The first priority of all the organisations should be safety of their employees whatever the extra financial burden it has to carry and the safety procedures should be implemented strictly with regular monitoring. In the case study of the Carillion plc., it can be argued that the company is not serious about implementing their safety rules, rather left this important issue in the hands of their contract managers. In this case, there are two contract managers with extreme views regarding the safety procedures that an worker should follow at their workplace. The manager at ‘New build’ was interactive, dynamic, responsive and suggestive whereas his counterpart at ‘Oldmaint’ was old-schooled lacking in professionalism. The ‘New build’ hired skilled tradesman and graduate engineers who worked in a small gangs with regular monitoring from their supervisors and managers in the course of the working day. Manager here is not even worried about the violation of the company rule for the safety of the workers in which he used ‘overspill’ method to produce necessary clearance rather than the pneumatic drills which reduced the exposure to vibration from drill usage, (Leadership, pp.53-55). On the other hand, manager at ‘Oldmaint’ was reluctant to use modern technologies and the workers were left on their own to follow the safety procedures with minimal supervision. It is evident that manager at ‘New build’ was responding in the best way possible to prevent any hazards at the workplace where as the manager at ‘Oldmaint’ was ignorant about the companies rules regarding safety.
Leadership and management are the ‘two sides of a coin’ which means they are interrelated but differ from one another in a considerable amount. According to John P. Kotter, ” management is a set of well-known processes, like planning, budgeting, structuring jobs, staffing jobs, measuring performance and problem-solving, which help an organization to predictably do what it knows how to do well.” And leadership, according to him; “is associated with taking an organization into the future, finding opportunities that are coming at it faster and faster and successfully exploiting those opportunities”.In this case, the managers themselves tried to show their leadership skills and there was a huge communication gap between the managers and leadership of the company
.It can be argued that safety culture should be a company-wide initiative, led from the top because after-all, it is the company who is to blame for in case of any disaster and might lead to the collapse of the company as well.So, safety rules should be strictly followed, implemented and monitored regularly by the company itself,and should not leave in the hands of contract managers to decide whether or not to follow the safety procedures.
There are pros and cons in both the approach of safety leadership/management. In the case of ‘New build’ manager, safety was the first priority and he was doing his best to keep his workers as safe as possible by regular supervision and counselling but the employees were under tremendous pressure of concentrating on their work as well as following each and every steps regarding safety.
On the other hand, the ‘Oldmaint’ manager was not interested in the safety rules that should be followed in the workplace which kept his workers at risk of losing their lives but the workers here need not be concentrated about the safety measures they should follow which helped them to concentrate only on their work and perform efficiently.
Safety leadership tends to be more dynamic, and to be strongly associated with the personal commitment of the leader that are found in more dynamic, fast moving settings (such as New build), and in relation to better qualified, more engaged, or more responsive operatives, (Leadership.pp.53-55). Thus, it can be concluded that, safety should not be compromised in any circumstances and the leadership should be able to modify themselves according to the demand of the situation.