Though the mining industry has been making active efforts to curb the rate of accidents, there's still work to be done, as dangers to life and resources continue to provide major setbacks to operations. One major reason for workplace accidents and injuries is the inadequate identification, recognition, and prediction of hazards. A critical element of any effective safety and health program is a proactive, ongoing process to identify and assess such hazards.
To identify and assess hazards, employers and workers need to :
- Gather and analyze information about workplace hazards.
- Assess the workplace for recurring or new hazards at the beginning and periodically during operations.
- Conduct investigations into injuries, illnesses, incidents, and near misses to identify hazards, causes, and shortcomings in safety and health programs.
- Reports of injuries, illnesses, and hazards should be grouped together to identify trends.
- Consider hazards associated with emergency or non-routine situations such as maintenance, repair, or cleaning
- Prioritize corrective actions based on the severity and likelihood of incidents that may result from each hazard identified.
- Consider groups with different levels of risk, like young or inexperienced workers, disabled people, or pregnant or new mothers.
Organizations depend on creating tables to make all of the above systematic and standardized, but this is only a half measure as the traditional table entry method always falls short because of a long list of reasons.
Anything related to a hazard must be proactively captured and communicated with all the details being preserved for analysis. This is when Hazard Identification templates come into the picture, as these downloadable assets set up everything required to establish a strong culture of hazard identification at mining sites, with the front-line workers only responsible for entering/selecting data with a click.
How to start the Hazard Identification Process?
Before using the template, employees should make sure each hazard is studied thoroughly to determine its level of risk. To research the hazard, you can look at:
- Product information/manufacturer documentation.
- Past experience (knowledge from workers, etc.).
- Legislated requirements and/or applicable standards.
- Industry codes of practice / best practices.
- Information about the hazard, such as safety data sheets (SDSs), research studies, or other information from the manufacturer.
- Information from reputable organizations.
- Results of testing workplace and employee conditions
- Professional expertise in occupational health and safety.
- Information about previous injuries, illnesses, near misses, incident reports, etc.
- Observation of the process or task.
Remember to include factors that contribute to the level of risk such as:
- The work environment (layout, condition, etc.).
- The systems of work being used.
- The range of foreseeable conditions.
- The way the source may cause harm
- How often and how much a person will be exposed.
- The interaction, capability, skill, and experience of workers who do the work.
In 2022, Hazard Identification is frequently conducted via pen-and-paper, where employees fill out a checklist and submit it before starting work. However, filing, storing, and managing these documents can be a time-consuming and expensive task. It's much easier and more efficient to use a digital Hazard Identification system such as the one built into Grid. It's available as a template, which means you can set it up in minutes, and have your employees begin using it immediately. Want to see how Grid can help you set up a Hazard Identification checklist on your mining sites?