Human Resource Management

INCIDENT  “A Commitment to Safety”Wanda Zackery was extremely excited a year ago when she joined Landon Electronic as its first safety engineer. She had graduated from Florida State University with a degree in electrical engineer and had a strong desire to enter business. Wanda had selected her job at Landon Electrics over several other offers. She believed that could not receive in a strictly engineering job. Also, when the company president, MARTHA Lincoln, interviewed her, she promised her that the firm’s resources would be at her disposal to correct any safety-related problems. Her first few months at Landon were hectic but exciting. She immediately indemnified numerous safety problems. One of the most dangerous involved a failure to install safety guards on all exposed equipment. Wanda carefully prepared her proposal, including exposed costs, to make needed minimum changes. She estimated that it would take approximately $50,000 to complete the necessary conversions. Wanda then presented the entire package to Ms. Lincoln. She explained the need for the changes to her, and Ms. Lincoln cordially received her presentation. She said that she would like to think it over and get back to her.   But that was six months ago! Every time Wanda attempted to get some action on her proposal, Ms. Lincoln was friendly but still wanted some more time to consider it. In the meantime, Wanda had become increasingly anxious. Recently, a worker had barely avoided a serious injury. Some workers had also become concerned. She heard through the grapevine that someone had telephoned the regional office of OSHA. Her suspicions were confirmed the very next week when an OSHA inspector appeared at the plat. No previous visits had ever been made to the company. Although Ms. Lincoln was not overjoyed, she permitted the inspector access to the company. Later, she might have wished that she had not been so cooperative. Before the inspector left, he wrote violations for each piece of equipment that did not have the necessary safety guards. The fines could total $70,000 if the problems were not corrected right away. This inspector cautioned that repeat violations could cost $700,000 and possible imprisonmen.n      As the inspector was leaving, Wanda received a phone call. “Wanda, this is Ms. Lincoln. Get up to my office now. We need to get your project under way.”

Questions

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1. Discuss Ms. Lincoln’s level of commitment to occupational safety.

2. Is there a necessary trade-off between Landon’s need for low expenses and the worker’s need for safe working conditions? Explain

3. Safety programs may accomplish their purposes in two primary ways: one focusing on unsafe employee actions and the other on unsafe working conditions.

Which areas of Wanda’s proposal was she directing her efforts? Discuss

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