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ESH Manual Page: 1000: Administration and Policy

The purpose of the 5-Point Safety System is to:

  • Ensure all personnel working in the field at the Sanford Lab improve and increase safety awareness by systematically checking their work environment and focusing their attention on safety.
  • Engage personnel in inspecting, recording, and maintaining a safe work environment.
  • Provide a ready means for individuals to document safety issues and concerns and report them to their supervisor.

Although the 5-Point Safety Card is provided with a check box to indicate an injury may have occurred, the injury must be reported on a First Report & Incident Investigation Form.


The requirements in this procedure apply to all South Dakota Science and Technology Authority personnel, and contractor personnel performing services in the field. It does not apply to persons performing ?de minimis? activities or visitors escorted by guides. This procedure does not apply to researchers who already have their own equivalent system.


3.1 Directors and Supervisors

  • Administer the 5-point safety system within their workgroup to assure the system is properly used.
  • Check and sign the 5-point cards of the employees they supervise when visiting them in the workplace.
  • Communicate with their employees about safety issues and concerns.
  • Resolve any safety issues with employees before authorizing work to proceed.
  • Address and resolve Safety Concerns within their area of responsibility in a timely manner. Unresolved concerns or issues beyond the department?s scope will be forwarded to EHS to be placed in the Action Tracking Database.
  • Address reported incidents as per POLICY Incident & Near Miss Reporting, Response and Investigation. Incidents include injuries, accidents, or near misses.
  • Collect and review the cards. Assure a First Report & Incident Investigation Form is filled out for all incidents noted. Cards with unresolved safety issues and concerns are to be copied and the copies forwarded to EHS.
  • Cards are to be kept for a period of one year.

3.2 EHS Department

  • Review forwarded cards.
  • Address Safety Concerns on forwarded cards as per the POLICY EHS Concerns.

3.3 Laboratory Employees, Subcontractor Employees, including Supervisors in the field

  • These individuals are required to use the 5-Point cards as described in the summary below.
  •  The 5-point card is to be kept on the person or within 25? with the exception of hoist operators who may keep the card in the hoist room in a place designated by their supervisor.

Anyone in the field, including supervisors, is subject to being asked to have their card reviewed by anyone else in the field.


Competent person ? a person having abilities and experience that fully qualify him to perform the duty to which he is assigned.

Incident ? any unplanned happening or event that results in or has the potential for personal injury, environmental damage, or property damage. This includes near misses and first aid cases.

De minimis activities ? activities that are performed entirely within the administration building spaces, are primarily intellectual, and are performed in a manner and to the extent commonly performed by the general public. Examples include reading; writing; attending meetings, seminars, and presentations; and other similar activities.

NOTE: foot travel between an administration building space and a vehicle parked in the adjacent parking lot is included in ?De minimis activity."


  • Required individuals are to acquire a 5-Point Safety card at the beginning of shift: 5-Point Safety Card - Daily.

  • Some areas may use the weekly version of the card: 5-Point Safety Card - Weekly.

  • The field level risk assessment portion must be done throughout the day as workers move from task to task, location to location, and when conditions change.

  • The card is to be checked and signed by the supervisor at the time of the workplace visit and when the card is turned in at the end of the shift. Other supervisors or management personnel visiting the workplace during the shift may also sign (overview by others).

  • The purpose of the Safety Card is to ensure that workers and supervisors systematically check their work environment and focus their attention on safety. Checks will be done upon entry to a workplace to provide documentary and regulatory evidence that the inspection has been done.

  • The signature by a supervisor reinforces that safety has been reviewed with that worker/crew. The Safety Card provides the employee an opportunity to document any concerns or improvements required in the workplace.

  • To ensure that proper steps are being taken to rectify any/all infractions, the supervisor will provide information to the worker/crew on what steps are recommended.

Refer to the 5-Point Safety Card Instructions for detailed information on filling out the card properly.

The 5-Point Safety System meets the intent of MSHA regulation 30 CFR ? 57.18002 ?Examination of working places. SURFACE AND UNDERGROUND? (a) A competent person designated by the operator shall examine each working place at least once each shift for conditions which may adversely affect safety or health. The operator shall promptly initiate appropriate action to correct such conditions. (b) A record that such examinations were conducted shall be kept by the operator for a period of one year, and shall be made available for review by the Secretary or his authorized representative. (c) In addition, conditions that may present an imminent danger which are noted by the person conducting the examination shall be brought to the immediate attention of the operator who shall withdraw all persons from the area affected (except persons referred to in section 104(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977) until the danger is abated.


  • First Report & Incident Investigation Form
  • Action Tracking Database
  • POLICY Incident & Near Miss Reporting, Response and Investigation
  • POLICY EHS Concerns
  • 5-Point Safety Card - Daily
  • 5-Point Safety Card - Weekly
  • 5-Point Safety Card Instructions