Singling out the most dangerous tasks that are associated with potential loss or injury is a really important step in making your workplace a safer place to work. If you’re not familiar with the work area or which tasks may have hidden dangers, the best course of action is to ask the workers during what tasks or type of work performed they think someone may get hurt. These workers are the job experts as they are the ones that work in that area/ perform the task, in conjunction with a hazardous material, tool, machine or equipment on a regular basis.
There are many considerations, besides the observations you carry out, while you’re putting your company’s list together, including:
- hazardous occurrence reports
- injury reports
- results of workplace inspections
- near misses
- new jobs, tools or equipment
- tasks that are rarely performed
- safety data sheets
Once you have your company’s critical job inventory complete, the next step is to conduct a risk assessment for each job step in each task. This will ensure that all hazards are identified and categorized appropriately.
Re-arranging your list so all the high-risk tasks are moved to the top will make it easy to know what safe work procedures you should start creating first. Having step-by-step, safe instructions will greatly lower the risk of injury or illness in your workplace. The way to lower the risk even further is to train the safe work procedures to any worker that will be working in that area or with that hazardous material, tool, machine or equipment.
It doesn’t stop there: these procedures will need to be reviewed regularly to identify if any changes need to be made to the steps, tools, machinery or personal protective equipment.
While we can understand this may be a big project to accomplish, RPM is always here to help you make your workplace a safe place for all. Reach out to an RPM Safety Advisor today to let us provide you with the tools and support to get started!