A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Corporate Priorities.

I'm watching a documentary about Boeing's Everette, Washington facility. It's pretty fascinating. One tiny thing struck me.

The facility director was talking about the number of vehicles in the plant. Trucks, bikes, trikes, carts etc. He made the offhand comment, " We don't have many accidents but I'll bet we have a lot of near-misses that don't get reported."

By itself, that sounds about like most shops, but when I started thinking about my own plant, I was struck by how much farther advanced we are than Boeing in terms of safety. We have spent the last four or so years encouraging people to report ALL near-misses, no matter how minor. We have been able to find potential safety problems and fix them before they caused an injury.

Another part of the documentary focused on the "Toyota" like assembly line that Boeing uses on their jets. They were very proud that they could tell if the airplane was behind schedule by where it stood on the shop floor.

I wonder, though, If Boeing is truly practicing Jidoka, how can they expect honest feedback about the assembly line progress if their employees aren't comfortable enough to report potential safety hazards? Do the employees cover up potential issues with the airplanes in order to keep the plane on schedule or are they actually empowered and supported to the point that they feel they can Determine there is a problem, STOP the production line, Fix the immediate issue, then fall back and determine and implement a permanent fix?

I'm probably reading too much into the two minutes of TV I just watched, but it was an interesting disconnect voiced by the Boeing plant management.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's pray that you're reading too much into it!

9:39 PM  

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