Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Risk Control - Risk Control (Make the Changes)
Using the ThinkSafe steps
3. Risk Control (Make the Changes)
Key Point :- It is your employer′s responsibility to fix hazards. Sometimes you may be able to fix simple hazards yourself, as long as you dont put yourself or others at risk. For example, you can pick up things from the floor and put them away to eliminate a trip hazard.
The best way to fix a hazard is to get rid of it altogether. This is not always possible, but your employer should try to make hazards less dangerous by looking at the following options (in order from most effective to least effective):
- Elimination - Sometimes hazards - equipment, substances or work practices - can be avoided entirely. (e.g. Clean high windows from the ground with an extendable pole cleaner, rather than by climbing a ladder and risking a fall.)
- Substitution - Sometimes a less hazardous thing, substance or work practice can be used. (e.g. Use a non-toxic glue instead of a toxic glue.)
- Isolation - Separate the hazard from people, by marking the hazardous area, fitting screens or putting up safety barriers. (e.g. Welding screens can be used to isolate welding operations from other workers. Barriers and/or boundary lines can be used to separate areas where forklifts operate near pedestrians in the workplace.)
- Safeguards - Safeguards can be added by modifying tools or equipment, or fitting guards to machinery. These must never be removed or disabled by workers using the equipment.
- Instructing workers in the safest way to do something - This means developing and enforcing safe work procedures. Students on work experience must be given information and instruction and must follow agreed procedures to ensure their safety.
- Using personal protective equipment and clothing (PPE) - If risks remain after the options have been tried, it may be necessary to use equipment such as safety glasses, gloves, helmets and ear muffs. PPE can protect you from hazards associated with jobs such as handling chemicals or working in a noisy environment.
Sometimes, it will require more than one of the risk control measures above to effectively reduce exposure to hazards.