Your Questions about Policies & Procedures Answered
Does your propane company have a set of clearly defined Policies & Procedures? Policies & Procedures are a guide that should be specific for your company to identify how exactly you will implement industry, federal, state, and local code requirements within your daily operations. If you’re wondering what exactly a Policies & Procedures Manual is, why your propane company needs this manual, and how it will benefit your company’s safety and compliance program, read on!
Policies & Procedures Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are policies?
A: Policies can be considered the “big picture” of your company’s daily operations. Written policies include language to cover legal issues that may arise due to the nature of the business, customer and employee health and welfare, and/or ethical concerns that may put the organization or employee in a position of conflict.
Q: What are procedures?
A: Procedures are the actual steps that are undertaken to uphold written policies. Written procedures identify individual tasks, who is responsible for the completion of each task, what steps are involved in the process, the sequence of each step, and how the progression of steps is performed.
Q: Am I required to have a Policies & Procedures Manual?
A: Policies & Procedures are not explicitly required. However, they do cover many industry-regulated safety requirements. A Policies & Procedures Manual includes regulatory requirements, like OSHA Emergency Action Plans and Hazardous Communications Programs and DOT Training Documentation. If your propane company has a bulk plant, your Policies & Procedures Manual will also cover specific guidelines required by the NFPA and DOT Code of Federal Regulations and additional state and local codes.
Q: Can a Policies & Procedures Manual help with employee training?
A: Yes. Policies & Procedures are used for initial and continuous employee training. Your company’s Policies & Procedures Manual guides required classroom and hands-on training to tailor required training to your company’s specific needs.
Q: How will a Policies & Procedures Manual protect my company?
A: The saying in our industry goes, “If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen!” Establishing clear, consistent Policies & Procedures is the best way to ensure that your team’s operations are performed and completed properly. Policies & Procedures are an affordable risk mitigation tool that delivers many significant benefits, including preventing safety hazards and protecting your company in the event of litigation.
Author Eric Leskinen, written for feature in LP Gas Magazine, March 2020 issue.