Hazards: What to do

You may not need to do anything about a hazard that either doesn't cause harm or won't happen, even though you should normally monitor it.

But if it is a risk, your first option is to eliminate it immediately if you can. You may also need to inform your supervisor, especially if it needs monitoring.

If you can't eliminate it immediately, you can report it orally to your supervisor or fill in in a hazard form for your office.

Other than eliminating a risk, risks can also be minimized by:

  • engineering controls (e.g. failsafe systems, equipment guards)
  • substituting it with a lesser hazard
  • isolating the hazard from personnel at risk
  • changing practices (e.g. safe work practices and procedures, training in First Aid or emergency procedures)
  • using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, earplugs, etc.
  • train staff in how to do it safely.

This list is called the hierarchy of control. There are several versions, but the point is that the sooner it is on the list, the better it usually is.

Stress-related risks are often managed quite differently, by monitoring effectiveness of time off and holidays, team support, debriefing, and counseling.

Ask whether the risk control will solve the problem. In many cases, this means identifying how much risk is acceptable. Be sure that a controlled risk is not unacceptably high.

Yes, I'm ready to go on.

No, I need to reread it.