A hazard control hierarchy is simply the steps a company can take to reduce workplace hazards. Hear how to build a hierarchy of hazard control.
PPE is the lowest on your list of worker safeguards. It’s the LAST barrier a worker has to injury. Other ways to reduce hazards come above PPE on a pyramid of actions.
To keep employees safe, companies should consider these steps in their Hierarchy Of Hazard Control: (1) Elimination and substitution, (2) Engineering controls, and (3) Administrative/work practice controls, all before (4) PPE. All are all discussed in this podcast.
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Dan Clark: PPE, personal protective equipment, is important. But it’s your last line of defense, not your first. Instead, design processes so the hazards are reduced in the first place. This is called Hierarchy Of Hazard Control.
Hi there, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.
What? Hierarchy Of Hazard Control? It sounds complicated, but it’s not. It simply explains the steps employers should take to reduce hazards in the workplace, usually depicted by a pyramid.
The top levels are the most effective, the bottom levels, the lowest.
The Hierarchy Of Hazard Control levels:
• THE TOP OF THE PYRAMID – Elimination and Substitution.
This involves getting rid of a hazard completely, or finding an alternative that takes the hazard out of the equation.
Example: The noise from power tools is causing hearing damage. By Buying Quiet—replacing them with quieter models—the noise hazard may be totally eliminated.
• 2ND FROM THE TOP OF THE PYRAMID – Engineering Controls.
This involves a physical change in the workplace.
Example: Workers are getting back pain from lifting materials from floor level to way over their heads. By rearranging workstations so the goods need only be lifted between the knee and shoulder height, the chances of an injury are reduced.
• 3RD FROM THE TOP OF THE PYRAMID – Administrative / Work Practice Controls.
This involves changing the activities of people.
Example: On a hot summer day, managers can schedule rotating rest breaks so workers can cool off and avoid heat stress.
It’s worn by the worker to protect them from the hazard.
Example: A power saw operator wears safety glasses to protect his or her eyes from flying debris.
Which method is best? The top levels are the most effective, but sometimes can be expensive. The lower levels may be easier to implement, but they often rely on people following rules—and we know that doesn’t always happen. Usually a combination of the pyramid methods is needed to give adequate protection.
That’s it for this episode on Hierarchy Of Hazard Control – Explained. Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10% off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code SAFETYBRIEF (one word) SAFETYBRIEF.