A safety officer monitors activities at the construction site and ensures that the company and its workers comply with workplace safety regulations. Aside from site inspection and monitoring, safety officers also evaluate health and safety hazards and develop policies to address and control hazards that were identified. Safety officers must have an in-depth knowledge of OSHA rules and regulations and see to it the company remains compliant. Further discussed below are the different duties and responsibilities of a construction safety officer:
Policy Development and Implementation
The safety officer is responsible for monitoring all safety and maintenance policies at the construction site. Safety officers enforce rules and policies to reduce accidents and injuries. They also keep policies updated to ensure that the site is as safe as possible. When safety measures are consistently implemented, employees feel that the company cares for their welfare, motivating them to do better at their jobs.
One of the biggest responsibilities safety officers undertake is to make sure that every spot at the construction site is free from hazards. This includes heavy equipment inspection to determine repair needs and slip-and-fall hazard assessment to prevent accident and injury. Safety officers also observe workers to check if they wear the required personal protective equipment and follow safety policies. They also check if employees know how to properly operate the equipment they use.
Accidents may still occur in the workplace even if there are safety policies in place. In case an accident happens on-site, the safety officer makes a thorough investigation to determine what caused the incident. The safety officer will interview witnesses and inspect the scene of the accident to find out what went wrong. After which, the safety officer will write a report and provide recommendations or develop procedures to prevent similar accidents from occurring again.
Training and Coaching
As a proactive approach to safety management and implementation, safety officers conduct safety training to all employees. Training sessions include fire prevention plans, handling of hazardous materials and equipment, and machine guarding. They also carry out drills and exercises to prepare employees during emergency situations. Safety officers also hold safety meetings with employees to solicit suggestions that may be used in improving existing policies or creating new ones.
Safety violations can result in fines. Safety officers ensure that the company complies with OSHA regulations as well as state rules and policies not only to protect their workers’ safety but also to preserve the company’s reputation. Compliance includes reviewing safety standards and implementing plans to meet those standards. Safety officers also follow all record-keeping requirements, including the completion of injury logs and submission of the required OSHA forms. Construction safety officers also serve as the link between the company and regulatory agencies, arranging OSHA-mandated testing and/or evaluation when needed.
The safety officer’s goal is to make sure that employees are always safe and protected from injury or accident to reduce workplace injury claims and lawsuits. Safety officers should remain on high alert and on the lookout for potential problems that could lead to injury or even death.