Stop work authority involves engaging in a process to stop work immediately when a work exposes a risk of harm to workers.
It’s a principle that all workers have the authority and responsibility to stop work when they see a safety risk that can cause harm to the workers in all work sites. All workers are eligible to engage in the process. For some workplaces, there is always a policy on stop work authority called Stop work authority policy.
Stop work authority involves a four-step approach which includes
#1: Stop work immediately.
#2: Notify anyone affected by the work.
#3: Correct the safety concern in the task.
#4: Resume the work after step 3.
Stop work authority is a process used to ensure the safe working of the environment. No matter your role at the workplace, anyone can engage in a stop work. All workers have to carry out the process whenever they notice an impending danger.
No one should discriminate against any worker that engages in this work process.
The primary focus at all times should be the safety of the worker. Work will always go on, but when life is lost, all is lost. You can replace work equipment, but nothing replaces life when lost.
What can you do to promote the effective use of this Stop work authority process on-site?
- Educate the workers on the process during the safety induction and at all times.
- Ensure there is a risk of harm before enforcing the policy on site.
- Train all workers effectively on hazard spotting and recognition on site.
- Ensure you train all workers in work tools and equipment safety before use.
- Follow the recommended procedure to carry out the stop work authority and inform the appropriate site supervisors immediately.
- Do not resume any work until you address the safety concern.
Onyeka Emma is a QHSE Professional, a business person, and an entrepreneur. He is very passionate about health and safety, Business and Entrepreneurship.