A Workflow for Field Level Hazard Assessment

Any work environment contains elements of risk. The dominant risk factor cannot even be avoided as  humans can create the greatest risk of all. We all make mistakes. That said, the other risk factors can be addressed and mitigated with the application of  a proper risk management  process .

The effective running of any business or activity demands supervision. Making sure that the physical work space is as safe as possible requires what is known as a field level hazard assessment. This is a safety  process which contains a few basic steps to be done in order which, when applied will measurably increase workplace safety. It is important, at the outset, to have a safety meeting with anyone and everyone who will be involved in this process to make sure they are all well informed on expectations, analysis, and  the controls to mitigate the hazards.

Once a hazard is identified, the first step is to assess the hazard. The immediate concerns and  the highest level of threats should be addressed first, but that is not all assessment means in this context.  The entire group must participate and bring to the meeting their ideas of what are hazardous and what to do about them, their knowledge brought to the team is the most effective  way to  protect  all  against injury and loss .

Once the  site has been assessed for the hazards, the next step is to control these. There are  several ways to mitigate hazards, there is elimination of the problem entirely, there are engineering controls which are put in place as part of the design of the project, there are administrative controls, practices and procedures for the best and safest way to so the job, the last line of defence is personal protective equipment.

Once the hazard has been controlled to the appropriate standards, the next step in the workflow is to  carry out the work, but there should be regular reviews of the work and hazards throughout the day to ensure that the risks are still being controlled . It is important that this step is understood as a part of the process  and ensures continuous hazard assessment and control.  Once you review the hazards, have everyone involved, sign off on it again.

You can make your workplace as safe as  practicable,  follow legislation and this workflow will help.

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