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Five things you need to look out for when choosing your company's safety officer

by , 22 April 2014
Choosing a safety office is extremely important when it comes to the safety of your construction employees. But if you appoint the wrong person for that job, you could end up regretting it. Here are five things that you should look out for to make sure you hire the best person for the job.

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Look out for these five things when appointing a safety officer
Having a good safety officer is an important part of your safety management. The last thing you want is a person who is apathetic about safety. 
To avoid hiring the wrong person, look out for the five things:
1. Look out for someone that's vigilant and diligent. Someone who isn't very observant probably won't be able to spot a risk during a risk assessment.
2. Look for quick, out-the-box thinking. This will be important in finding appropriate and effective safety measure in a hurry.
3. Look for someone who's thorough. Being able to document everything carefully is an important part of the job. A person who's bad with paper work may forget to file or record something important. 
4. Insist on good knowledge of health and safety. Experts on Health and Safety Club say this should include:
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • The Compensation for Injury and Diseases (COID) Act
  • Environmental Conservation Act
  • Thorough knowledge of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001
  • Working knowledge of safety systems
  • Ability to manage the implementation and administration of safety systems
5. Make sure they're a great leader and someone that your employees will listen to. A bully or a quiet person won't be able to manage their safety properly. 
Once you've found the right person, it's time to tell them what their role as a safety officer includes…
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The main responsibilities of a safety officer
According to Health and Safety Advisor the three main duties of your safety office are: 
1. They're morally responsible for the health and safety of employees
2. For financial reasons they have to ensure that no one gets injured. 
3. And if you work in construction, they have to make sure that the company is legally complying with construction regulations. And they must provide the right kind of PPE to your employees.
Look out for these five things to make sure you appoint a safety officer who can do these duties well.

PS: We strongly recommend you check out the HSE Representative Toolkit. It has 67 checklists, tools and letters to free up 1 340 minutes of your time.

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