Stop Work Authority - Home Garden Edition


By: Mathew Bascle

In the oil and gas industry, you will hear the term stop work authority (SWA). This culture shift is becoming the standard by which all companies are putting into place and supporting their employees to drive home safe workplaces and practices. The implementation and push for SWA has not only helped to change our jobsites, but it has made us more aware of our at-home safety practices.

Last weekend my family and I started working on our very first garden. Being the father of four children and tasked with overseeing the job at hand, just like in our industry, there were a lot of moving parts. I had my oldest son (16) shoveling dirt into our planter boxes. I made sure that he was taking the necessary PPE precautions by wearing steel toe boots, safety glasses and gloves. He was doing a great job and moving right along. At the same time my two youngest sons (9 and 5) were “helping” by trying to move dirt by hand. As my oldest was zoned in and working hard, the two younger boys were mindlessly playing and tossing dirt. I noticed that they were getting too close to one another and decided to initiate stop work authority.

I immediately told my oldest to stop shoveling and called all three of my boys over, so we could talk about why I just asked them all to stop working. I took this opportunity to educate them on watching their surroundings and explained that while the oldest had glasses on to prevent dirt and debris from getting into his eyes, the younger ones did not. I made them aware that the oldest wore footwear to protect from the shovel possibly striking his foot, but his younger siblings didn’t have the same protections he did. Taking the time to teach them the importance of safety will help make them more aware for future family projects.

SWA should be included in every job we do, whether it be at home or on the clock. Taking our work safe practices home with us and putting them to use will help our own families and friends who may not be exposed to SWA culture.


Mathew Bascle

Mathew H. Bascle joined Danos in January 2019 as a production operator. In January 2020 he transitioned to the safety team as HSE safety specialist. Previously, Mathew worked in the Gulf of Mexico as a production operator, and he has been in the oil and gas industry since 2001. He and his wife serve as youth pastors at their home church, and he is the father of four amazing children.


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