Can Quality Management Save Lives?

Can Quality Management Save Lives?
February 18, 2013 seouser
environmental_quality_management_iso14000

How Quality Management Affects Health and Safety Standards

Why is this type of industry so stringent, you may be asking? For starters, organizations that need to adhere to the safety, health and overall well-being of its employees (and often its customers too) cannot afford to fall short in the quality department. A non-conformance in say, a retail store, may result in a lost sale or perhaps an angry customer. Non-compliance in a chemical plant however has a far more serious outcome, with a much higher risk factor. Personal injury, potential environmental damage and even death are all possible results that need to be taken into account. As to where quality management fits into all of this, think about this: the same principles that apply to any other business – its policies, procedures, systems and CAPA – apply to businesses that have a higher risk factor. Without measures in place to track and improve quality levels, this risk factor is increased even further. Some of the most common reasons for systems failing in that chemical plant we used as an example could include:

  1. Poor standard of equipment.
  2. Unsafe working practices.
  3. Poor maintenance standards.
  4. Incorrect or insufficient information.
  5. Incorrect or inadequate training.
  6. Incorrect or inadequate supervision.
  7. Incorrect or insufficient personal action.
  8. Personal grievances.
  9. Poor security.

Ultimately, ISO standardization – quality systems in particular – are not just a way to get certified with a bit of paper and a stamp. Across the world, a huge number of factories, plants, power stations, manufacturing businesses, hospitals, laboratories and myriad other organizations rely on quality management to save lives and ensure safer, more efficient processes too.