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What Is Separation of Duties?

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Workplace safety can be negatively affected by people taking on too many duties at once.

This is why it is important for any workplace to understand separation of duties.

 

Definition

Separation of duties essentially means important or complex duties will be shared between two or more people.

 

Personal Safety

Some tasks or duties are too complex for one person to handle successfully. Separation of duties lessens the difficulty of the task by having more than one person handling a duty. This can help create a safer environment in the workplace.

 

Separation of Duties

 

Avoid Theft

When money is handled, separation of duties can help guarantee the money’s safety. With two or more people helping and double-checking each other, theft can be more easily avoided. Triple-checks may even be appropriate.

 

Where It Is Used

Separation of duties is often used by financial firms to keep their money safe. It is also used by the military for delicate operations, such as firing missiles or launching an attack.

 

Example

A submarine off the coast of Australia gets orders to fire nuclear missiles. Instead of having the captain simply push a button, he will have his orders verified by command.

He and a few of his officers will then use keys and passwords to unlock the missile system, load the missiles, aim and fire.

 

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