Communication is Key for Industrial Site Safety
Thoughtful practices and strategic communication play an important role in encouraging industrial site safety. And when that site is playing home to necessary maintenance or turnaround work? Those considerations are even more crucial.
Why is that? Because such work doesn’t just introduce increased safety risks and new people to an already bustling jobsite. It can result in slowdowns that eat into the operation’s overall output and profitability, too.
The good news is, taking a strategic approach as it relates to communication can go a long way toward keeping work moving forward as it should. And that’s true for maintenance crews and industrial operations alike. Read on for easy-to-follow insights aimed at helping you keep your industrial site efficient and safe for all involved.
Communicate Industrial Maintenance Projects to Your Team Early and Often
Even the best-planned projects are bound to introduce snags into an active industrial site’s work. It might be in the form of off-limits areas or disabled equipment that require crews to re-evaluate the day’s work, for instance, or special personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements in areas that don’t typically have them.
Whatever the case, advance warning can help keep confusion to a minimum — and allow industrial crews to adequately prepare. Here are a few simple ways to get word out before and during your work:
- Email your leadership team as soon as you know maintenance, repair or construction work is in your plant’s future — and again once you have dates in place. Send a reminder as the date nears, so they can ensure the requisite people are informed and have time to prepare.
- Incorporate updates into your team’s toolbox talks, and be sure to address any issues that pertain to them specifically. What is the scope of the coming work? Will the team’s hours or work areas be impacted? How long will it last? Will they be reassigned to other areas while maintenance or repairs take place? Addressing such issues ahead of time helps keep operations running smoothly once it comes time for those updates to get underway.
- Post safety signs and clear instructions in impacted areas once work begins. Alert personnel of any hazards associated with the ongoing work, such as falling object risks, eye protection considerations, high voltage warnings and the like. Remember, even if your team has received adequate warning, this on-site work is something outside of the traditional day-to-day. Any and all reminders have the potential to help stop injuries in their tracks.
- Have a single point of contact workers can turn to with questions or concerns, and be sure they know how to reach them. Taking a streamlined approach helps eliminate confusion and misinformation — and can provide workers answers to their questions much more quickly.
Educate Your Industrial Maintenance Team About Any Site-Specific Information They Should Know
Your industrial plant or refinery is a one-of-a-kind operation. Even if the crew you’ve hired is well-versed in the specific maintenance or repair work, they won’t know the industrial plant the way you do.
We recommend putting yourself in your crew’s shoes (or steel toes) and preparing a high-level fact sheet they can use to start the work on the right foot. When was the last time the affected systems or equipment were updated? Is any of your machinery especially prone to breakdowns or mechanical issues? Do area traffic patterns dictate the best times to travel to or from your plant? Which entrance should they use?
Going back to basics to such an extent might seem tedious and time-consuming, but it’s the best way to ensure your hired team is entering into your industrial site fully informed — and as prepared as possible.
Gallant Industrial Insight: If your plant or refinery regularly finds itself in need of repairs or maintenance work, consider a nested crew. Nested crews are contracted teams who operate at your facility every day. They come to learn your plant just as well as your own team members, and they’re available to help at a moment’s notice — no need to factor in travel time or rush fees. Contact us to learn more about our nested maintenance options!
Keep Lines of Communication Open Throughout Your Project’s Duration
It might seem like the heavy lifting is complete for your plant or refinery once that repair work begins. The truth is, that’s just the beginning. As anyone in the industrial world knows, nothing ever goes 100% to plan. And the sooner necessary team members are made aware of any issues that arise on-site, the better able you’ll be accommodate them.
Establish a point person or two for your company and encourage them to pursue regular updates regarding where the work stands. Is your industrial maintenance team meeting deadlines? Are things still on track for your desired finish date? Will weather or shipping delays impact things? Do they need anything from you?
On a related note, communication’s a two-way street. Just as you should be able to turn to your repair crew for updates, they should be able to trust that your company will keep them informed along the way. Be sure to communicate any change orders, deadline shifts or additional needs that come into play — and do so as early on as possible. Early warning helps keep things on track.
Remember, you and your maintenance crew are on the same team here. These check-ins are meant to help keep everyone in the know, on the same page and working together toward improved industrial site safety.
Effective communication plays a crucial role when it comes to industrial site safety. When gone about the right way, it can lead to safer jobsites, teams that are better informed across the board — and minimal on-site disruptions as work takes place.
If you have questions about any of the above, or if you’re interested in learning more about Gallant Industrial’s nested maintenance options or related services, feel free to contact our team. We’re glad to help and we look forward to hearing from you!