Jul 17, 2014

Developing a Company Safety Program: Know the Supervisor's Responsibilities

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Companies with a workplace safety program are more likely to eliminate injuries, fatalities, and workers’ compensation claims, sick days, and disability claims than those with lackluster or non-existent company safety programs. But just the same, company safety programs alone are not a solution to actually cultivating a safe working environment.

To keep any worksite safe, it’s crucial to instill a strong culture of safety from the top down—meaning those in supervisory roles must actively facilitate and participate in the program.

A Successful Company Safety Program Needs The Support of the Supervisor

Supervisors need to be your company safety program’s commander in chief. Supervisors are the eyes and ears of management, and their role should be to implement company safety policies and then effectively and consistently report and tweak them to meet the evolving demands of your operation. Remember, they are also the ones who take fault when company safety policies break down, so managing their expectations for responsibility from the start is vital.

The following is a list of responsibilities the supervisor should have in the workplace. Combined, these measures will help control and avoid losses, injuries, and workers’ compensation claims:

The Primary Responsibilities of a Supervisor:

  • Detecting and correcting unsafe working conditions and practices
  • Training subordinates in company rules and regulations
  • Ensuring that each subordinate knows, understands, and follows safety rules specifically pertaining to his or her job
  • Completing proper reports on all accidents and incidents.
  • Staying up to date on all new company safety requirements
  • Providing Safety motivation to workers by example and enthusiasm 
The Six Principle Safety Duties of a Supervisor:
  • Education of employees on the hazards of the job
  • Enforcing company safety standards on a consistent basis
  • Ensuring all necessary safety equipment and protective devices are both available and utilized on a consistent basis
  • Taking prompt action to correct unsafe conditions or acts
  • Conducting facility audits to identify unsafe conditions and behavior so corrective action can be taken
Management should always evaluate the performance of a supervisor from an operational level, but also should try and judge how effective he/she is in implementing the company safety program. This is because the supervisor needs to be held accountable, otherwise the safety program will not be successful.


At AWANE, the role of management in workplace safety is the cornerstone of our Automotive Industries Compensation Corporation (AICC) program. The AICC designates the supervisor as a key person in the success of the company safety program.

As an example, the supervisor at one of our member locations has been instrumental in not only enforcing the company safety program, but has also been key in affecting the safety culture of the entire company. This supervisor provides continued input to management and is highly respected by the other employees. When given the task to enforce safety regulations, this person took the bull by the horns and has achieved significant safety improvement in the workplace.

Check out our growing list of Safety Tips to learn even more about how you can begin to make your workplace safer. Also, free to contact us with any questions you may have about the host of different programs and products we offer designed to add protection, value, and efficiency into our clients and employees daily business lives.