Sacrificing Safety: What is it worth?

I have taken a few days (or rather weeks) off from social media and been observing a few national events.  (Of course I’ve also been working out of town in Historic Rugby, TN as music director on fundraising theatre production as well that has created a small delay in blogging).  One thing that strongly sticks out in my mind is the compromise of safety for the game of P&L profit.  Between the oil spill, coal mine explosion, and Toyota recalls, China labor strikes,I question just where did we leave off the learning that people are not indispensable?

In the risk assessment models used, was their ever a line that included the value of human life?  Seriously, while the environmental impact, or the financial impact may be studied in the business model, what about the human impact?  What about the feasibility study of how decision making will impact the human race in the present and future time periods?

Now to add to these events, we have all the “sit-in” strikes that are being held now in China.  China has just announced that they realize their people are not machines and need better working conditions and a livable wage.  Really, did it take this many years for them to realize this?  (Anyone in their right mind could have told them this!)

To me, profits is like squeezing orange juice.  There is only so much juice going to come out of that orange.  In business, there is only so much profit going to be made from the product or service.  Should we genetically change/alter the orange to obtain more juice?  Aka, squeeze the profits out of a product to determine that sacrificing 3 or 4 people is ok, but when we sacrifice 3,000 or 4,000 that isn’t ok?  Is that what we’re saying when management cuts corners for safety to keep profits up?

Let’s think on this for a while…a long while…and rethink where the break-even point should lie; safety vs profits.

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2 thoughts on “Sacrificing Safety: What is it worth?

    • Thanks Cathy…it is truly a subject matter to think about from all the recent events that have been reported that ends up costing a company more from a longterm view.

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