tugsailor (May 31st, 2012)
I went down to New Orleans to interview with Hornbeck.
They said I would be hired if I passed the "physical" and that is was a tough physical at that.
I felt pretty confident because I have always felt stronger than average for a girl.
They told me that the weight lifting portion is what usually gets most girls.
When I got there, I managed to lift 85lbs (I just wanted to note that I haven't worked on a ship for a year).
When I left, I felt pretty confident that I would be hired because I think the coast guard only requires 50lbs and I'm pretty sure OSHA says its supposed to be two people for anything more than 50lbs anyway.
So once again, I lifted 85lbs, that's EIGHTY-FIVE. A few days later, Hornbeck calls me and tells me that they are sorry
but I didn't lift the SEVENTY-FIVE pound minimum, that I wouldn't be hired but that I could come back and take the physical
in two months.
Of course I am a little upset about this, because if its just that they don't want to hire a girl, they should not have invited me to come all the way to New Orleans and not offer to pay for the transportation.
Since I was already in the gulf, I applied other companies in the area and well as some drilling companies.
I then went to the ECO office and they seemed to like me alot and wanted to hire me on the spot. Of course I had to go through their physical as well. They told me upfront that my grip strength had to be 90psi and I knew right away that I wouldn't pass because my grip strength when I took the Hornbeck physical was 80psi.
I went and took the physical anyway, and the gauge on the ECO doctor's dynamometer read 60psi! I know that people
who don't pass ECO's grip strength test sometimes workout for a few days and then go back and pass if it's just 10psi under, but I don't know how I could have possibly gone from 80 to 60 in just a few days!
I told the doctor that I just taken this test and that maybe his dynamometer gauge is off and got really mad and suggested that maybe the other doctors' was off.
I know that the grip strength dynanomemters are suppose dot be calibrated once per year. How do we know if these doctor's are actually doing this?
And has anyone at all had a similar experience with Hornbeck blatantly lying to them or having such extremely different results with different doctors?
Are all the doctors in the south just crooked company men?
tugsailor (May 31st, 2012)
I do know that some of the companies in the GoM are almost Nazilike in their physical standards and I have been x-rayed enough times to have a lifetime's supply of mili-rems of radiation plus been bled for what must be a quart of blood. I've blown in their tubes will I almost passed out, pedaled stationary bikes with electrodes all over me until I could pedal no more, jumped, squatted, squeezed, lifted, climbed, crawled, with a heart rate monitor strapped around me. Sat in soundproof booths with a little button in my hand. Pissed in a hundred cups (just up to the line and don't flush the toilet!) Turned my head and coughed, bent over and think I'll stop there for now.
Then one time I mention all this to my personal physician and he asks if it would be possible to get the results so he can look them over and the company says "sorry, they belong to us" AND I WAS STILL WORKING FOR THEM AT THE TIME! Even worse was N/D's pre-employment agreement. In the part about physical health information they demanded me to sign over to them the right of access for every medical record of mine from the time of my effing BIRTH! I signed the goddamned thing but if it ever came to a fight over it, I was prepared to tell them I had never been to a doctor since I was born and force them to prove otherwise!
Brody: You're certifiable, Quint! You know that?
Quint: Yeah, yeah, yeah...
These company physical requirements have really gotten way out of hand. I understand that companies need to protect themselves from spurious injury claims, but they have gone too far.
Does one really need to be young and in super shape in order to sit in a pilothouse chair and wiggle a joy stick?
The companies that make the Biodex and Cybex strength and agility testing machines are really pushing this testing to companies in every industry. This is growing rapidly.
I recently took a short course at one of the academies. I stopped by the career services office for a chat. I was given the story that out of the last 20 guys (kids) the academy had sent down to ECO only 12 could pass the physical. The other 8 passed physicals elsewhere.
The USCG should improve its physical requirements to meet international standards and issue a seaman's medical card like they do elsewhere. An employer should be allowed to ask to see the medical card, and nothing more.
James D. Cavo
U.S. Coast Guard
Mariner Credentialing Program
Policy Division (CG-5434)
Shellback (June 12th, 2012)
So far we have been able to talk our way out of any problems with the bureaucracts.
Never approach anything faster than you are willing to hit it.
The physical scares me the most. I finally cleared the CG physical for my upgrade in December, but because I had a near syncopal event and a patent forumen ovale (PFO)back in 2006, I had to go through a gauntlet of medical testing proving there was nothing wrong with me. I have documentation from all the doctors, but I'm worried that it won't suffice for when I apply to ECO and other companies. I suppose all I can do is bring my medical record and hope for the best. Otherwise, I'm SOL.
Quimby (May 31st, 2012)
Similar yet different: passing a yearly physical exam is a requirement to maintain pilotage. An employer asking for the exam results is reasonable if your job requires pilotage.
These strength and agility tests, and the use of MRIs by employers are a growing trend that is heavily promoted by the "occupational specialists" who are making money off of it. At the rate they are goin it won't be long before the retirement and medicare age will need to be dropped to 40 because no one over 40 will be employable.
Pre-work agility testing for drivers
February 8th, 2012
Con-way Truckload to join list of carriers requiring pre-work agility testing for drivers
Strength and agility testing has become one of the most effective means of promoting health and safety in the workplace, helping to eliminate injuries experienced by employees in physically demanding jobs.
The American with Disabilities Act provides that “an employer may give a physical agility test to determine physical qualifications necessary for certain jobs prior to making a job offer if it is simply an agility test and not a medical examination.”
Drew Bossen with Atlas Ergonomics, a company that helps employers administer these tests, says “more and more carriers are requiring this type of pre-work screening in an effort to hire healthier work-forces who are more capable to do their jobs safely. And in the trucking industry, that means safer roads for everyone.”
Atlas Ergonomics provided us with some of the most frequently asked questions regarding pre-work screening:
Why am I asked to participate in a Pre-Work Screen?
The work demands associated with “Trucking” are vigorous and challenging. We want to make certain that you can perform the required demands of the job safely.
Do I need to participate in the Pre-Work Screen?
Yes… as a driver candidate you are required to participate as a condition of your employment. Candidates who choose not to participate will not be considered for employment.
What if I feel the Pre-Work Screen demands are beyond my current physical capabilities?
Under no circumstances should you proceed if you feel the physical demands of the Pre-Work Screen are beyond your current physical capabilities. Please inform the screener if this is a concern.
What if I am unable to pass the Pre-Work Screen?
If you are unable to pass the Pre-Work Screen you will not be considered for employment at this time, though future employment is certainly an option.
What happens when I pass the Pre-Work Screen?
Upon passing of the Pre-Work Screen, you will proceed with your training session.
Safety First and Always…
Download the PDF and see the 10 exercises
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Tags: activities on the road, agility, exercise, fitness, health and fitness goals, healthy eating, injuries, safety
I feel that mariners who let their bodies go are a safety issue to a vessel since 1. they cannot effectively participate in an emergency response and 2. might require to be rescued in an emergency risking those who need to rescue them.
I had a chief engineer sent to me once who was at least 300# and literally unable to safety go down a steep ladder into the ECR. In an emergency, I could easily see him taking a header down that ladder. Not good imo.
At our age, the simple truth is that we are wearing out. I'm sure we can both scurry up ladders in an emergency just fine, but could we withstand MRI's and computerized machines that measure our age related disk deterioration and examine the "smoothness" of every joint in our bodies? Companies don't care about our health, safety, or emergencies, all they care about is getting sued. My neighbor tells the story of his shipmate who broke a leg in a car accident. The leg healed up just fine in six weeks, but the company doctor's Biodex machine says the joint motion is too rough. He figures that he's beached forever over a broken leg that is now ok.
Its good that we maybe worth a higher day rate because we are going to be paying a lot more taxes to keep all these people on welfare who are "medically unfit" to work.