Safety Awakening – “We’re NOT The Safety Police”

March 27, 2015 No Comments


 “We’re NOT The Safety Police”


The Safety Manager is a member of the management team.  As such, you have a responsibility to enforce company work and safety rules.  The big question is not – should you enforce rules; but rather – “how” should you enforce rules?

Decades ago, safety managers would carry disciplinary forms with them whenever in the plant.  Upon seeing an employee violating any rule, they’d get out the enforcement pad and write-up the employee.

These days, when a safety manager sees a “less than serious” rule violation, the employee is given a friendly reminder.  Usually, the employee apologizes profusely and promises to follow the rule in the future.  A simple reminder is all it takes – no need to formally “write-up” the employee and make then a new enemy.  It was likely an innocent infraction, an honest mistake, and it probably won’t happen again.

In the rare case when the employee does not heed the initial friendly verbal warning, then the employee’s supervisor should be brought in to manage the problem.

However, when the safety manager observes a “serious” rule infraction (e.g. using drugs at work, violence, etc.), the employee should be immediately confronted and the supervisor (and maybe HR too) should be called in to handle the formal disciplinary action that will be taken.

We are not the safety police.  Rather we’re the employee’s protector and coach.


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