Safety Hierarchy Of Controls [6 Steps Of Hazard Prevention]

You can seperate yourself from hazard while working because there is always a risk involved in the work. The thing you can do is reduce risk. OSHA had posted Hazard Prevention and Control on there website which is a hierarchy also known as safety hierarchy of controls which can help you with hazard prevention and control.

Yes there is a hierarchy do exist for risk control. As you all are aware about what is risk but still as a part of refreshment to the concept, In occupational safety and health risk is considered as likelihood that a person may be harmed or suffers adverse health effects if exposed to a hazard.

safety hierarchy of controls
safety hierarchy of controls

The thing we need to understand is there is no such word like Zero risk exist. Risk can not be zero and ever work that we do includes risk to some extent. All we can do is, we can reduce the risk and that is what we are going to learn in this article i.e what is safety hierarchy of controls and how hierarchy of risk control help us to reduce the risk. So if you want to learn hierarchy of control then continue reading.

What are the six steps of the hierarchy of risk control?

  1. Elimination 
  2. Substitution
  3. Isolation
  4. Engineering
  5. Administration
  6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

These are the 6 basic steps that are known as the hierarchy of control which can be apply to control accidents. As we had learned the name of the safety hierarchy of controls, let us dive in to know each of these in detail.

1. Elimination 

The first choice for how to reduce or eliminate a hazard is elimination. Elimination is the first step safety hierarchy of controls which propose to remove the hazard or danger involved from the job/process.

Eg- If in a process, a chemical is use which is very explosive then design a process in which that explosive chemical is eliminated.

2. Substitution

This steps states to replace the step which is more risky with the other one which contains no risk or very less risk

Eg- A chemical reaction, non conductive solvent is use and as you not it is very hard to handle is as they more prone to static charge, Hence design a process such that non conductive solvent is replace with conductive solvent.

3. Isolation

This involves step comes into picture when the risk involved in the job which can’t be eliminated os substituted then it is recommended to isolate and reduce the danger involved in the job.

Eg. – If vessel entry is to be taken in a reactor and the stirrer in that job is a potential hazard. To reduce the hazard we use log out tag out procedure to de-energized the stirrer and hence isolate it.

4. Engineering control

Engineering controls are the methods/steps taken to reduce danger involved in the job with the help of mechanical means.

Eg- Belt conveyor and pump had rotating components where machine guarding works as a engineering control to reduce risk and hazard in industries. These machine guards, effective ventilation systems etc protects working person’s body parts from accidental contact with those rotating machine parts.

5. Administration control

This controls are the actions taken by the administration or the management towards reducing the potential harm that can cause to the human while performing the work.

Eg 1- A chemical reaction included charging of a chemical whose STEL value is very low. Management can schedule charging time as to work for 15 min then take rest in open space for 1 hour till that other person can perform charging of that material and follow the same procedure.

Eg 2 – Work permit system (permit to work) is also a best example of administration control.

6. Personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment includes the equipment that can be use while performing job having risk and it helps the person to be safe while performing. PPE’s are of various types and protect different body parts.

  • Head – Helmet,
  • Foot – safety shoes
  • Hand – Nitrile, PVC coated fabric gloves, Leather Gloves, Cotton/Fabric Gloves
  • Whole body – PVC suits boiler suits, aprons, chemical suits
  • Eyesface shield, goggles 

Eg- Wearing safety shoes and safety helmets are compulsory for every person working in an industry.

These were the 6 steps process of hierarchy of hazard control which can help you to identify potential hazard at you workplace and applying this process you can reduce hazard and create workplace safety.

Wrapping Up

Hope this post on the safety hierarchy of controls which includes 6 steps of the hierarchy of risk control helps you to have better understanding on this important occupation safety and health topic. The best outcome of this article can be, you finding out some implementation in your organization and make work culture more safe. In case you relate these hazard prevention along with hierarchy of controls then do comment and also don’t forgot to check out Industrial safety section where we had more articles related to safety at workplace.

Me - Founder of Chemical Tweak - A Chemical Engineer by profession and a part-time self-trained technology blogger.

Leave a Comment