Thursday, 11 February 2010

Safe work is the door to all work

The Toyota mantra is "Safe work, reliable work, skilled work. Safe work is the door to all work. Let us pass through this door first."

As a simple expression of a risk management philosophy which all workers can understand it has worked well until the wheels started metaphorically coming off the Toyota juggernaut.

Some Toyota workers consider that the recalls are down to having recruited people who do not have the Toyota work ethic, but the recall problems are not the result of shoddy workmanship which would be rectified by recalling batches made by a particular shift in a plant. The problems are rather a matter of design. Some of the design problems are down to the enthusiasm with which Toyota cuts costs, an approach which, unless the emphasis on safe work is maintained can compromise the vehicles' safety and this appears to be what has happened with the jammed accelerators. The fix could have been designed in and is now having to be laboriously and expensively retrofitted. "Just in time" needs also to take into account "just in case".

The design problems with the hybrid cars are different. This is new technology and as it develops there will be problems or perception of problems which will need to be addressed. Toyota's reputation has been severely damaged by all these problems across their range coming together at the same time. There is now a view that all Toyota cars are suspect, which knocks the second hand market and the demand for its new cars too. Nothing that Toyota has said to date has calmed the concerns. They need to get back to their mantra.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

No-win, no-fee, no-help

It so happens that a Society which I am involved with is arranging a coach trip for 50 people, many of them elderly, in June.

I have asked the coach company for their insurance details and I thought I would check out whether the no-win, no-fee accident lawyers could give me any advice as to what other practical steps I should take in order to be able to meet any claims should they occur. Twice I phoned one of the longest established companies and in both cases I was told that this was not their role and the line was cut very quickly.

I, of course will be working to ensure that no accidents happen, but I can now see that the no -win no-fee people are , as I always suspected, no-help.