Many HSE practitioners go through their careers without the perceived need for a plan at the strategic level for their function. They figure that strategic plans are the realm of senior managers and don't impact their day to day operations. In addition, those who are implementing comprehensive risk assessment (and development of a risk register) as a part of their HSE efforts hopefully rely on audits to determine the status of activity on their high risk items. This effort, too, is usually removed from the arena of a strategic plan.

However, the development of a strategic plan for HSE and the buy-in of management on that plan can provide a logical framework for: development of critical measurements that will have the attention of management; seeing what initiatives are critical; understanding how various initiatives affect one another; and gaining support and resources for initiatives that might not otherwise have been available.

This paper will address the path for the development of an HSE strategic plan for an organizational unit that creates, or is tied directly to, the vision, mission, values, and critical indicators of the parent organization. It will include deriving initiatives that directly feed into those critical indicators and will, therefore, elicit the support of senior management. There will also be tools presented that assist in seeing HSE initiatives in relationship to one another and forming the critical path for their implementation.

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