Five Mistakes to Avoid When Using the Hierarchy of Hazard Control

Safeguarding workers is an essential part of fostering a productive and harmonious work environment. The Hierarchy of Hazard Control is a widely accepted framework that provides a systematic approach to mitigating risks and ensuring worker safety. 

By prioritizing control measures, the Hierarchy of Hazard Control offers a practical guide for businesses to reduce accidents and injuries. However, despite its simplicity and effectiveness, there are common mistakes that can undermine the proper implementation of this approach.

Here are five critical mistakes to avoid when using the Hierarchy of Hazard Control in your workplace:

  1. Disregarding the Hierarchy’s Order

The Hierarchy of Hazard Control is built on a specific order of control measures, starting with the most effective and ending with the least effective. The order is as follows: Elimination, Substitution, Engineering Controls, Administrative Controls, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

One common mistake is to jump straight to PPE before adequately considering the preceding control measures. While PPE is essential, it should be the last line of defense, not the primary means of hazard control. Failing to follow the correct order can result in missed opportunities to eliminate or mitigate hazards at their source.

  1. Overlooking Hazard Identification

To effectively control hazards, you must first identify them. A critical mistake is to underestimate the importance of a thorough hazard identification process. Without a comprehensive understanding of potential risks, it becomes challenging to apply the appropriate control measures. 

Take the time to conduct a detailed assessment of your workplace, involving employees, safety professionals, and even external experts if necessary. By identifying hazards accurately, you can then prioritize control measures and allocate resources effectively.

  1. Lack of Employee Involvement

Effective risk management involves the active participation of all employees. Failing to involve employees in the hazard control process can lead to overlooked hazards and ineffective control measures. Employees are often the ones with firsthand knowledge of the workplace and the tasks they perform. Engage them in hazard identification, risk assessment, and the selection of control measures. Their insights and expertise can be invaluable in determining practical and feasible solutions.

  1. Failing to Review Regularly

Risk management is not a one-time task. It requires continuous monitoring and evaluation. Another mistake to avoid is the failure to review and update control measures regularly. Hazards and work processes can change over time, making previously implemented control measures obsolete or inadequate. 

Schedule regular reviews of your hazard control strategies to ensure they remain effective. This includes evaluating the effectiveness of existing controls, identifying emerging risks, and making necessary adjustments to keep pace with evolving workplace conditions.

  1. Neglecting Training and Communication

Even with well-implemented hazard control measures, their effectiveness can be compromised if employees are not properly trained or informed. Neglecting to provide comprehensive training on hazard identification, risk assessment, and the proper use of control measures can undermine your risk management efforts. Clear communication about hazards, control measures, and any changes or updates is vital to ensure employees understand and comply with safety protocols.

SIA Insurance Group

Remember, effective hazard control requires a proactive and comprehensive approach. SIA Insurance Group is here to help you reduce accidents, increase productivity, and enhance employee well-being at your business. Give us a call today at 630-325-4000.

Hierarchy of Hazard Control


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