In order to ensure workplace safety, there are controls to be followed which are determined by the Hierarchy of Hazard Control. It is important to be familiar with them so companies like yours will be able to choose the best way to fix health and safety issues in the workplace.
- ELIMINATION is the control measure which involves eradicating or eliminating things which may be hazardous and can cause health and safety risks. It is important to design out these hazards when work systems are being planned. This also applies to when new materials and equipment are being delivered or moved out. For example, when ordering new equipment, make sure that it meets the ergonomic requirements of the people who are going to use it. Another example is making sure that all equipment and areas in the workplace are in good working order, so it is important to repair any damages promptly.
- SUBSTITUTION is the form of control which involves substituting a process or material which is safer than the ones which you are using. If you have hazardous materials, substances, or equipment which cannot be eliminated entirely, find ones that are safer. For example, for substances that employees are allergic to, replace with something that is more user friendly, less toxic and will not cause any allergic reaction.
- ENGINEERING CONTROLS are the methods which involve designing and/or changing tools, equipment, and work system by adding safety features in the physical workplace. This method also involves the separation of the hazardous elements and the employees or the people which may be affected. For example, if you have high speed rotating parts on machines in the plant, make sure that only authorised people can enter that area by assigning guards to prevent unauthorised people from going there, or using an access card system.
- ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROLS involves instituting policies, steps and practices at work which will reduce the exposure of workers to an identified risk. This includes trainings and supervision. An example would be organising training sessions to educate workers on the risks and the proper use of the different equipment in the workplace. Another one is creating a job rotation system to reduce the exposure time of the workers to the identified hazard.
- PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT may not be a particularly effective method but it should also be considered when all the mentioned control measures seem impractical, or when this method will work effectively in conjunction to another mentioned method. This method involves providing suitable and maintained personal protective equipment to employees such as gloves, helmets, face masks, etc. As the method at the bottom of the hierarchy, this stands at the last line of defence from hazards at the workplace.
The Hierarchy of Hazard Control is important in maintaining workplace safety because it is comprised of processes which employers should work through in order to address problems which compromise the health and safety of employees. When hazardous situations arise, authorised officers should work their way down the hierarchy to find a possible solution to the problem.
Contact Verge Safety Barriers for more ways to ensure workplace safety
Knowing how to control hazards is one thing, but acting upon how to control hazards is another. With the use of tools and equipment that promote safety, you are well on your way on ensuring the smooth and safe movements within your workplace. Contact Verge today to know what your options are.