top of page

Stop Work Authority

Sometimes the most important work you can do is to STOP WORKING. Stop Work Authority provides employees and contract workers with the responsibility and obligation to stop work when a perceived unsafe condition or behavior may result in an unwanted event. Stop Work Authority should be initiated for conditions or behaviors that threaten danger or imminent danger to person(s), equipment or the environment. Situations that warrant a Stop Work Authority may include,

but are not limited to the following:

• Change in conditions • Changes to scope of work or work plan

• Emergency situation • Equipment used improperly • Lack of knowledge, understanding or information • Near-miss incident • Unsafe conditions • Alarms

Examples of behaviors that threaten imminent danger: working at heights without fall protection, performing hot work near ignitable materials, LOTO violations, standing under a lifted load, etc. Remember, when you think, “I shouldn’t tell someone what to do” or “I’m sure they know what they’re doing, who am I to tell them to stop,” you could be saving their life by speaking up and using your Stop Work Authority.

Stop Work Authority is comprised of a six step process

1. Stop  2. NOTIFY  3. Investigate  4. Correct  5. Resume  6. Follow-up (training on lessons learned etc.)

If you’re working and you see a process that is not being followed correctly, or if you notice

at-risk behavior going on, take the initiative and call a quick time-out. Then confer with your workmates to make sure everyone knows the safe way to continue. If someone tells you to stop work, you need

to stop the job immediately. Remember, your co-workers are trying to keep you safe, not punish you. Executing Stop Work Authority to right safety wrongs and catch potential unsafe action before

it actually happens is not only responsible, it’s also effective. In fact, in the oil and gas industry,

it’s been one of the most successful approaches to safety in the last decade. 

Empower thepeople around you. Encourage them towatch for unsafe conditions

or processes, and whenit’s necessary, stop the job until it can be done safely.


It is your duty and right to exercise Stop Work Authority.

Do not assume that someone else is going to take care of it: See it, Own it, STOP!

bottom of page