1. Hazard assessment involves three things – identification, communication and control.

    Do a pre-job hazard assessment at the beginning of every shift, and after returning from a break. Know your surroundings and ask yourself if there are people, materials, equipment or environmental factors that could compromise the health and safety of yourself or someone else.

    Also, a comprehensive hazard assessment should be conducted at least every year or whenever circumstances change – such as a new type of job or site, new equipment or processes, etc..

    To conduct a comprehensive hazard assessment, first look at the type of work and any related activities.  Identify the hazards, again keeping people, equipment, materials and the environment in mind. Then, considering severity, probability and frequency, prioritize the hazards so that the most dangerous conditions are dealt with first.  The hierarchy of controls (Engineering, Administrative and PPE) should then be used to determine which controls are necessary to eliminate or reduce the hazards to acceptable limits.  Communicate the hazards to everyone involved, and assign the appropriate person(s) and a timeline to have the corrective actions met.  And don’t forget to follow up to ensure that the corrective actions were taken.  Click here for a sample comprehensive hazard assessment.