What is the role of safety professionals? How should they be held accountable? What has been your observation or experience in this regard as a safety professional or while dealing with safety professionals?
Safety professionals are very important in any organization that aspires to embrace safety culture in its operation. It is true that all individuals in an organization including employees, supervisors and managers have individual responsibility for safety and require to be held accountable. However, none of them can replace safety professionals since other than following rules to ensure they uphold the safety measures, safety professional define the safety rules. They are responsible of assessing different work station and determine whether the company has met the safety standards.
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They also offer recommendation on what can be changed or adjusted to eliminate safety loopholes in a workstation design. Other than following rules set to enhance safety, safety professionals are deeper involved in the safety matters. They participate in reviewing designs to determine their adherence to safety measures or to identify things that may cause harm to the users. They also assist in making suitable recommendation on the best measures to take to promote safety in developed equipment and those that are in the process of development. Safety professionals also play the major role of training other workers, supervisors and managers on safety measures related to their work area, and the measures workers should take in case of an accident.
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Safety Professional should be held accountable of any accident that happens as a result of unidentified fault during purchase or before use or any unidentified ergonomic or workstation hazard that was unidentified during their inspection. They should be able to give safety assurance to workers using devices that they do not understand well or operating in workstations that they had assessed earlier. They should also be held accountable for workers inability to employ safety measures effectively, either due to lack of training or poor training. In my experience, safety professionals are very resourceful in training workers, identifying hazards and in defining measures to address them. An organization with safety professionals has low chances of experiencing serious safety issues.
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