Why do a hazard assessment? No matter the size or type of business, there are situations, conditions or things that may be dangerous to the safety or health of workers. It’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure the workplace hazards are identified and eliminated or controlled so workers stay healthy and safe on the job. Hazard assessments are a core part of every occupational health and safety management system. They allow the employer to focus their efforts in the right areas and develop worker training, inspections, emergency response plans, etc., specific to the hazards on their work site(s). There’s another good reason for an employer to do hazard assessments. It’s the law. A formal hazard assessment takes a close look at the overall operations of an organization to identify hazards, measure risk (to help prioritize hazards), and develop, implement and monitor related controls. Worker jobs or types of work are broken down into separate tasks. Formal hazard assessments are detailed, can involve many people, and will require time to complete. Figure out what people do. List all work tasks/activities. Identify the hazards of each task. Rank the hazards according to risk. Find ways to eliminate or control the hazards. Implement the selected controls. Communicate the hazards and follow the controls. Monitor the controls for effectiveness. Review and revise the hazard assessment as needed.

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