SAFETY--Responsibilities and Duties of a Water Resources Division Collateral-Duty Safety Officer

In Reply Refer To:
Mail Stop 405 May 13, 1996


Subject:  SAFETY--Responsibilities and Duties of a Water Resources 
          Division Collateral-Duty Safety Officer

The purpose of this memorandum is to summarize the responsibilities and 
duties of a Water Resources Division (WRD) collateral-duty Safety 
Officer set forth by bureau policy.   The responsibilities are outlined in
the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Safety and Environmental Health Handbook
445-1-H (1989) and USGS Occupational Hazards and Safety Procedures Handbook
445-2-H (1993).  This memorandum references responsibilities and duties
unique to the WRD.

The collateral-duty Safety Officer is an employee appointed by the chief of
the organizational unit to administer the organizational unit's safety and
health program.  The Safety Officer shall be knowledgable of the bureau and
division safety procedures and policies and trained in safety management
principles and techniques.  
Duties are expected to require a minimum of 15 to 50 percent of the Safety
Officer's time.  Minimal time allotted may depend on support provided to
the collateral-duty Safety Officer from other organizational unit personnel
and safety committee activities.

Responsibilities of a Collateral-Duty Safety Officer

       o  Administers and maintains the Safety Plan for the organizational unit.

       o  Serves as the primary focal point for all safety issues.

       o  Coordinates and conducts safety inspections, training, and program
          planning, and prepares related reports.

       o  Is directly responsible to the chief of the organizational unit, with
          regard to safety issues.

       o  Coordinates activities of safety committee meetings.

       o  Notifies management of hazardous conditions.

       o  Serves as liaison between management and the appropriate WRD Regional
          Safety Officer.

                   Duties of a Collateral-Duty Safety Officer 

Duties are defined within the basic elements of the USGS safety program

       a. Training - coordinates efforts with the Training Officer to
schedule required and other work-related safety courses and maintain
employee training records.  Such training may include: safety orientation
for new employees and collateral-duty safety officers, laboratory safety,
hazard communication, defensive driving, watercraft and aircraft safety,
emergency response, back-injury prevention, fire extinguishers, hazardous
waste, first-aid, and Cardio Pulmonary Resusitation. 

       b. Promotion - serves as the focal point for the receipt and
distri>bution of safety information, such as pamphlets, posters, and
memorandums.  Ensures that safety promotional programs are being

       c. Occupational hazards and industrial hygiene - notifies the chief 
of the organizational unit or management representative, in writing, of 
hazardous conditions, and follows up to assure that conditions have been abated.

       d. Fire protection and prevention - identifies areas where fire
protection is lacking or insufficient.  Reports inadequacies to the chief
of the organizational unit or the occupant emergency coordinator.  Ensures
that the organization is covered by, and participates in, a current
occupant emergency plan.

       e. Accident investigation and reporting - reviews copies of all 
accident forms (DI-134 SF-91, CA-1, etc.).  On occasion, the Safety Officer
may be asked to participate in, or conduct investigations of, accidents or

       f. Inspections - conducts or assists in conducting safety
inspections of all offices,laboratories, vehicles, shops, storage spaces,
and gaging stations at least annually.  Ensures that all identified
deficiencies are reported to management.  Maintains a follow-up procedure
to track progress for correcting deficiencies.  Suggested forms and
checklists for use in conducting inspections, and use of hazard elimination
logs for documenting hazards, are presented in USGS Safety and
Environmental Health Handbook, 445-1-H. 

       g. Standards - ensures that applicable safety regulations,
guidelines, manuals, safety plans, and policy documents are readily
available.  Minimum standards available: 29 Code of Federal Regulations,
Part 1910; USGS Occupational Hazards and Safety Procedures Handbook,
445-2-H; and notebook on WRD Safety Policy and Guidance Memorandum. 
Minimal standards that include activities involving hazardous waste: 40
Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 260-299. Maintains files on all
organizational safety correspondence and other safety information.

           (1)  Hazardous waste site operations - standards available
include, but are not limited  to: WRD Memorandums No. 93.33 and 96.17; Site
Safety Plan; NIOSH/OSHA/USCG/EPA, Occupational Safety and Health Guidance
Manual for Hazardous Waste Site Activities.  Ensures Site Safety Plan is
available and is reviewed by the WRD Regional Safety Officer; ensures that
a medical surveillance program is maintained and that the employee records
on physical exams are sent to the WRD Safety Officer.

          (2) Environmental safety - standards available include, but are
not limited to: 

          Chemical Hygiene Plan; USGS Environmental Compliance Guide. 

       h. Safety committee activities - ensures that committee is active
and goal-oriented, meets on a regular basis, and agenda items are
meaningful and addressed fully.  Minutes of the meetings are made available
to all office employees.

       i. Organization and administration - meets with management at least
quarterly to review the organizational unit safety program and budget. 
Annually, develops the organizational unit program plans to address safety
program goals and objectives, and prepares an annual report that summarizes
the past year's safety accomplishments.  Submits documents to the WRD
Regional Safety Officer.

       j. Public safety - assists in identifying areas, including
facilities and field locations, that require warning signage, barriers, and
other actions to protect the public from harm that may result from USGS
activities and operations.


The collateral-duty Safety Officer advises management on the implementation
of the safety program elements and maintains a close working relationship
with the WRD Regional Safety Officer on all aspects of the safety program. 
The collateral-duty Safety Officer must receive 40 hours of formal training
in a variety of safety-related areas, must be able to effectively
communicate, both orally and in writing, and must have strong management
support.  Management is responsible for providing safe and healthful
working conditions for all employees under their direction; each employee
is responsible to management for reporting all unsafe conditions and
following the guidelines presented in the organizational unit safety plan. 


                                      Catherine L. Hill
                                      Assistant Chief Hydrologist
                                      for Operations

Distribution: A, B, S, FO, PO

This memorandum supersedes WRD Memorandum No. 90.29.

cc:     CH, MS 409
        ACH/O, MS 441
        WRD General File, MS 402
        Chron File, MS 405
        Operations, MS 405