What Does a Safety Officer Do?
Security officers support the enforcement of security measures in a company. Generally, all employees receive regular training in occupational safety and thus also bear personal responsibility. Safety officers pay particular attention to compliance with the legal provisions of occupational safety in the team. Besides, they pay attention to compliance with the established measures for occupational safety in the team.
However, the position is different from that of the occupational safety specialist. Legally, safety officers are only to assist in the implementation of occupational safety measures. They should always ensure that regulations and safety precautions are properly observed and can sometimes perform checks, like a scissor lift inspection. However, there is no legally regulated procedure or obligation to take individual steps.
According to § 22 SGB VII, the company must provide a sufficient number of safety officers and properly train them in their duties. Companies with 21 or more employees must have at least one safety officer. For every 250 employees, there must be at least one additional safety officer must be provided. The safety officer must be familiar to all employees in the company.
What Does a Safety Officer Do in the Company?
Safety officers in companies contribute to the improvement of health and safety at work. They carry out advisory and mediating activities and support the team in the risk assessment, which is part of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It is important to note that safety officers should only have an advisory role, as they have no authority to issue directives. They are advisors without a superior function. Their task is to support the company in safety matters and to pay increased attention to ensuring that all measures are complied with.
The following is a list of typical tasks performed by safety officers. These can vary greatly depending on the company and content emphasis as well as areas of responsibility.
- Reply report safety defects to the appropriate person
- Make sure colleagues wear specified protective equipment
- Notify colleagues of misconduct regarding safety
- The safety officer acts as a contact person on-site but has no authority to issue directives to the team.
- Assist in the planning and implementation of training
- The safety officers participate in the meetings of the Occupational Safety Committee (ASA).
Rights and Responsibilities of the Safety Officer
The activity of the safety officer is voluntary. Accordingly, there is no financial compensation. All duties are performed voluntarily, thus ensuring that this person performs the duties with enthusiasm, conviction and diligence.
The legal responsibility for occupational safety lies with the company itself. Accordingly, safety officers cannot be held criminally or civilly liable. They only have the responsibility to take the tasks morally seriously, act responsibly, and be a role model for their colleagues.