Monday, March 2, 2015

Fatigue Series - DEVELOP

Putting Meat on the Bones: Develop

Once the basic framework of an FRMS is defined and critical focus areas are determined, we can begin to develop the specific countermeasures.  These countermeasures fall into a handful of layers of protection.  The key layers of protection we use within Caterpillar are Culture, Polices & Procedures, Training & Education, Schedules & Rosters, and Technology.  While the FRMS you defined and created prior to the develop phase will likely include all of these areas, the task in the Develop stage is to clearly design the programs and fatigue countermeasures within each of those layers.

For example, your FRMS framework will likely include a section on training and education about fatigue.  But the framework created in Define does not include the methods for delivering the training, such as the content, specific audiences, the roll out and communications and the actual materials, time and resources needed to conduct the training.  In the Develop phase, you will now put the specifics to the framework. 

As you begin developing these countermeasures within each of the layers of protection, don’t forget about the work you did in the Assess phase to define major sources of fatigue and the possible differences among workgroups for different countermeasures.  To continue with the example of fatigue training, during the Develop stage you will need to identify what changes may be required when providing the training for haul truck drivers compared to plant personnel, dispatchers, supervisors, etc.  They may all need a certain core set of information, but a part of the training should focus on the specific challenges individuals have based on their main work function.  It’s not a one size fits all solution.

Similarly, installing technology on haul trucks does essentially nothing for a maintenance technician in terms of reducing their fatigue risk.  In the Develop phase, you will likely identify multiple countermeasures within each layer of protection to ensure that you cover as many as possible.

One layer of protection that crosses over into other layers is that of culture.  This is a layer that often gets overlooked.  You can develop a set of perfectly effective, comprehensive and well planned fatigue countermeasures that can fail miserably if the safety and fatigue culture is poor.  If there is poor communication, misperceptions, distrust, inconsistency and/or lack of support for the fatigue countermeasures, they will not succeed.  Nor will they return the results we want, which is ultimately getting our employees and ourselves Safely home.  Everyone.  Every day.®

As you begin to develop your specific countermeasures and layers of protection, don’t be daunted by the scale.  If you have followed the steps in the FRMS process, you will have a good roadmap.  And don’t be afraid to think outside the box when you develop your countermeasures.  Lastly, don’t build these locked away in a conference room.  You may start there, but you will need to get input and ultimately buy-in from the workforce so rely on your steering teams, managers and employees for ideas that will work in the real world.

Todd D.

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