OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health

Walking in a Safety Officer’s Shoes


Can you imagine what’s going through the mind of the Safety Officer in the featured image at the left? We don’t know what’s happening in front of him, but we can tell it’s hellish. There appear to be people packed all around him, looking on or else waiting with bated breath. The man is grimy; he’s obviously been working hard under some stressful conditions. And now, while he waits, he can only cross his fingers, knowing he’s not in control. Is somebody’s life on the line? Are there more than one victim in this accident or catastrophe?

Imagine you were in his shoes. How would you feel? What would you be thinking? Just thinking about it makes my chest tighten up so it becomes hard to take a comfortable breath. How would you cope under the kind of stress he is facing? What would your response be: How would your body respond? Your mind? Your emotions? What steps would come next? Hospital trips? Insurance reviews? Investigative reports? Commissions of inquiry? Lawsuits? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Welcome to MGMT 3311, our course on Occupational Safety and Health Management. This is our class blog, to be used by us all as we explore the elements of OSH Management, spanning support systems, hazard identification and control, risk assessment and mitigation, to health and welfare considerations, to the mandates of our OSH Act. Let’s find out what can be done to significantly reduce the chances of us one day having to stand by powerlessly, with our fingers crossed.


3 thoughts on “Walking in a Safety Officer’s Shoes

  1. from the image above, my imagination can paint many pictures, he seems to be between a rock and a hard place. if I was faced with his unfortunate predicament, of what ever the scale and nature, I would have to rely on my training and experience to as best as I can mitigate and bring under control what ever situation was before me. In this said case highlighted above, it doesn’t appear to be a small incident, therefore my guess is that the safety officer wouldn’t be working on his own, he may well be supported by a team which would have spread or lesson the burden of what was before them. if the situation was to big for a safety team to handle and all avenues which they could have taken were exhausted, then it would only be wise to summon the support of external state agencies e.g. Fire Services, ODPM etc. If god forbid I was in his shoes once I follow all the proper procedures I wouldn’t worry to much about the legality of things, as I would have known to myself I acted within remits of my authority in executing my duties. therefore even if something does go wrong I wouldn’t be at fault for any wrongdoing or malpractice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many inferences can be made by the above image, its appears to be a safety meeting or an emergency drill and the gathering is being addressed and the safety officer is standing a the background. The OHS act also speaks about training the inference drawn from this picture is that there was a training or safety meeting and the safety offices is crossing his fingers in anticipation of an announcement of further traiining or the implementation of new safety measures.


  3. Why should any Safety Office be stress? Safety in a work place is ‘Everyone’s Responsibility’!
    Each worker should be provided with the necessary awareness, knowledge and training to actively and proactively support safety in the work place. This can be done by improving them to actively identify where hazards exist to assist management in managing the procedures to mitigate the risk. Management can use such data to identify workforce behaviours and expectations that are important to protect us.

    Safety officer, why not develop a ‘Safety Action Group’ to assist you and management implement controls and positive behaviours in the workforce, this would reduce your work load on reactive measures and stress.

    Should you want more information on developing and sustaining a ‘SAG’, please feel free to contact me.



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