Considerations and Rationale for Procedural Development (3) Part series
From the employer’;s point of view, there are several reasons why written procedures are important:
• They help define, clarify, and develop consistency in safe work practices.
• They provide a basis from which to measure practices / processes carried out by workers.
• If things do not work or accidents occur, they are a basis from which to analyze work processes to see if changes in process are needed, or wherever accidents may have been caused by workers not following safe work practices.
The above analysis leads to remedies. For example, the solution may be further training, improved procedures, increased supervision, additional staff, equipment maintenance, or personal protective equipment. In some cases, discipline may be part of the solution if it was determined that the worker consciously or will willfully chose not to follow safe work procedures.
The most effective way to develop and implement procedures is to get input from staff directly involved in a given function. In many cases, staff will have already established very effective ways of handling situations based on their experience. Where this is the case, development of procedures may be a simple matter of getting these processes in writing so they can be easily passed on to others.
The objective of best practices is to identify aspects of work that can be systematized and since increase consistency in how certain tasks are carried out, as opposed to being left to the better jurisdiction of staff based solely on experience passed on from one worker to the next .
Appropriate Workplace Violence Prevention training should support such practices and should be delivered consistently within the framework of agreed upon best practices rather than delivered based on the interpretation of an individual worker based on their presumed experience and skills.