Why is it important to follow clear work instructions ?

Thanks to the integration of corrective and preventive actions, to the consideration of operators’ comments and to the increased use of more accessible devices (smartphones, tablets, smart glasses, etc.), work instructions facilitate the task of the collaborators. However, we must ensure the follow-up and application of these instructions, because different vital issues are related.

Respect of work instructions: because quality is at stake

In the industry, the quality of a job is its result, which is the product. This quality can only be ensured through the scrupulous application of the different instructions specific to the job. It is obvious that by respecting clear work instructions, we move away from the risk of making mistakes or approximations. The procedures, when written in a precise and relevant way, serve as reliable informations for operators. They know what actions to take, when, how and for what results. The operations not to be performed are also clearly mentioned so that the employee is sure to do good.

In short, when the work is done as it should, quality is here. Moreover, it is no coincidence that the work instructions are part of the key elements of the quality documentation within a QMS (Quality Management System), with the quality manual, the processes and procedures, as well as the recordings. By adding to the work instructions, the corrective and preventive actions determined by this same quality system make it possible to guarantee their relevance and to avoid regressions.

Because productivity also depends on it …

By writing a procedure for a specific task, it is formatted and standardized, which helps to support productivity. Indeed, because he faces clear and precise work instructions, the operator doesn’t waste time searching for or understanding what to do and when to do it.

He knows exactly and immediately his position, the operations to be carried out and deadlines. By following the instructions, he is more efficient and faster. His performances thus contribute to increase production.

… just like security

Compliance with the work instructions is also a guarantee of safety. Work instructions also include the statement of safety directives, those that allow the employee to perform his task without endangering himself, or exposing those around him and his environment to any risk.

In addition to the internal regulations for companies, French legislation also provides for disciplinary measures and sanctions in the event of non-compliance with safety instructions at work. Some breaches may result in dismissals for serious misconduct. Moreover, if an employee is the victim of a work accident for which he is himself responsible, he may lose some or all of his compensation. The regulation goes even further in the case of non-compliance with security instructions. If corresponding to misdemeanors, as resulting in injury or manslaughter, then criminal proceedings can then be considered.

For the team in charge of writing work instructions, it is also a question of how to evaluate the risks.

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