Whoever said rules are made to be broken didn’t know or care much about safety. Protecting ourselves from illness or injury means developing and maintaining rules that are appropriate to a particular workplace.
Those who choose to break those rules can endanger not only themselves but also co-workers and visitors.
It’s important not just to have a set of rules, however. They should be reviewed and updated regularly to make sure they’re current for both the company’s needs and to meet the frequently changing regulatory requirements.
Reviews should also occur if you find rules aren’t being followed. Focus on the reasons why people aren’t following procedures. You could find, for instance, that employees might not know or understand the rules, or have forgotten them. Conditions on the site might have changed and the rules no longer apply.
Rules can cover a wide array of issues affecting worksite and personal safety. At a minimum, your rules should probably cover:
alcohol and drug abuse
personal protective equipment
potential hazards specific to your workplace
how to report hazardous conditions, acts and behaviors
To make sure you have trained employees on the rules, and that they are known and understood, distribute a copy to everyone on your worksite. Where practical, post them in places where employees gather. Review them at meetings and training sessions.
Once the rules have been created and communicated, they have to be enforced. This could be achieved, for example, through spot checks of work and worksites.