Published 28 Apr 2022
After identifying and assigning a risk rating to a hazard, effective controls should be implemented to protect workers. Working through a hierarchy of controls can be an effective method of choosing the right control measure to reduce the risk.
Below is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Hierarchy of Controls that can help guide you in the process of formulating your organization’s control measures.
It is the most effective control. If it is possible to physically remove a hazard, it must be done.
It is the second most effective control. It proposes to replace the hazard with a safer alternative e.g. automating a manual process identified to be dangerous, buying a newer equipment model with better safety ratings, etc.
It refers to physically isolating people from the hazard if at all possible
It refers to changing the way people work. This may include procedural updates, additional training, or increasing the visibility of precautionary signs and warning labels.
It is the last line of defense if workers cannot be completely removed from a hazardous environment.
OSHA recommends the following guidelines to accomplish hazard control
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