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[CEO column] Dire Need To Reinforce The Elevator Safety Regulations

[CEO column] Dire Need To Reinforce The Elevator Safety Regulations

Posted July. 28, 2001 08:55,   


There was a scandal about a talented gag woman who was promoting a diet. When the first story, full of acclamations and envy, was almost near the end, the `sitcom` broke out with the charge against the diet method.

As for the diet, there are numerous recipe books sold in bookstores regarding how to lose the weight. Such books lure readers by advertising that there is a way to lose lots of weight in a short time period without pain. However, I believe that there is only one thing that can help to lose the weight. It is to reduce the amount of foods consumption with a routine exercise.

If such a basic principle is neglected in pursuing the diet, it may lead to a disastrous influences and bring about negative consequences.

The same principle also applies to business management or government policy making. When the business strategies or policies are laid out and executed, the basic rule and principles should be carefully established first in order to prevent any influences or side effects that may follow.

In this point of view, recent government’s decision to loosen the registration requirements for elevator maintenance business seem to be due to the lack of considerations.

This decision will likely to lead to more maintenance workers to be involved, reduce the maintenance cost, and then absorb more unemployed people in a short term. However, if the competition is overheated, the quality of the elevator maintenance will become inferior. It may become the cause of the safety accidents. Korea is the fourth largest market in terms of elevator business. So far, there are 192,000 elevators that may accommodate approximately tens of millions of people everyday.

However, it is shameful that Korea is the number 1 in terms of elevator safety accidents, as well as in traffic accidents. In particular, the number of elevator user accidents has been increasing continuously.

A report says that while 30 percent of the elevator accidents are due to operators’ mistakes, 60 percent are due to the inappropriate maintenance.

The elevator maintenance cost of Korea is near the bottom, compared with other countries. Although it is not easy to make a simple comparison, the cost is about 1/10 of other countries, like Hong Kong or Singapore, whose wages are similar to in Korea. It is also lower than in China, whose wages are much lower than Korea.

If we say that the business managers are responsible for the workers’ safety, it is government’s duty to keep the public facilities safe.

To keep up with the global standards in the elevator safety regulations and promote quality maintenance business, the registration requirements should be reinforced, rather than loosened. To prevent any cheap maintenance that may cause safety accidents, the reasonable maintenance fee should be officially recommended so that the maintenance quality can be enhanced.

Whether it is a diet, management, or government policy, we should bear in minds that neglecting the basics and preferring shortcuts are the real short cut to failures.

Chang, Byungwoo, president of LG-Otis Elevator CEO