OSHA Defense

Tackling Hazards With Elimination and Substitution featured image

Tackling Hazards With Elimination and Substitution

The goal for every construction project is to always keep exposures or risks low on your worksites. The key to controlling a hazard is by elimination or substitution. The earlier that you can identify all worksite hazards, the easier it will be to integrate elimination and substitution in your hazard control process.

Elimination VS. Substitution

Elimination is the process of removing a hazard. If elimination is available, it is the option that must be pursued. However, there are some instances where elimination would not be an option. These instances include eliminating a hazard in the first phase of a process only to find it is a necessary step to a later process. Before eliminating the hazardous material or tool, verify that it is not imperative in another segment of the process.

Substitution identifies a hazardous substance and replaces it with a non-hazardous material. Substitution can also mean the same hazardous element or machinery but used in an alternative form.

It should be noted that it is more difficult to eliminate or substitute a hazard in an existing process. Depending on where and when you integrate your hazard control, elimination and substitution may be inexpensive and simple to implement.

Education and Training

Train employees on how to work safely to minimize the risk of exposure. Training must cover the hazards and risks of their job and how to protect themselves and co-workers. For tips on best safety practices, visit the OSHA website or consult an OSHA attorney. Be prepared for unforeseen emergencies and to train employees on a protocol for when something does happen. This system should be written down and employees should have the opportunity to practice their response time.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.