Controlling Hazards

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Controlling Hazards

Hazard control is another key to good safety management. The goal is to minimize risk by reducing or eliminating the chance that a hazard results in harm. This is achieved by bringing any significant hazards under control.

Look at the business decisions that affect safety. Start with the big ones, like whether to repair or upgrade your equipment, and work your way down until you find a practical solution.

For Example:

  • First: Remove the hazard completely. For instance, if damaged equipment is causing the hazard, fix it or replace it
  • Second: Substitute dangerous materials or equipment with safer ones. For example, a cleaning solution that gives off toxic fumes can be replaced with a non-toxic alternative.
  • Third: Minimize the risk to workers. For example, install guards on moving equipment, or use a check-in procedure for people working alone
  • Fourth: Use written instructions, signs or rules to isolate people from hazards.  Create “Do not enter” zones where needed, for example.
  • Last: Make sure people use protective equipment or clothing if they need it. Remember, this is the last line of defense, not the first!

If hazards can't be brought fully under control, employers are required to provide written instructions to support safe work.

For more detailed information and useful resources, please see Hazard Evaluation and Control.

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