Before Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, or Wayne Gretzky were ever considered great, they had to learn to throw a spiral, dribble a ball, or stick handle. Once they mastered the basics, they continued to hone their skills until they were nearly unbeatable. In fact, you’ll find one common thread behind everyone that’s achieved greatness, be it a Businessman, Coach, or Athlete. It’s a tireless commitment to the basics. Before establishing any kind of greatness, each of them put in the work it took to build a solid foundation. Then they moved on to bigger things.
Likewise, Hazard Assessment is very much a foundation for workplace success.
In short, it is the ability to visualize a task, and the various steps to see it through to completion; (Tasks / Activity), Understanding what could go wrong throughout those steps (Hazards), and making plans to eliminate any of the hazards identified. (Controls). You can actually take our course on “Hazard Assessment, Identification & Control “Here”. Sure, we put all sorts of fancy names on them – Formal, informal, field Level, JHA, Hazard Registry, blah blah blah. They all come down to the same basic principle. Understanding & measuring risk. But in reality, it can be just as simple as:
Mom to Child: STOP PLAYING WITH THAT FORK BY THE PLUG! YOU MIGHT GET HURT!
Just that fast, Mom visualized the activity, understood the hazard, and initiated a control. It gets a little trickier when we expand to include the concepts of “Risk Perception” and “Risk Tolerance”.
- Risk Perception: Tends to be subjective to the individual and their experience. Similar to the way that skydiving sounds fun to some, and like certain death to others, perception of an activity and the associated consequence governs risk perception.
- Risk Tolerance: Is also subjective, meaning how much “Perceived Risk” am I willing to endure before I pull the plug.
You can read a great article digging into “Risk” here…
To be successful with Hazard assessment (and therefore execution) it’s helpful for an employer to know their risk tolerance, and properly convey the “Company Risk Tolerance” to the employee, and then coach them how to abide by it.
With all that said – Here are 3 Easy Tips for Better Hazard Assessments.