Safety and Poor Management

Can poor management be blamed for poor safety? An article by Terry L. Mathis examines the correlation between poor safety results and poor quality/products/management within companies.  In general poor safety results can put up a red flag of further, deeper seeded issues within companies.  Failures in safety, performance or quality of products are a result of a process that has gone wrong.  The article states that process failures are management failures.

There are five key things that can cause failures in safety.  Mathis lists them as this:

1.)    Separating safety from other business priorities by turning it into a specialty area: when safety is kept separate from other top priorities it will not be given the same amount of effort.

2.)    Safety is seen as a lower priority than things like capital and technology.

3.)    They have tried to manage safety but have failed because of an overall lack of strategy and metrics.

4.)    Failing to address and improve the safety culture of their organization.

5.)    Hire and train employees without addressing impending safety issues.

While even companies with good safety management and a good safety culture can have increases in accidents from time to time, any company with consistent injuries may show weaknesses in other areas such as quality products.  The article suggests looking at safety as a clue to how things are run within an organization and thinking twice about contracting a company with consistent serious injury problems.

Mathis, Terry. “Does Poor Safety Equal Poor Management?” November 11,2013. November 20, 2013

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