Many industries use checklists but they are often viewed as a tool for the inexperienced. This is not so. Look at pilots, doctors and construction workers. It is a necessity for safe operations. I can almost guarantee you feel more comfortable knowing that your pilot is following a checklist when you next jump on a plane.
In high hazard industries where expertise is respected it can be difficult to implement something as simple as a checklist. There is a kind of expert audacity that the use of a checklist may be below them. When the World Health Organisation implemented checklists for surgeons they faced huge criticism and kickback. However the mortality rate has dropped significantly globally. Large construction projects simply would not get off the ground without checklists and project management tools.
Pilots use them all the time even for mundane tasks. They are used especially in emergency situations. It allows the pilots to focus on problem solving.
They can be very very useful in outdoor adventure operations.
Here are a few situations checklists may be of use.
The sign of a good checklist is one that is simple to use, efficient, and to the point. It acts as a memory aid. It should not slow down your procedures. If you have been involved in an emergency situation in an outdoor setting, you would likely agree that panic almost always sets in. Even with the most experienced instructors. A checklist keeps you on track.
I used to encourage all of my guides to have a small laminate of the safety brief in their buoyancy aid pockets. The most experienced guides can forget things. We are human and humans make mistakes. A simple checklist can help you keep on track.
As an adventure business owner it is another tool to ensure that your safety systems are being followed by your team.
Would you want a pilot to fly or surgeon to operate on you without a checklist?
Jamie Simpson is General Manager of AdventureMark™ and also works globally for Kelvin TOP_SET running major incident investigations around the globe.
Integra/AdventureMark Blue Certification is JAS-ANZ accredited. AdventureMark Blue certification is approved by WorkSafe NZ under the WorkSafe NZ Adventure Activities Certification Scheme.
New Zealand Adventure Tourism Safety Certification
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