Safety and Hazard Management

One approach to thinking about safety management is to talk about the control of energy. This can be chemical energy, biological and most often, kinetic energy. That is, energy caused by movement. This category can be further broken down into twisting, shearing, direct, heat etc and the aim is to identify how to manage potential injuries that can result from transfer of energy to the person.

There is also the categories of planned or visible movement energy, and then the unplanned. When dealing with the obvious safety hazards we need to attempt to first eliminate the movement. However, quite often this is not possible (!) so we move into the next form of control, isolation. We use barriers, and guards  that separate the worker from the equipment that could transfer the energy. 

Other movements then come from the unplanned category – the unexpected. Insecure loads, pallets stacked incorrectly or too high, lights not working that will indicate a backing vehicle, equipment that breaks and transfers loads energy to people. Basically, a lot of unexpected accidents are preventable by having in place systems to ensure equipment are maintained, people are trained in use of equipment, and procedures are written down to instruct staff how to do a task quickly, and safely.

When the unexpected does occur though, then an emergency response needs to be robust enough that it can deal will all likely accidents within your workplace and location. This may require a first aid safety response as a first response.