safety management Principles
safety management Principles

General Principles of Management 

According to Joseph L. Massie, general

principles are approximations of generalizations from. Experience. These principles are short statements for guidance and practice and not the rules or regulations. They are not rigid. They may change with change in Conditions they have been developed in course of time and may further develop from new experiences.

According to George Terry ‘b means of principles of management, a manager can avoid fundamental mistakes in his job and foretell the results of his actions with confidence. According to Harold Koontz, these principles help managers to (i) improve efficiency (ii) increase knowledge (iii) impart training (iv) improve research and (v) attain social goals. The nature of management -principles is characterized by its feature f universality, dynamic, relative and human nature.

Henry Fayol has listed following 14 principles of management: 

  1. Division of work- work of every person should be limited to a single leading function to do more and better work with the same effort.
  2. Authority and Responsibility – They go hand in hand. Authority is the right to give orders and power to exact obedience. Responsibility arises when authority is given. Responsibility implies an obligation to perform duty (task) in a satisfactory manner. Official authority is derived from position one holds while personal authority is derived from intelligence, experience and knowledge one holds.
  3. Discipline – It is the obedience to agreement between members and must prevail throughout an organization for its smooth functioning. Clear understanding between workers and management regarding their rules, regulations, orders and penalties is necessary.
  4. Unity of Command – Every employee should receive orders from one superior only. Dual command is a source of conflict or confusion. One group of workers should work under one supervisor only.
  5. Unity of Direction – There should be cue head and one plan for a group of activities having the same objective to ensure unity and co-ordination in management.
  6. Subordination of individual to general interests Employee’s personal interest should not dominate the general i.e. management’s interest. In case of conflict between such interests, personal interests should be sacrificed.
  7. Remuneration of personnel the amount and methods of payment should be just, fair and satisfactory to both employees and employers.
  8. Centralization – to decrease subordinates’ role is centralization and to increase it is decentralization This principle should be introduced to yield the best results considering individual circumstances.
  9. Scalar Chain – Normally a chain of Authority runs from the highest authority to the lowest rank, but however if it is very long and causes delay, cross-communication (shortcut) between two employees at lower level should be permitted to avoid such delay (Gang-Plank principle).
  10. Order – There should be proper arrangement of men and materials in required order. As there should be a place for everything and everything should be in its proper place, there should be an appointed (clear) place for everyone and everyone should be in his/her appointed place. This kind of order requires precise knowledge of human requirements and resources of the concern to maintain balance between them.
  11. Equity – There should be equality, justice, kindness and impartiality treatment to employees and a sympathetic and unbiased attitude toward them. This generates better industrial relations.
  12. Stability of tenure of personnel – Provide job security and long-term service to reduce labor turnover. Instability hampers interest, motivation and efficiency of employees.
  13. Initiative – This refers to freedom to think and lake decision. . Employees should be given an opportunely to take initiative to formulate and execute plans even though some mistakes may result. When employees are given freedom to work independently they lend to grow and develop.
  14. Esprit de corps – Instead of ‘divide and rule’ management should strive to install team spirit, co-operation and harmony among workers to make the management united and powerful.

These principles are to be practiced for safety management also. 

Managerial Role, Authority, Responsibility and Power:

Managerial Roles:

Mintzberg describes following ten roles for managers

Interpersonal Roles: 

  1. Figurehead – acts as head, performs legal and social duties e.g. greet a Special visitor, takes customer to lunch, attends ceremony etc.
  2. Leader – responsible for work unit e.g. hiring, firing, motivating, training, staffing.
  3. Liaison Maintains outside contacts to get favors, feedback, follow up, information. e.g. meeting a peer in another department, contacting Government Official etc.

Informational Roles: 

  1. Monitor – seeks and receives information on progress, performance, environment etc., e.g. asking reports.
  2. Disseminator – passes information. e.g. gives workers important data, briefs higher executives.
  3. Spokesman sends information outside e.g. Represents Company in meeting, replies on behalf of company.

Decision Roles:

  1. Entrepreneur – improve of the work unit e.g. looks out for new ideas, develops new programmers.
  2. Disturbance handler – responds to pressure, crisis etc. e.g. faces strike, decides how to tackle emergency, failure of supply of money, material, services etc.
  3. Resource allocator  – allocates resources of men, money, material, market, machines, methods etc e g. sets budget priorities, selects good proposals.
  4. Negotiator – represents management iii settlement, agreement, bargaining, negotiating hearing grievances and giving opinion etc. e.g. negotiating union demands.


Authority means legal or delegated power or right to a person. Government officials have powers vested in them by law and therefore they are called ‘Government authorities’. Similarly when a manager is given powers to perform his managerial roles, by the higher executive, board or the owner, it is said that he has authority to act, sign etc e g Safety Officer has authority to design or sign safety work permit or to sign a purchase order of safety equipment.

Authority can be delegated also. It is decentralization of power downward. A safety officer can delegates his authority to permit some work to safety supervisors. Authority gives right to a manager and disobedience of his order injures his right for which a penalty is possible. The statements of authority are called ‘authoritative’ which may set an example. It has force of implementation.

  1. Henry Fayol – Authority is the right to give orders and the power to exact obedience.
  2. Kooritz and O’ Donnell – Applied to the managerial job, authority is the power to command others to act or not to act in a manner deemed ly the possessor of the authority to further enterprise or departmental purpose.
  3. Herbert Simon – It is the power to make decisions which guide actions of others.
  4. Terry – Authority is exercised by making decisions and seeing that they are carried out.


Thus, characteristics of authority are:-

  1. it’s attached with position is legal, legitimate and formal.
  2. It gives power to Superior i.e. right to act, control, command subordinates and to achieve goals.
  3. A subordinate obeys the superior by virtue of his authority.
  4. It is not unlimited, its extent and limits are defined in advance.
  5. It is a relationship between two individuals a superior and his subordinate.
  6. It is used to achieve organizational (not personal) goals.
  7. It is a key to the managerial functions.
  8. It gives right of decision making and to get the decisions carried out.
  9. It can be delegated.
  10. It is objective, though its existence is subjective.


Authority brings responsibility. When authority is given to a manager, he possesses responsibility i.e. accountability and is answerable for all works, acts and functions for which authority was given to him. When a safety officer is authorized for all safety functions, he becomes responsibly i.e. liable to give explanation for the success or failure of all his decisions, works, functions etc. Safety Officer is responsible for accident prevention .work. When supervisor allows working on unguarded machine and accident takes place, he is responsible for this work of his omission or negligence. When responsibility is given to us, we must strive 10 Elm] it by all our sincere efforts and care.

A concept of ‘responsible care is developed to run our plant with utmost care toward surrounding society. Breach of responsibility attracts penalty.


  1. M .E. Hurely – Responsibility is duty to which a person is bound by reason of his status or task. Such responsibility implies compliance with directives of the person making initial delegation.
  2. Koontz’and O’Donnell – Responsibility is the obligation of a subordinate to whom duty has been assigned to perform the duty.
  3. R. C. Davis – Responsibility is the obligation of an individual to perform assigned duties to the best of his ability under the direction of his executive leader.
  4. Dalton McFarland – Responsibility is the duties and activities assigned to a position or to an executive.
  5. Theo Haimain – Responsibility is the obligation of a subordinate to perform the duty as required by his superior.


Power means ability or capacity to do something, to act, to control, to exercise force or command etc. Power also comes with authority because authority gives right and that right gives power. Powerless person cannot do anything. Manager without power cannot manage things, subordinates do not follow his orders and goals of management can never hi achieve. Therefore, power should be vested by giving authority to manager. In case of doubt or ambiguity powers are to be assumed by .the manager to get the work done. Power is to be exercised with due care a reasonable requirement. Undue use of power ma creates Opposition.

A manager’s power may be measured in terms of his ability to give order or reward, punish individuals, withdraw order or reward etc. Power is an important means to enforce obedience to the rules, regulations and decisions of the organization. Its use (exercise) may affect the behavior of people. Thus, authority, responsibility and power go side by side and are useful tools for managers to achieve the organisational goals.


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