Safety Tips Injury prevention Recordkeeping and reporting

What hazards could you be missing?

Photo: Drazen_/gettyimages

A cord stretched over a walkway that you have to step over.

A repetitive process that begins to give you shoulder pain.

A jobsite where you're cold while you're working.

A burnt-out light bulb on the path that you use to walk to and from your vehicle.

What do all of these things have in common?

They’re all potential hazards, which is why it’s so important for workers to always be on the lookout for dangers.

Hazard reporting is a critical part of any safety program and should be done as soon as a hazard is identified.

“Don’t assume that someone else has seen and reported it already, even if it seems obvious to you,” the National Safety Council says. “It’s better to have multiple reports on the same hazard than none at all.”

Common workplace hazards include loud noises, poor lighting, exposure to chemicals, extreme temperatures and more. Control them by:

  • Engineering out the hazard, or completely changing the process or the environment to eliminate it. Or, substitute the hazard by replacing it with a safer alternative.
  • Applying administrative controls, in which you use policies or procedures to prevent exposure to the hazard. This can include establishing a system to properly handle chemicals or having workers rotate between repetitive tasks.
  • Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves or safety glasses, to create a barrier between you and the hazard.

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