Integrating Quality Into Safety and Health Management
James E. Roughton - IT Corporation (SSA Journal Volume 6 Number 6 - December 1992 pp. 14 - 23 )

James E. Roughton - IT Corporation Throughout the country there is a growing concern about the safety and quality of products and services provided to the customer. The pressure to define, measure and deliver a quality product or service is coming from many directions: the business community, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The Department of Defense (DOD), etc. In the past, the industry has largely relied on management to define the quality of the products and services produced. Corporations are being urged to initiate Total Quality Management (TQM) and produce a safe and quality product the first time, on time, all the time. But how can we expect employees to abide by an alien concept, a concept that is alien because of an underlying deficiency in our society? Influences that shape society's attitudes and motivations, such as the educational system, the courts, the media, and religious and political leaders, have distorted the importance of personal rights vs. personal responsibilities. How then can we expect an employee's dedication to excellence? Too often expediency overrides the principles of excellence, apathy replaces concern, and personal rights override personal responsibilities. This results when self-respect and pride are not ingrained in individuals. Our grandfathers knew the value of excellence, concern, and personal responsibility, but those values have been long forgotten. Every effort should be made to persuade educators and other shapers of society to impress the need for change on the public, starting with grade school students. Colleges should require safety and quality as core requirements to be completed before graduation. The principles of TQM much be implemented nationally and applied to every facet of our society before safety and quality can be successful in the work place. Competition demands that companies work smarter to cut operating cost by raising the efficiency of operations. Implementing a Safety and Quality improvement program requires top management commitment and continuing support. This is the key model for success. A motivator is needed at the highest level of the organization. The success of the safety and quality improvement program is highly related to the commitment from top management and failures are generally a result of not addressing trouble areas. The opportunity for competitive advantage is available to all organizations to seize and implement.