Quality Assurance (part 1) – safety

Facebook post 14 May 2017:
I am entering a new era. From what I can tell there are no artists who have an ISO9001 certified Quality Assurance system in place. Can you believe it?

So I aim to be the first.

The good thing about Quality Assurance is that it has nothing whatsoever to do with quality. I will be able to relax my standards and turn out lots of poorly-executed, bad taste paintings. As long as my processes and documentation and records all point toward that outcome then everything is fine. People and organisations can feel comfortable buying my paintings, secure in the knowledge that they are buying a quality assured product.

But, where to start? If you’ve bought any sort of appliance (in fact just about anything at all) in the last few years you will know that the first ten pages of the instruction manual are full of safety warnings (followed by three pages of disclaimers then half a page of incomprehensible instructions).

So, safety it is!

It seems that one of the most important things to do in your workplace is to make sure you have lots of warning signs everywhere.

So I carried out a safety audit of my studio and was alarmed to find that I didn’t have a single warning sign on anything! And the place was just full of potential safety hazards and accidents waiting to happen! What makes it harder is that my art studio is also my music studio so I’ve also got electrical equipment (electrocution hazards), instrument leads (trip hazards), amplifiers (potential hearing damage) – and who knows what other dangers – at every turn. I don’t know how I’ve survived this long!

Clearly lots of signs are needed. And I also need to write up lots of manuals of procedures and processes – with lots of sub-headings and bullet points and organisation charts and workflow charts.

I’ve got a massive job ahead of me. I probably won’t have any time for painting pictures for a while. But Quality – and Safety – are surely more important. So here is my first sign …