Failing to follow the procedure is a step in the wrong direction
Why are procedures important?
Again and again, when we review the sometimes complex series of events that has led up to an injury or process upset, we find that failure to follow established procedures can contribute to serious, or even catastrophic, consequences.
There can be many things that might cause a person to skip a step or deviate from a procedure. One is that the person simply does not know the rules or the proper steps to take.
The cure for this is to make it your business to know the procedures that apply to what you do. If you find yourself in a situation where you are unfamiliar with what to do next, STOP and ask for assistance or go back and review the procedure before proceeding.
It is also common to hear a person say that they felt rushed, or that they believed that their short cut would not result in a bad outcome. The problem with this kind of thinking is that the person who has chosen to deviate from the procedure assumes that in that moment they had properly evaluated all of the possible consequences of their choice to deviate.
The reality is, a person’s ability to determine how an out of sequence move or skipped step might contribute to an unforeseen disaster can be greatly compromised when they are feeling rushed or overwhelmed by the task at hand.
Keep in mind that the time to familiarize ourselves with critical procedures is before we need to employ them. Also, remember that, contrary to our impulse, it is at those times that we feel rushed or confused, that strict compliance to an operational or safety procedure is most important.