Hit The Ground Running

The phrase, “Hit the ground running” is typically used to denote starting something quickly and effectively from the beginning. The phrase itself is often attributed to military paratroopers. It is important for the safety of a paratrooper to have the ability to get moving, or hit the ground running, as soon as their feet touch the ground. To accomplish this, preplanning and preparedness are essential and could be the difference between life and death. To ensure a successful drop, planning begins well before the date of the mission.

During World War II, the United States military learned what resources paratroopers needed to survive on the ground and put together a kit that would allow them to get moving quickly, and their gear was the envy of other nations. Even German broadcasters during WWII referred to American paratroopers’ equipment as “the luxury kit.” There was a significant correlation between a successful drop and the amount of planning and training that went into it and making sure that they had everything necessary to get moving quickly.

In the manufacturing world, we, too, know the importance of planning and preparedness to ensure success. So how do we hit the ground running when it comes to safety?

  • Plan the work, work the plan. You will often hear leadership within Excellerate use this phrase. We can clearly see a correlation between our well-planned projects and our safety record. The better we plan, the safer we are.
  • Plan well before work begins. Planning on our projects begins weeks and even months before projects begin, whenever possible. Our planning process includes representatives from different departments so that we can work together to identify and correct any safety concerns before the work begins.
  • Operational Risk Management. Excellerate completes an Operational Risk Management (ORM) meeting daily before the start of work. This process ensures that every task and scenario is analyzed for hazards associated with the work and that all hazards are mitigated before work begins. It is an interactive process that involves all crew members to make sure everyone understands and is involved in the work plan for each day.

When we follow this planning process, we can hit the ground running when work begins and complete our work safely, efficiently and successfully. What tools does your organization use to ensure project safety?