What is Stop Work Authority and Why Is It Important?

The Stop Work Authority (SWA) program provides employees and subcontractors the ability to stop work in unsafe conditions or if continuation of unsafe behaviors would result in serious injury.

Why is Stop Work Authority Important?

Stop Work Authority is essential because it saves time and resources. It can stop the emotional impact of incidents in the workplace and build a safety culture. It’s an easy way for employers to empower employees in the safety culture of their own workplace.              

When You Should Implement Stop Work Authority

Stop Work Authority should be implemented in conditions that create imminent danger to employees or the environment. The situation when it should be used can include the following examples:

  • If you see a machine isn’t locked out properly and somebody opens it up .. Or if maintenance needs to be done and someone tells you to not to “waste time” performing Lockout/Tagout.
  • If a sling you are using on a crane is worn and should be removed from service but you are told to use it anyway.

You have the right to stop any work that can cause serious injury or death to you or someone else. You don’t have to “obey orders” if it costs a life.

Not all situations warrant a Stop Work Authority report, but building confidence in your employees to stop unsafe conditions saves lives! Want to know more about Stop Work Authority as an employee or a manager? Why don’t you give us a call?

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