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John Joswiak October 29, 2020

Identifying Workplace Safety Hazards

Did you know there are over 2 million workplace injuries annually in the U.S. alone?1 Failure to effectively identify and anticipate workplace hazards is a leading cause of worker injury, illness, and recordable incidents.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a critical step to establishing health and safety procedures is incorporating an ongoing process to increase hazard recognition. Using a simplified approach based on OSHA’s recommended methodology2, employers and workers will improve their identification process and better assess workplace hazards to appropriately respond to risks. Risk should be understood as the product of hazards multiplied by worker exposure, both of which can be reduced through this practice.

PHASE 1 - IDENTIFY

Collect and review information to educate you and your workers on hazards likely to be present in specific work areas. Consider surveying workers for known hazards.

Inspect the workplace regularly for new or recurring hazards and update documentation.

Investigate injuries, incidents and near misses to further discover hazards and underlying causes.

PHASE 2 - ASSESS

Analyze injury and incident data for trends, including hazards reported and the nature of the situations. This should include emergency and nonroutine activities.

Measure likelihood and consequence of encountering each hazard identified so you may prioritize corrective actions.

PHASE 3 - RESPOND

Correct where possible by removing hazards as they are found or reengineering the process to avoid them.

Mitigate against remaining hazards through administrative safety controls and equip workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) for further hazard mitigation.

Reperform and train on this practice periodically for continuous improvement of your health and safety program.

Your First Action

We support OSHA’s guidance and encourage you to proactively implement the above process into your health and safety program. This will help reduce overall risk to your workers by controlling for hazards and limiting exposure.

Not sure where to start? At Ansell, we strive to be your valued safety partner on your path to safety leadership. That’s why we offer AnsellGUARDIAN®, our free consultative service to assist you with on the job hazard analysis and selecting the appropriate PPE to improve safety, increase productivity and reduce costs. We are committed to helping your workers get home safely - and lowering your contribution to the statistics!

Every workplace presents its own collection of primary hazards. By focusing our knowledge of each industry, we provide an easily referenceable resource to help you begin customizing your health and safety procedures for the applications and risks faced. Learn more about hazards specific to your industry, explore AnsellGUARDIAN® and browse our portfolio of recommended PPE here.

 

References

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2018
  2. https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/hazard-Identification.html