Stop Work Authority FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the Stop Work Authority?
    The Stop Work Authority (SWA) is a program designed to empower employees and contract workers with the responsibility, authority, and obligation to honorably stop work when a perceived unsafe condition or behavior may result in an unwanted event.
  • What is the intent of the program?
    The intent is for every employee to know they have the authority and obligation to stop work if any unsafe condition exists.
  • Where will SWA be in effect?
    All Southern Company Generation and Construction sites will adopt this program; it does not include Southern Power and Southern Nuclear.
  • When will this program be rolled out and in effect?
    SWA was rolled out to core contractors in June 2016 and will be rolled out to Southern Company employees by the end of 2016.
  • What do the new badge cards say?
    • I have stop work authority and am expected to use it whenever I see something I believe to be unsafe.
    • I am responsible for my own safety – I won’t do anything I believe to be unsafe.
    • I have a responsibility for my coworker’s safety – I don’t let them do anything unsafe.
    • I am responsible for reporting all safety incidents to my supervisor, including injuries or accidents in which I am involved.
    • I am expected to report all safety concerns to my supervisor, safety committees, or safety representative. If necessary, I will elevate the concerns through any other available avenues within the company.
  • Where can I get a badge card?
    A badge card can be obtained from either the plant or contractor safety representatives.
  • Who does this apply to?
    The SWA applies to all employees and contract personnel on all Southern Company Generation and Construction sites, not including Southern Power and Southern Nuclear.
  • What is the role of Site Management, foreman, and supervisors?
    Site management, foremen, and supervisors are responsible for establishing clear expectations to exercise SWA, creating a culture where SWA is exercised freely, recognizing proactive participation, and holding those accountable who choose not to comply with established SWA policies.
  • Is there training or an orientation for SWA?
    An overview of SWA will be conducted as part of all new employee and contractor orientations.
  • If I enact my SWA, do I have to notify a team lead or supervisor or further make any report if the situation can be addresses at the job site?
    No. It is acceptable for any minor issue or confusion that can be resolved and clarified at the job site to be handled at that level.
  • When can work resume if someone exerts SWA?
    No work will resume until all stop work issues have been adequately addressed.
  • Is this a new expectation or has it always been my right to “Do it safely or not at all”?
    It has always been your right to work in safe conditions. This program only continues to promote and support that right and we hope will help engrain the expectation and acceptance of all employees on site to have a questioning attitude.
  • Is this just for Safety and Health concerns?
    No policy or procedure can be written to include all situations or circumstance. The intent of the SWA is to further establish the culture at our plant job sites that it is acceptable and expected for all workers to stop work when unsure, when a perceived unsafe condition exists, or when behavior or action/inaction will result in an unwanted event whether it is related to safety, health, the environment, and so forth.