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How to Best Identify Potential Workplace Hazards

Guest Author | Eric Blair

Job safety is of utmost importance to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or more commonly known as OSHA. For this reason, employers can request a OSHA representative to assess their workplace for potential dangers. A job site hazard by definition is a source or potential source of human injury or death. Some employers like to check their job sites for potential hazards before the OSHA representative arrives. The following are some tips for doing just that:

Review records:

Many times, a potential hazard is recognized by reviewing past accident reports. For example, if an employer notices that there are several injuries associated with a particular piece of equipment, likelihood is that machinery needs a safety assessment.

Ask employees:

Employees that actually work with the equipment and do the job will know some potential hazards. Employers should take advantage of their first-hand knowledge, and use their information to identify possible dangers. This also benefits employees as they feel they are helping make their workplace safer.

Call a professional:

Employers can call in a professional to analyze the job site. This is helpful if the employer is not familiar with all the equipment or how to perform a particular job. Some employers appreciate having an outsider’s perspective before having a OSHA representative assessment.

Be aware of likely hazards:

Most job hazards include dangers such as loud equipment, slippery surfaces, employees dealing with heights and potential falls, proper safety equipment usage, machinery operation or malfunction or objects falling on employees. Employers should consider all these situations when identifying dangers. It is also helpful to browse OSHA’s website for common safety issues applicable to the employer’s specific work environment.

It is vitally important for employers to access their workplace for potential hazards to employees or visitors. Although it is not possible to foresee every accident, being aware of potential problems can help reduce the likelihood of them occurring. Employers should follow the above tips to begin the process of accessing their workplace, or they can call in a professional to do the job. OSHA provides help in this area too and promises they will not fine any employer for current safety violations if they ask for an assessment. They will give the employer a chance to correct the problems pointed out before they enact any penalties. Because there are so many options, employers have their choice of ways to access their workplace for hazards. The most important step; however, is to do the job hazard assessment.

Eric Blair writes about construction site and workplace safety equipment from Fall Protection USA that prevents unpleasant accidents.

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