Require All Staff Members to Read the Safety Manual and Sign a Rules Agreement

Signing a rules agreement does several things. It makes you decide what the rules and policies are going to be. It shows everyone that you are concerned about health and safety. It keeps a permanent record of your safety standards.

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This does several things. It makes you decide what the rules and policies are going to be. It shows everyone that you are concerned about health and safety. It keeps a permanent record of your safety standards.

This is important for staff. It makes the expectations very clear. Safety is part of good science and here’s what we expect at our institution or company. Safety is part of doing any job right. It is particularly important for new employees. It sets the standard right from the beginning.

A good rules agreement consists of six parts: (1) the rules, (2) the signed statement that you’ve read, (3) understood, (4) agree to follow and realize that failure to follow the rules can result in termination, and (5) a cover letter signed by the organization’s president or superintendent confirming that not following the rules can result in termination.

At the Dow Central Research New England Laboratory, I was given a 500-page safety manual on day one. I was asked to take it home and read it that night. When I returned in the morning I was expected to sign a statement in the front of the manual indicating that I had read, understood, and agreed to follow those procedures. I guessed they were serious about safety.

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Leading Change

Published: October 1, 2013

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