THE COST OF POOR SAFETY
Safety is perhaps one of the pillars which can support organisations so that they can enjoy a high level of respectability. Building a reputation for high quality is perhaps an opportunity which does not repeat itself very often.
Need of the safety:
- Building a reputation for high quality is perhaps an opportunity which does not repeat itself very often.
- It takes many years of commitment, effort and perseverance before a culture based on TQM, customer-supplier interactions and doing things right first time and every time, can get established. Total Quality Management as a philosophy of competitiveness stresses the need for sustainable effort and therefore no slippage or drop in quality standards can be allowed.
- Organisations under the banners of TQM strive for the achievement of an image based on market respectability, business capability based on customer care and responsiveness to fulfill various needs.
Significance of the safety:
- Safety is perhaps one of the pillars which can support organisations so that they can enjoy a high level of respectability.
- Safety of course, similarly to TPM, has not on the whole been given its due in the context of competitive strategy.
- This is particularly the case if strategic objectives are driven by TQM implementation.
- It is not surprising therefore to find that many large organisations have fallen out of favor with existing and prospective customers because of safety neglect.
- Tarnished images are hard to reverse and competitive loss is hard to regain.
- The Zeebrugge ferry disaster is still vivid in the minds of many people. The Herald of Free Enterprise capsized resulting in the deaths of nearly 200 people.
- This led to public condemnation of the owner company and a public enquiry which found that the owner's management as well as members of the crew was at fault for the ship sailing with the bow doors open, which caused the disaster.
- Although the company was subsequently acquitted of corporate manslaughter, this neglect of safety meant that its corporate image was tarnished. It will be hard to change public opinion, particularly when loss of life occurred on such a large scale.
- Boeing is another company which has commanded respect for a long time by providing products with high safety, reliability and quality standards.
- Boeing has never suffered from a shortage in book orders worldwide.
- The company has been so busy that ordered planes take many years to be delivered.
- There has been however, growing concern that the number of problems with Boeing aircraft is increasing.
- Both companies are now striving to restore quality and reliability standards to win back public confidence. Damage of reputation and costly penalties may be caused even by minor neglect.
- There are examples which may not affect public confidence but worker morale and commitment to organisational objectives. The true cost of poor safety standards can perhaps never be assessed accurately.
- Damages to organisations can be internal and external.
- They can be economically quantifiable in the short term but hard to assess in the long term, particularly if respectability and customer faith are damaged.