Don’t Let Hidden Hazards Haunt Your Workplace!

October 2, 2018

Take action to scare up hazards and find the best ways to control them.

  • Conduct safety walk-arounds to systematically identify and address workplace hazards. Check out the Safe + Sound Campaign resources for tips on making yours effective: (Walk-Arounds for Safety Officers & Safety Walk-Arounds for Managers)

  • Engage your workers and promote safety with challenges, contests, and competitions to find and fix hazards in your workplace.The following are a few suggestions and resources to get you started. You can select one of these activities or choose a different activity to find and fix hazards in your organization.

  • … Play “spot the hazard”: Create an image to post in your company newsletter or break room that includes common hazards found in your workplace. Ask employees to identify the hazards and make suggestions for fixing them. You could also form teams or challenge shifts to find—and propose solutions to fix—hazards in their workspace. Award prizes to those who find the most hazards or come up with the best solutions.

  • … Hold a checklist challenge: If you don’t already have a safety checklist or standard operating procedures for your area, get workers and managers together to write procedures and create checklists or job aids. Have shifts or teams develop a checklist of potential hazards in their workspaces and suggest controls to address them. Reward and review the most thorough checklist.

  • … Hold a scavenger hunt: Form teams to find safety and health information in the workplace. Create a list of what to look for (e.g., injury log, safety data sheets, emergency shut-off valves, automated external defibrillator, PPE) and have workers document what they find. Award prizes to those who find the most items from the list.

  • … “Safety swap” between working groups: Sometimes a new set of eyes can help identify hazards that others might miss after seeing them every day. Pick a brief period of time to have participants swap workstations with co-workers in another area of your company. Ask each worker to identify and assess their co-worker’s space for potential hazards. Afterwards, ask “swappers” to share what they found with each other and brainstorm suggestions for fixing any hazards they identified together

  • … Hold a PPE fashion show: Ask workers to model the latest and safest in personal protective equipment (PPE). Tape off a “runway” on your workroom floor or in a meeting space and discuss why PPE is essential on the job while workers walk the runway. This should be an educational opportunity—include tips on why, when, and where particular PPE should be used in your facility; proper donning procedures; & equipment maintenance info. Don’t forget to share pictures or videos on your website or on social media (#SafeAndSound2018).

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  • Use checklists that highlight things to look for. Typical hazards fall into several major categories, such as those listed below; each workplace will have its own list:

  • General housekeeping

  • Slip, trip, and fall hazards

  • Electrical hazards

  • Equipment operation

  • Equipment maintenance

  • Fire protection

  • Identify health hazards For example, gases and vapors may be invisible, often have no odor, and may not have an immediately noticeable harmful health effect.

  • Health hazards include chemical hazards (solvents, adhesives, paints, toxic dusts, etc.)

  • Physical hazards (noise, radiation, heat, etc.) 

  • Biological hazards (infectious diseases)

  • Ergonomic risk factors (heavy lifting, repetitive motions, vibration). 

Play the OSHA Hazard ID Interactive Game (Windows or Mac) by downloading into Zip file then extract from the Zip file to open & play. Visit: https://www.osha.gov/hazfinder/ to see how to play & for the manual. You can also copy/paste this link into your browser: https://www.osha.gov/hazfinder/index.html. This an interactive, online, game-based training tool for small business owners, construction, manufacturing, medical workers and others interested in learning the core concepts of hazard identification. After using this tool, users will better understand the process to identify hazards in their own workplace.

 

Four different scenarios: 1. "OSHA Visual Inspection Training", 2. "Manufacturing", 3. "Construction" & 4. "Emergency Room". To view specific workplace operations, OSHA recommends playing the "OSHA Visual Inspection Training" scenario first. This scenario focuses on the visual inspection component to identify specific hazards as opposed to the larger hazard identification process.

Note: The hazards in each of these scenarios are randomized so a user can play each scenario multiple times with different hazard combinations appearing.

  • For more information and additional resources to help you establish or improve your safety and health program, visit the Safe + Sound Campaign website.
    The Safe + Sound Campaign is organized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Society of Safety Professionals, The Center for Construction Research and Training, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Safety Council, and Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association

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