Safely Execute High-Quality Work

[Post by Chuck Krugh, October 21, 2022]

I have created a short statement that sums up what we need to focus on at work each day: Safely Execute High-Quality Work. There’s actually a lot more than meets the eye to this statement. It’s a simple, yet important, message!

“Safety” is something that we talk about at work a lot – and we should. Your personal safety is extremely important to both you and me. But your personal safety covers a lot of ground – things like: Are you using the right PPE? Do you have the right tools for the job? Is the area around you prepared for your work? Are you putting someone else in jeopardy? Are you in the right state of mind to conduct your job? The list goes on.

You most closely guard your own safety by your own actions. The choices you make at the point of execution are critical to the safety of the ship, your coworkers’ safety, and especially to yours. If you believe you are being asked to do a job that is unsafe, then make the call and stop the job! Work with your supervisor to get the situation corrected so you can get back to work. Go home the way you came in.

“Execute” seems pretty straight forward. It means perform your work task when it’s required by following the instructions specific to the task. However, there are three key parts to that sentence: “perform your task,” “when it’s required,” and “by following the instructions specific to the task.”

The first part of this definition of execute describes the person doing the work – “perform your task.” The second part addresses the “when” we do our work – “when it’s required.” That means we do our work on schedule. “Work” in this statement means something different to each of us, so the third part, “following instructions specific to the task” will vary depending on your trade or profession. For example: engineers might think about where to join pieces of steel together to meet the design, but fitters in the shop follow the drawings to join the metal to meet the engineers’ intentions.

Therefore, the word “execute” in Safely Execute High-Quality Work speaks to the deckplate, to the planning area, to engineers and to everyone in our company – it just speaks a little bit differently based on your job.

High-Quality Work stands on its own and doesn’t need much explanation. It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do, completing your task right the first time is the most efficient way to work. I recognize that there may be extenuating circumstances that keep us from doing it right all the time, but getting it right up front should be our focus.

President, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

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