Someone once said that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Safe execution takes detailed planning. Projects must identify and mitigate hazards before beginning work. An effective pre-task plan requires people to think before they act.

There are 2 critical ways to discipline a project organization to preplan work and anticipate risk; a JSA and a SAP. Each tool addresses different stages of a plan, but both tools require you to anticipate and mitigate risk.

Job Safety Analysis
A JSA evaluates a job in its entirety; evaluate each step in a job and identify the hazards associated with each step. Once one knows the hazards, defenses can be put in place to protect people. A JSA allows project staff to think through the job as a whole and prepare for individual steps. A JSA is developed before you begin a project. It is similar to a work procedure that identifies risk throughout the procedure, and leaders should use a team approach to develop the JSA. The more input received from different perspectives, the more effective the tool is.

Safety Action Plan
An SAP focuses on the risks associated for a specific task for that day. The SAP is used to remind the team of the required permits, PPE, training qualifications, and other miscellaneous safety precautions associated for a specific task for the day. A supervisor should perform an SAP with their crew every morning before employees start work, and use this time as a prejob brief for the day. Identify potential hazards in the work environment. Have each employee sign the SAP at the start of the shift and then initial it again during a post-shift briefing. The supervisor should document all concerns or incidents that happened that day.

Good pre-task planning tools require thinking through all stages of work. Document the process
and monitor your system daily, so employees never say, “I just wasn’t thinking.”

Resources
Onyx Safety can/shall provide additional information for requirements from project to project.

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