Workplace Safety at Alcoa (A)

Case Solution

Kim B. Clark, Joshua D. Margolis
Harvard Business School ()

Investigate the challenge faced by managers of a large aluminum plant to improve workplace safety. The CEO of the company has made safety a top priority. The plant has come a long way in reducing the injury rate, but needs to accelerate the improvement now. This requires the Chief Security Officer to consider progress to date and analyze opportunities for improvement, many of which involve fundamental changes in behavior at all levels of the organization. Progress has not been consistent across the plant and previous approaches may not be enough to meet the challenge. When the case is over, the question comes to a head because a superintendent wants to fire a supervisor who has not followed safety precautions. Designed to introduce students to safety issues in the context of their workplace. Information is available to students that will allow them to analyze underlying causes and identify key areas for improvement. However, interactions between safety and other dimensions of manufacturing performance are evident when developing and implementing an improvement plan.

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