Using work instructions to ensure critical controls are in place

Using work instructions to ensure critical controls are in place

Mine sites are dangerous places and we all have a stake in ensuring everyone gets home safely to their families.

Building critical controls into work instructions plays a huge role in keeping people safe, not to mention reducing the chances of costly down time and delays.

Creating high quality, useful work instructions is a hell of a lot of work. To be effective, work instructions need to contain an exhaustive list of tasks required for a maintenance job, including the tools, skills, parts, what hazards you can expect, what protective equipment you need to have and so on.

Most sites don’t go to the detail of having work instructions in place, often believing that because they have technicians with good skills, work instructions are an unnecessary luxury. But technicians are humans, and humans make errors – especially if they are over stretched and under pressure.

And what happens if you can’t retain your most valuable staff? The knowledge walks out the door.

Critical controls ensure that the mandatory things you need to do for a safe job are documented and built into processes. By including them in a work instruction and having it all in the one place, you gain a lot of efficiency and improvements in safety.

As we know, fixing things on site is not like having a piece of Ikea furniture that’s flat packed and ready to go with tools included. You might have to travel 20 minutes to get to the maintenance site in the first place, and if you get there and realise you’ve forgotten a crucial part or tool, there’s the potential for an awful lot of downtime.

A key part of the work instruction is being able to decide if you’re ready to start the job – do you have the knowledge, tools, parts and safety considerations covered?

Investing in work instructions, in addition to reducing injuries through critical controls, can have a huge page off, too. One of our clients believes they achieve up to a 25% reduction in job execution time simply by making sure they’re ready to go at the start of the job. So the size of the prize is pretty large.

Saving time on site isn’t the aim of critical controls though. It’s about people, and ensuring when there’s dangerous work going on, there are two sets of eyes over everything and the hazards and precautions are well known and well executed – before the job is even started.

Work instructions with critical controls lead to a more efficient and a safer job, and generating the documentation using OnPlan is far more efficient and accurate than using over-stretched on site resources.

We have the array of technical and strategic skills and a database which is full of equipment knowledge. It’s the right environment with the right skills to produce work instructions that make a genuine difference to the efficiency and safety of your site.

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