It’s is important for every business to have policies and procedures in place to establish, maintain, and enforce a clear chain of responsibility for every operation the business undertakes.
This is a concept that has existed for many years in the military, hospitals, and emergency services, but hasn’t always received the attention it deserves in the majority of civilian work places.
There are many advantages to properly setting up a clear chain of responsibility in your work place. Some of these advantages include:
The most important benefit of implementing a proper chain of responsibility system in your work place is that it will help to eliminate blind spots in your operational oversight. It ultimately ensures that the responsibility for any problem can be traced back to its source as quickly and easily as possible.
Accidents happen, and they’re not always somebody’s fault. The fault can also be introduced by third parties, and in more extreme situations by criminal activity, industrial sabotage, or even consequences of wildlife. It’s much more usual, however, for such problems to be the result of failures somewhere along the chain of responsibility.
For example, it could be the case that a container supplied by a third party manufacturer breaks open and this results in a safety incident occurring. While part of the blame rests with the supplier who provided the faulty container, the chain of responsibility would allow you to identify who accepted the faulty goods, and to investigate why the faults were not discovered prior to acceptance of the goods.
This shouldn’t be seen as purely a disciplinary issue. There are other very important considerations here, such as identifying the need for training, identifying logistics and supply problems, identifying risk factors, and so on.