ASP Exam Guide: Hazard ID and Risk Management
Hazard Identification Methods
ANSI – American National Standards Institute
AIHA – American Industrial Hygiene Association
The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, sometimes also called Plan-Do-Check-Review, is the backbone of ANSI Z10 around which the prescribed management system is based. The system encourages employers to proactively manage risks and continually improve. The PDCA system is as follows:
Plan – Establish objectives and the processes needed to achieve them.
Do – Implement the process and associated safety systems
Check – Monitor results, generally using quantitative methods.
Act – Continually improve performance by adjusting systems as necessary.
As a major part of the “Plan” portion of the PDCA Cycle, we must systematically identify risks in the workplace through ongoing workplace audits and assessments. Identifying risks will require a team approach, as no one person will likely identify all risks in a process or workplace. Risk analysis methods are a primary method for completing this requirement, and will be covered at length in a later section on systems safety. For now, it’s important to recognize that identifying risks can be done both formally and informally and requires the participation of safety professionals, supervisors, and employees.
More information on ANSI Z10 can be found in this Power Point.
Sources of Hazards
Hazards may originate from:
- The planning / design process
- Failure to envision the operating environment
- Making false assumptions about operating principles
- Selecting materials that will cause hazards
- Failure to consider the life of a product
- Production and distribution activities
- Maintenance or repair
- Lockout capabilities
- Failure to provide manual power / inching capabilities
- Insufficient / delayed maintenance
- Poor communication
Single Point Failure – A failure of a component or subsystem that will result in the failure of the entire system or process.
Examine and Analyze Risks
There are a number of theories about the causes of incidents and accidents with varying degrees of accuracy and applicability. Regardless, each of these theories can give us insight into accident causes and trends.
Domino Theory – W.F. Heinrich
Heinrich proposed an accident model called the “domino theory” which is largely outdated, although still in use by some today. His theory proposes that an accident sequence is like 5 dominoes standing in a line. When the first domino is knocked over, they will continue to fall unless some outside force intervenes. The dominoes in order which they would fall are:
- Social Environment
- Undesirable Traits
- Unsafe Acts or Conditions
- An Incident
- An Injury
Multiple Factor Theories – Grose and Others
Accidents are deemed to be caused by many factors combined together. Grose proposed a multiple factor theory in which the factors could be grouped into 4 separate but overlapping causes:
- Man – Human error
- Machine – Equipment and vehicles
- Media – Working environments, weather, surfaces, and roadways
- Management – The context in which the other 3 M’s exist or operate
These 4 factors can help us to identify factors that are or could be involved in an incident during an operation or activity. Both quantitative and qualitative risk assessment methods can be used in combination with risk assessments to analyze risks.
Energy Theory – William Haddon
Haddon proposes that most incidents and injuries involve the transfer of energy between objects and / or people. The severity of injuries that results are based on the quantity of energy transferred, the means of the transfer and the speed at which energy is transferred. Using this foundation, Haddon proposed 10 strategies for preventing or reducing losses:
- Do not produce energy or change energy to a form that can’t cause incidents or injuries.
- Reduce the amount of energy marshaled (present) by reducing the concentration of energy, reducing process speeds, limit the height at which work is performed, etc.
- Prevent the release of energy by using lockout / tag out, keeping flammables from igniting, etc.
- Modify the rate at which energy is released.
- Separate potential energy releases from structures and people by removing it from the area.
- Separate potential energy releases from structures and people through the use of barriers or guards.
- Modify the surfaces of structures that may contact other structures or people by rounding corners, blunting edges, and providing larger surface areas on handles.
- Strengthen the structure or person that may receive an energy transfer.
- Quickly detect damage and eliminate the source to prevent further damage.
- Take measures to return conditions to normal after an incident.
Haddon also argued for implementing multiples preventive actions in parallel to prevent incidents most effectively.
Errors in Management Systems
W. Edwards Deming believed that 85% of errors were the result of poorly planned or executed processes. To succeed, management must get the process right, thus reducing errors in poor processes. Errors are the result of management shortcomings, not the mistakes of workers.
Similarly, Joseph Juran believed that critical processes required planning and must be designed to reduce the opportunity for human error. Management attention must be on incremental continuous improvement.
The Ten Axiom’s of Industrial Safety (Heinrich):
- Injuries result from a series of events leading to an accident that causes the injury.
- Unsafe acts and physical hazards cause accidents.
- Most accidents are due to unsafe behaviors.
- Unsafe acts or hazards most often do not result in immediate injury.
- Understanding why workers engage in unsafe acts can determine corrective actions.
- Incidents are preventable.
- Accident prevention techniques must align closely with production and quality control processes.
- Supervisors can prevent incidents in the workplace.
- Incidents result in both direct and indirect costs.
Selection of Control Methods
After identifying and analyzing risks, management must select and implement control methods which will effectively mitigate risks. Selecting control methods should be prioritized by management in this order:
- Eliminating hazards
- Reducing the potential severity of a hazard
- Reducing the probability an event will occur
- Implementing redundant controls, backup systems, or the use of additional personnel
- Installing guards, interlocks, fail safe devices, or other safety devices
- Erecting warning signage
- Developing safe work procedures and implementing with employee training
- Requiring the use of personal protective equipment
The Three E’s of Safety
Engineering – Eliminating hazardous components, using fewer hazardous materials, installing guards or warning devices, and requiring the use of PPE
Education – Training employees to properly use equipment, donning / doffing PPE, recognizing hazards, and following safety policies and procedures.
Enforcement – Complying with all applicable laws, regulations, standards, and policies, and enforcing compliance throughout an organization or company.