For several years we’ve noticed that many facilities has an unwritten / informal policy regarding SWA or “Stop Work Authority.” What is SWA? Simply put, SWA is a formal declaration that employees have the right (and obligation) to stop unsafe work when they become aware of it.

While the safety culture at most facilities implies that employees have Stop Work Authority, it is rare to see a written plan that addresses it. Since we believe that SWA is a vital part of a functioning safety culture, we have written it directly into the Employee Participation element’s Written plan.

If you use our PSM/RMP templates, you will find the updated documents on the shared drive. Below is an excerpt of the policy section:

The Written Plan includes an explanation of each step in the process.  We’ve also included a poster to be used in the workplace: