Whose responsibility is safety? Are the workers responsible for their and other’s safety or the management is solely responsible for the safety of those working at their premises. Before answering this question answer this one, “How to make a safe working environment”. During a safety induction program when the safety officer asked the contractor labour, “Who is responsible for safety?” The contractor labour came out with some of the best answers.
It would be better to mention as it happened i.e. in the form of conversation.
Safety Officer – “Industrial premises are full of hazards but who is the one who shouldtake care of those hazards? Who should be responsible for safety?”
Contractor labour – “Contractor”
The others laughed, but the safety officer took it seriously. He asked again, “Who is the second person responsible?”
Contractor labour – “Supervisor”
Safety officer had not heard such answers ever before as he had applied posters everywhere in the premises mentioning safety is the responsibility of each individual. He continued to ask that fellow,
“Who is the third one responsible?”
Contractor labour, “The Company where we work for as a third party”
Safety officer, “After that”
Contractor labour kept silent. Safety officer pushed him to answer when someone from the backbench answered, “It is our responsibility”.
Everyone vowed at that answer and everyone had consensus with that answer as they had read posters and signage for the message. But given a secondthought is it really the individual’s responsibility to stay safe.
For example if there is no lock out tag out procedure in the company there may be instances of electrical accident in the company compound. If the lock out tag out devices is not there how would the workers or the employees follow the rule.
If the contractor doesn’t believe in providing adequate quality of personal protective equipment to the employees, how would they wear? If the supervisor doesn’t ensure the quality of equipment and the safe work procedures being followed the workers would not be safe.
If the company where the safety rules and procedures are just part of statutory requirements it would not be easy for the contractor to implement his safety rules. Safety is everyone’s responsibility means it includes the management as well. Including safety requirements in the annual budget, safety discussions, corrective actions, preventive actions, incident investigations etc. are all what the management could do and not the workers alone.