Why ditch the experienced managers?
01 November 2008
As Oliver Hardy was often heard to say: “Another nice mess!” Commentators could be forgiven for using the phrase to describe the current economic conditions with stock markets tumbling, the Banking World in near collapse and governments around the Globe wading in with tax-payer funded rescue plans. And not wishing to understate the seriousness of the current financial situation, heads will surely roll.
Paul Gay, Editor
Already several banking bosses have ‘stepped down’ or were they pushed? Either way government investor negotiators have applied some strict conditions to the salvage plans. And these will result in new management teams at many of our biggest financial houses.
But what’s to say that the new brooms will have better luck than their predecessors when it comes to avoiding the next financial turndown – assuming that the monetary system recovers from its current problems. At least the outgoing management teams know how we got into this mess and their experience should improve their competence in avoiding future catastrophes.
There is a logic in not firing the bankers. After all, as operators, they have the operational knowledge and now have the added experience of creating a banking crisis. They got us into this mess and are now the best qualified to avoid the next crash – possibly in just seven years time.
Engineers in industry are in a similar position. Should there be a problem in a hazardous area that results in a loss, whether it be in life, production or profit, then the person responsible for the plant is more than likely to be dragged through the courts and chastised in the strongest terms. But is punishing those nominated to be responsible for the safety of a plant the right approach? It would, perhaps, be more mature to train a degree of competence in operational matters and generate a safety culture within the company that will reduce the risk of a disaster.
And what better way to learn about safety and develop competence other than a conference and exhibition specifically targeted at the safety professional in the manufacturing and process industries.
HazardEx 2009 will be the eighth annual event organised by IML Group Events and will be held in Harrogate on February 25 and 26 at the Majestic Hotel. The comprehensive two-day conference will give those involved in safety for plant and processes, insight and case study examples of how peers have executed safety programmes in their facilities. The programme will provide detailed information on the standards and legislation that affect the hazardous area presented by those involved in the process of creating them. Case study papers will explain how leader producers have complied with the regulations and improved the safety and security of their production processes. Emerging technologies, which have an impact on the safety arena, will be discussed in conference sessions. All this is backed up by a relevant exhibition where our sponsors and partners will be able to demonstrate their equipment and techniques to the assembled delegates and visited.
The event will also feature our annual Awards Presentation Dinner, which will celebrate the technical excellence of the hazardous area suppliers and others involved in the safety sector. Award presentations will be made at a Gala Dinner to be held on the first evening of the event which will all take place in the same venue, namely the Majestic Hotel Harrogate. All in all, we are looking forward to spreading the safety word which will develop experience and encourage competence.
Hopefully the financial world will have extricated itself from the ‘nice mess’ it is currently in. Whether or not their management will be any more competent in ordering their affairs is perhaps anyone’s guess.
Laurel and Hardy may have been a pair of comic buffoons but at least they knew when they were in a fine mess and usually managed to find a way out. Experience can lead to competence but there is no real alternative to proper training.