Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Poster of the Month, October 2014: Dealing with hazards in the workplace


We can't remove every hazard from our workplace, but we can:

  1. Warn others of the hazard
  2. Isolate the hazard
  3. Control the hazard
  4. Direct others to avoid the hazard

Respond to hazards quickly and carefully or it could be the end of the road

October's Poster of the Month looks at ways of tackling workplace hazards, using road signs to illustrate each example.

In an ideal world we could eliminate all the hazards that make our workplaces dangerous but, in the real world we can only acknowledge them and deal with them appropriately

What is a hazard?

According to the HSE:

"A hazard is something (e.g. an object, a property of a substance, a phenomenon or an activity) that can cause adverse effects."

Examples may include:

  • a newly washed floor, or accidental spill, that could cause a slip hazard
  • working with hazardous materials, for example in a paint spray shop
  • excessive noise, which could cause hearing damage
  • maintenance or renovations happening in one part of the building

Dealing with hazards

As the poster points out, there are different ways of dealing with different hazards. The following are examples of how this advice might be put into practice.

1. Warn others of the hazard
  • Make sure all permanent hazards are highlighted with appropriate signage, such as warning signs, no-entry signs, mandatory PPE signs etc
  • Supervise visitors correctly — advise them of hazards and make sure they wear appropriate PPE while on site
  • Use temporary signs for temporary hazards, such as putting out a wet floor sign after washing the floor

2. Isolate the hazard

  • Isolate areas where hazardous activities take place and specify that only authorised personnel are allowed to enter
  • If possible, block off areas where there are temporary hazardous conditions, such as areas where outside contractors are working 

3. Control the hazard

  • Ensure employees adhere to the site rules and wear the correct PPE when carrying out hazardous tasks
  • Advise employees to make sure their PPE is fit for purpose — it should fit them properly and be in good condition
  • Ensure chemicals are labelled correctly and that safety data sheets are available for supplementary advice and information on the chemicals in use

4. Direct others to avoid the hazard

  • Use no-entry or authorised personnel only signs to prevent unauthorised access to hazardous areas
  • Use authorised cordons, cones and diversion signs to block, and direct people away from, temporary hazardous conditions
  • Use clearly marked walkways to segregate pedestrians from vehicle movement areas and dangerous or moving machinery

Kodiak Industrial regularly produce posters on all of the above subjects. We also produce a range of hazard warning signs, including custom-made signs.

Visit our website to find out more about how our posters and our workplace poster programme can help you address hazards in your workplace.

Alternatively, give us a call on 01530 456 000 to discuss your needs.

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