This section provides DOE supervisors with information on
their roles and responsibilities as they relate to safety
and health programs that provide protection to their employees.
One of the greatest tasks faced by any supervisor is seeing
that his or her workers perform their activities without accident,
injury, or occupational illness. Therefore, supervisory involvement
is crucial to the success of the safety and health program.
Ways to Become Involved
The following list describes ways in which the supervisor
can become involved in the safety and health program that
directly impacts the safety and health of workers.
- Be knowledgeable of DOE's FEOSH program.
- Stay in touch with management's OSH policy.
- Transfer management's philosophy down to the employee
level. This can usually be done through safety meetings,
workshops, and award programs.
- Hold regular safety and health workshops with employees
and management to discuss safety and health concerns that
- Use staff or "All-Hands" meetings to discuss
current safety and health issues.
- Stay current on regulatory changes that affect operations
and notify employees of changes through meetings, workshops,
notices, bulletins, and similar forms of communication.
- Interface with local safety and health committees to
assist in developing innovative ways to address safety and
health concerns in your area.
Employees, who exercise supervisory functions must, to the
extent of their authority, provide employees a place of employment,
which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or
likely to cause death or serious physical harm. They must
comply with the OSH standards applicable to their divisions/departments
and with all rules, regulations, and orders issued by the
agency head with respect to the agency OSH program.
Safe Working Conditions
Each supervisor is responsible for maintaining safe working
conditions within his or her area of responsibility and directly
implementing the FEOSH program.
Among the supervisor's primary responsibilities are the following:
- Demonstrate management commitment. Participate in and
encouraging workers to participate in the FEOSH Program,
including effectively managing safety and health resources
- Consulting with safety, industrial hygiene, engineering,
and medical personnel for aid in fulfilling FEOSH duties.
- Maintaining a safe work environment for employees, including
stopping work (if necessary) or providing interim protection
for workers while hazards are being abated.
- Instructing employees periodically on precautions, procedures,
and practices to be followed to minimize exposure to hazardous
conditions or harmful agents.
- Ensuring that appropriate work practices are developed
and followed, including good housekeeping practices and
rules for work with hazardous materials.
- Furnishing employees with proper PPE, instructing them
in its proper use, and enforcing its use.
- Promptly informing the medical provider in case of accidental
exposure to harmful agents, and sending the employee(s)
involved to the medical provider for examination.
- Observing all work restrictions imposed by the medical
- Administering appropriate disciplinary action when health
and safety rules are violated.
- Ensuring that accident, injuries and illness are promptly
reported into CAIRS and/or ORPS data systems, that workers
compensation cases are filed within 9 days, that employees
are properly trained, provided with personal protective
equipment and are apprised of the hazards associated with
the work they are expected to perform. See the FEOSH Information
Sheet on Recordkeeping and Reporting, and visit the CAIRS
and ORPS web site at: http://www.hss.energy.gov/sesa/analysis/
- Periodically review accident, injury, and illness statistics
and reports to promote lessons learned and ensure corrective
- Periodically conduct management safety walk-arounds,
and discuss safety a regular staff meetings.
Supervisors should encourage employees to come forward with
suggestions and concerns related to the FEOSH Program. The
Department of Energy Employee Concerns Program may be found
The supervisor should:
Hazard Identification and Control
- Serve as the primary focus for employee concerns.
- Inform employees that the preferred levels of appeal
for employee concerns are; first the immediate supervisor
and the FEOSH coordinator, next the Facility Manager, the
employee representatives, or the employee concerns program,
then the HS-23 FEOSH Manager, last Chief Health, Safety and Security Officer,
and then OSHA.
- Ensure appropriate responsiveness and feedback to identified
hazards and employee concerns.
The supervisor should take a lead role in identifying and controlling
hazards in the workplace.
To fulfill this responsibility, supervisors should:
PERFORMANCE ELEMENTS FOR SUPERVISORS
- Frequently monitor the workplace to identify actual or
potential hazards and conduct periodic safety walk-arounds.
- Ensure compliance with all OSH requirements/rules in
respective work area(s).
- Ensure appropriate training and orientation of newly
- Notify FEOSH and employee representative POCs of reported
- Ensure that appropriate safety equipment is available
- Possess a general knowledge of industrial hygiene.
- Provide the necessary time for employee participation
in FEOSH activities.
- Ensure prompt abatement of OSH hazards and monitor progress.
To provide a supervisor with useful feedback related to his
or her performance in safety and health matters, criteria for
objective judgment in the form of performance elements should
be established. The following elements should be used in developing
performance plans and included in the supervisor's annual performance
Supervisory Performance Elements
- Maintains awareness of Departmental safety and health
- Is knowledgeable of hazardous and unsafe working conditions.
- Is knowledgeable of emergency evacuation and response
- Communicates effectively with both management and staff
concerning safety and health issues.
- Is knowledgeable of the types of personal protective
clothing and equipment that should be used in the work area.
- Is knowledgeable of the use and purpose of workplace
tools and equipment.
- Conducts routine workplace inspections/accident investigations.
- Promotes safe workmanship.
- Develops practical strategies for accident/loss prevention.
- Supports the safety program.
- Is cognizant of the cost of accidents (lost time and
Examples of Supervisor Activities
Performance elements can be used in supervisor and manager
performance appraisals to give those individuals valuable
The following examples show how specific performance elements
can be stated to provide an objective evaluation.
Supervisors communicate effectively with employees, management,
and safety and health staff concerning safety and health issues
Supervisors actively participate
in the FEOSH program by:
- Discussing safety and health issues with management at
- Discussing safety and health issues with employees to
- Reporting to employees, management, and safety and health
staff concerning safety and health inspections conducted
in the workplace.
- Answering employee safety and health concerns/suggestions
within one week.
- Clearly and specifically communicating safety and health
expectations to employees.
- Discussing safety and health issues with safety and health
- Systematically identifying hazards and ensuring that personnel
are protected until the hazard is abated.
- Establishing work procedures that include appropriate
safety and health controls.
- Budgeting for and providing appropriate PPE.
- Investigating accidents, injuries, and illnesses for
causes and implementing accident prevention measures.
- Allowing employees time to participate in safety and
health projects or committees.
Managers provide top-level support to the FEOSH program and
ensure safe and healthful work environments for all personnel
- Maintaining qualified safety and health personnel to manage
and direct a viable FEOSH program.
- Planning for and providing funds for program management
and addressing identified safety and health issues.
- Actively encouraging workers to work safely.
- Personally walking his/her spaces on a weekly basis for
the expressed purpose of safety and health.
- Assisting in the development of the organization's safety
and health policy, goals, and objectives.
- Holding managers and supervisors accountable (e.g., through
performance evaluations) for providing a safe and healthful
- Serving on HSS committees and task forces (or other
such special assignments).
David M. Smith, Manager
Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Health, Safety and Security
1000 Independence Ave S.W.
Washington D.C. 20585
||Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health (FEOSH) Program |
U.S. Department of Energy,
Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS)
1000 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20585-1290
FEOSH Program Manager: Carlos Coffman, HS-23, (301)903-6493 or Carlos Coffman