How does a job hazard analysis work for PPE?

Performing a hazard assessment, also referred to as the job hazard analysis, is crucial to understand the hazards in the workplace, the severity of the hazards, and which steps in the hierarchy of hazards will be most effective. This should be completed by a few people, optimally including the facility manager and safety manager. Common hazards to be on the lookout for while completing a job hazard analysis includes unsafe shortcuts, improper equipment, and a lack of awareness. The following are steps to conduct and complete a hazard analysis in a facility:

  • Observe the job: Observe the different steps that goes into completing a job and identify specific steps that are performed so risks can be identified.
  • Identify potential hazards: Identify and record any hazards found in the steps of a job.
  • Assess the severity of the hazard: Rate each identified hazard based on the severity, the higher the severity the more resources should be invested in keeping workers safe.
  • Assess the probability of it occurring: Similar to the previous steps, calculate and understand what the chances of this hazard occurring, one in ten? One in a hundred?
  • Rate each hazard: Finally, each step of the analysis leads to rating them. The higher severity of a hazard with a high priority should be addressed immediate, and so forth.

The facility or safety manager will then need to make recommendations for each hazard using the hierarchy of hazards. This is the point that other steps should be considered before implementing personal protection equipment such as elimination, substitution, and engineering and administrative controls. If after attempting to complete the steps and a risk is still posed to employees, PPE should be provided. Based on the severity of the hazard and how common it could present itself to a worker will be a deciding factor on the chosen PPE.

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