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Thread: safety officer

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    safety officer

    what rights do safety officers have...with regards to access to a site.

    we had a safety officer pitch on a site i am working...walked around took photos and left...never spoke to anyone ( i know him from previous warnings on a big construction site)

    surely they should go to the site manager...introduce themselves...request permission to walk around the site and be escorted around the site?

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    If he's the official safety officer for that site then you should have already met him during the safety orientation when you spent six hours eagerly learning all the different siren signals, crane locations, fire proceedures, evacuation points, entrances and exits etc. The safety officer does not require permission from anyone to go about his business, least of all the site manager. It actually works the other way around, the site manager operates under the Safety Officer.

    If he took photos and assuming your labourers aren't female, blonde, Sweedish and freshly matriculated then chances are you'll be hearing from him by way of an infraction notice.
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    on some of the bigger site i work like RBM...this is the case...plus the 6 days of induction...driver training...site orientation...site specific...kbcs...supervisor induction courses etc etc...but the site i am refering to is a small building in a residential area...

    funny you should mention blonde swedish bombshells...i ran into 2 of them yesterday wondering around in front of the site...lost ...
    i had to go and give them direction and my cell number in case they got lost again
    i am just a little concerned that they might call me after hours and my wife might not understand why there is a women on the line who can barely speak english

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    Most safety officer thinks they are forensic police and have the right to enter any site. This is not true if you are working in an aria that needs to be closed down and isolated he needs to ask you permission to walk around the aria "regardless of who he thinks he is.

    You have every right to walk up to her/him and state that this site contains hazards and list the hazards as you did your own risk assessment I am sure. He must at hear to your legal and fair warning that he can get electrocuted.

    That said if he is your appointed officer then he must do a a before and after inspection and 4 spot checks that includes your risk assessments and do an assessment with you. "Depending on the rules, regulations and policies that goes with it…

    If the site is a critical site and or dangerous you can have access control where he must first sign in and then sign out again. But most safety officers think they are there to take photos of trash open wires and intimidate employees. Sad but true.

    But a proper safety officer with the right training will always go to the person in charge first "that is you" and ask you give her/him an idea of what is happening and how you made it safe. Then take a look at your paper work and if authorised look at your permits.

    Have a look at your PPE and so on.
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    The safety officer does not require permission from anyone to go about his business, least of all the site manager
    I'm sorry but if I own a piece of land that I am building on, no safety officer is going to have access to MY land without my permission first. In fact no one is going to have access without my permission ! Even a tv licence inspector doenst have the right to step foot on my property without my permission.

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    And on a large construction site how can anyone just walk on without introducing himself first to "someone" ?? Then anyone can just walk on claiming to be this or that - there is a certain protocol to follow first, then their authority takes over .... on a construction site.

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    are we talking about a safety officer that works for the company that you are contracting to?then he can walk around and look at what ever he wants.he obviously cant go check on the neighbouring factories.
    a government inspector would have to introduce himself and get permission etc

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinb View Post
    I'm sorry but if I own a piece of land that I am building on, no safety officer is going to have access to MY land without my permission first. In fact no one is going to have access without my permission !
    If you owned a piece of land and have contracted a company to build and they in turn have contracted a safety officer to oversee activities and ensure that all works are comforming to a certain safetly code then that safety officer controls access of all personnel to all areas at all times. This would include the main site manager and the owner of the land ie yourself. When you signed on the dotted line of the building contract you handed the control of the site over to the builder who in turn has handed it over to the person responsible for health and safety of personnel.

    If you as a sub-contractor need to perform a task....lets say welding of steelwork for example, the first thing you do is a full risk assessment for the work and the location it's in. You go to the safety officer with your works program outlining when where and what you need to do and hand him your risk assessment. He then will stipulate that the area is cordoned off and screened to prevent fire hazards, arc-eye hazards, noise hazards etc etc he might also arrange a fire crew and security if he feels it's necessary and issue you with a certificate allowing you do do that work in that place at that time. During the work nobody apart from the safety officer and the welding crew is allowed within the defined area, this would include the site manager and the land owner.

    Tha safety officer doesn't need to introduce himself, everyone on site will have listened to him warbling on for at least 3 or four hours before they were even issued with an access card and allowed to set foot on site. Any contractors or sub contractors would normally have also met with him to submit personal details of all employees on site amongst other things. He also wears a large ID card around his neck and a high visibility jacket with Safety Officer emblazened across the back. I guarantee you he's not difficult to spot or identify even to a blind man on a fast horse it would normally be fairly obvious.
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    When you signed on the dotted line of the building contract you handed the control of the site over to the builder who in turn has handed it over to the person responsible for health and safety of personnel.
    And thats exactly what I said ..... I have given the permission.

    I will not allow an external saftey officer coming on to my premises without permission. If a municapal guy is passing and thinks he has the right to come and check saftey - he has to obtain permission.

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    Good day,

    Speaking of Safety Officers.

    I am currently doing COMSOC I and II. What other courses are important in the industry?

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