Why Do a Hazard Assessment?

Posted by on Jul 28, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments
Why Do a Hazard Assessment?

Hazard assessments and controls provide a consistent process for companies to identify and control hazards. It focuses efforts towards developing worker training, inspections, emergency response plans etc. It is required by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety legislation for employers to conduct hazard assessments and eliminate the hazards or implement controls to protect workers.

Besides protecting workers from identified hazards, hazard assessments may also:

  • Inspire improvements in day-to-day operations, becoming more proactive
  • Show workers they are important and valued, and demonstrate employer commitment
  • Focus attention on workplace health and safety and areas in need of improvement
  • Result in a more consistent, efficient and effective workplace
  • Lower operating costs by having fewer claims

A formal hazard assessment looks at the overall operations to identify hazards, measure risk and develop, implement and monitor controls. Each job has its own hazard assessment where the tasks are broken down in detail. The employer must involve and inform all affected workers in the hazard assessment and in the control or elimination of the hazards identified. It should be completed when:

  • Early in the development of an organization’s occupational health and safety management system
  • A new work process is introduced
  • A work process or operation changes
  • Before construction of significant additions or alterations to a work site

A process of how to do a formal hazard assessment is the following:

  1. Figure out what workers do
  2. List all work tasks and activities
  3. Identify hazards of each task
  4. Rank the hazards according to risk
  5. Find ways to eliminate or control the hazards
  6. Implement the selected controls
  7. Communicate the hazards and follow the controls
  8. Monitor the controls for effectiveness
  9. Review and revise hazard assessment as needed

A site-specific or field-level hazard assessment is completed before work begins, when conditions change and/or when non-routine work is added. Hazards are specific to the location and are to be eliminated or controlled before work begins at a new work site or if new hazards are introduced. The employer must involve all affected workers in the hazard assessment and in the control or elimination of the hazards identified before work continues.

A process of how to do a site-specific hazard assessment is the following:

  1. Figure out what tasks will take place on site today
  2. Identify hazards
  3. Eliminate or controls the hazards
  4. Communicate the hazards and follow the controls
  5. Repeat when there are changes to the work site

Referenced: https://work.alberta.ca/documents/ohs-best-practices-BP018.pdf

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