SAFETY SOLUTIONS: A Supervisor's Duty
Your job in management places you in a unique
position of trust. Individuals who are in an authoritative
or supervising position over others are a
direct representative of the employer and must apply company
policy wisely and fairly. Also entrusted to you is the
obligation to safeguard the employees you supervise. No
responsibility transcends this in importance. On-the-job
accidents represent a serious threat to the physical well-being
of the employees you supervise. Accident prevention
calls for your constant vigilance.
Therefore, as you perform your supervisory duties, guiding
your employees safety through their daily work activities,
be guided by these precepts:
You are a supervisor and thus, in a sense, you have two
families. Care for your people at work as you would care
for your family members at home. Be sure each worker
you supervise understands and puts into practical use the
training and safe work procedures the company provides.
Know the rules of safety that apply to the work you
oversee. Never let it be said that one of the employees
you supervise was injured because you were not aware
of the safety precautions required for the work being
Anticipate the risks that may arise from changes in
equipment or work procedures. Make use of expert safety
advice that is available to help you identify new and
predictable hazards and then control or eliminate those
hazards to keep your people accident-free.
Get your employees involved and build a safety culture
within your organization. Encourage the employees you
supervise to discuss with you the hazards of their work.
No job should proceed when a question of safety remains
unanswered. When you are receptive to the ideas of your
workers, you tap a source of firsthand knowledge that will
help you prevent needless loss and suffering.
Instruct your employees in the occupational safety and
health standards that apply to the work they perform, in
company safe work procedures and in the contents of
the operator’s manual or manufacturer’s recommendations
for machines or equipment they operate or use. As
a supervisor it is your responsibility to enforce these
rules firmly, fairly and consistently to prevent accidents.
Follow up to be sure each employee understands the
training and instructions you provide. Employees should
know and understand that you cannot allow an individual
employee to jeopardize their own safety or the safety
of coworkers by working in an unsafe manner. Safety
must be enforced with disciplinary action. Do not fail
your employer who has implemented the company safe
ty program and sanctioned the safety policies. Do not
fail the employees you supervise who need your firm,
fair and consistent guidance.
Set a good example. Demonstrate safety in your own
work habits and personal conduct.
Investigate every accident, however slight, that befalls
any of the employees you supervise. Where minor
injuries go unheeded, crippling accidents may latter
Cooperate fully with those in the company who manage
or facilitate the safety program. Their dedicated purpose
is to help you keep the employees you supervise
fully able and on the job and to eliminate the heavy personal
toll of accidents.
Remember, not only does accident prevention reduce
human suffering and loss, from a practical viewpoint, it
is no more than good business. Therefore safety is one
of your prime obligations.
Developing a safety culture within your organization by
leading your workers in thinking safety and ensuring they
work safely day by day through firm, fair and consistent
supervision, you will earn their loyal support and cooperation.
For more information, click on the Author Biography link at the top of this page.