In order to recognize potential hazards in the workplace, there are a few crucial steps you need to go through. This simple guide will help you assess hazards at work and protect your employees from getting injured.
Collect existing information about workplace hazards
According to OSHA, the first thing you should do is collect any existing information on workplace hazards. The most reliable way to do it is to go through hazards recorded in previous assessments, but you can also take a look at some job hazards analyses, talk to your front-line workers about their work experience and risks on site, and so on.
Another reliable approach is to take a look at guidelines outlined by organizations such as OSHA or some other organizations depending on where you live. This is one of the most reliable ways to examine all of the potential hazards that can happen at work and how you can prevent them.
Inspect the Workplace for Safety Hazards
Now that you’ve examined all of the previous causes of hazards as well as all of the potential ones, it’s time for you to inspect your workplace. It’s important to do these inspections regularly since new hazards may arise whenever your procedures change, you start using new tools, or when job tasks get altered.
It’s important for you to inspect your location and let your workers know they should be looking out for hazards such as trips, slips, and falls. In addition to that, you should also inspect all of your equipment and make sure it’s working properly and safe to use.
Identify Health-Related Hazards
Workplace hazards don’t just involve slips, falls, and trips. There can be certain health-related hazards there as well that can pose risk to your employees. These can be harder to spot, but there’s still a way for you to identify them and protect your employees. You can start by examining the chemicals and/or any other substances you may be working with that your employees come in contact with regularly. You should also be familiar with the health conditions of your workers and any health issues they may have. This way, you can prevent a health-related hazard from happening if for example, one of your employees has a severe allergic reaction and you know in advance how to best react and help them in the moment of crisis.
Conduct Incident Investigations
You should also review the previous incidents that occurred in the workplace and conduct an incident investigation. You need to be able to detect how certain incidents happened, what caused them, what injuries those incidents caused, and how you can prevent them from happening again. You should also look into what actions were taken the last time the incident occurred and if they were efficient enough. If not, you should re-evaluate your approach and make changes accordingly. At the end of the day, all of your employees need to be let in on this workplace investigation and have all of the necessary information you’ve gathered so that they know how to prevent such incidents or react accordingly if they do occur.
Provide safety training for your employees
All the Australian companies, especially those working on construction sites are required to get some form of professional training for their staff in order to ensure their safety at work. Your employees need to be trained to detect potential hazards as well.
For instance, confined space training is extremely important for workplaces where possible hazards and incidents can occur due to external factors and the size of the worksite. To make sure your employees know how to approach potentially dangerous working areas and know how to protect themselves and others, you should rely on professionals such as Zokal Safety Australia to provide you with training courses where your employees can learn all about workplace hazards and how to protect themselves.
Identify Hazards Associated with Emergency Situations
Lastly, you need to be able to detect any hazards within emergency situations. For instance, what will you do if you have a sudden COVID-19 outbreak? You need to be able to react quickly and take appropriate measures. You should be able to implement the right protocols and help your employees, especially in an emergency.
In conclusion, if you examine the guideline, assess the previous incidents, train your staff, and learn how to react in emergency situations, you’ll be able to efficiently detect hazards at work and prevent them.