What is a Hazard Analysis?

A hazard analysis is a thorough evaluation of hazards that may exist in a workplace. Hazards are defined as any situation or object that may potentially be a source of harm or result in damage to property. 

In simple terms, anything or any circumstance that can result in an occupational safety issue is a hazard. Employers are responsible for conducting a thorough analysis in order to identify, mitigate, or eliminate all hazards in the workplace. To do this, they must conduct a hazard analysis. 

How To Conduct a Hazard Analysis

There are three main steps involved in conducting a hazard analysis: identification, evaluation, and defining controls to mitigate or eliminate them. 

1. Identifying Hazards

The first step is for EHS teams to properly identify hazards in the workplace. In general, hazards in the workplace can be broadly categorized into different categories:

  1. Biological hazards
  2. Chemical hazards
  3. Physical hazards

The first step is for EHS teams to prepare a list of all the hazards that exist in the work environment. This may require EHS teams to conduct interviews and leverage employee experience and knowledge, as well as reviewing any document issues with production. 

They will also have to rely on their knowledge and understanding of work processes to create a detailed list of all hazards. This is an incredibly important step, and teams are required to be as methodical as possible so that they don’t overlook any step.

2. Evaluating the Risks

The next step is to evaluate the risks of these hazards. A risk is essentially the likelihood of that hazard occurring, and the severity of damage it may cause. 

When evaluating the risks posed by hazards, EHS teams will want to look at existing procedures and controls, and test their effectiveness. Furthermore, they may also rely on their experience and knowledge to better understand the risks.

A detailed report must be prepared, explaining why a hazard is unlikely to occur, or if it’s likely to occur, the report must include its significance and the extent of damage or injury it’s likely to cause.

It’s important to define the severity of the hazards too. Some hazards don’t pose any safety effect, while others might result in major effects that affect safety margins and may cause injuries or environmental damage. 

If the severity is deemed hazardous, it could result in a serious injury to employees, which may ultimately prove to be fatal. Certain hazards might be deemed catastrophic, which means they might result in multiple casualties. 

The report must also include the likelihood of these hazards, ranging from extremely improbable to highly likely. This helps companies in establishing the priority of which hazard to deal with first. 

3. Devising Controls

Once the company has identified potential hazards, the next step is to devise control measures to mitigate or eliminate the risks that they pose. 

This involves creating a report detailing the measures, including how they would help in controlling the hazards. For instance, if there are specific tasks to be performed, the report must specify:

  • The tasks
  • The order in which they must be carried out
  • The operating procedures
  • The frequency 
  • Who is responsible for carrying out the tasks

Any evidence that shows how the measures can control a hazard must be included within the report, demonstrating just how effective the control hazards are. 

Not all hazards can be fully eliminated. In some cases, companies only devise control measures that bring these hazards within acceptable safety levels. 

Educating and Training Employees

The final step involves educating and training employees about how to effectively mitigate these hazards. Employee commitment and collaboration is extremely important, without which it’s impossible for companies to create a safer work environment.

Companies must disseminate safety plans and make sure that employees receive adequate training about how to mitigate the hazards that exist in the workplace.

Use Protex AI to Conduct a More Accurate Hazard Analysis

Protex AI is a workplace safety solution that uses artificial intelligence to help companies identify hazards in the workplace and gather video evidence of different hazards.

Once they have this data, EHS teams are in a better position to identify various hazards and create more effective plans to control them. More importantly, Protex AI allows companies to track how their safety measures are performing, or if employees are complying with instructions. 

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