We have said that managers, supervisors, and employees all have individual responsibilities for safety and need to be held accountable. What, then, do you think 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?
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I too believe that safety professionals should be held accountable, at least to a point for the safety of all employees of an organization. Honestly, that is their job, so, they should share a pretty good amount of the fallout when there is an incident. The very most basic function of any safety professional working for any organization is to periodically walk the Jobsite and audit it for hazards and/or unsafe work practices. When that safety professionals find these hazards and/or unsafe work practices, it is the safety professionals’ responsibility to immediately take action and correct those situations immediately. Now, with that said, how often is “periodically”… Well, that is a matter of opinion. In my opinion, this should be conducted multiple times daily if possible. I understand that many times the safety professional for an organization gets an incredible amount of work piled upon him/her, but, I still believe that these “walk-downs” need to be made a priority. This process will take identifying many hazards/unsafe work practices long before they become a problem and can be addressed for training, etc… to ensure that they don’t occur again.
With all of that said, I believe that any safety professional that isn’t being proactive in the organization by being hands-on in hazard identification and mitigation/elimination processes should be held accountable per the organization’s punitive actions for employees who don’t perform their work as directed.