Once the hazards have been identified and prioritized, the necessary steps must be taken to correct them. The employer must eliminate hazards at the source in the workplace by implementing corrective measures and putting protective measures in place for workers. Until a permanent solution is found, workers must be protected. If a hazard cannot be eliminated, it must be reduced and controlled by using the hierarchy of controls.
Hierarchy of controls
To choose a control to be implemented, one must refer to the hierarchy of controls. The objective is to eliminate the hazard at the source. When this is not possible, at least 2 preventive measures must be combined for each hazard that has been identified.
- 1. Eliminate the hazard at the source
Eliminating the hazard at the source is the most effective preventive measure. One way to do this would be to purchase or use equipment that is well designed, safe and meets regulatory requirements or to remove hazardous equipment from the workplace.
- 2. Substitute materials, processes or equipment
When the hazard cannot be eliminated at the source, the most effective corrective measure is often to replace hazardous materials, processes or equipment.
For example, the employer could provide for the use of equivalent but less toxic chemicals, materials that give off less dust, gas or fumes.
- 3. Implement engineering controls
Engineering controls reduce the likelihood of a hazardous event occurring and must be applied whenever the hazard cannot be eliminated.
They reduce the hazard by preventing or limiting access or exposure to the hazard, by reducing the energy available or by changing the way the worker comes in contact with the hazard.
Engineering controls include, for example:
- installing a protective guard
- commissioning a high-efficiency ventilation system
- installing furniture to protect staff working with potentially aggressive clients
- 4. Use systems that increase awareness
Raising staff awareness of occupational health and safety hazards means putting in place measures that improve workers’ ability to detect hazards and be vigilant.
These measures can take various forms, such as:
- delineating the work area and danger zones
- using warning devices when a hazard is present, for example, an audible alarm, warning light or poster
- 5. Introduce administrative controls
Administrative controls are methods that improve the ability of staff to work safely.
They include, for example:
- a rotational task schedule to reduce exposure to the hazard
- well-defined work and maintenance methods
- clear and known emergency measures
- oversight mechanisms
- policies and instructions regarding work organization, assignment of tasks and occupational health and safety responsibilities
- 6. Provide and use personal protective equipment
When all other preventive measures are not sufficient to ensure the health and safety of workers, personal protective Equipment can allow staff to work safely. Wearing personal protective equipment cannot be the only preventive measure put in place. It must be combined with another preventive measure to increase its effectiveness.
It is often necessary to combine several preventive measures to ensure the health, safety and physical well-being of workers.
- For each hazard that cannot be eliminated at the source, 2 effective corrective measures must be put in place that, at the very least, comply with the regulations. You can use the template as a guide (French only).
- For each corrective measure, 2 controls must be put in place to ensure the corrective measures will be permanent and to prevent a hazard from recurring in the workplace.
To ensure corrective measures are permanent
|Filling shelves with goods||Frequent handling of heavy loads||
Use of mechanical handling equipment (pallet truck, trolley)
- Maintenance of equipment included in the preventive maintenance program
- Annual training
Training on manual handling techniques
- Monthly safety reminder by the supervisor
- Posters showing the correct postures posted in areas where there is material handling