Hazard Prevention & Control

To effectively control and prevent hazards, employers should:

  • Involve workers, who often have the best understanding of the conditions that create hazards and insights into how they can be controlled.
  • Identify and evaluate options for controlling hazards, using a "hierarchy of controls."
  • Use a hazard control plan to guide the selection and implementation of controls, and implement controls according to the plan.
  • Develop plans with measures to protect workers during emergencies and nonroutine activities.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing controls to determine whether they continue to provide protection, or whether different controls may be more effective.
  • Review new technologies for their potential to be more protective, more reliable, or less costly.

Identify Control Options

A wealth of information exists to help employers investigate options for controlling identified hazards. Before selecting any control options, it is essential to solicit workers' input on their feasibility and effectiveness. Employers should: 

  • Collect, organize, and review information with workers to determine what types of hazards may be present and which workers may be exposed or potentially exposed.
  • Review sources such as OSHA standards and guidance, industry consensus standards, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) publications, manufacturers' literature, and engineering reports to identify potential control measures.
  • Keep current on relevant information from trade or professional associations.
  • Investigate control measures used in other workplaces and determine whether they would be effective at their workplace.
  • Get input from workers who may be able to suggest and evaluate solutions based on their knowledge of the facility, equipment, and work processes.
  • For complex hazards, consult with safety and health experts, including OSHA's On-site Consultation Program. 

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