Every year we do a Christmas dinner party – a three-course English Feast with Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding and a dessert we call “The Amy” (Butter Tarts with Stilton Cheese). The menu is set and draws its inspiration from my husband’s heritage (England and Canada) and my Midwest upbringing (Iowa). We have been doing the same meal for the last 15 years.
Once I started developing and implementing management systems, I could not resist applying management system theory to this event. I developed a Christmas Party Checklist. This checklist sets out the various tasks that need to be done and has blanks for assigning responsibilities and checking off each task when it is done.
Why do I use a checklist?
One year, I found the strawberries for the appetizer course still in the refrigerator when I put the leftovers away. Another year, I had to scramble to find the meat platter while the guests watched from the table.
This checklist helps the party go smoothly and, more importantly, it helps me relax and actually enjoy the party because I know I am not going to forget anything important.
The morning after the party I make notes and additions to the checklist and file it away for the following year.
So what does this have to do with OHSAS 18001?
Checklists are an important part of a management system. As with our Christmas party, they prevent you from missing important tasks. They also help make your job more manageable and enjoyable – that is, if they are done right.
Want to learn more about creating effective checklists?
Click here to check out my previous blog and sign up for my mini-course (starting January 16, 2012) focused on checklist creation.
p.s. It was a great webinar Tuesday on ISO 19011:2011 – The Impact on Management System Auditing. Thank you to those of you who participated and submitted questions for the Q&A. Come back here next week for a link you can use to view this presentation.
© ENLAR Compliance Services, Inc. (2011)
In my last blog, I discussed the importance of checklists in saving lives.
Checklists are everywhere.
They are an integral part of many personal activities – from completing your tax return to communicating symptoms to your doctor. Checklists also play an important role in managing many business processes.
Checklists will be an important part of your OHSMS documentation.
In order to be effective, checklists need to be intelligently designed and routinely used. They also need to be controlled.
So how do you go about creating a great checklist?
Last Monday, I watched as Atlantis lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center. Living in Florida, I heard the sonic boom as it returned early Thursday morning. I watched on TV as it landed for the last time.
I am saddened by the end of shuttle program and the associated loss of jobs. Some of those impacted are fellow safety and health professionals. They are friends of mine who have participated in my training programs and helped me by providing references when I have asked.
As I watched the launch, I was struck by the discipline imposed by the formalized processes NASA uses to ensure safety. The launch was momentarily paused – with only 31 seconds to go – to double check that the GOX Vent Arm had properly retracted and latched. This was confirmed visually using a closed circuit camera while those watching the launch waited in suspense.
This is what an occupational health and safety management system is all about. It is putting processes in place, and using them, to ensure safety. Many organizations write procedures and checklists. World-class organizations use them – even when the whole world is watching.
Want help in launching your own management system? Click here to go the webpage where you can request your copy of ENLAR’s EHSMS Implementation Checklist.
As a special tribute to the NASA Shuttle Program, I am making it available for FREE for the next month.
© ENLAR® Compliance Services, Inc. (2011)