Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New invisible difficulty faced by Safety Officer

During my 2 years being a Safety Officer, I faced lots of difficulties such as uncooperative worker to stingy bosses. However, I came across a new type of problem that perhaps will only occur during bad times, which might have very great impact to your safety level. The problem is fear. The psychological state of most employee will be badly affected due to the poor economy. As you know, during bad times, retrenchment, reduce of overtime, pay cut are some of the usual practice conducted by most company. Although knowing that it's inevitable to do cut cost to allow the company to stay afloat, the damage caused to the employee is relatively huge too. I'd spoken to some of my foreign colleagues from China & India & they told me that their hometown is also badly affected. While the normal inventories continue to increase in cost, salary continue to be reduced. Maintaining a sustainable life seems to be harder. Worries caused them to stay off focus on their job & in this instant, it's just a matter of time for accident to happen.

I fully understand that as a Safety Officer, this type of psychological problem is never easy to resolve. Having putting effort to prevent morale from dropping, there are very little solutions to smoother a worry heart. I would strongly recommend that top management NOT to stay in their comfortable office to avoid confrontation with the employee. On the contrary, they should linger with the company employee, irregardless of ranking, gather their respect & trust so as to face the problem together.

I must emphasis here that my view on Safety is not 100% via Enforcement. Education plays a major part in Safety. Injecting fear (via enforcement) to the employee no longer applicable as our employee now are relatively educated, not like our fore-fathers. Only by understanding via education can led the workplace safety to another higher level. If you are from a Top Management, talk a stroll down the alleyway of your production area. It's time to communicate with them. Safety Starts With Me! Just my personal thoughts.

Work Safe, Be Safe...