How to create safety policies and procedures for your program?

Keeping people safe when they are at work is the responsibility of employers and employees alike. Guardian program managers and leadership must establish a safe and healthy work environment by developing and enforcing safety policies and emergency procedures. Your guardian crew is responsible for following all policies and procedures.

Clear, straightforward safety policies should describe their purpose, employee expectations and corrective or disciplinary actions. Ensure that your staff understand that they are accountable and that you will follow through with disciplinary actions if procedures aren't followed. A safe and healthy workplace environment is one where workplace practices and policies also protect staff from discrimination, harassment, violence, and bullying while on the job. 

Remember that safety is a condition of employment and most injuries and fatalities are preventable. Everyone must know the safety policies and emergency procedures inside out.

In addition to safety policies and procedures, it is critical to have standard workplace insurance coverage and WCB in place for employees and contractors.  Work with your insurance provider to get the right liability insurance and coverage for your guardian program activities. Make sure your crew understands what the legal conditions are for insurance coverage to apply.  Ensure that your safety policies and procedures have been vetted by a legal advisor to protect your program from liability if necessary.

Some examples of safety policy and procedures from various communities are provided below:

  • General safety policies
  • Small vessel operator procedures
  • Corrective action/discipline policy
  • Drug and alcohol policy
  • Workplace bullying and harassment policy
Community resource

General Workplace Safety Policies - Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network

Community resource

Nuxalk Coastal Guardian Watchmen Small Vessel Operator Guide Policy and Procedure Manual 2017 - Nuxalk First Nation

Community resource

Occupational Health and Safety Manual – Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network

Community resource

Violence in the Workplace Policy - Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network

Community resource

Workplace Bullying and Harassment Policy - Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network