18 May How to Conduct a Hazard Assessment of Your Workplace
The Hazard Assessment consists of a workplace walkthrough where potential hazards are identified. These hazards may belong to one of the following categories: Impact, Penetration, Compression (roll-over), Chemical, Heat/cold, Harmful dust, Light (optical) radiation, and Biologic.
Where should a hazard assessment be performed?
According to OSHA, priority should go to the following types of jobs:
- Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates;
- Jobs with the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness, even if there is no history of previous accidents;
- Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury;
- Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures; and
- Jobs complex enough to require written instructions.
During the walkthrough, the auditor must consider the potential sources of the above hazards. Understanding these sources is essential to mitigating the hazards. After the walkthrough is complete, the collected hazard data must be utilized determine the type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for workers to use in order to work in that environment safely.
The Hazard Assessment must be documented with the following information:
- Identification of the workplace evaluated; Name of the person conducting the assessment; Date of the assessment; and Identification of the document certifying completion of the hazard assessment.
Hazard Assessments will examine each step of the job to discover potential hazards. The data collected provides recommendations for the safest way to do the job. Pre-planning to avoid hazards is vital to avoid workplace incidents.