It’s not enough to know what hazards are. We must be able to SEE them.
Identifying hazards in our workplace before incidents occur and taking action to mitigate or eliminate them is a key component of safety excellence by any definition. Knowing what hazards are from an intellectual standpoint is important to knowing what to look for. That intellectual knowledge, however, is not enough if we can’t ‘see’ the hazards that exist around us. Intellectual knowledge of hazards combined with the capabilities described as Visual Literacy can help us make meaning of the environment around us.
This paper outlines a four component process that can support our ability to be more successful in identifying and addressing hazards that exist in the workplace in a sustainable manner. The process involves:
Developing an inventory of the hazards we identify and determine what risks they pose.
‘Containing’ the hazard until ultimate resolution.
Determining where similar hazards may exist elsewhere and address them as well.
Finally, communicating what we have found and the action we have taken.
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