NATIONAL SAFETY MONTH: Hierarchy of Controls
Keeping workers safe at all times is the number one goal at Hy-Brid Lifts. The hierarchy of controls is a method of protecting workers by controlling jobsite hazards, beginning with the most effective and ending with the least effective way to avoid a dangerous situation. Let's take a closer look at each tier below.
Physically removing a hazard is always the safest way to avoid it. Whether this means removing the hazard completely or simply relocating it to an area with less traffic, your workers and insurance company will thank you.
If you cannot remove a hazard altogether, try replacing it with something safer. Some jobs come with more risk than others and it's not always possible to completely eliminate a hazard. Substituting a hazard with a safer alternative reduces the severity and possibility of workplace injuries.
Can't remove or replace a hazard? Isolate workers from it. Removing employees from a potentially dangerous situation means they can spend less time worrying about jobsite injuries and focus on the task at hand.
If there's no way to remove a hazard or avoid employee interaction with the hazard, consider changing the way people work. This could mean establishing additional safety procedures, installing alarms, limiting the number of workers around a hazard at any given time, and reducing the amount of time a worker spends around a hazard. While relatively inexpensive to implement, administrative controls only work if all employees take them seriously.
Personal Protective Equipment
When all other hierarchy of control tiers have been tried, protect workers with personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE may be less effective than other protective measures, but it's a last resort that shouldn't be ignored. Wearing appropriate protective clothing like gloves, face shields, fire retardant fabrics, or hazmat suits can reduce the severity of chemical burns and other harmful situations.
While it's not possible to eliminate every hazard, it's important to remember that even the smallest protective measure can make a big difference. Be sure to routinely check workspaces for new hazards and monitor the status of existing dangers and keep in mind that the closer you can stay to the top of the hierarchy, the better.