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Recruiting, retaining, and evaluating health and safety personnel.

Moser-R Jr.
Effective Management of Health and Safety Programs: A Practical Guide, 3rd edition. Moser R Jr., ed., Berverly Farms, MA: OEM Press, 2008 Mar; :85-105
The health and safety manager will have significant personnel responsibilities, including hiring, supervising, directing, and terminating employees. Depending on the organization, the manager may be assisted by members of a personnel, or human resources, function or department. However, primary responsibility for selection and management of health and safety professional and support members will remain with the program director. The following sections consider some typical personnel responsibilities. ESTABLISHING PERFORMANCE STANDARDS: Job Descriptions - Job descriptions are often available for health and safety professionals but are frequently so general that they provide little specific guidance to the individual in the described position. Job descriptions typically include identification information, including location( s) where the job is performed; a summary of the basic functions of the job; the principal duties or work to be performed; job specifications, including specific skills, efforts, or responsibilities; and any supervisory responsibilities [1]. Job descriptions should be based on appropriate and current analysis of the job itself. They must also comply with pertinent federal and state laws, especially with respect to absence of any suggestion of discriminatory practices. Poorly written job descriptions have been considered to be prima-facie evidence of noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other legal requirements. Further discussion of this aspect is considered in Chapter 23. The health and safery manager should carefully coordinate any preparation of job descriptions with the organization's human resources or personnel department, especially if the descriptions are to be used in a hiring process. Performance Standards - Performance standards provide much more specific information about actual responsibilities, activities, and criteria for acceptable and superior performance. Clearly defining what is expected of an individual in a particular position greatly facilitates hiring the right person for the job. For example, stating that an individual will be required to develop, implement, and monitor a hearing conservation program for employees in all noise hazard areas; accomplish annual air sampling of manufacturing sites to ensure compliance with OSHA and other regulatory requirements; and similar statements helps ensure that an individual who can do the work is hired. By contrast, a job description stating the "incumbent will accomplish all industrial hygiene duties, as assigned" does not identify the specific expertise that is desirable in candidates for the position. In addition, standards are valuable in evaluating performance, supporting recommendations for awards or promotions, providing a basis for counseling when performance is at unacceptable levels, and documenting reasons for termination. Standards also help employees know what good performance "looks like." For example, a performance standard stated as "Submitting two professional publications a year is satisfactory performance; three or four is above average; and five is outstanding" helps an individual weigh priorities in programming work activities. Such standards enable individuals to evaluate their performance prior to annual reviews and to avoid surprises during reviews.
Management-personnel; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Decision-making; Training; Education; Occupational-health; Environmental-health; Professional-workers; Industrial-hygienists; Health-care-personnel; Medical-personnel; Safety-personnel; Job-analysis; Task-performance; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Workers; Employees; Quality-standards; Standards; Regulations
Publication Date
Document Type
Book or book chapter
Moser-R Jr
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Fiscal Year
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Identifying No.
Source Name
Effective Management of Health and Safety Programs: A Practical Guide, 3rd edition
Performing Organization
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah