This is an experience shared by my dear friend Bal with me. Bal used to work for a steel plant in Eastern India. He is an excellent engineer with the hands-on style of working in those days. Once one goes up in the pyramid the hands-on style changes because there are so many more things to do.
Bal was in-charge of a particular plant; this plant handled some really tough work, so naturally, Bihari workmen were also rough and tough. On that specific day, an alarm bell started ringing in the plant indicating some danger. Some years back there was a major disaster in the same plant, with deaths. The sound must have hit alarm bell ringing in people’s mind about the previous accident.
Bal who was in a meeting and like many others rushed down to the shop floor.
The shop was huge, and the problem area was on the opposite side of where Bal was standing. He made arrangements for people to vacate the area and requested for a group of volunteers to tackle the issue. The issue was significant leakage of steam and some gases from that area. A team of four people was formed led of course by Bal! They started moving towards the problem area; Bal had made sure that ALL were evacuated from the plant considering the danger.
They reached the area and started analysing the issue. It was a cramped area, so checking issues was really tough as one had to scrape thru small gaps and so on. The team analysed the problem in about half an hour and started taking action. Another half an hour later, by closing various valves and circuits, the danger zone was shut off! Everybody gave a sigh of relief and turned to come out of the cramped area. To their surprise they found four strong workmen standing just behind them. Bal and his team had not noticed them in the heat of the moment.
He was both surprised and angry. He asked them why they had not followed his instructions of vacating the area? Their answer was simple. They said, “Sir, you had put yourself in such a big danger we thought we must be near you all the time”. Bal asked them what were they going to do by being there? They said Sir it was simple. They said, ” Where else could we be?” They had decided that in case there was a blast or something as had happened previously, they were going to form a human cover around Bal so that they would absorb the first shock of the explosion!!
Friends draw your own conclusions about these rough and tough workers!! God bless there was no blast.