Approach Management

ToolBox Talk: Whose Responsibility Is It?

An accident can be the result of someone else’s mistakes, but who causes the accident is not as important as who is responsible, and what steps will be taken to correct future similar accidents from happening.

 

 

After an accident has occurred, it is not unusual for the injured worker or those around the injured worker to feel awkward over what happened. This guilt or awkwardness is part of each person’s inner responsiveness that there was possibly something they could, or should have done to prevent the accident. Sometimes the accident is the result of someone else’s mistakes, but who causes the accident is not as important as who is responsible, and what steps will be taken to correct future similar accidents from happening.

The following is a partial list of responsibilities for safety on the job site project.

 

Who’s Responsible?

 

Senior Management:
According to the regulatory requirements of WA, management has ultimate responsibility for work place safety and health. Any citations issued, will be against the employer for any safety hazard.

 

Jobsite/Crew Supervisor:
"Any supervisor, project manager, superintendent, foreman or persons in charge of work, are held to be agents of the employer in the discharge of their authorized duties." Authorized duties
include:

  • The execution in a safe manner of the work under their supervision;
  • The safe conduct of their crew while under their supervision; and the safety of all workers under their supervision."
  • It makes good sense to hold supervisors responsible for the employees placed under their charge. It builds a sense of teamwork and shared responsibility for safe productivity.
  • Supervisors are generally closer to the employees under their charge and better able to positively influence behavioral change.

 

Each Person on the Job:
There is a regulatory requirement that each employee must adhere to;

  • Employees shall coordinate and cooperate with all other employees in an attempt to eliminate accidents.
  • Employees shall study and observe all safety standards governing their work.
  • Employees shall apply the principles of accident prevention in their daily work and shall use proper safety devices and protective equipment as required by their employment or employer.
  • Employees shall properly care for all personal protective equipment.
  • Employees shall make a report, on the day of the incident, to their immediate supervisor, of each industrial injury or occupational illness, regardless of the degree of severity.

 

Trained Safety Professionals:
Typically are representatives of the employer, trained to observe, instruct, investigate and assist in the implementation of the companies’ safety and health policies. They should not be considered the "cop on the beat" but there to help create awareness, and aid in the correction of unsafe act’s or conditions and help eliminate or reduce hazards.

 

Company Safety Committee:
Crew leader/crew safety meetings are required in construction and should be done on a weekly bases Though it is not necessarily required on the construction jobsite, some companies will also implement a safety committee. By using management and labor working together, hazards and unsafe conditions can be reduced or eliminated. The safety committee reports back to employees and management with the meeting outcomes.

 

Some Responsibility Rules for Everyone:
If it’s unsafe for you, then it’s unsafe for the next person and the hazard should be corrected. Safety doesn’t belong to any one construction craft; rather it is part of every construction craft to be responsible. If safety doesn’t begin with you, it won’t begin at all.

 

Download a PDF of this ToolBox Talk

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