Planning helps you think through actions and work out how they will happen in practice; making sure health, safety and environmental protection arrangements will work on site both initially and when conditions change.
- A common theme that emerges when following up on accidents and incidents is the lack of planning at pre- commencement stage whether that is the first day on site or starting a new day with maybe a new member of the team, change in the weather, or moving to a new area of work activity.
Taking time to ‘Stop, Think and Plan’ before starting each day, or when things change, means we check that the plans are sufficient, that we have the skills and work equipment on site and the controls in place to manage the risks, deliver the work safely, protect the environment and meet requirements in terms of quality of work and expectations of the client.
Whatever your role we must all be looking for potential risks on site and decide how they can be controlled. Where significant site hazards exist, or our experience tells us they are likely to arise, such as trees being hung up or water running down forwarder tracks due to heavy rainfall, we must ensure specific controls are clearly identified on the risk assessment, and are sufficient for the site and conditions and are checked to make sure they are in place and working.
Proposed work methods and controls must be considered and questioned if they are not appropriate.
Stop, Think and Plan on site before starting work.
- Did you sign the risk assessment to say you understand the requirements?
- Why did you do this?
- Was it because you had read, understood the risks and controls, and agreed what needed to be done?
- OR was it because you had to in order to get on with the work?
- If you are supervisor or coordinator on site, have you checked that the controls make sense and are available or being implemented?
Sometimes controls seem like they are not needed until something goes wrong. Not having a spill kit isn’t a problem until you have an oil spill. No provision for lone working or checks for mobile signal aren’t a problem until you have an incident such as a trip on site resulting in a badly sprained ankle that needs external help to resolve.
None of this is new but the importance of getting both our planning right and the control measures on site each day and every day is the key to success and ensuring we are working safely whilst protecting the environment and doing the job right.
Make sure you INSIST ON SAFETY. Each day on site Stop, Think and Plan before you Do.