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What Does a Safety Coordinator Do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A safety coordinator protects the health of workers, the public, and the environment by monitoring conditions at a workplace. This can include setting and enforcing safety standards in consultation with legal regulations, training employees, and responding to specific concerns or threats. Some workplaces may require qualifications like a degree, hazardous materials certification, or industry experience, depending on the nature of the work and the level of responsibility. Specialized training can be helpful even if it is not specifically necessary for a position.

One aspect of a safety coordinator’s job involves creating, updating, and thoroughly understanding standards at an organization. These may incorporate regulations, like limits on allowable radiation exposure, along with standard industry practices. The safety coordinator must clearly convey this information to personnel through training, publications, and signs to make sure they understand. In workplaces where people need certifications to work because of hazardous materials, this member of the staff checks these and confirms that they are current.

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Continuous monitoring of working conditions is also important. This can involve walking the floor to identify safety hazards, watch people at work, and determine if guidelines are being followed. The safety coordinator can quiz personnel on protocols to check for understanding. If there are safety issues, they need to be resolved, and it may be necessary to file a report documenting the situation and how it was handled. To promote safety, it’s also possible to run random drug tests to check employees for intoxication that might impair their ability to work.

In the event of an emergency, the safety coordinator needs to be ready with a response plan. This could include evacuating employees after a hazardous materials spill, controlling radiation, and responding safely to a fire. Regular employee drills and training to make sure everyone is familiar with the plan are also necessary. Drills can help coordinators identify issues like inadequate signs or employees who aren’t familiar with exit routes.

Workers may approach the safety coordinator if they have specific concerns about safety or wish to file a complaint. It may be necessary to conduct an investigation to explore the situation and generate documentation. Some workplaces use a confidential whistleblower program to encourage personnel to report problems anonymously and avoid potential retaliation. The safety coordinator may be involved in administering this program to make sure reports of violations are followed up to determine if the whistleblower’s tip was legitimate.

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