Outline the ‘General Principles of Prevention’ and Describe, with Examples, a Hierarchy of Measures for Controlling Risk.

Outline the ‘general principles of prevention’ and describe, with examples, a hierarchy of measures for controlling risk.

A. Principles of Prevention

One key area of difference between the original 1992 management regulations and the 1999 updated ones is that the principles for preventing and controlling hazards and risks are now part of the regulations. They set a clear hierarchy for control measures:
  * Avoid the hazard/risk altogether - substitute a hazardous substance with a non- or less hazardous one, if possible.
  * Combat the risk at source - eg if steps are slippery, replace or treat them rather than just putting up a warning sign.
  * Adapt work to the individual - consider ergonomics when choosing work equipment or designing work areas. Eliminate monotonous work, where possible.
  * Adapt to technical progress - keep up to date and informed on new developments in ways of working that reduce or eliminate hazard/risk.
  * Give priority to collective protective measures - isolate workers from the hazard/risk by enclosing the process rather than giving out protective equipment.
  * Ensure adequate information, instruction and training - workers need to understand what they need to do to protect themselves.
  * Issue Personal Protective equipment only as a last resort - when all other methods of risk reduction fail to reduce the risk sufficiently.

Hierarchy of Management Risk Control
Where a risk assessment has identified hazards that require control, there are some considerations which, can be addressed before going on to setting priorities for controlling them. A hierarchy of control measures can be applied to all hazards as follows:
  1. Eliminate:
If the hazard is removed, all the other management controls, such as assessment, record keeping, training, auditing are no longer needed, with subsequent time cost savings. E.g. Materials are supplied pre-painted rather than having to paint them. or remote operations.