Risk control begins with a risk assessment to identify the presence and severity of workplace hazards. Employers must then implement the most effective controls available.
In order of effectiveness (from most effective to least), risk control methods include:
- Elimination: removing the risk entirely
- Substitution: swapping an item or work process for a safer one (for instance, switching to an industrial cleaner that poses fewer respiratory risks)
- Engineering controls: modifications to the environment or equipment that poses the risk (such as installing mirrors in warehouses or machine guards on circular saws)
- Administrative controls: modifications to the workflow or work process (for example, rotating employees through several different work tasks to prevent repetitive stress injuries)
- Personal protective equipment: safety gear worn by the workers, such as hard hats, safety glasses, and chemical-resistant gloves