Risk Assessments

Have you considered the '4Ts' in your health and safety precautionary measures?

You've done your risk assessment and you've identified areas of concern. You know which hazards to look out for and the risks they may cause.

Now you need to put precautionary measures in place to deal with those hazards and risks. But you can't just treat the problem with a one size fits all approach. You have to consider what type of precautions are best for each safety issue.

There are, in fact, four categories of precautionary measures. The Health and Safety Advisor calls these the '4Ts' and you have to choose the right one to deal with each workplace hazard.

The 4Ts of health and safety precaution

There are different types of hazards that can cause a workplace accident. According to the Health and Safety Advisor you must deal with each of these hazards with precautions from one of these four categories:

  1. Terminate: Terminate or completely remove a hazard you believe is dangerous;
  2. Transfer: Remove a dangerous hazard from site and move it somewhere else;
  3. Treat: Implement engineering and management controls to treat the problem; and
  4. Tolerate: If the hazard isn't too serious, you can maintain it without implementing any changes.
But what precautions can you use in each category?

Three precautionary health and safety measures you can use in each category

Once you've chosen the right category, you must choose precautionary measures. These are three precautionary measures you can use:

  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
  2. Safe practice measures such as OHS training or toolbox talks; and
  3. Engineering control measures.
For example, let's say, you have a fall hazard on your site because employees work at heights. You want to treat this hazard with PPE. You give all your employees harnesses which means you can manage the hazard.

By implementing the right precautions, under the right category, you'll be able to manage the health and safety problems on your workplace effectively.

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