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Showing posts with label Safety Management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Safety Management. Show all posts

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

The Duties of a Safety Supervisor

A safety supervisor maintains safe working conditions in a variety of industries.

A safety supervisor is responsible for maintaining and protecting both employee and public health and safety in a variety of industries. 

Safety supervisors may work in the food industry ensuring food is handled and served correctly, in an industrial environment protecting the safety of workers around equipment or in a lab monitoring safe handling of chemicals. Safety supervisors may work alongside employees or may be solely responsible for safety-monitoring efforts.

Responsibilities of a Safety Supervisor Job Description of a Field Safety Supervisor

Risk Identification

Safety supervisors identify possible risks to employee or public safety.

The safety supervisor is responsible for identifying potential risks within the work environment as well as the public arena. Safety supervisors typically watch over current working conditions and may investigate employee work locations to pinpoint potential hazards in the manner of work, the equipment used or the products and services manufactured. 

The employees must be provided with a safe environment in which to work, one that is free of direct contact with hazardous materials or dangerous equipment, and public safety risks must also be identified to protect consumers and members of the public who use or pass by job sites and work locations.

Safety Implementation

Safety supervisors are responsible for obtaining needed safety equipment.

When a possible risk factor has been identified in an employee's work environment, job function or job process, it is up to the safety supervisor to implement the necessary changes to rectify those risks. Working independently or in collaboration with government agencies designed to protect the health and safety of workers, such as OSHA, the safety supervisor will be expected to design and implement reasonable accommodations to improve worker safety. 

Accommodations might include safety training and the procurement of safety equipment, such as gloves for the handling of hazardous materials, hard hats in construction zones and safety gates or fencing for areas that may present a risk of someone falling.


Some safety supervisors spend time supervising employees or fellow safety administrators.

In some companies, a safety supervisor works alone to identify and implement safe working conditions and procedures. The safety supervisor might be a traditional employee who is conducting a generic job function while at the same time maintaining the responsibility for overseeing personal and coworker safety within that job role. 

Other safety supervisors work solely within the safety role and may move around the company to observe different job functions to study and understand how the job operates and what safety precautions may need to be implemented. Other safety supervisors might work as part of a team within a safety organization. The safety supervisor would be responsible for overseeing the training and work of other safety administrators within the safety team.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019


Topic : Construction Safety 



1. Context:

The digging and excavation of trenches is considered to be a hazardous task due to the potential for unplanned contact with utilities/services and the potential for injury from the collapse /localized failure of trench walls. It is therefore critical to establish suitable risk controls to avoid fatal injuries resulting from material instability and inadvertent contact with underground services/utilities.

2. Purpose:

To detail the functions necessary to manage the design, planning and work method for the excavation of openings or trenches such that adequate safeguards are implemented to prevent contact with utilities and exposure to loose material.

3. Scope:

This element applies to the management of any task requiring the penetration of the ground to a depth deeper than 300 mm. Therefore the scope is wider than simply the digging of trenches. This element excludes bulk excavation work being performed in quarries, stockpiles and spoil piles.

4. Element Requirements

4.1 Hazard Identification Risk Assessment and Control

A procedure must be established for the issuing of an excavation permit. The procedure will ensure all digging and excavation work performed outside a quarry must be conducted under the authority of an excavation permit. The excavation permit must address the following key issues:

Type of  work being preformed:-
  1. Identification of underground utilities and services including the requirement for verification by the appropriate person that the area has been checked for underground services/utilities.
  2. Soil type (ground conditions)– hard rock, clay, soil or sand
General safety requirements:-
  1. Barricading & signage
  2. Segregation distances or barriers between personnel and mobile equipment and/or a loose digging face
  3. Personal protective equipment
  4. Locating of diesel/ petrol driven equipment
  5. Name and Signature of authorizing permit issuer, including the date, time of issue of the permit.
  6. Note: In situations where an excavation/trench is being dug to a depth >1 meter and wider > 0.5 meters or where the trench is being excavated for the purposes of conducting work on (installation repair) underground utilities/services a risk assessment must be performed before the excavation permit can be issued. 
  7. Requirements of other FPEs must also be considered, e.g. confined spaces.
Risk assessments performed on digging and excavation work must consider the following and where identified assess the potential for injury or damage and define the risk controls:
  1. Potential collapse of excavations or shoring
  2. Potential collapses of spoil heaps, adjacent structures or roads
  3. Potential for flooding from storm water, broken mains or ground water ingress
  4. Potential ventilation hazards from exhaust fumes from operating equipment
  5. Potential entrapments in confined spaces ( coffer dams, drains etc)
  6. Potential for inadvertent contact or damage to live services and underground tanks or structures
  7. Potential for workers being injured by falling objects, being struck by machinery or falling into the trench
  8. Potential for persons to fall into the excavation
  9. Emergency response requirements to recover personnel
The risk assessment shall be attached to the excavation permit prior to being submitted for approval by the authorized permit issuer

Changes to the method of excavation or design of the excavation/trench including the angle of repose to slopes/protective support systems must be submitted to the excavation permit issuer before the change can be implemented (refer management)

4.2 Selection, Training, Competency and Authorisation

The training and competency assessment system shall ensure competency standards are established and applied for personnel designated as excavation permit issuers. These competencies must incorporate the following functions:
  1. Identification and characteristics of soil types and ground conditions
  2. Identification of confined spaces
  3. Common hazard during excavation (atmosphere, water inrush, collapse, Cobile equipment etc)
  4. Protection methods
  5. Simple slope excavation
  6. Protective support systems (shoring, shielding, benching)
  7. Identification of underground utilities/ services
  8. Safety precautions when working or accessing underground utilities / services
Personnel designated as authorized permit issuers must receive refresher training at period not exceeding 3 years.

All personnel conducting risk assessments in relation to digging and excavation work must:
Excavation Safety
  • Have completed excavation permit issuer training
  • Have completed formal risk assessment training
Personnel responsible for the installation of protective support systems must be trained in the safe erection, maintenance and dismantling of the system being used.
An overview of the excavation permit requirements must be provided as part of the general induction program.

4.3 Communication and Awareness

Excavations/ trenches need to be identified by having a barrier erected around the perimeter of the area of excavation at a minimum distance of 2 meters from the edge of the opening.

Awareness information and/or instruction must be provided on a regular basis to personnel who may perform digging and excavation.  The following topics should be addressed:
  • Definition of  digging and excavation
  • Hazards presented by excavations/trenches/ holes, openings
  • Range of underground services installed at the operation
  • Permitting requirements
  • Means for inspecting protective support systems and access points
4.4 Design, Purchase, Fabrication, Installation and Commissioning

The design of excavations/ trenches must consider the soil type and the duration the excavation/ trench will be left open. The application of  either slope excavation or protective support systems must address the following:
  1. Slope excavation
  2. Maximum slope angles for the various soil  types
  3. Bench heights for the various soil types
  4. Protective support systems
  5. Trench shields are suitably designed for the expected compression load
  6. Screw jacks, wales, clingers, braces and sheeting (separate and continuous) are suitably spaced for the intended load
  7. Accumulated spoil from the excavation must not located closer than 2 meters from the edge of the excavation/trench
  8. Designated access and egress points are provided for personnel
  9. Segregation requirements are established where mobile equipment may operate or a loose digging face is present
In situations where water accumulation is expected the following aspects must be considered within the design of the excavation/trench:
  • Requirements to prevent water accumulation from surface and ground water
  • Dewatering pumps used are capable of dealing with, as a minimum,  25% above the expected accumulation rate
  • Designated sump or drainage facility is provided for dewatering
4.5 Work Method and Condition Control

Digging and excavation is only permitted after written authorization is issued in the form of an excavation permit. The person supervising the task must ensure the following aspects are understood and applied by personnel involved in the task:
  • Check the excavation/trench for tension cracks, surface water before permitting access to the area
  • Erect barricading in the form of fencing/ barrier tape and signage around the perimeter of any open excavation/trench at a minimum distance of 2 meters from the edge of the opening.
  • Personnel must use the designated access and egress points to an excavation or trench
  • Personnel must not approach a loose digging face or mobile equipment excavating a trench
  • Work involving repair to underground services/utilities, must have those services isolated and locked out before digging/excavation can commence (refer fatality prevention element for isolation and lockout)
  • Diesel/ petrol driven equipment cannot be operated within a trench with personnel working. Atmospheric testing being performed prior to entry - (refer fatality prevention element confined space)
 4.6 Maintenance
 No requirement applies to this element

 4.7 Emergency Controls

Where digging and excavation requires personnel to access the excavation/trench a specific rescue plan must be in place and suitable rescue equipment must be available before entry into the excavation/ trench is permitted.
4.8 Monitoring, Inspections and Audits

An inspection of excavations/ trenches must be performed weekly or when any of the following situations arise:
  1. Tension cracks, sloughing, undercutting, water seepage, bulging at the bottom, or other similar conditions occur
  2. After inclement weather (rainstorm)
  3. Change in the size, location, or placement of the spoil pile
  4. Any indication of change or movement in adjacent structures
  5. The inspection will be performed using a formal checklist and the findings recorded.  Inspection checklist shall be retained for a period of 6 months.
Annual audits must be performed to verify the quality and effectiveness of the requirements set out in this element. As a minimum this will include :
  • Schedules for audits
  • Audit verification of:
  • Quality of the risk assessments performed
  • Quality of the inspection program for digging and excavations
  • Compliance to training, competency, and awareness requirements
  • Compliance to excavation permitting requirements
  • Feedback and reporting requirements
Task/job observations must be performed for the purpose of measuring compliance in regard to:
  • Excavation permit issuing procedure
  • Construction of protective support systems
  • Work practices being performed within the trench/excavation
4.9 Reporting, Assessment and Corrective Actions

Processes must be in place for the reporting, assessment, and correction of hazards identified with equipment used for digging and protective support systems or trenching practices and must address:
  • Actions required to stand down unsafe equipment or stop work
  • The recording of actions taken to correct the hazard or defect

5. Glossary of Terms


The person designated to ensure that the assigned requirement is implemented. This person is held liable and answerable to the level of compliance against the stated requirement.

Construction Safety

Permission granted by the relevant Manager or nominee to carry out specific tasks.

Angle of Repose
Angle (or incline) from the horizontal surface at which the excavation wall is cut.

Competent Person

A person having a combination of training, education, experience, acquired knowledge and skills enabling them with the capability to perform specified tasks to a pre-determined quality, which may be assessed against, defined criteria.

Bench (benching)

Method of protecting employees from cave-in by excavating the sides of an excavation to form one or more horizontal levels or steps, usually separated by vertical or near-vertical surfaces.


A firm or person employed under a contract to provide services to firm as distinct from a contract of employment. 

Department Manager

The person nominated by the company as Manager under the organizational structure, also the most senior position within a firm contracting work to firm.

Excavation/ Trench

Man-made cut, cavity, trench or depression in the earth surface formed by the removal of soil and rock.


Are all people including company employees, sub contractors, third party contractors and visitors which work within the firm managed operation and/or company employees which a performing work for the operation outside the lease area

Potential to cause a Fatality / Risk of a fatality

A hazard that has been identified that if not properly controlled will contribute to a fatal incident. This can be derived from previous fatal incident experience and /or having being identified by means of a risk assessment as having a consequence for fatal injuries.

Protective Support System

Method of protecting employees from cave-in, from material that could fall or roll from the face or wall into an excavation, or from collapse of adjacent structures. Protective support systems include support systems, sloping and benching, shields, and other devices or methods that provide necessary protection.


Digging the sides at an incline away from the deepest part of an excavation to prevent cave-in. The angle required depends on factors such as soil type, environmental conditions (wet or dry soil), and equipment, structures, soil or other material near the edge of excavation.

Soil Type

Soils are characterized by their physical properties and type - A, B or C.
  • Type A -are cohesive soils with an unconfined compressive strength of 1.5 tons per square foot (144 kPa) or greater.
  • Type B- are cohesive soils with an unconfined compressive strength greater than 0.5 tons per square foot (48 kPa) but less than 1.5 (144 kPa).
  • Type C -are cohesive soils with an unconfined compressive strength of 0.5 tons per square foot (48kPa) or less.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Effective Steps For Worker Protection.

Effective Steps For Worker Protection

As an employer, you have two important safety goals to keep in mind:
  1. Protect your employees as they perform their duties.
  2. Comply with OSHA regulations that apply to your workplace.

These two goals must be considered for all phases of your operations, but they are clearly paramount in the case of PPE. As the name clearly states, the purpose of the regulation is employee protection,and OSHA spells out exactly how this protection must be achieved.

1. Hazard assessment.

Section 1910.132(d)(1) of the OSHA standard says that employers must “assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment.”

Think head-to-toe protection and be sure to consider all the hazards— falling objects, chemical exposures, flying objects, sharp objects, and rolling or pinching objects—as well as all the protections— hard hats, safety glasses and goggles, respirators, gloves, safety shoes, and other clothing and equipment. The better you identify and understand the impact of specific hazards, the better able you will be to take the next step and select the most appropriate PPE.

2. Equipment selection.

Section 1910.132(d)(1) also says that if such hazards are present—or are likely to be—you must:
  • Select, and have affected employees use, the types of PPE that will protect them from the hazards you have identified.
  • Communicate selection decisions to employees.
  • Select PPE that fits each affected employee properly.
Section 1910.132(h) states that PPE, with only a few exceptions, must be provided by the employer at no cost to the employee. The exceptions are as follows:
  • Nonspecialty safety-toe protective footwear (including steel-toe shoes or steel-toe boots), provided the employer permits such items to be worn off the jobsite
  • Nonspecialty prescription safety eyewear, provided the employer permits such items to be worn off the jobsite
  • Shoes or boots with built-in metatarsal protection that the employee chooses instead of metatarsal guards provided by the employer
  • Logging boots required by 29 CFR 1910.266(d)(1)(v)

Hazard assessment and equipment selection—the first two steps— are actually the easy part. The hard part is encouraging employees to actually use the PPE. The next two steps—training and follow-up— present the challenge of reaching employees and communicating your important message.

3. Train employees. 

Section 1910.132(f)(1) requires you to train employees concerning each type of PPE before allowing them to perform any work requiring its use. At a minimum, your PPE training program must include the following information:
  • When PPE is necessary;
  • What PPE is necessary;
  • How to properly don, doff, adjust, and wear PPE;
  • Limitations of the PPE; and
  • Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the PPE.

The regulations [1910.132(f)(3)] also require you to retrain whenever:

  • Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete;
  • Changes in the types of PPE to be used render previous training obsolete; or
  • Inadequacies in an employee’s knowledge or use of assigned PPE indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.

4. Follow up—Reinforce and enforce.

You have to accept the fact hat no matter what you do, a few employees will still forget to use their PPE, ignore the rules, think that PPE is for wimps, or believe that accidents happen to someone else. Daily monitoring is essential to see that employees are actually wearing their PPE.

Try these suggestions to motivate your employees and keep your PPE program from going down the drain:
  • Use a behavioral approach. As you walk around the department every day, give employees positive feedback for using PPE.
  • Make it easy to get and exchange PPE. If it’s a hassle for employees to get PPE or exchange damaged or worn articles for new ones, they probably won’t bother and will opt for just not using it.
  • Recognize and reward employees for using PPE. At safety meetings, praise employees for using PPE.
  • Recognize proper use of PPE in performance appraisals. Be sure that employees realize that this will be part of their evaluations.
  • Enforce PPE policies. Use discipline, if necessary, as a last resort to show employees you are serious about their wearing assigned PPE.

Like any other program, your PPE program should be reviewed periodically to make sure it still meets your company’s needs and OSHA requirements. Following the four essential steps, however, should also give you confidence that you are complying with OSHA regulations and are doing all that is possible to keep your employees safe.