POPMA Part 3: Planning and Implementation
Imagine a construction team made up of qualified individuals. The engineer, architect, quantity surveyor, foreman, plumber, electrician, bricklayer etc. etc. are building something. They’re building something because they’re unsure of what they’re building. Together, they’re laying the foundations, arranging bricks on each other – held together by cement, doing the wiring. But what exactly they aim to achieve and how long it takes them, they cannot answer. While they have the components of the system [to erect a building], there is still a chaotic feel about the job.
In OSH, it is no different. You can have a team of highly qualified and experienced OSH practitioners in the various fields. But unless there is planning and implementation, they would not produce a desired nor consistent outcome. Wouldn’t this defeat the purpose?
Initial Review – Scouting a Goal
The planning and implementation process begins with an initial review. Through this review, the OSH personnel can gather the necessary data and information to make an assessment on where the company is against the organisation’s OSH policy and other requirements.
In the initial review, you will investigate the necessary laws, guidelines and requirements. And then, you would register where your organisation is against that criteria. You’ll go through the OSH reports and statistics throughout the previous term.
You would also want to ask around – what do the employees think? What are their suggestions?
In the workplace, you’ll identify, anticipate and assess current hazards and risks through inspections. As you do that, you will want to consider the necessary precautionary steps and controls – the ones in place as well as what could be introduced.
You realise now that this stage requires experts and, perhaps, specialists. After all, a trained and competent eye can spot the hazards, potentials and risks. A review is one-sided without the participation of the No. 1 stakeholders – the employees. Day-in and day-out, they face the hazards and risk. You’d be amazed by the feedback you get.
After all that is done, your findings should be recorded or documented. It will be the basis of the decision making later on. When you know what works and what doesn’t, it’ would be significantly easier to formulate goals for continual and sustainable improvement.
System Planning, Development and Implementation
If you haven’t gotten the picture yet, system means how things are done. As you take that in, you’ll realise how planning and implementation is needed. After all, how can things be done, even if you know how it is to be done, when nothing is being done?
So, when you plan, you need to know what needs to be done. Define the purpose and the target. Based on these two standards, you can already deduce your benchmark for your key performance indicators (KPI). Basically, how well have you done it.
Next, you need to set your priorities.
Then, have a clear performance criteria. Identify who does what, and when she does it.
Consistency is Key
All this talk of plans and implementations, you must bear in mind that all of it must be consistent. Consistent to what? With the OSH policy, standards, practices and regulations.
Where legal requirements are concerned, the plan must 100% comply with it. Remember that if you cut short any part, it is your shortcut to jail or fines and damaged reputation.
Have your plans set against another benchmark: HIRARC (Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment, Risk Control) and Zero Accident.
SMART, as a benchmark, means:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Realistic
- T – Timed
And your goals should have these criteria in place.
Why do something ambiguous? What’s the point if you cannot measure your achievements? Imagine the harm you get from unachievable goals! Let’s not go to unrealistic ones – OSH and world peace is highly impossible. When does your goal stop? Never?
Now, after you’ve drawn out who to do, what to do, where to do, when to do how to do and why to do, make sure you do it. Hence implementation. 😉