Safety Officer - Requirement

Is there a The Joint Commission standard that specifies a Safety Officer requirement?

There is no Joint Commission standard with a stated requirement for the position of Safety Officer. EC.01.01.01 requires the organization to identify an individual or individuals to perform specified risk reduction activities and threat intervention responsibilities. It is important that all environment of care activities be effectively managed, and that responsible staff have a clear understanding of their duties. Gaps in responsibility are to be identified and corrected. From the Overview of the Environment of Care Chapter: The standards address the need to identify someone to manage environmental risks as well as to intervene when situations threaten people or property; both responsibilities may be assigned to one person. It is important to remember that the standards in this chapter do not prescribe a particular structure (such as a safety committee) or individual (such as one employee hired to be a safety officer) for managing the environment, nor do they prescribe how required planning activities are conducted. Elements of the Human Resources chapter require the organization to insure that staff are competent to perform their responsibilities. The organization defines the qualifications needed and determines how staff will function within their organizational structure. Then the organization must properly orient, then provide on-going education and training opportunities to staff in order for them to effectively perform their duties. This must be validated through regular evaluation. The Joint Commission requires an organization to comply with the staffing structure that they have established, and comply with the requirements of their other controlling authorities as applicable. Organizations typically create an Environment of Care/Safety Committee to manage EC activities, and typically identify a person, called the Safety Officer, to coordinate and take the lead in the management of EC activities. But this is not a specific requirement as long as the organization can demonstrate that environment of care activities are effectively coordinated from the perspective of assessment, management, implementation, monitoring, analysis and program improvement. LD.04.01.05 applies specifically to Emergency Management and the individual identified is typically (not required) called the Emergency Management Coordinator. There is no requirement that this person be one-in-the-same as the individual(s) identified by EC.01.01.01, nor must it be the same person designated as the Safety Officer (if the designation of Safety Officer is used). [EC.01.01.01]
Last updated on August 24, 2016
Manual: Critical Access Hospital
Chapter: Environment of Care EC

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