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Signing my life away?

Signing my life away?

Signing my life away?

I worked at the current company for about a year, and recently, the schedule manager was changed to a new guy. The new guy asked me to sign each drawing before released to the production floor. Regarding this arrangement, I have some concerns/ reservations on this. The previous schedule manager was not doing a good job, as he generated drawings with lots of mistakes, which I noticed in my first month work at company. Now, he is gone, and the situation is a bit better. But I noticed someone had put my initials on some drawings on their own, without my permission of it during my second month of my work at the company. Also, the production is like a job shop type of setup, and people working are not engineering mind inclined, which can change things on the fly ! That is another reason why I am hesitated to do it.

Now, the new schedule manager came and asked me to sign on the drawings, which is acceptable under normal circumstances. But in this particular environment, I may have a risk of being blamed of something which I am not aware of.

What should I do to ensure a successful sign off of drawing without being faked with my signatures by someone?

Any suggestions?


RE: Signing my life away?

Hello engmechs,

On the first hand, this is as presented, a question concerning you. Secondly it is also, and most important, a question about your company's quality level. If your company has an organization quality certificate, or aspire to have one, it should have a written procedure describing in detail how a drawing should be constructed, produced, documented and controlled, who should sign and when, and what the signature stands for.

All this seems to be missing. You are right in your fear, not having this procedure, anyone can put whichever meaning to your signature 'after the fact'.

Do you have any job description at all?

Suggestion: try to argument for quality improvement by job description and/or procedure, or sign with date and added remark: 'ready for construction/drawing control'.

Best luck!

RE: Signing my life away?

Another issue is why someone is circumventing the process. Are they drawing stuff that's NOT releasable for production? That raises major product quality issues.

You need to add some sort of electronic signoff that cannot be forged or circumvented, particularly if substandard or incorrect drawings are getting past the checkoffs.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Signing my life away?

I do not know what the corporate structure is at your company, but at one company I worked at years ago, I was able to get the company to agree to removing all marked up prints from the shop floor.
The company then issued a new print with each job order that went to the floor. At first this caused problems , but it had the effect of driving all of the " Tribal" information back to the drawing office where it could be checked and incorporated into later drawings. When a drawing is released to the shop floor who checks it, just you? Or do you have checkers there? A policy of having no ink signatures, only printed or electronic ones may help.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Signing my life away?

Hi gerhardl,

You are right to the point, the quality level has room for improve. New people come regularly,and may not follow procedures. Management doesn't seem to reinforce strict engineering control.

Hi IRstuff,
The drawings signed and then released to the floor. This is the normal procedure. The electronic sign off seem the way to go in the long run, as this prevents anyone put their own notes/ changes on the drawings.

Hi Bershire,
I am the checker there. The drawings will stay inside a physical folder with job and travel on the floor, till it finished. After that, it will be stored in cabinet.

Thanks everyone.


RE: Signing my life away?

If you are going to put your name on it, then make sure it is right. Tell the boss that you will only sign off on checked and corrected drawings.

RE: Signing my life away?


What does your signature on the drawing officially mean?

If it means that you, a licensed professional engineer, have determined that the equipment and/or process is safe for employees and the public, you had better lock that system down now. Professional engineers keep their stamps in locked safes for good reason.

The "signature" indicates that you are responsible for what is happening. If someone is applying it without your knowledge, you could have a nasty surprise waiting for you. You could have some crazy politics going on. Maybe someone lacks the abstract thinking skills to understand that your signature means something. Maybe someone short circuits processes, and you should curious about what other processes are being short circuited.


RE: Signing my life away?

You have a final personal security mechanism available to you; the log book. You should keep a log of what you sign, and with today's "cloud" it's quite easy to have at least a cloud based backup copy. It is valuable, and should be kept secure by whatever means you prefer.


(Me,,,wrong? ...aw, just fine-tuning my sarcasm!)

RE: Signing my life away?

I would go a little farther than just keeping a logbook in the cloud.
E.g. take a photograph of whatever you sign, and upload _that_ to your Google Drive or whatever.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

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