Case Study TasRail - Procedures

Situation / Driver:

  • When the project commenced there were 70-80 work instructions and various procedures within the infrastructure team of Asset Management
  • These were out of date and did not accurately reflect the way work was being done
  • There was no process or ownership in place to review and improve the work instructions on a regular basis
  • There was no method to determine that “how it’s supposed to be done is actually happening that way” and no method for facilitating continuous improvement of the work instructions based on feedback from employees
  • Work instructions cover safety aspects of the work but quality and environmental aspects were not covered and needed to be considered

Impact this was having:

  • This meant that there was a risk that current work practices were not captured i.e. the best way of doing things
  • Training on the job may mean that incorrect work practices are taught because there were no standardised work procedures
  • The knowledge of employees was not captured formally so that there was consistency in how things were done, regardless of who was doing it
  • There were possible compromise on safety and quality

The Approach undertaken:

  • Under the guidance of an External Facilitator, Geoff Moore used the Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology to:
  • Understand the current situation, the issues and causes of the issues
  • Frame up possible solutions
  • Implement the solutions
  • Understand the difference these solutions made
  • Standardise for the future

Solutions implemented:

  • Procedures were reviewed to ensure they accurately captured how the job was done i.e. current practices
  • Instructions were simplified to ensure they were easy to follow and the use of photos and graphics were incorporated to make them easy to use
  • Discussion occurred with a range of stakeholders to validate the content of the revised instructions, references, flow, look, feel and layout etc
  • Discussion occurred with a sample of employees who do the work to ensure the work instructions accurately reflect what occurs on the ground i.e. what was on paper actually reflected what happened in practice
  • Ensuring technology enables easy access to the work instructions and that hard copies were available for those without easy or reliable access to technology
  • Additional work instructions were written for new equipment at the request of employees
  • Work instructions for the Tamper TT7 and the process of Cut and Bump were also been written
  • New updated Infrastructure Work Instructions were printed and placed into a bound booklet and distributed to work crews by delivery supervisors
  • Crews were supplied one copy for each infrastructure vehicle and one for their Depots
  • A generic pre and post work procedure to accompany all Infrastructure Work Instructions was completed and a copy of this procedure is included with hard copy Work Instructions and work crews were advised of the electronic location of work instructions and procedures during a training session in August

Benefits Achieved:

  • The number of work instructions was reduced by 25 due to the removal of duplication
  • A consistent format, look and feel was developed for TasRail to build on in the future
  • Good consultation occurred in the development of the procedures
  • Gaps in procedures were identified and captured i.e. where we need procedures but don’t have any
  • Documents reference relevant standards; both internal and external
  • Additional work instructions were written for new equipment at the request of employees
  • Work instructions for the Tamper TT7 and the process of Cut and Bump were also been written
  • Work instructions have been circulated in hard copy and electronic copies have been loaded on the intranet
  • Generic pre and post work procedure to accompany all
  • Infrastructure Work Instructions has been completed

Future Plans and further work required:

  • Further work needs to be done in 16-17 to consider use of technology to access work instructions on the job
  • An effective document control process needs to be developed and implemented so that documents are systematically reviewed and improved in the future to ensure they reflect current work practices, employees are trained in the right way and changes are communicated to employees to ensure consistency in work practices
  • Develop a process for auditing compliance to the work instructions based on risk
  • Develop a procedure i.e. a flowchart for writing a work instruction – based on a HIRAC
  • Determine ownership of Work Instructions
  • Decision on who will manage and compile new Work
  • Instruction in future and the process for approval and sign off and uploading onto intranet and hard copy distribution
  • Agree on re-numbering work instructions to put into running order
  • A Document Register will need to be developed of the document, document number, date last reviewed, date for next review and ownership of