There is an old saying, “Work hurriedly done is worriedly done.” Unfortunately, I’ve found that adage to be quite true. You have implemented and refined a world class safety program as a part of your turnaround methodology. You employ safety representatives who are among the best in the world. You bring in experienced contractors who have made an art of working proficiently and safely. But the safety record you are working so hard to achieve is somehow… still eluding your grasp. What are you missing?
One way to reduce the likelihood of accidents is to reduce the likelihood of falling behind schedule. It’s not realistic to think we can increase speed without impacting safety. Whether the number of incidents increases or not, certainly we agree the chances of incidents increase. We perform detailed risk analyses on our turnaround plan long before we are ready to implement it. But how do you perform a complete and accurate risk analysis on a recovery plan long before you need it?
First, let’s find out how we reduce the need for a recovery plan. How can you avoid falling behind schedule, getting in a hurry and adversely impacting safety?
1. Know where you are in terms of job progress. Poor status updates can result in delayed recognition of a problem. Often, by the time reality sets in, options for recovery are less effective and more expensive. Quality field reports should be line item updates from the most recent look-ahead schedule. Crew leaders should report job start time, the number of people assigned to a job, the amount of time they worked, the percent complete for the job at shift’s end and any unusual occurrence. Those who say you cannot get this level of detail out of contractors in the field should take note that some of their competitors are already acquiring this information. Beyond getting accurate schedule compliance data, the added bonus is being able to enter accurate hours into your schedule, thus allowing you to run timely and precise productivity curves.
2. Drive schedule compliance with a passion. Granted, there was a full-wall review of the schedule and every stakeholder made all necessary corrections and adjustments and agreed the schedule was “IFC” (Issue for Construction) — in other words, ‘this is exactly how we plan to execute in the field.’ This is the place where accountability for performance must be placed. The degree of schedule compliance equals the degree of schedule success.
- Your schedule compliance data has to be fed directly from your schedule—no rounding up or down or any other adjustments. Confidence in your data is key.
- The schedule compliance reports must be widely published throughout the turnaround team on a daily basis and central in discussions.
- Planned start times should primarily drive the conversation with contractors. “Did you start the scheduled jobs at the times agreed?”
- Planned finish times should primarily drive the conversation with execution coordinators since they are tasked with driving performance and removing hurdles to keep the schedule on track.
3. Keep discovery work and non-mechanical activities off the critical path whenever possible.
- Discovery work should work in parallel to the critical path by a “hot shot” crew if possible. Normal crews should be kept on plan.
- Items such as permits, scaffolding, insulation, etc. should not be allowed to drive the mechanical timeline. Rather, completed prior to the start of the mechanical shift.
Everyone holds safety as the highest priority. Keeping your turnarounds on track will mean better safety performance. That makes for a more successful turnaround for everyone. For more information, contact us at 1-800-630-1347 or visit our website at onpoint-us.com.