12 July 2007

Do we Sacrifice Safety to Save Time?

I completed all my work for the day quite early as there isn't much work today. I walked out of my office and looked at the trees and skies outside hoping that some clouds would arrive to cool down the weather. I noticed that I was too busy at work that I seldom looked at those trees at the far end in front of the Hangar (aircraft repair shed).

The air inside the Hangar wasn't fresh. There was an unpleasant smell of paint fumes as I walked along the aircraft body docks heading towards the Hangar openings. There isn't proper control over the usage of chemical and paints. I've been inhaling all kind of chemical fumes since I started working here.

The standard of safety in this place is quite bad. There are big gaps of almost one to one and a half feet between the aircraft I'm working on currently and the aircraft body docks. If a person is to slip and fall through the gaps, he will fall from a height of nearly 15 feet right on to the Hangar floor. Thank God, there wasn't any accident of that kind so far.

I did highlighted about this unsafe condition a couple of months ago but I was told by a person in the middle management that there are other maintenance organization which have worse standard of safety than this. I was not quite sure why did he choose to make a comparison with worse places and not better ones.

Recently, the company launched a safety campaign which was quite a laugh. Everyone was issued with a pair of safety goggles and it was made mandatory for everyone to wear it when working on the aircraft. It is a good thing, but what's the point of it when there are other critical safety related issues that need more attention and rectification.

Can a pair of safety goggles help if a person falls down through the gap I mentioned earlier, or will it help when the aircraft painters are allowed to paint strip, rub down and paint the aircraft during normal working hours when others are working, just to catch up with time.
Although this seldom happens, but it still affects the workers health.

I'm just hoping that the issuance of the safety goggles is the first step for the company to improve the standard of safety in this place. Today, I hardly see people working on the aircraft with their goggles on but I'm pretty sure that the goggles supplier has made good fortune out of this.

Having said all this, there are other good aspects that have made me happy to continue working for this company. After all, I'm established here, I know a lot of people and there is some flexibility here compared to other places I know, or may be, I'm just too lazy to make a change in life!

If the management puts in some good effort and allocates extra budget, this company could be turned into a better and safer place to work.

There are times in life that we tend to sacrifice our safety just to catch up with time.There are people who sacrifice safety everyday and saves a lot of time. A most common example is, people drive fast and dangerously only to save a few minutes of their time.

I used to ride a bike to work before to beat traffic jam and save some time although I knew that bikes are dangerous especially during rush hours. I stopped riding my bike to work two years ago when I ended up with an accident where I broke my right collar bone and cracked my left palm bone. It was not fun at all to stay at home for more than a month without being able to use my arms properly.

It is just not worth it to sacrifice safety to save time but it always happen, and we can see it in everyday life especially at work place. People work extra hours to meet deadlines, people use improper tools and procedures in order to complete their job quickly and people are allowed to use chemicals when other people are working in the same vicinity.

Having said all this, nobody is perfect, I do sometimes sacrifice safety to get things done quickly!

When I started with this blog a few months ago, I was extremely busy handling part of a big project which consists of four aircrafts. The customer was Lufthansa Technik from Germany and the project lasted for almost four months. We successfully delivered all the four aircrafts on time. I enjoyed working with Lufthansa Technik support team. They were helpful, experienced, well organized and fast in responding to problems, unlike some other customer representatives that I've worked with before.

I can't really remember how I ended up blogging during such a busy period. I was quite surprised to find out that there is a great big world of bloggers in the Internet and I started to enjoy blogging since then. The only problem for me is to allocate some of my time for this as I'm always occupied with other things. For the time being, I could only make one post per week but I wish to improve in the future.

There are also times when I feel like giving up my blog but fortunately, I have a few blogging friends who have unknowingly inspired me to keep my blog alive, thanks to them.

From my few months experience, I personally think that bloggers are a wonderful group of people, and most of them that I know are friendly, funny, creative and kind.

3 comments:

Hathery said...

Far too often I think we sacrifice safety to improve productivity until it is too late. It takes a very tragic accident sometimes before people realize that saving a little time is not worth the consequences of unsafe working conditions.

Hathery said...

OH, and by the way...putting up a new post once a week is more than sufficient. Your posts are long and well-written, so one post a week the way you're doing it now is MUCH better than 5 tiny, quick posts a week.

Zhu said...

Added you to my blogroll - sorry it took so long ! ;)

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