Does the health of the employees reflect the health of the Quality Management System?

ddunn

Inactive Registered Visitor
#1
I have observed that the health of a company’s employees seems to be related to the health of a company’s Quality Management System (pardon the use of phrase “Quality Management System”. I know it’s a Business Management System for a quality product or service). The worse the shape of the QMS the worse the stress related illnesses. At one company where a QMS was non-existent and “fire fighting” was the norm, I observed 8 deaths due to heart attack in 10 months. At another company that had a strong QMS and preventative action system there were very few illnesses (even colds or flu). Both companies were high tech with short deadlines, first to market pressure, long hours and all that goes with a competitive market.

I am interested in your observations. Does the health of the employees reflect the health of the Quality Management System?
 

gard2372

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
I worked at a start-up company from Japan here in the U.S. for four years. The stress related illnesses were so high we actually created an matrix documenting the 5 why's of the death, illness (most were hospital overnights from stress related or heart attacks), or people leaving the comapny for other personal reasons.
 
M

michelle8075

Guest
#3
gard2372 said:
I worked at a start-up company from Japan here in the U.S. for four years. The stress related illnesses were so high we actually created an matrix documenting the 5 why's of the death, illness (most were hospital overnights from stress related or heart attacks), or people leaving the comapny for other personal reasons.
Wow!!!!! I never put that correlation together. I guess I can say that because of our healthy QMS/BOS system we can try to lower our insurance premiums. Very interesting topic!
 

Antonio Vieira

Involved - Posts
#6
Really I don’t see any connection between a strong QMS and less illness...
More illness at the work place are indeed related to the competitive market and not so with having or not a good QMS.
I f you work at a place where things are calm, you can do it without ever hearing of Quality Management. On the other hand, if you always work with constant pressure:mad: , there’s no QMS or any good preventive actions that may help you...
 

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
#8
ddunn said:
I have observed that the health of a company’s employees seems to be related to the health of a company’s Quality Management System (pardon the use of phrase “Quality Management System”. I know it’s a Business Management System for a quality product or service). The worse the shape of the QMS the worse the stress related illnesses. At one company where a QMS was non-existent and “fire fighting” was the norm, I observed 8 deaths due to heart attack in 10 months. At another company that had a strong QMS and preventative action system there were very few illnesses (even colds or flu). Both companies were high tech with short deadlines, first to market pressure, long hours and all that goes with a competitive market.

I am interested in your observations. Does the health of the employees reflect the health of the Quality Management System?
I think there will always be some anecdotal examples where this or that company had an issue. And, high stress certainly causes more heart attacks. But, I think you would have to draw a lot of data before we can make a direct cause and effect correlation between QMS and heart attacks. Stress and heart attacks would be an easier link to make, in my opinion.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Administrator
#9
I agree that clause 6.4 is meant for promoting employee wellness and it truly is related to quality. The link is the reason for that clause.

Isn't it easier, or more likely to make a continously positive product or service if there are fewer disruptions due to accidents or disease (defined as the absence of wellness)? One could count the costs in many ways, including the outright costs of safety problems in lost time etc., and quality problems if key personnel are removed from the stream.

António, does your company have any issues with repetetive muscular/skeletal disorders? Ergonomics is becoming a major U.S. issue (especially among aging workers) as it slowly gains recognition as a true and largely preventable workplace health hazard.

Just as ISO, and arguably the QMS doesn't guarantee quality, it does not guarantee wellness. It is behavior that generates these outcomes. The QMS merely provides the vehicle to make and follow the plans for achieving the objectives.
 

harry

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
This is similar to the study done on the sales of ice-cream in Summer. It was found that there was a tremendous increased in sales of ice-cream in summer and a corresponding increase in cases of heat stroke which resulted in fatality. So, some people conclude that you should not eat ice-cream in summer because statistices show that you may die from it.

Its just a misintepretation of statistics or mis-correlation of two unrelated events. Does it mean that there were no deaths or heart-attacks during the pre-ISO/QMS days? Hardly twenty odd years ago!
 
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