Hazard Assessment and control
Behavior Safety Associates, LLC conducts periodic inspections and procedures for correction and control as a method of identifying existing or potential hazards in the workplace, and eliminating or controlling them. Hazard control is the heart of an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program.
If hazards occur or recur, this reflects a breakdown in the hazard control system. The hazard control system is also the basis for developing safe work procedures and injury/illness prevention training.
The required hazard assessment survey of the organization, when first developing the Injury and Illness Prevention Program, must be made by a qualified person. This survey can provide the basis and guide for establishing the hazard assessment and control system. The survey produces knowledge of hazards in the workplace, and potentially hazardous conditions, equipment and procedures.
An effective hazard control system will identify: existing hazards or hazards which develop in the workplace, how to correct those hazards, and steps to take to prevent their recurrence. If there is an effective system for monitoring workplace conditions:
- The organization will prevent many hazards from occurring through scheduled and documented self-inspections. Make sure established safe work practices are being followed and those unsafe conditions or procedures are identified and corrected properly. Scheduled inspections are in addition to the everyday safety and health checks that are part of the routine duties of managers and supervisors. The frequency of these inspections depends on the operations involved, the magnitude of the hazards, the proficiency of employees, changes in equipment or work processes, and the history of work-place injuries and illnesses. Inspections should be conducted by personnel who, through experience or training, are able to identify actual and potential hazards and understand safe work practices. Written inspection reports must be reviewed by management and/or the safety committee. The review should assist in prioritizing actions and verify completion of previous corrective actions. Overall inspection program results should be reviewed for trends.
- Know which OSHA or state plan safety orders contained apply to the organization’s workplace(s), and use them to identify potential hazards. A Behavior Safety Associates consultant can assist you in identifying safety orders applicable to each organization’s work.
- Employees should be encouraged to tell a member of the SLT or their supervisors of possibly hazardous situations, knowing their reports will be given prompt and serious attention without fear of reprisal. When employees are advised the situation was corrected (or why it was not hazardous), a system is created by which employees continue to report hazards promptly and effectively.
- Workplace equipment and personal, protective equipment should be maintained in safe and good working condition. In addition to what is required by OSHA or state plan standards, each organization’s safety and health program monitors the operation of workplace equipment, and can also verify routine preventive maintenance is conducted, and personal protective equipment is reliable. This makes good safety sense, and proper maintenance can prevent costly breakdowns and undue exposures.
- Hazards should be corrected as soon as they are identified. For any that can’t be immediately corrected, set a target data for correction based on such considerations as the probability and severity of an injury or illness resulting from the hazard; the availability of needed equipment, materials and/or personnel; time for delivery, installation, modification or construction; and training periods. Provide interim protection to employees who need it while correction of hazards is proceeding. A written tracking system such as a log helps you monitor the progress of hazard correction.
- Review and prioritize the safety and health program based on the severity of the hazard.