed up the covers and poured brake fluid into the engine. As a result: engine overhaul had to be done.
- The third situation: the voltage in the office began to sag strongly, computers began to reboot, and equipment hung up. We were advised to "sit in another phase." The director found an inexpensive electrician through an ad. Instead of replacing one phase with another, he mixed up the wires and replaced the zero with the phase. Outlets became 380 instead of 220. As a result, a lot of equipment burned out.
The next day, an electrician came to us and pulled out the starter so that the lamp would not blink. And the lamp itself was replaced only ten days later.
After this event, I not only made relevant conclusions for myself. I also took out family insurance against damage to third parties with a liability limit of 20 million euros. So if my son, while playing a ball, accidentally scratches eight elements on the new Bugatti Veyron, now this will not result in a collapse of the family budget.
PS On the topic of safety in the workplace, the Germans shot several training videos, which are now considered classics of the genre. Who did not see - I advise (18+)
Three years ago, I moved with my wife and three children to Germany. I write about life and work in my telegram channel @LiveAndWorkInGermany . Briefly and on business. Interesting? - Join now.