Topics in HSE: Hazard Identification
The health, safety, and environmental field, or HSE for short, incorporates a wide variety of topics. As we continue our journey to achieving zero incidents, one critical topic to achieve this goal is hazard identification. This is a frequently visited topic for all workers across the industry when planning to complete a task. The lack of hazard identification knowledge can play a big role with employees’ understanding what safety precautions to take to avoid hazards. When hazards go unidentified, it can lead to negative outcomes such as injuries, damage, or even death.
Companies like Superior Construction take active measures to educate and implement programs to help workers better understand hazard identifications when they are in the field. One solution is the Task Hazard Analysis (THA).
A step in the right direction is creating a program helping to assist employees identify hazards prior to starting a specific task for the day. These types of programs are more specific and done on a task-by-task basis as opposed to a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) or Job Safety Analysis (JSA), which is a hazard identification tool looking at the overall project or scope of work. The THA helps a crew discuss the details of a specific task prior to conducting work. It gives everyone an opportunity to provide input and expand on their own experiences or hazard knowledge.
Along with this type of pre-task planning program comes training workers to build on their hazard identification knowledge. This is both in classroom as well as on the job training. One of the best ways for people to learn is to be able to see the hazards in real-time. This is one reason why it is important to conduct the THA at the location where the work will be conducted. This is where the THA-type programs can help improve knowledge and experience by being conducted in the field.
With anything, the more you do something or talk about something, the more understanding you have. Repetition is key in helping develop our workers’ knowledge of hazards in the workplace and more importantly how to avoid or mitigate them. In construction things change daily: the construction site, the weather, the crews working around you, etc. We all need to be prepared and be able to adapt to this ever-changing environment that may create different type of hazards by the hour.
To complete each task in a safe manner, we want all workers to identify and abate as many hazards as we can possibly think of during these pre task meetings held in the field. When conducted properly and given the attention it deserves, it allows employees to arrive home to their families whole and healthy at the end of each shift.
Bobby Greer, CSP, CHST
Corporate HSE Director
Bobby has more than 23 years of experience in HSE specializing in heavy civil construction projects. As a safety professional, he has a personal commitment to everyone returning home safely each night. He will work with the entire project team to coordinate all safety aspects during construction. He will also work with the team prior to construction to provide constructibility reviews from a safety perspective. Bobby will leverage his industry experience to implement project safety plans and adherence to all company safety practices.