The incident commander or sector commander should assess levels of risk and consider appointing one or more safety officers to act as advisers; this appointment can be made at any time
Safety officers should have suitable competencies for the role and wear a blue and yellow tabard with the words ‘Safety Officer’. If there is a safety sector, safety officers will report to a safety sector commander.
Safety officers will be responsible for functions including:
- Identifying safety issues
- Starting corrective action
- Maintaining safe systems of work
- Ensuring people are wearing appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE)
- Observing the working environment
- Monitoring the physical and psychological condition of personnel
- Regular reviews
- Recording an analytical risk assessment
- Updating the incident commander when circumstances change
Safety within sectors
Sector commanders are responsible for the health and safety of people within their sector. However, they may need to nominate a safety officer to assist and report to them.
At a large incident, a safety officer may be appointed as the safety sector commander; they will report to a command support officer.
If a safety sector commander has been appointed, they will co-ordinate the role of safety officers and may be responsible for functions including:
- Surveying operational sectors, identifying hazards, and advising the sector commander
- Working with sector safety officers to support and exchange information
- Confirming the validity of the initial risk assessment and recording as appropriate
- Collating and recording an analytical risk assessment
- Providing additional monitoring of the safety of personnel for sector commanders
- Working with the incident commander or operations commander
- Reporting health and safety issues, including accident investigation