Knowing what to do, and why is important with any job. It’s very important for traffic signal maintainers. Taking the appropriate considered action for maintenance actions and system problems assures the best system operation and safety. This is especially important for the new technician but also important for old timers. It’s difficult to criticize any actions taken in error if the appropriate action is not defined.Typical topics for an operations manual:
- Documentation requirements.
- Response requirements.
- When to call for assistance.
- Action to be taken for specific types of problems.
- How to prioritize work.
- Authorized timing changes for specific needs.
- If the technician also determines timing plans, how and why to select specific settings.
- Inter-agency and inter-departmental relationships and work division.
Basically, anything that the agency wants to be done in a specific, consistent manner should be defined in a well considered operations manual. It is very important that the operations manual be a living document that is continually reviewed and revised to reflect current best practices. Once you have a manual, you should expect that your employees follow its guidelines so be sure it accurately reflects what you want them to do.
A good method of developing an operations manual is to involve the people that actually do the work. This can be accomplished by a committee process or by a simple comment and review process. However it is accomplished, it should include information from the experience of the people who have done the work and experienced the problems and pitfall as well as management and be merged with the goals of the agency to define the best practices.
Operations manuals are part of a good pro-active maintenance program. A program that plans ahead and defines methods and procedures will provide a more consistent end result.