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Viewing Safety as a Separate Set of Requirements

Viewing Safety as a Separate Set of RequirementsLook carefully at your written work procedures. Do they have separate sections for safety? This might seem like a good idea, because safety is so important. You want to make sure it has its own unmistakable space, right?

What happens in the real world is people typically gloss over that, if they read it at all. They feel they already know it, and often that’s because it’s bloated boilerplate that may or may not apply to the particular job they’re doing.

A better approach is to integrate safety into the work flow. Three ways to do that:

  • Actually describe the safe way to perform a given task (without going into excruciating detail). Instead of “Open the feeder breaker,” you might write “Open each branch circuit, so that you can open the feeder breaker when it’s not under load. Then open the feeder breaker.”
  • Include the safety tasks as job tasks.  You don’t want people skipping the hazard analysis [NFPA 70E, Article 130], for example, so write that into the procedure as just another task. If the analysis can be done (e.g., by a work analyst or procedure writer) for a specific job (e.g., maintenance testing of switchgear panel 3), then use the results of the analysis to prescribe the necessary steps.
  • Add stop points. “Do not proceed until conditions A, B, and C are met.”

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection