When working to create a safe workplace for all of your employees, one place to start is by conducting a hazard assessment: identify existing and potential hazards before they harm anyone.
The next step is to build a hazard control program that will effectively protect workers from exposure to those hazards.
CCOHS (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety) offers these four ways to control a hazard:
- Elimination (including substitution): Removes the hazard from the workplace, or substitute (replace) hazardous materials or machines with less hazardous ones.
- Engineering Controls: Includes designs or modifications to plants, equipment, ventilation systems, and processes that reduce the source of exposure.
- Administrative Controls: Controls that alter the way the work is done, including timing of work, policies and other rules and work practices, such as standards and operating procedures (including training, housekeeping and equipment maintenance, and personal hygiene practices.
- Personal Protective Equipment: Equipment worn by individuals to reduce exposure, such as contact with chemicals or exposure to noise.
While it’s not always easy to identify workplace hazards, and get all employees on board with working to identify them, the process is definitely worthwhile. It can also be helpful to work together to put controls in place to reduce those hazards.
Have you conducted a hazard assessment in your workplace? What type of controls have you put in place to ensure everyone stays safe?