Safe Operating Rules and Practices


Safe operating rules and practices are to be established at the planning meeting, before a job is began. They are dictated by the hazards inherent in the nature of the work, federal and state Safety and Health Regulations, company policies, and owner and other regulatory agency requirements. Other safety rules may have to be added as work progresses due to changed conditions, new methods, new equipment, and as an outgrowth of accident experience.

General safe operating rules and practices apply to all employees, regardless of the nature of their duties. These rules are to be explained to each new hire during indoctrination and must be re-emphasized at toolbox meetings and in day-to-day contacts. These are minimum requirements, and are to be rigidly enforced. Examples of general rules follow:

  1. Wear personal protective equipment as required
  2. Wear suitable shoes and work clothes in good repair
  3. Lift correctly. Get help on heavy loads.
  4. Do not smoke in prohibited areas.
  5. Avoid off-balanced positions when pulling, pushing, or prying, especially at heights
  6. Report all injuries promptly, even though minor in nature,
  7. Keep alert around moving equipment
  8. Always inspect ladders prior to use and use ladders correctly.
  9. Always follow the approved lock and tag procedures.
  10. Operate equipment and vehicles only if authorized
  11. Correct unsafe conditions as noted, or if you can’t correct them, call them to the attention of your foreman immediately.
  12. Keep tools and materials away from the edge of scaffolds or floor openings where they can be knocked off on employees working below.
  13. Be considerate of the welfare of fellow employees. Do not distract their attention or engage in horseplay.
  14. Replace all guards removed for servicing or other reasons,
  15. Pressure cylinders should be used and stored in an upright position and secured against accidental tipping.
  16. Keep all stairways, ladders, ramps, scaffold platforms, walkways and work areas free from loose materials and trash.
  17. Riding on loads, hooks and hoists is prohibited.
  18. Always wear eye protection when grinding, drilling, burning, or performing any operation which may produce flying particles or objects.