A new year is coming! What will we make of it? I always like the new year feel because it’s a way to tell myself to start fresh with renewed enthusiasm for making operations safer. I feel like I can have a chance to make the new year better than the last!
One of the best ways to do this is to have a safety committee evaluate what was done to make the current year as safe as possible. From there, the committee can develop new plans for the new year to make it even more successful.
A committee can look at actual events, review trends, and determine the success of goals and key performance indicators. By doing this, the committee can get a good feel for how things went and define with confidence what didn’t work so well, what did work well, and what adjustments might need to be made. Studying the year’s events for trends and situations that did not go according to plan are very telling for a committee. As an example, a safety committee had a goal of increasing hazard reports and near miss reports by 15% by the end of 2022. However, after reviewing the data, they found that they were down 11%. Why? What went wrong? In their review they found that the day shift was not reporting as many items as they used to. They found that the shift was down a supervisor, and the supervisor they did have was new. The supervisor was not aware of the intent to increase reporting and did nothing to further the effort.
The committee had great intentions but found a “hiccup” in their plans. So, now the committee has to determine whether this situation had a negative impact on their overall goals. Considering the situation above, the safety committee can now see some of the challenges they did not count on. They can now add fixes to these challenges into their 2023 safety plan. Safety plans are kind of like a play book. The committee sees how the previous year went and can clearly adapt adjustments to the new year plans. They will want to keep the plan manageable and effective but also not so rigid that they can’t make changes as they go throughout the new year. If the committee and leadership follow the plan, and evaluate their success along the way, they can make timely adjustments to ensure a more effective plan that realizes the intended outcomes.
Essentially, the plan becomes a baseline to operate by. When you have a known baseline, your starting and evaluation points are more refined. This truly does help with making minor adjustments and with resetting the plan each year. So, evaluate your year. Consider what worked and what didn’t work and then make a new plan for 2023. Doing this can help 2023 be the safest year on the books!
Happy Holidays! End the year safely and make the new year an awesomely safe year for your teams and keeping their families whole!