As the OSHA documented leading indicator of safety performance, Pre Task Planning is critical for every construction trade partner. Created before daily site work commencement, it’s your team huddle tool for empowerment and clarity.
What are the Benefits of Pre Task Planning?
A Pre-Task Plan has your back when it comes to safety enhancement and field engagement. When used effectively, Pre-Task Planning drives proactive safety performance and productivity which keeps your teams on schedule and on budget.
Some of the most important benefits include:
- Empowerment: Employees and trades take end-result ownership when they get a say in the plan.
- Quality: Process consistency means fewer mistakes, fewer reworks, higher productivity, and a better quality of work.
- Communication: the General Contractor, Project Manager, and Estimator gain transparency of who’s on-site, where they are working, and what they are working on. This lessens work stoppages and intermingling trade issues.
- Return on Investment: Reduced direct and indirect incident costs by way of schedule impacts, reworks, medical bills, employee turnover and morale, public image, worker’s compensation, and fines and penalties have a significant, impact on the bottom line.
- Innovation: Improvements are made when an employee shares a best practice or new tool.
How to Prepare for a Pre Task Plan
The Pre Task Plan starts well before the form is completed. Use these strategies to set planning up for success.
- Set expectations and a process to measure engagement with your Pre Task Plans. Consider simple methods of recording and reporting to know who submits a plan and when and how they are reviewed.
- Ensure that prerequisite documents such as the JHA, Safety Plan, Orientation, and Safety Data Sheets are reviewed and approved.
- Verify tools, equipment, and training expectations outlined in the JHA are in place.
- Attend site meetings so you can understand the schedule and coordinate with the superintendent and other trades.
- Walk the work area with your team to discuss the tasks outlined for the day. Encourage them to point out potential hazards and roadblocks.
Pre Task Plan Best Practices
The Pre-Task Plan is a just-in-time tool that helps you and your team sort out daily tasks identify any potential site hazards and implement appropriate mitigation tactics. It should be completed off the back of the JHA to create a real-time assessment of hazards, resource needs and a safe path forward.
- Make it easy: Remove barriers for your supervisors and crew. For example, a digital form with links to permits, JHAs and equipment will avoid the need to walk back and forth to the site office.
- Ask the pros: Craft are your process and solution masters, so be sure to leverage their expertise.
- Use tools: Use your JHA and hazard mitigation templates to reinforce and guide the conversation. For example, automated prompts for common task hazards and mitigation solutions can reduce repetition and leave more time for risk management.
- Get proficient in team engagement: We cannot stress team communication enough. They are your eyes on the ground; always work to gain their trust so they are willing to voice their opinion. Approach your team with the attitude of a leader, rather than a boss.
- Set an example: Let the crew see you take note of all ideas and conversational points to encourage discussion and participation.
- Gain consensus: Work on the Pre Task Plan until there is a full team agreement.
- Keep it relevant: Revisit the plan throughout the workday; ask straightforward questions. For example, what has changed? How are we progressing? Do we have all we need? Have new hazards cropped up? How can I help you?
- Update: When a change occurs – amend the plan and ensure everyone is working towards the latest version. This improves practices over time.
Daily De-Briefs for Continuous Improvement
While the day is fresh in your team members' minds gather feedback about challenges and successes from the day's efforts. This will improve your pre-task planning effectiveness and efficiency on the following day.
Short, yes or no answers are often a challenge at this stage. Use who-what-where questions for insight. For example, what went well? Where can we improve? What didn’t get completed? How can we improve tomorrow? What other resources do you need?
How to Analyze Pre Task Plan Engagement
Pre Task Plan engagement data is your proven to tie to safety performance, so review weekly, if not more. When completed digitally, you can see which crews are completing PTPs, their frequency and quality as well as correlate task planning to results like safety and quality observations, injuries or incidents. This proactive step will help you distinguish the processes supporting positive results from one’s that need to be altered.
And that is arguably the most essential step towards continuous improvement.
Work Smart, Not Hard
Jobsite conditions change by the day, hour and moment. While Pre Task Planning takes time and know-how, it’s also a construction site manager’s insurance policy as a job moves forward. The Pre Task Plan is your daily boots-on-the-ground vehicle to help teams work to their JHA. Your investment will reduce injuries, reworks, fees, fines, and clear audit trails, so at the end of the day you, your crews and the organization win.
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