Hierarchy of Controls
The requirement for the hierarchy of controls is intended to provide a systematic approach to enhance occupational health and safety, eliminate hazards, and reduce or control OH&S risks. It is a widely accepted system and is used by a variety of safety organizations. Usually, managers will learn this concept and promote its practice within the workplace. See also OH&S Risk Analysis.
Each control step is considered less effective than the previous one. It is common to combine several steps in order to succeed in reducing the OH&S risks to a level that is as low as practically reasonable.
Examples of measures that can be implemented at each level include
Avoiding risks, adapting work to workers, integrating health, safety, and ergonomics when planning new workplaces and creating physical separation of traffic between pedestrians and vehicles. Can you find the root cause?
Can you perform a different activity, change part of the process to avoid risk and produce the same results? Replacing the dangerous by the non-dangerous, or the less dangerous, combating the risks at source, adapting to technical progress, and replacing solvent-based paint with water-based paint.
Is there a technical or mechanical role that will take humans out of the process? Implement collective protective measures, such as with isolation, machine guarding, ventilation systems, mechanical handling, noise reduction, protecting against falls from height by using guard rails.
Giving appropriate instructions to workers, such as with lockout procedures, periodical safety equipment inspections, health and safety coordination with subcontractors’ activities, induction of new workers, forklift driving licenses, and rotation of workers.
5.Personal protective equipment (PPE):
Providing adequate PPE, and instructions for PPE utilization and maintenance, such as safety shoes, safety glasses, hearing protection, chemical and liquid resistant gloves, electrical protection gloves, and cut resistant gloves.
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