Organization clears your path (Photo credit: nist6ss)
Over at SafetyCulturePlus.com, James Roughton has been discussing the need for having a plan and mission for effective development of a comprehensive safety culture. The focus on mission is something that must be constantly kept in mind. When the mission is forgotten, scope drift ensues and we begin doing too many things that reduce our effectiveness. We lose sight of our purpose and why we are doing what we do. This increases stress,further lowers effectiveness and a downward spiral begins. We wind up doing things not connected to what we have committed to doing.
The job hazard analysis is a mission essential task within the mission of developing and maintaining a safe work environment. If it is unclear how personnel are completing their jobs, or the risk and hazards within each job are only vaguely understood, then the safety program may be nowhere close to keeping activities within the desired boundaries of a safe process.
From Wikipedia, “Effective mission statements start by effectively articulating the organization's purpose, its raison d'etre or reason for existing.” Commercial mission statements often include the following information: Aim(s) of the organization; The organization's primary stakeholders: clients/customers, shareholders, congregation, etc.; How the organization provides value to these stakeholders, for example by offering specific types of products and/or services”
The Mission Statement provides the parameters that your organization has defined as the why of its existence, and lays out what it considers essential.
If established properly and followed, the mission statement provides purpose for the organization. It states what the purpose is, how it will be met, iterates what value is desired. A search on the internet will provide a wide range of mission statement content and discussion.
Steven Covey in his classic book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, discusses his Habit 3, Put First Things First. He discusses the dilemma of facing a multitude of urgent yet not important activities versus those activities that are non-urgent yet important or even critical to our mission and vision. Vision being our desired future state.
The military has used a concept of structuring activities around “Mission Essential” categories. The intent is to refine all aspects of planning around those critical items necessary to complete a mission. The concept allows for planning that assures the mission can be accomplished in the most efficient way and provides a way to sort through all the various additional, superfluous and extraneous things that hit us each day. If it’s not mission essential, it’s off the list. Mission essential planning takes into account essential tasks, personnel, material, equipment, training, administration, budget and time requirements. Note how completion of a job hazard analysis parallels the concept.
What are you doing each day that takes you away from the identified essential actions necessary for meeting your defined mission? What mission essential actions are being pushed aside?
Organizations and people can and do drift away from focus on their core mission. When this occurs, its time to stop and reassess the mission. Have conditions changed, new information been received or management’s intent changed? At that point, discussions and a review is needed and a course correction made. Since our mission is the effective implementation of a safety process, the process must take into account the ever changing nature of organizations. Policies and procedures must adjust to meet those new conditions.
In establishing a job hazard analysis process, what is essential? A possible list might include:
- Maintaining a list of all jobs being completed
- Maintaining a network that sends information when job, technology, materials, tools or other job features are changed
- Completing and maintaining a portfolio of job hazard analyzes
- Establishing a schedule for the completion and review of JHAs
- Keeping personnel involved in the process and in communications
- Ongoing prioritizing of jobs by hazards and risk
- Maintaining a system that assures controls are in place and maintained
- Maintaining a system that assures training and self evaluations are routinely completed
- Maintaining a system that assures that personnel are selected with the necessary skills and physical abilities as defined by the JHA process
Are you doing the mission essential things that will build and maintain a solid JHA process? Are you doing something every day that moves you towards your personal and professional objectives?
Covey, Steven, Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, 2004, Free Press/Simon & Schuster