Pre-job briefing 101

Pre-job briefing

Implementation of operation and management control over all activities within the facility, plant or factory premises remains the formative step towards compliance and safe works.

Due to the interdependent nature of HSE, O&M and management – overlap of roles, responsibilities and execution presents itself as a shape-shifting challenge.

Pre-job brief or briefing is a sure shot and tested way towards preventive asset management. The task execution, its associated crew and the equipment or site in question contains all these hurdles and riddles that need to be overcome and should be answered in the best possible manner.

First step, see, say and spell each hazard.

It doesn’t matter which version of equipment maintenance manual is being referred to, the job leader needs to ensure each member is on the same page. The area authority has been informed and the concerned stakeholders are aware of their roles within the job.
Hazard analysis on basic ground – recognize, realize and relay forms the primary step within this phase.

A lot of the times, preventive maintenance is done side-by-side active operations. The ‘hazard spill over’ in this case from the job to active operations and vice versa needs to be documented and explained to the crew and workforce.

Pre-job briefing

Second step, plan, portray and predict

Simple planning and putting ink on the paper goes a long way than intense meetings with little documentation. Plus, the activity can then be communicated to a larger audience for follow up and preparatory activities.

Documentation also helps to portray ‘how and why’ of the job at hand. This is essential for both the safety team and management. A high energy isolation on an automobile assembly line might seem simple to the experienced crew member but is fraught with multiple and complex hazards according to the safety supervisor. Portrayal helps people see eye-to-eye and understand each other’s roles, better.

Prediction is a by-product of information retrieval and analysis. To gain such insights industries are increasingly investing in asset performance management software. The next level of prevention is forecast and safety foresight via ‘molecular’ data produced in O&M.

Step three, keep your managers’ close and your crew members closer

The ultimate step in task execution is its accurate and safe implementation as per the job briefing. Under pressure and in an attempt to demonstrate faster turnaround times, the crew might face critical decisions which aren’t documented.

Does the crew member feel qualified to make those decisions under pressure? Or, they feel uncomfortable to proceed forward with little to no information to make an informed judgement call?

This fog from this dilemma can only be cleared on getting the first two steps right. Training, communication and technology are the tools which can take the edge of such situations. However, support and enablement remain the most human form of a growth lattice that helps extract maximum performance under pressure.

Upskilling and neo-skilling aren’t fancy words from digital age; a work-person can cultivate both technical and vocational trainings while working their normal shifts, each day.

Pre-job briefing is also about morale and focus. It is like the team huddle where the instructions are a lot more technical, but the throughput is always measured via sustained team effort.

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