With all the pressure to cut back, reduce prices, slash costs and do more with less, safety is going to be the first to suffer. Customers have demanded that suppliers cut prices. Suppliers have lost revenue and reduced their staffs to stay in business. My guess is there are safety professionals laid off and additional duties given those who remain employed.
The activities associated with safety culture – JSAs, incident reports, weekly meetings and audits have most likely been cut back. Processes have likely been adjusted by eliminating or reducing inspections and pre-op checks. Scheduled maintenance will be delayed or deferred.
Upgrades and improvements will get canceled. Timeframes will compress; and the pace for those left is picking up.
This happens whenever there’s a downturn to both sides. By squeezing the vendors who provide the boots on the ground, demanding more and paying less, customers take on risk of accidents and injuries. By suffering a 50% or higher reduction in revenue, yet delivering as much product as before, producers cut or delay entire programs and initiatives.
In such an environment safety always suffers. Accidents will happen. Equipment will malfunction and cause damage. Workers and perhaps even bystanders will get hurt, injured or killed. Mark my words.