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What to do if a worker fails to follow a safe work procedure in a workplace.

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Safe work procedures are directions or step by step approaches on how to carry out a particular activity safely, often used for hazardous jobs.  

The truth of the matter is that workers will always be workers. A Worker will like to engage in a shortcut when not being supervised. 

If they are not doing it their way, they will tend to disregard the safe procedure for the job. 

If a worker disregards a safety procedure and decides to do something else, This will be to the detriment of the company that employed that worker. The company will be exposed to severe liabilities when an incident happens at the workplace.  

To address this anomaly is simple. Have the supervisors or the managers educated on the dangers involving safe work procedures. Inform them of the necessary steps on how to go about it. When they understand the gravity of the violation, they’ll be willing to support every other complementary action to address the issue. 


However, as a supervisor or a manager, the knowledge from this article will give you the required actions to take when a worker fails to follow the safe work procedure.

What do you do when a worker fails to follow a safe work procedure?

Stop the worker from performing the task.

Do this first. To derail on this part may lead to a severe outcome. Having stopped the worker, ensure you prevent the worker from doing further work. Talk to the worker’s supervisor if the worker has one. 

Call the attention of other workers within the area where the worker was spotted neglecting the safe work procedure.

The worker may not have been working alone. Other workers around him would have been the first to inform him not to neglect the safe work procedure. However, they failed to do so. It could be they don’t know the safe work procedure. 

Educate them immediately and get their commitment to abide by the safe work procedures in carrying out that task. 


Observe the worker. 

After educating the worker that failed to follow the procedure together with other nearby workers, make sure you monitor that worker to perform the task again in your presence to establish that correction is effective.

You could do this in a couple of days to make sure that the change is real.  

Do a follow up objectively.

Follow up helps to ensure that the message is delivered effectively. 

While doing this, establish that the work is going on with a safe work procedure. 

Continue to observe the worker doing the job on several occasions to establish that the work is safe.

There could be some reasons that would have made the worker neglect a safe work procedure which is not far from the following points listed below.

Hectic deadlines from the management. 

The demands of the management may have been very high on the side of the work that will warrant the worker to follow shortcuts to meet up with the deadlines. 

Trying to meet up with unrealistic deadlines can push a worker to have suspended a safe work procedure. Not all workers would want to discard that by sheer recklessness, though some can be intentional. 

Management can work on the way they give out targets and stop giving out unrealistic goals and deadlines.

The procedures are not well written.

It will be tough and impossible to read and understand a work procedure that is not well written and communicated to the workers doing the actual job. Confusion will set in when trying to follow the work procedure.  

However, procedures have to be written by someone that is very much aware of the work.

Someone who is an expert can be used to produce some procedures for use on-site. 

Having an equipment defect can make the worker neglect using the procedure for his work.

An equipment defect is an anomaly. It can contribute to a worker suspending any procedure of the equipment during his job. 

Most times, it’s good that all equipment should have a routine of maintenance and repairs by a trained personal 

Final thoughts: what to do when a worker fails to follow a safe work procedure.

A safe work procedure is an important document to ensure safe work. So, review and monitor the work procedure for an up to date version. 

Create a system that will encourage everyone to be acquainted with the documents with regular training and education.  

More so, consider new changes and other necessary feedback to the job during the reviews. 

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