workers safety and health
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Hierarchy of Safety & Health Controls

From Most Effective to Least Effective

1. Elimination or Substitution

substitute safe materials for hazardous ones
reduce energy; speed, voltage, sound level, force
change process to eliminate noise
perform task at ground level
automate material handling

2. Engineering Controls

ventilation systems
machine guarding
sound enclosures
circuit breakers
platforms and guard railing
lift tables, conveyors

3. Warning

computer warnings
odors
backup alarms
labels

4. Training and Administrative Controls

safe job procedures
rotation of workers
safety equipment inspections
worker training
lockout

5. Personal Protective Equipment

safety glasses
ear plugs
face shields
safety harnesses
back belts

In simplest terms the idea is to redesign the workplace to fit the needs of workers. Training workers and providing personal protective equipment is, unfortunately, necessary but to create a truly safe and healthy workplace requires substituting dangerous chemicals for less harmful ones, designing workstations to cause less harm to workers, and making the health and safety of the workplace and the environment primary concerns in workplace design.

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SEMCOSH 7752 W. Vernor #103, Detroit, Michigan 48209
2004 SEMCOSH