Management Responsibility For Appointment of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Officers
"Nihul" Israel Managers Magazine Vol. 157
Tzvi Levinson and Gil Dror, Adv.
Under Israeli law, corporate management has responsibility for appointing capable and effective environmental and occupational health and safety officers in the corporation's plants. At present, management's efforts in that regard are misdirected. For example, in the case of the poison permiting system for hazardous waste, management tends to appoint either a technocrat with a PhD in chemistry but no budgetary or management authority or a high-level manager who exercises little supervision over crucial day-to-day operations in the plant. In the case of the former kind of appointee, the safety officer, though knowledgeable, is unable to properly enforce his or her safety rules, because he or she has no disciplinary or budgetary authority. In the case of the latter kind of appointee, a high-level manager is not in a position to properly supervise plant safety. This article recommends the appointment of an individual as safety officer with both technical expertise and management and supervisory authority. Such an individual can delegate safety responsibilities sensibly and enforce safety rules effectively - a wiser use of company resources than the current status quo.