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Workplace Safety - Safety Responsibilities for the Supervisor

DOC Occupational Safety and Health

Safety Responsibilities for Supervisors

Supervisors have a distinct role in the success of the Department’s safety program. Safety responsibilities for supervisors are contained in several OSHA standards, especially 29 CFR 1960 Federal Agency Safety and Health Programs and Executive Order 12196.

29 CFR 1960.9 - Supervisor Responsibilities

Employees who exercise supervisory functions shall, to the extent of their authority, furnish employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm. They shall also comply with the occupational safety and health standards applicable to their agency and with all rules, regulations and orders issued by the head of the agency with respect to the agency occupational safety and health program.

To assist supervisors in carrying out their safety responsibilities, click the link to Safety and the Supervisor to review a listing of specific responsibilities assigned to agencies and supervisors by OSHA’s Federal Agency Safety and Health Programs (29 CFR1960).

Additionally, the key elements of supervisory safety responsibilities are described below:

1. Maintain safe and healthful workplaces:

Keeping workplaces free from recognized hazards is one of the most critical aspects of a comprehensive safety program. To ensure their employees are adequately protected from hazards, supervisors must:

    • Encourage employees to report unsafe or unhealthful conditions. Employees may use DOC’s Report of Possible Safety/Health Hazard (Form CD-351) to record and report a possible safety and health hazard in their work area;

    • Ensure that their employees comply with Department occupational safety and health standards, regulations, and applicable directives;

    • Seek suggestions from employees for improvement of workplace conditions and

    provide opportunities for and encourage employee participation in the bureau/ operating unit’s safety and health program;

    • Inform employees of any unique hazards in the workplace, how to identify such hazards and how to prevent or control being harmed by these hazards;

    • Monitor their workplaces frequently to identify unsafe or unhealthful conditions;

    • Take prompt action to correct hazardous conditions and comply with safety practices;

    • If a serious hazard is detected take immediate interim action to safeguard employees;

    • Consult with DOC or Bureau - Safety and Health Managers or Safety Representatives on safety related questions and concerns;

    • Inform employees of the hazards associated with the work they are to perform prior to beginning the work;

    • Inform employees of the requirements to use personal protective equipment (PPE) in their respective work areas. Based on hazard assessment results, provide properly selected, appropriate and approved PPE and ensure its proper use;

    • Inform employees of the procedures to follow in the event of an emergency as provided by the Occupant Emergency Plan for their work location (developed by Office of Security);

    • Provide well-maintained and hazard-free tools and equipment appropriate for the work operations being performed;

    • Where required, provide for required medical examinations and evaluations;

    • Incorporate safety standards in employee performance plans, consistent with the employee’s assigned responsibilities and authority;

    • Provide appropriate safety and health training for employees, including response to emergencies and specialized job safety and health training appropriate to the work performed by the employee;

    • Inform employees of actions to take in the event of a work-related injury or illness including:

      • Ensure prompt investigation, reporting, and recordkeeping of all accidents and incidents including near-misses (by implementing DAO 209-3 (effective date: 7/20/2015) involving their employees and all accidents occurring in work areas under their jurisdiction;

      • Ensure that the completed accident and incident investigation reports are submitted to the bureau/operating unit’s OSH office (if appropriate) in a timely manner;

      • Ensure implementation of DAO 202-810 Workers’ Compensation for Federal Employees (effective date: 9/18/2007);

      • Follow the procedures described in DOC Workers’ Compensation: How to File a Claim; and

      • Assist the employee to complete work-related injury or illness workers’ compensation claim using ECOMP (https://www.ecomp.dol.gov/#) provided by U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (DOL-OWCP):

        • CA-1 claim forms are used when a work-related traumatic injury occurs. (i.e., Single incident injury, or repetitive injury, which occurs during one work shift); and

        • CA-2 claim forms are used when a work-related occupational illness occurs. (i.e., Exposure to work factors for more than one work shift which causes an injury/illness).

2. Investigate workplace accidents:

    • Investigate workplace mishaps and take prompt corrective action necessary to ensure the safety and health of employees;

    • Institute actions to prevent recurrence of accidents;

    • Separate symptoms from root causes; and

    • Help determine what must be changed or done to eliminate the problem permanently.

Manager/Supervisor Responsibilities for Reporting Work-Related Injuries

If you have an employee who has been injured, or becomes ill, or an employee who wishes to file a DOC form CD -137, (“Report of Incident, Injury, Illness, Motor Vehicle Accident, Property Damage, or Fatality), this form must be completed and submitted within seven calendar days to the Bureau Safety Manager/Coordinator.

    • Assist the employee in receiving first-aid and/or advise the employee to seek other medical attention.

    • Ensure that all items on the CD-137 are completed fully and accurately.

Additional Reference:

OSHA Fact Sheet: Occupational Safety and Health for Federal Employees