Hazard control is a plan/program that is put in place to protect workers from exposure to hazards in the workplace. It consists of all steps necessary to protect workers from exposure to a substance or system. It also covers the training and the procedures required to monitor worker exposure and their health to hazards such as chemicals, materials or substance, or other types of hazards such as noise and vibration.
Before effective control can be achieved, risk assessment must be carried out.
It is at the point of risk assessment that hazard control measure will be determined and prioritize.
How to achieve a successful control
To achieve a successful hazard control, you have to do the following:
- Involve workers, who often have the best understanding of the conditions that create hazards and insights into how they can be controlled.
- Identify and evaluate options for controlling hazards, using a “hierarchy of controls.”
- Use a hazard control plan to guide the selection and implementation of controls, and implement controls according to the plan.
- Develop plans with measures to protect workers during emergencies and non-routine activities.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of existing controls to determine whether they continue to provide protection, or whether different controls may be more effective. Review new technologies for their potential to be more protective, more reliable, or less costly.
Read Also: Work at height hazards and control measures
Hierarchy of hazard control
Choice of control follows a pattern; this is represented in the hierarchy of control diagram:
- Elimination (including substitution): Remove the hazard from the workplace, or substitute (replace) hazardous materials or machines with less hazardous ones.
- Engineering Controls: Includes designs or modifications to plants, equipment, ventilation systems, and processes that reduce the source of exposure.
- Administrative Controls: Controls that alter the way the work is done, including timing of work, policies and other rules, and work practices such as standards and operating procedures (including training, housekeeping, and equipment maintenance, and personal hygiene practices).
- Personal Protective Equipment: Equipment worn by individuals to reduce exposure such as contact with chemicals or exposure to noise. This is considered a last resort for employee protection for when other controls fail. It includes things like helmets, eye protection and safety footwear and while it is helpful, it is the least effective control in the safety hazard control hierarchy.