Eliminating Workplace Hazards with Best Control Measures
With rapid industrialization, workplace hazards too have evolved and become a major source of concern for safety experts, employers and environmentalists. Hazards can be of various types and nature and that depends on the industry.
Safety can be ensured to employees only when potential risks, dangers and hazards are removed and a reliable hazard management system is installed. Hazard causing sources should be identified and analysed by competent safety authorities and sustainable solutions should be provided to either completely ward off or reduce the impact of the hazards.
Workplace managers and safety officers belong to different occupations often adopt slew of control measures using a scale of hierarchy to deal with various hazards effectively. The hierarchy of controls are devised to follow certain procedures to eliminate the dangers fully or reduce the damage, injuries or loss caused by a particular hazard.
Hazard control managers prefer to go for prescribed engineering controls while tackling dangers. These procedures are internationally tested and proven as safe, less prone to human failure and non- disruptive for those working in the area.
Hazards can be controlled and nullified in any work environment by following standard protocols and enforcing legislation which ensures zero-tolerance for lapses that can lead to serious accidents and fatalities.
The prime duty of workplace safety managers is to make sure that workers do not face any hazard while performing their responsibilities and if there is any hazard found, should be carefully analysed and measures should be taken to eliminate fully, alter the work nature of people who are prone to hazards or reduce the effect of hazards by adopting certain safety controls and techniques.
Eliminating the hazard should be the primary focus of HSE professionals. To eliminate the life threatening hazards fully, safety experts of respective domain should study the nature of hazard and devise safe eliminating procedure so that the process does not impact productivity, workers’ health and the immediate environment.
If the hazard can’t be eliminated, the next control measure should be to find an alternate way to replace the hazard with less dangerous hazard. While finding the replacement, care should be taken to gauge the future impact of the substitute on workers.
Risk analysts should also see the possibility of changing the work process, replacing equipment to reduce the impact of hazard or switching over to better technology, if the process doesn’t cost much to the company.
Owners and employers, apart from following prescribed policies and legislation, should design their own policies and procedures to minimize dangers, risks and hazards, intelligently scheduling jobs to limit exposure, introducing danger indicating signage posters, restricting entry and creating awareness on workplace hazards and management.
In some cases, safety officers are required to use more than one control method to tackle hazards. However careful one can be, regular monitoring of controls should be followed so that exposure to the hazard is either removed or minimized.
Back-up controls such as protective gears and safety tools like respirators, blast shields, hearing protectors, gloves, safety goggles, face shields and safety footwear should be used alongside as a support to other prescribed control measures.
Above all, workers should follow healthy and safe work practices, maintain personal hygiene and update their knowledge on safety controls and procedures to remain safe and secured.