humanresources

No One Listens

Read the case below and answer the questions at the end.

Several severe accidents have recently occurred in the 12 employee boiler room of City Foundry. James Worth, the boiler room supervisor, is quite upset about the situation. Just yesterday, the Foundry Plant Manager called:

Plant Manager: James, what in the world is going on down there? Are you trying to put us out of business?

James: If I’ve lectured these people about safety once, I’ve done it 50 times. They just don’t seem to listen.

Plant Manager: Accidents cost us money for repairs, lost time, and medical expenses, not to mention the human suffering involved. Your department’s record is awful, and something must be done about it. Maybe you should try something new.

James: I’m not sure what it will be, but I’ll come up with something.

Plant Manager: Good. Please report back to me when you come up with something.

James decided to discuss his problem with several other supervisors in the foundry to see what ideas they might have. One suggestion was that James schedule a weekly 10 minute safety talk by one of his employees. These talks could be on such topics as “Good Housekeeping”, Using Proper Safety Guards on Equipment,” “Following Procedures,” and “Health Hazards.” Another suggestion was that James review his department periodically and that any unsafe act discovered during his review be punished by an immediate two-day suspension for the offender. The person making this suggestion obviously believed that what James needed was to get touch. A third suggestion was that James talk personally to each employee about the department’s safety problems; let the employees know that he was personally interested in each of them. A final suggestion was that James give the employee with the best safety record for the past four months a day off with pay.

QUESTIONS

1. Why do you think James has been having safety problems?

2. Which of the suggestions given to James would you attempt to implement?

3. What additional ideas might you try if you were James?