Step 3: risk control
Risk control involves deciding what needs to be done to eliminate or control the risks to health and safety.
Where possible, you should always try to remove or eliminate the problem from the workplace.
For example, could you use a different process or change the way a job is done?
If it is not possible to eliminate the hazard, the hierarchy of risk control must be used to determine the most effective measures to minimise the risks.
Hierarchy of control for risk
1. Design or reorganise to eliminate the hazard from the workplace: try to ensure hazards are identified when new materials, equipment and work systems are being planned for the workplace.
2. Remove or substitute the hazard: where possible, remove the hazard or substitute with less hazardous materials, equipment or substances.
3. Enclose or isolate the hazard: this can be done through the use of barriers, introducing a strict work area, enclosing a noisy process from workers.
4. Minimise through engineering controls: this can be done by using machine guards and effective ventilation systems.
5. Minimise the risk by adopting administrative controls: establish appropriate procedures and safe work practices such as job rotation to reduce exposure time or complacency. Time the work so fewer workers are exposed. Set up routine maintenance and housekeeping procedures. Provide training and instruction on hazard controls and correct work methods in how the job should be done to minimise the risks.
6. Provide personal protective equipment: provide suitable and properly maintained personal protective equipment and ensure your employees are trained in its proper use (examples include gloves, earplugs, safety glasses, etc.).
If no single control is appropriate, a combination of the above controls needs to be taken to lower the risk as much as practical.