Hazard Identification is one of the first steps in preventing and mitigating HSE events and incidents. The Hazard Wheel is a visual reference tool to help workers quickly assess the hazards the could expect to encounter while performing their work.
Hazard Identification and Risk Mitigation
While hazard identification by itself won't keep you or your employees safe while working on the job, it is one of the first steps needed to eliminate or mitigate the risk associated with a specific work activity. Hazard Identification is also a very important part of any Behavior Based Safety Program.
Helping your employees identify the various hazards they could encounter requires simple, easy to follow tools. The Hazard Wheel is a great visual reference to help your workers quickly identify those hazards.
The Hazard Wheel lists nine individual hazards that could be present during the course of any job you or your employees engage in, but not all nine are present during every job.
The nine hazards identified by the Hazard Wheel are:
The energy from the motion of mechanical parts. This hazard is usually present when dealing with manual handling, hand tools, and other physical pieces of equipment.
The hazards associated with temperature could be due to extreme heat or extreme cold and could cause an immediate physical reaction (like a burn), or could cause damage over long exposure.
The presence of chemicals have very different risks depending on the types of chemicals and how they are mixed. The risk of explosion, poisonous vapor and burns are just a few of the dangers associated with chemical hazards.
Radiation may be present in small amounts in a lot of jobs you don't realize, but in high enough concentration can lead to sever health risks.
Even relatively low sound levels can be hazardous through prolonged Exposure. The presence of sound could also make audible warnings harder to hear and cause other hazards to pose a greater risk to personnel.
Gravity represents the potential for dropped objects. The greater the mass of the object and the greater the height of its fall, the greater the potential for damage to equipment and injury to personnel.
Motion has the ability to turn mechanical equipment into a potential hazard.
Electrical hazards can pose a significant risk to personnel, yet remain invisible until its stored energy is discharged.
While high pressure systems get the most attention, even low pressure systems with sufficient volumes can cause a catastrophic failure and significant damage to personnel and equipment.
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The best way to eliminate incidents, is to eliminate the hazards associated with the work. While this is not always possible it is important to understand the potential hazards and mitigate the risks associated with those hazards. Your last line of defense is the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
At Ringers Gloves, we believe that safety is the most important aspect of working in hazardous industries, that's why we put a significant amount of research and development into every pair of Ringer Gloves focusing on Form, Fit and Function with our F3 Technology.
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While we manufacture the highest quality hand protection on the market, we are also dedicated to keeping employees who work in every type of hazardous professions safe, so we write about topics that will help our audience achieve a zero incident workplace and not just those related to hand safety.