Continuous Evaluation of the Accountability System
Evaluation of the accountability system, as with all systems should be a continuous process. Although as a supervisor you may not be responsible for formally evaluating the accountability system it’s good to know that someone is. Usually, the safety coordinator and/or safety committee are involved in this activity. In some “state-plan” states, like Oregon, the safety committee is required by law to conduct an evaluation of the employer’s accountability system.
The process usually involves three levels of activity:
- Identification: Inspect the accountability system policies, plans, procedures, processes to identify what exists.
- Analysis: Dissect and thoroughly study each accountability system policy, plan, procedure, process to understand what they look like.
- Evaluation: Compare and contrast each accountability system policy, plan, procedure, process against benchmarks and best practices to judge their effectiveness.
Evaluating for Accountability
OSHA looks primarily for two program elements when evaluating an employer for accountability: Policy and consequences. OSHA does not mandate or require specific recognition/disciplinary procedures: That’s the responsibility of the employer. But, an effective accountability policy that is written and clearly communicated should be in place. Make sure your company has a written policy that addresses accountability including the three key components.
- specific performance expectations
- who is accountable – both management and employee
- appropriate consequences such as progressive discipline
If you believe there are weaknesses in your employer’s accountability system, make sure to take notes on the behaviors and conditions you see in the workplace that may be pointing to accountability system policies, plans, processes, and procedures that are inadequate or missing.