Will Purvis had no other option but to close down his business after being told to enclose his business by the OSHA officers. The US government had not given employees enough protection for the longest time. Still, this regulation and many others have helped ensure that everyone is safe when working in any industry. Will had an obligation to ensure that all the people working for him were healthy and did not get exposed to any environmental hazards that would lead to illnesses. Although he stated that there had never been any heat-related illnesses, it would be ethical to have a healthy working conditions since the heat would affect the employees in the long term.
The fact that the pallet factory has been around for almost fifty years and they have not enclosed the factory or installed air conditioners shows that; they were either not aware of the regulations that needed to be followed, or they just ignored the fact that it was unhealthy to work under the heat (US Department of Labor, 2017). It can be argued that the factory could not afford the money to purchase all the products needed, but they could have done that over the years by assembling the products little by little. The employees were suffering all along, but they could not point this out since this was a job that helped them pay all their bills.
Employees’ productivity highly depends on their willingness and openness to do their jobs. By having the desire, productivity is highly increased, which goes hand in hand with motivation. Some factors will affect how employees perform at the workplace, including the physical work environment, a reward for good work, and equipment (Pandey, 2017). The main factor in the Purvis factory is the physical work environment. With the high heat and the unenclosed factory, the employees could not function properly, and this could have possibly led to low productivity hence the low turnover of the factory.
Maslow’s theory explains the need for creating a working environment where financial incentives are not all an employee works for. The employer should create an environment where workers enjoy doing their jobs, and this will, in return, increase their performance (Pandey, 2017). The theory explains the need to have incentives that will motivate the employees whenever they need them to go the extra mile to achieve a specific target (Pandey, 2017). Will, did not consider any of the incentives which made the workers unmotivated; hence one of them had to complain to OSHA, who came to their rescue. If only the factory had followed the government regulations, it would not have had to move, and the people could not have lost their jobs.
Moving the factory to Mexico did not solve anything, and although the labor was cheaper there, as compared to the US, it is not just to keep people working under harsh working conditions. Purvis may be more successful in Mexico than he had achieved over the years in the United States. Still, he should also consider creating a better working environment, although the working regulations in Mexico are not as thorough as compared in the US. The government should continue instilling more employees regulations on factories and companies to ensure that each person enjoys going to work and are motivated all the time, hence higher production.
OSHA officers were concerned about the workers’ health, which is under the protection of workers from the effects of heat standards. The standard outlines that working under high heat could lead to illnesses and eventually death if the heat is not regulated. One of the illnesses of high heat is heatstroke which might occur if the body temperature goes beyond 104oF, leading to death (US Department of Labor, 2017). Heat exhaustion is another effect of working under high temperatures, which might cause dizziness, nausea, or confusion. It is equally dangerous and can also lead to health complications. Heat cramps might also occur, which leads to pain in the muscle caused by the excess loss of liquids in the body due to sweating (US Department of Labor, 2017). OSHA gives guidelines for preventing all this, like resting and taking a lot of water. In Will’s factory, enclosing the factory and installing air conditioners would have helped reduce the heat.
People working in the factory in Mexico might like Will, as he says, but they might not be satisfied given the amount they get paid and the working conditions. In as much as employees have work ethics, they need to follow them; the employers are also supposed to ensure that the welfare of/her employees is well catered for, and they should also not just focus on the profits they are making (Josephson, 2016). Will’s factory concentrates so much on the gains made in Mexico and forgets that there is an obligation to make the employees feel more satisfied in work while also providing a good working environment.
Any employee is bound to ensure that the welfare of all the workers is catered for. An ethical employer is willing to go the extra mile to improve their employees’ working environment even though the decision they are about to make will cost them a fortune. Doing so will demonstrate that they are genuinely concerned with the wellness of the people who work for them and that they do not mind affecting their profitability at any given point (Josephson, 2016). Any business should be loyal to its employees, and in return, the employees will exhibit loyalty and hard work in their workplace.
In case of work-related illnesses or injuries, the injured person, the families, and the taxpayers bear the most significant burden of the costs needed to pay for the diseases, including the lost income and the hospital bills. The regulations set by OSHA make sure that work injuries and illnesses are prevented, and in case they occur, the employer is to cater to some of the costs needed in medical care (US Department of Labor, 2017). Avoiding any circumstances that would lead to workplace illnesses will highly increase productivity in workplaces since employees will never miss work. Making the employer responsible for any illness or injury to their employees will make them provide a safer working environment for their employees (US Department of Labor, 2017). Employers should also be able to provide their workers with a good working environment, and they should not wait to get a case of illness from the workers to take action. Will indicated no diseases were reported; hence, he never saw any need to enclose the factory.
The government should enforce more regulations to ensure that employers do not get away with employees’ mistreatment or poor working conditions, leading to any health complications. Although the regulations have been put in place for some time now, some employers tend to neglect them. Hence more strict regulations will ensure employees in all sectors enjoy the same benefits and say how their employees treat them.
US Department of Labor. (n.d.). OSHA fact sheet: Working outdoors in warm climates | Occupational safety and health administration. Web.
Pandey, P. (2017). The impact of work environment on employees’ productivity. Web.
Josephson, M. (2016). Ethical responsibilities in the employer-employee relationship – applying ethical principles – exemplary business ethics & leadership. Exemplary Business Ethics & Leadership. Web.