Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Procedures for Creating Safety Directives

For Safety Directives Policy #AD008

Effective Date: March 29, 2021

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This document is the technical companion to the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT’s) Safety Directives Policy.


Safety Directive

An official mandate that is issued to provide technical clarification for regulatory compliance or to adopt a recognized workplace safety and health best practice.  


Any employee may submit a written request for the creation or revision of a Safety Directive by contacting a Safety Administrator, a member of the Department-Wide Safety Committee (DWSC), or the Safety Director. If a Safety Administrator or member of the DWSC receives a request, it must immediately be submitted to the Safety Director for consideration.

  1. Safety Director receives request for creation or revision of a Safety Directive.
  2. Safety Director reviews request to identify whether it meets the criteria for creating a Safety Directive:
    • Provides technical clarification for regulatory compliance; or
    • Adopts a recognized workplace safety and health best practice.
  3. If criteria are met, the Safety Director consults with District Safety Administrators, affected stakeholders, and/or focus groups to obtain input and recommendations on the need for a Safety Directive. The group considers the following factors when reviewing the request:
    • Laws, rules, or other regulations related to the proposed directive
    • Alignment with MnDOT Vision
    • Risk, including probability of injury, impact of implementation on different work groups, financial impact of implementation, and MnDOT’s liability
    • Controversies surrounding the proposed directive
    • Local concerns for implementation (i.e. Districts or Offices have differing opinions on implementation and/or financial concerns)
  4. Based on the input received from the District Safety Administrators, stakeholders, and/or focus groups, the Safety Director provides a recommendation to the Department-Wide Safety Committee on whether to create or revise a Safety Directive.
  5. Department-Wide Safety Committee votes to approve or disapprove the recommendation.
    1. If approved, go to step 6.
    2. If not approved, the Safety Director informs the requester.
  6. Safety Director works with the Safety Culture Coordinator to facilitate the development of the Safety Directive. The development process includes working with stakeholders and/or focus groups to develop the draft and apply the Equity Lens.
  7. Once the final draft is created, the Safety Director sends the draft to the chairs of the Administrative Manager’s Group (AMG), Construction Managers Group (CMG), Pre-Construction Manager’s Group (PCMG), and Operations Management Group (OMG) for review and input.
    1. The level of review needed is determined by the impact of the “considerations” identified in step 3.
    2. The Safety Director schedules meetings with the chairs and/or groups of the committees, as needed.
    3. The Safety Director may seek input from additional interested parties (such as superintendents, supervisors, District Engineers, Labor Unions, etc.) as appropriate by topic.
  8. Safety Director presents the final draft to the Department-Wide Safety Committee for approval.
  9. DWSC co-chairs sign the Safety Directive.

Implementation and Review

  1. Approved, updated, and retired Safety Directives must be promptly communicated to impacted stakeholders.
  2. Safety Directives must be reviewed annually to determine applicability and ensure accuracy.

Process Flow Chart

  1. Submit request for Safety Directive (anyone can submit request)
  2. Safety Director determines whether criteria is met
  3. Consultation with DSAs, stakeholders, and focus groups
  4. Recommendation to Department-Wide Safety Committee
  5. Approval or disapproval of recommendation
  6. If approved, draft Safety Directive
  7. Chairs of committee review and provide input
  8. Final draft submitted to DWSC for approval
  9. Safety Directive signed
  10. Communicate to stakeholders
  11. Review annually