Feb 19 2008
While arguing with a union boilermaker friend of mine the other day, something he and I enjoy doing, our conversation swung over to a serious quality incident we were both aware of. I am not a liberty to share the details but suffice it to say the problem was caused by a crew feeling pressure to work faster. This brought to mind a very important point.
Every task involves three variables: the resulting outcome, the time it takes, and the procedure used. Let me translate that into construction language.
Every construction activity involves quality, speed, and safety. You only get to control two of the three.
In our situation, the construction crew felt they had to work safely and felt they needed to work rapidly, so they skimped on the quality…which created a structural problem.
Why am I bringing this up? Because so many of us pay lip service to safety but our actions scream QUALITY and PRODUCTIVITY. When we stress those two variables over and over again, we de-emphasize safety.
This is one of the reasons I implore my clients to tell their crews “Go at your usual pace. Just hit the production numbers you always do. Just don’t be worse.”
Yes, that is saying productivity, but it’s really whispering it. It leaves room for my clients to scream QUALITY and SAFETY. The same applies to you and your crews. That’s the only way your people will work safely while keeping your customers will be happy with the end result.