Do You Know Who’s in Charge?

“Ladies and Gentleman, this is your Captain speaking…”

The announcement that a pilot makes at the beginning of a flight tends to be the perfect blend of calm composure, confidence, and friendliness, often with a hint of humour. It’s said that pilots introduce themselves so that in the case of turbulence or an emergency, passengers recognise their voice and know who’s in charge.

Coming back down to the ground and into your office – do you know who’s in charge if an emergency occurs? Do you know whose directions you ought to follow? And, equally importantly, do you know whether those who are in charge of your safety will be appropriately responsive in an emergency situation?

Who’s In Charge?

Like passengers ought to recognise the pilot’s authoritative voice, your employees need to know whose instructions to follow in an emergency. In critical situations, there will be chaos – many voices will be saying (or rather, shouting) completely different things – but who’s in charge? It is absolutely essential for all employees to have a clear understanding of this.

Are the Person/s In Charge of Your Safety Appropriately Responsive?

In booking a recent iSafe inspection, I came across something amusing (but also rather terrifying). I had sent an email to the WHS Department of a client, and got an automated reply stating that they’d reply to my enquiry within 3 business days. While this may be a stock standard response in a lot of business situations, is it appropriate in safety situations? Do you have measures in place to ensure that the responses of those in charge are timely and appropriate to the situation at hand?

While these may be relatively small matters to consider, they will make all the difference in the event of an emergency.


  1. Safety Management module in the Talent Engagement Standard.
  2. Safety Management webinars: Safety – Tips & Traps; WHS Officers - Is Your Due Diligence in Place? Email to purchase and/or discuss.

The iSafe Program is proudly supported by APSCo Australia and Certex International.