Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Legal Analyst, Hrm
Gopinath Varahamurthi
Mindhour Partner, Ass.professor/adm. Officer,
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Asso.prof.(commerce & Management) Pg
Hr / Ir
Hr Executive
+5 Others

Dear All,
This is to request your guidance on one issue faced recently in our organization. Ours is the organization involved in manufacturing of mechanical tool components. It happened that 3 operators were working on the same product. Those products, while in Quality check, got rejected and now again rework is to be done or may be altogether a new production in lieu of those products has to be started. Could you please suggest provision of penalty to be made on those operators?
(I tried searching similar issue in archives, but could not find the conversation/discussions).

From India, Ahmadabad
Dear Harshavardhan,

Before imposting penalty or forfeiture of wages, it is important to conduct the domestic enquiry. While awarding punishment, please take into account the operator's salary. Penalty should not be more than 10-20% of the worker's salary.

Objective of negative discipline is to correct the behaviour of the employees. Negative discipline cannot be used to recover the losses incurred during operations.

Rejection in quality check is common problem across the manufacturing industry. How many workers will you punish and how many times will you punish? Therefore, you need to check their skill level, training and whether they had sufficient exposure to machine operations.

Material reject during operations is small thing. Lot of things happen on shop floor. Because of the wrong decisions by the managers or management itself machines remain idle or workers remain idle. Do you have mechanism to punish them also?


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
First examine whether it is sole fault of these workers.
Secondly look into whether adequate supervision was there during production.
If adequate supervision was there then defects would have been noticed before final product emerges.
Have a detailed look.
Imposing fine can be done after due process.
What is more important is to see any system failure
If off course it is seen due training had been given and still out of careless or casual attitude this rejection has been caused,then workers need to be disciplined appropriately.

From India, Pune
True, you cannot impose a penalty without conducting domestic inquiry.In addition to what the learned members said above, I may say that it is normal that a small portion of the products may not conform to quality standards and gets rejected.Therefore you need to ascertain as to what is the ratio of rejection or does it fall under any permissible limit agreed ,if any at industry level or as per quality standard procedures.Further, you need to investigate whether the workmen concerned have followed the standard operating procedures, if any, prescribed for the production of the said products or committed breach there of or were they simply negligent and if so what is the basis for coming to such conclusion or is it due to any fault in the machinery.The fact that you sought to know as to how to impose penalty for the alleged conduct of the workmen concerned, leads us to believe that you have no disciplinary rules in place nor is it known whether you have made any penal provisions in the contract of employment. Kindly verify these aspects at your end before contemplating disciplinary action.


From India, Mumbai
Thank you all three of you; those answers are very helpful. Moreover I realized my mistake that first of all I should dig in to the matter and find out who is at the fault actually.
Yes, we do not have any rules till now, but now we want to set up a whole rational system and that is the reason why I posted my query here.
So initially, after inquiring the matter and finding out the person at fault, is it advisable to warn him/her through a memo or shall we keep it as a verbal warning for the first time?

From India, Ahmadabad
Hello Harshavardhan,
Can you clarify/elaborate a few aspects of the situation?
1] Since when are these 3 operators working on this production line?
2] Are they senior-level operators or junior level?
3] What EXACTLY is their role.....welding, buffing, CNC machining, etc, etc? This WILL be important to judge to what extent the individual's role is in the rejection.
[for eg,. IF the welding rods were of poor quality, would it be fair to blame the guys for a welding quality rejection?......I know of cases where the answer to this scenario was "the operator should have pointed out the poor welding rod quality"--when it's the Purchase/Stores guy who should have ensured this aspect in the first place].
4] What were the reasons for the rejection? Has this been a repeat rejection of the work of these operators or the first instance/time?
5] Like Nathrao mentioned, what is the Supervisor's role during the whole production activity? This will become important IF the reasons were systemic than the individual's fault.

From India, Hyderabad
Dear Harshvardhan ,
I am fully agreed with All collagues .( above ).
Remember there is no Industrial Dispute with bargain able category workers.
Otherwise Union may take different issue .
You have Penalty /Find Register with your Organisation ? You have to deposit the amount in that account , subsequently deposited to Worker Welfare Fund .
Regards ,

From India, Mumbai
In my view alphabetically H comes first so it is the need to check How it has happened - is it because on machine, calibration / tools, men etc. Then comes WHA - what lead to the mistake / rejection - lack of training, briefing the requirement, lack of Work instructions, Intermittent inspections at various stages, etc. Inspite of all these a new type of mistake can happen and needs to update the work instructions according to specific needs. With all this a failure happens to investigate WHO & may be one chance to be given, considering as only wise man learns from others mistake and average from their own. A repeated mistake is not be tolerated and need to be viewed seriously with the disciplinary action to be taken.
From India, Hyderabad
To add, before concluding for penalisation, it's all the more important to examine the sincerity of the machine man, cost of rework, the lead time involved, man days lost etc. If this was the first time, after giving him a systematic retraining, a warning would suffice. As Mr.Dinesh commented manufacturing industry is endlessly beset with rejections at QC. It's also can be considered reasonable if this sort of punishment resorted to only when carelessness/willful default or sabotage is suspected on the workmen when proved beyond doubt.
From India, Bangalore
Dear Harshavardhan,
My simple question is, was their no floor supervisor or forman to check or guide them in their operations to manufacturing the product? If not only the management is responsible, not the workers/ operators, if nobody was there to guide or advise them before they could use their own common sense, when they were not supposed to be the qualified engineers. In that case only the company should bear with the loss without touching the services of operators. Even the most qualified engineer requires the appropriate upper level supervision to avoid going things wrong. If there was any foreman or floor/workshop supervisor , why do you intend to spare him? His fault can be more serious than the workers/ operators, when he failed to discharge his supervisory duty.

From India, Delhi

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