Questions always abound over whether safety and quality production can be equated and whether they both deserve similar commitment. Since the conventionalization of the six sigma concept by Toyota Corporation in the 1980s much focus has been on creating excellence in business processes while paying minimal or no attention to other supportive elements of business. Workplace safety is as essential as quality production and while one is the main goal of an organization, the other can erode any gain made by such an organization. Six sigma concentrates on creating excellence and safety too can be improved to a level of effectiveness and efficiency.
Effect of compromised safety
Excellence in a workplace comes with continued improvement and eradicating of any factors hindering efficiency. Safety in a workplace is paramount and where it is relaxed it can result to huge losses and other major inconveniences. Billions of money is lost annually from workplace related accidents. Others are lost from tens of lawsuits that arise out of such accidents and also the time it takes trying to address such issues. Lean enterprise emphasizes on the eradication of any negative energy from an organization. Any resource that reaps counter-results should be done away with as it derails the movement of the organization towards excellence. The fact that compromised safety results to huge losses is a testament that safety is a crucial part of the organization and should be guaranteed to provide an effective environment for excellence to be achieved.
Safety is a process
Safety encompasses quite a huge number of things and sometimes it is difficult to come up with a system that addresses each and every aspect of safety. Achieving a situation where all factors are addressed requires a process of constant improvements and innovations. This means that the existing systems must be continuously tested for efficiency and any weaknesses detected addressed without delay. Organizations must take any incident arising within the workplace as a learning opportunity and the managers have to keep evaluating the safety processes and procedures to eliminate any defects.
Involvement of the employees
Employees are the most important as far as safety is concerned and regulatory bodies place immense importance on their involvement to ensure their safety concerns are addressed. The journey towards excellence within the organization has to take into consideration the views of the employees so as to create a secure environment to work in. Six sigma experts talk of establishing a zero error environment and impacting a safety culture through a process of constant improvement. Six sigma analytical tools when employed in safety circles can effectively pinpoint any existence of areas that need to be improved and with the help of the employees can detect the loopholes that exist in the present workplace safety system. This involves the analysis of any data on staff health and safety, examining the causes of any previous accidents and recommending to the management the changes to be effected to ensure such a situation does not arise again in future.
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