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The hierarchy of control measures

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When working in hazardous environments, there is certain control measures put in place to ensure everyone’s safety. A control measure is an action aimed towards eliminating a potential hazard completely. When hazards can’t be completely eliminated, a system of control levels must be followed to select the next best control to prevent the accident or injury risk. Here are some of the steps on the hierarchy of control measures:

Elimination

Elimination is considered as the most effective measure as it rids the environment of the hazard completely. This is easiest to achieve when new processes are being introduced but more difficult to implement with existing processes. Elimination is considered as the most effective measure as it rids the environment of the hazard completely. This is easiest to achieve when new processes are being introduced but more difficult to implement with existing processes. Elimination means ridding the workplace of materials, processes, equipment and chemicals that are unnecessary.

Substitution

The next best measure if you cannot eliminate is to substitute. Consider the potentially hazardous materials that are being used and see if they can be switched with less hazardous substances or smaller amounts to still achieve the desired result.

Engineering Controls –

Isolation

This involves removing or lessening hazards by separating them in space or time. This is a useful method if the work area is shared between different processes or chemicals at different times.

Enclosure

Any potentially hazardous materials or practices could be carried out in a  closed atmosphere or system.

Transportation

Hazardous substances or processes could be moved to a location where there are fewer workers.

Guarding

These help protect from moving components or electrical connections.

Shielding

This provides strong protection from the risk of potential explosion.

Ventilation

Another control measure is effective ventilation. This includes the use of air ducts, filters, fans and fume hoods. For top quality components for ventilation systems, like a Spiral Duct, visit Dust Spares.

Administrative Controls

These seek to minimise a worker’s exposure to hazardous working conditions and include health and safety regulations and local protocols put in place to keep workers safe. These could include:

Standard operating procedures

Checklists

Training

Risk assessment

No lone working

Personal Protective Equipment

The hierarchy of control measures places PPE as the least effective but it remains vital, especially if other measures fail. When working in hazardous environments, there are certain control measures put in place to ensure everyone’s safety. A control measure is an action aimed towards eliminating a potential hazard completely. When hazards can’t be completely eliminated, a system of control levels must be followed to select the next best control to prevent the accident or injury risk. PPE include goggles, ear defenders, gloves, face masks and protective clothing.