Happy New Year!
Our latest Safetip is about conducting inspections to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented control measures.
Confirm That Controls Remain Effective
It’s not enough to identify hazards, evaluate risks, and identify and implement controls.
Circumstances change. There can be new employees, new equipment, a change in a procedure, a change in the layout of the workplace, or other types of change that may introduce a new hazard, or impact the risk and the control put in place.
Conduct inspections regularly to make sure that controls remain effective. This is also a recommend practice from OSHA.
OSHA suggests that you verify the following:
- Are engineering controls operating as designed?
- Are work practices, administrative controls, and PPE policies being followed?
- Are controls being used correctly and consistently?
- Do workers understand the controls, including how to operate them? Have they been appropriately trained?
Make sure to involve employees in the evaluation of controls.
If controls are not effective, either modify them or identify and implement better ones.
Keep the Hierarchy of Controls in Mind
After conducting an inspection to evaluate the effectiveness of a control, if your conclusion is that the control is not effective, remember to go back to the hierarchy of controls.
Don’t just think about improving or changing the control. Determine also if there’s an opportunity to implement a more effective control measure.
If you were using administrative controls or PPE, determine if you can use engineering controls instead, or if you can eliminate or substitute the hazard.
Administrative controls and PPE are less costly to implement, but they offer less protection. Elimination, substitution and engineering controls are costlier, and potentially may not be feasible in some instances, but they are much more effective solutions to protect workers.
Our Safetips share safety tips or best practices that contribute to safety excellence. Visit Enablon Insights regularly for new Safetips!