Work Practices

Work practices concern the ways in which a job task or activity is done. This may mean that you create a specific procedure for completing the task or job. It may also mean that you implement special training for a job or task.

Administrative Controls

These include introducing new policies, improving work procedures, and requiring workers to use specific PEE and hygiene practices. For example, job rotations and scheduling can reduce the time that workers are exposed to a hazard. Workers can be rotated through jobs requiring repetitive tendon and muscle movements to prevent cumulative trauma injuries. Noisy processes can be scheduled when few workers are in the workplace. Standardized written work procedures can ensure that work is done safely. Employees can be required to use shower and change facilities to prevent absorption of chemical contaminants. The employer is responsible for enforcing administrative controls.

A second approach is to control the hazard through administrative directives. This may be accomplished by rotating workers, which allows you to limit their exposure, or having workers only work in areas when no hazards exist during that part of their shift. This applies particularly to chemical exposures and repetitive activities that could result in ergonomic-related incidents. Examples of administrative controls are as follows:

  • • Requiring specific training and education
  • • Scheduling off-shift work
  • • Worker rotation

Management controls are needed to express the company's view of hazards and their response to hazards that have been detected. The entire program must be directed and supported through the management controls. If management does not have a systematic and set procedure for addressing the control of hazards in place, the reporting/identifying of hazards is a waste of time and dollars. This goes back to the policies and directives and the holding accountable of those responsible by providing them with the resources (budget) for correcting and controlling hazards. Some aspects of management controls are as follows:

  • • Policies
  • • Directives
  • • Responsibilities (line and staff)
  • • Vigor and example
  • • Accountability
  • • Budget

The attempt to identify the work site hazards and address them should be an integral part of your management approach. If the hazards are not addressed in a timely fashion, they will not be identified or reported. If dollars become the main reason for not fixing or controlling hazards, you will lose the motivation of the workforce to identify or report them.

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