One of the Directors of Consepsys, Luis Heng, is also a Management Consultant, specialising in Leadership and Organisational Efficiency. He helps organisations adapt their culture in order to meet their objectives – as he extensively explains in his leadership self-help book “Avoiding or Overcoming Organisational Inertia”.
One of the topics that particularly interest Luis is the safety culture of organisations, and what it reveals about the organisations.
Here is a testimony of an incident that Luis experienced first-hand:
“In 2018, during a stay in a hotel in Paris, I thought for a few seconds that I was about to die.
I had boarded a lift (elevator) to go up to my room. There were two other people inside.
After we had started ascending, we were between floors 5 and 6 when the lift suddenly dropped for about half a second (which is equivalent to a fall of about 1.2 metres – the height of a 7 year old boy).
Then, its fall stopped abruptly, we were all thrown about like rag dolls, and a few seconds later, it started ascending again, to our relief. I arrived safely at my floor.
However, those few seconds had been terrifying. In this brief moment, I thought that I was about to die. A few minutes later, I promptly returned to reception to report the incident, so that:
- Any technical problem could be fixed; and
- No one would get injured or killed in the future.
I described the incident and I explained that it felt as if of one the cables had snapped. To my surprise, the hotel employee replied that no such incident had been reported before and that there was nothing to worry about. And of course, it became quickly obvious that the employee had no thought nor any intention to take any further action. I was shocked.
It raised many questions about the safety culture of this chain of hotels. It also brought back memories of organisations that I had investigated, wherein people had similar attitudes to safety, which had led to serious accidents.”
For you, reader: what do you think of the safety culture of this hotel? How would you have reacted in this situation, if you were the hotel employee? Have you ever witnessed a safety hazard and have you reported it to prevent future accidents?
We would love to hear from you.
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