Do your repair procedures need repair? Over time, procedures that started out barebones and useless often become overwhelming and useless. As more details get added, less attention is paid to each one. In many cases, the details are imprecise and confusing.

Your first line of defense is to assign repair work only to individuals who are qualified (per the OSHA definition) to do that work. This moves safety, efficiency, and effectiveness in the right direction. Fill training gaps by obtaining training, not by bloating out your procedures.

If qualified people are assigned, then the thinking on procedures moves from craft training to providing the specifics a trained person needs to do a proper repair. Evaluate every sentence of every repair procedure for the concept of "specific." Just assume that if something can be misinterpreted, it will be. That doesn't mean write more, it means write more clearly.

Good repair procedures include:

  • Outline the major steps in proper sequence.
  • Include "check this before continuing" instructions.
  • Require taking data (e.g., not "tighten bolt" but "torque to 51 ft-lb").
  • Have no vague statements (e.g., not "tighten all bolts" but "torque the six retaining bolts").
  • Are written in clear language with a minimum of boilerplate.