JLN Associates - Your Safety Team. | Creating Effective Pre-Job Planning Strategies
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Creating Effective Pre-Job Planning Strategies

Creating Effective Pre-Job Planning Strategies

Creating Effective Pre-Job Planning Strategies

Written by Duane Daggers, JLN Fire & Safety Specialist
Workplace safety cannot just be a thought or a morning news brief. It needs to be a culture that both employers and employees embrace in order for it to be a true success. How can we tell if we are embracing the safety culture? The answer is as simple as history. As we are beginning a new year it is important to review where our work forces were at the end of last year so we can work on improving in the upcoming months. Evaluating information from the past can give workers and employers the data needed to make positive changes for tomorrow.

December of 2016 marks a sad ending for many work forces. Reviewing the data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), from December 1st through December 10th there were 18 recorded workplace fatalities and one major injury. The incidents occurred in a variety of job scopes, and across the country. An average of two workers killed every day is an unacceptable number, and shows our need to change the culture of safety across the country. The beginning of this year shows some attempt to hold people accountable.

OSHA has released informative data for the beginning of 2017. So far there have been over $2,000,000 in restitution imposed on employers due to the unsafe and unfavorable conditions they have placed their employees in. In addition to these fines, OSHA investigations have revealed unsafe conditions and unsafe acts being committed and allowed by major employers across the country. While it is great to hear the government is coming down harder on violators of workplace safety, it is plain to see we are missing the mark for true change, which is embracing a safety culture. One area we can begin to improve not only the work environment for employees, but the safety culture for industry as a whole, is pre-job planning.


Pre-job planning is an organized and systematic process for determining how to accomplish a job or task safely and efficiently. Taking steps to carefully plan out tasks of a job assures that the work is performed in a safe and efficient manner, and ensures the scope of work is understood, all hazards have been identified, hazard mitigation efforts have been established, and all members of the work crew understand what the expectations are for performance.

Pre-job planning is a multi-step process. If employers and workers follow all of the steps, the process will reduce risk, reduce injury, and increase efficiency.

Important steps of pre-job planning include:

  1. Defining the work to be performed.
    1. Clearly describe what tasks need to be completed.
  2. Describe the methods for performing the work.
    1. Explanation of how the tasks will be conducted.
  3. Identifying the hazards and their controls.
    1. Define what issues can cause injury or harm, and clearly state what measures are needed to mitigate these issues.
  4. Performing a job hazard analysis (JHA).
    1. A written detailed step by step procedure listing all the above identified aspects of the job.
  5. Conducting and executing pre-job briefing.
    1. All workers on a team must be briefed by reviewing the JHA with them, so they are all aware of the job, its hazards, and the mitigating factors.

Pre-job planning takes time and attention to detail, but the return on your investment far outweighs the planning phase:

  • Reduces injury potential and risk.
  • Provides critical job safety planning guidelines and lists key elements.
  • Ensures compliance with OSHA regulatory requirements.
  • Incorporates use of a specific hazards identification process that allows for proper risk control.
  • Incorporates the TEAM approach to hazard identification and job safety.

Pre-job planning is a critical component of a well-developed hazard control plan. It takes commitment, dedication, and education to improve our workplace conditions. These improvements will enhance the safety and well-being of our workforce, which is the most important part of our industry.
Ask yourself: Does my team need assistance with pre-job planning, training, hazard analysis, or any other aspects of workplace safety?
Contact our team today. The JLN Associates team will meet with your organization and partner with you to enhance your safety culture.