Custom Transportation, located in Elgin, Illinois, is a company that specializes in the delivery of medical equipment and supplies to hospitals, clinics, and medical supply companies in the Midwest. The majority of employees at Custom Transportation are sales representatives, warehouse staff, and truck drivers. Currently, most of these workers are over age 40.
As a result of ongoing expansion, the company will grow from 225 employees to more than 500 employees in the next three years. Several government contracts have already been signed, and more are anticipated. The company has recently hired you as the warehouse manager. Part of your job is to oversee all safety programs for the company. These duties had been handled primarily informally by the chief financial officer (CFO) prior to your coming onboard.
On your first day, the CFO calls you in and gives you the following directives and information:
• Safety in the warehouse is becoming a real issue. The accident rate has tripled since last year. Something has to be done.
• Absenteeism has increased, especially on Fridays and Mondays.
• The company is spending 25% of its payroll costs on workers' compensation claims. Many of the claims are related to cumulative trauma disorders.
• You need to get rid of an employee in the warehouse who is reported to have AIDS.
Answer the following questions by applying the concepts learned in Chapter 12. Also, conduct literature reviews on the subject of discussion and use to support your case study answers:
- How would you respond to each of the directives from the CFO? What steps would you take to instill a culture of safety in this warehouse?
- Do you think a wellness program makes sense for this company? Provide support for your answer.
- What do you think will be the biggest challenge in increasing safety and health at this facility?
- How will you address the issue of the employee with AIDS?
Custom Transportation is expanding its coverage thus the employees is increasing from 225 to 500. Among them most are above 40. Agreement on several governmental contracts have increased the size of warehouse. Being hired as Warehouse Manager the main concern be safety programs of company.
Analysis of Case
The Chief Financial Officer have handled list of directives to be achieved. This case is to find ways that could address those issues. The issues are about rise in accident range, absenteeism and health concern too.
Response to each directives
Ongoing expansion of warehouse obviously raises some issues, especially about safety and taking care of. There might be different possible ways to address those same issues but some practical one are listed below:
- To address safety issue and accidental rate, shot term planning solely cannot solve it. A good company should always provide employees with safety tips. Providing training and instruction about handling equipment will make good sense. Moreover company might be using traditional equipment and methodology. Enhancing such methodology and use of latest technology will make our life easy.
- Staffs are absent during weekend and starting of weeks. To address this we may talk staffs for making good regulation. Don't accept absence request that are drop less than 3 days ago and ask for valid reason for taking leave.
- Cumulative Trauma Disorder CTD that is cause by same nature of work and workplace, fatigue can be addressed by job rotation and change in job workplace. One can manage shifts so that no worker should take long time on same kind of job will be good solution too.
- Actually getting rid of AIDS patient is not a good solution but to be safe on our side as well as taking care of them too will make good sense. Instruction from CFO about getting rid of employee in warehouse reported of having AIDS is not clearly a solution for any existing issues. So being non-transmissible disease we don't have to worry of the staff but making equal participation and coordination will make them courageous for longer life.
To instill a culture of safety in warehouse we could manage wider space, passage and easy handling of materials. Moreover not placing heavy items over lighter one and not making high pile of stuffs.Safety culture can be achieved by letting employees be serious on security and take concern of personal as well as group safety.
Effectiveness of wellness program
Wellness program is the activities of exercise, weight-loss, seminars and health screening sponsored by company so that employee be nice and tidy. Such programs are useful to certain extents if employees can manage time for it regularly and management can sponsor it. But now a day's employees have busy time schedule and back to back list of tasks. So they hardly can manage time. Letting employees initiate on their own to go for regular exercise will be good solution too. Companies itself can let few 30 minutes before after work hour will let employees participate regularly. Wellness program have two side benefits one employees being healthy will be beneficial for company because the compensation on health will drop significantly and second healthy employee would perform better increasing revenue of organization.
Biggest Challenge in increasing safety and health
Being a transportation company dealing with medical equipment and supplies the challenge will be to maintain clean and tidy workplace as well as protect materials from contamination. The company is expanding workforce by nearly double. Increasing safety equipment, office space and tools can be done in a short period. The operation could be performed by a budget in a fiscal year only. But what will be real challenge is to train employees think healthy, do healthy and live healthy. The toughest task is to change ones attitude and thinking. People are less likely to change the way they are living. Moreover addition of some safety tools and tips will change the way they treat so they are less likely to adapt new measure. We hardly can change ones attitude and thinking. So biggest challenge in increasing safety and health will be change in employees' attitude, thinking and way of operating day to day tasks.
Addressing issue of AIDS patient
Employees with air/water transmissible diseases with be real challenge for other employees to avoid. But employees with AIDS will not be a challenge for anyone unless their day to day and sexual behavior is fine. In the given case CFO is asking to get rid of employee with AIDS but having safe on our own and letting him treat as healthy as possible will not harm. We can motivate him for longer life, we should treat him as normal because AIDS patient can live longer with healthy behavior and thinking. If we discriminate them then they will hesitate to open with other and they are morally down. So, to address AIDS patient in warehouse we should be secure on our half, if the employee feels uncomfortable then we may switch him to easier are but there is no point in avoiding him.
Lepak, D., & Gowan, M. (2010). Human resource management: Training and Development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall
Safetyservicescompany.com,. (2015).Warehouse Safety: General Guidelines and OSHA Citations | Safety Services Company. Retrieved 17 October 2015, from http://www.safetyservicescompany.com/topic/ppe/warehouse-safety-general-guidelines-and-osha-citations/