Whitepaper: It might be small things that keep people from speaking up, but the consequences can be big. An analysis of Stop Work Authorities and their hampering and supporting factors

Hundreds of companies working in a high-risk environment operate according to established ‘stop work’ principles. This safety policy means that everyone present at a location of such organisation has the responsibility to immediately stop work in the event of a dangerous situation.

This last barrier of defense to prevent accidents is often put in the form of a so-called ‘stop work policy’. Many organisations have implemented that policy that geverally states that employees, and sometimes even visitors, have the right and responsibiitly to stop the work in case of hazardous situations.

Although having such stop work policies is common in high-risk industries, it is not easy to implement it wel and to ensure that alle mployees are indeed making use of this policy and stop the work when deemed necessary. Research shows that stop work policies are often built upon unrealistic assumptions such as that people will always stop work when an unsafe situation occurs, that all warning signs are clearly visible, that safety can always be the first priority, and stopping colleagues is always possible. This white paper includes the results of the research done towards hampering and supporting factors of the Stop Work Authority.

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