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MFD Safety Program


Work Planning & Control (WPC)

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WPC Basics

WPC is all about making jobs go smoothly, safely, and in compliance with requirements.  


This document describes the Work Planning & Control (WPC) process used by MFD to plan, perform, and manage field work.  Fundamental to any successful work process are clear expectations and lines of responsibilities, authority and accountability.  For MFD shop work, these lines are fairly straightforward; there is a vertical flow from the laboratory director, through the MFD Department head to the shop supervisors, who are assigned the resources and personnel to run the shops.

For field work, the lines of authority and accountability are not as straightforward.  For most field work there is a mixture of vertical and horizontal flow of authority and responsibility.  Usually, the Field Operations group must rely on the MFD shops to provide the personnel to carry out the work activities.  A management style such as this is called matrix management – where the individual has at least two reporting superiors (bosses) – one administrative supervisor (the person does the worker annual review, signs time cards, sets work hours, etc) and one or more functional supervisors (a person who directs specific work activities of the worker).  

Overview of the MFD Process

MFD utilizes a software program called Visual to create work travelers to plan, estimate, schedule, and track work within the department.   Because MFD field work utilizes a matrixed management style, it is very important that the lines of responsibilities and authorities are clearly spelled out on each traveler.  Each traveler has a Work Planning & Control section (WPC) which provides a mechanism to define and record completion of various WPC elements such as worker authorization, pre-job briefings, and work release.

The MFD Department Head has delegated responsibility for all field work to the Field Operations Manager. For each field job, the Field Operations Manager assigns himself or another MFD person to act as the “Responsible Line Manager” (RLM) to manage and provide oversight of the job.    The RLM in turn designates himself or another person to serve as the “Person-in-Charge” (PIC) who provides the activity or field level management and oversight of the job

Allocation of resources for management, planning, coordination, and execution of a field job usually involves workers from various MFD Shops; in such cases the supervisor providing the resource is the administrative supervisor and the person receiving the resource is the functional supervisor.

         When a worker is designated as the RLM for a field job, the Field Operations Manager becomes their functional supervisor for that job.

         When a worker is designated as the PIC for a field job, the RLM for the job becomes their functional supervisor for that job.

         When a worker is assigned to a field job, the PIC for the job becomes the workers functional supervisor for the job.


WPC is all about planning your work so that Supervisors and employees together evaluate work activities, determine the potential risks or issues of the activity, and plan how to remove or otherwise control those risks.  Frequently, other competent persons such as the MFD Safety officer or the ES&H Department Subject Matter Experts are assist in the process.  This process of hazard identification and mitigation is documented.

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