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How often do we undertake a project and just go for it without any planning? Embarrassingly, we have all done this and have likely failed from time to time, but in business, we don’t have the luxury of failure as the stakes are too high and lives can literally be at stake.

Most of us have learned the hard way that if you don’t have a plan before a vacation you’re destined for a terrible experience. The Tylenol was forgotten and your child gets a fever; you didn’t leave out the hidden key for the house sitter and they’re not able to get in the house; there isn’t one hotel room available and you thought you could wing it! Even though this is a personal example, it still holds true that if you don’t have a plan for important events both personally and professionally inevitably something will go wrong.

Here are your straightforward 6 steps in creating a successful safety plan:

Step 1 – Create a process or a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.

Step 2 – Train your employees on the process using simple explanations so everyone is on the same page.

Step 3 – Stand by your process through consistency and involve your employees so they take ownership.

Step 4 – Develop useful tools to facilitate the process, i.e. JRA, Site Specific Plans, Permit to Work, JHA/JSA, Work Plans, etc.

Step 5 – Know what different types of outputs are desired helps to develop a plan to fix the process.

Step 6 – Practice, Study the Results and Retool the Plan as necessary (PSRP). Processes are ever changing and improving so they evolve with growth.

Success depends on a plan which includes goals, measurements of those goals, a strategy and tactics to reach the goal which includes systems and processes. Without this approach in place, we are truly the blind leading the blind!

Now you know the steps to make a solid safety plan. Actually, put that plan into place for a safe work environment for the entire team. Try it! It takes some practice and some discipline, but you will likely see improvement in not only safety, but also in quality and overall production. You’ll probably even save a lot of green knowing that something isn’t going to come back to bite you!