OSHA requires the employer "to assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or likely to be present, which necessitate the use of PPE."
Whenever a hazard analysis of a worksite is necessary, a site survey is required to:
• Uncover unsafe acts/processes;
• Evaluate current safety measures;
• Determine the need for specific engineering, administrative or personal protection controls;
• Develop a good working relationship with the personnel and encourage safe practices; and to
• Benchmark efforts to comply with regulatory standards.
According to OSHA 1910 Subpart I App B, the
purpose of the survey is to identify sources of hazards to workers and
co-workers. Consideration should be given to the basic hazard categories:
- Sources of motion such as machinery or processes where any movement of tools, machine elements or particles could exist, or movement of personnel that could result in collision with stationary objects;
- Sources of high temperatures that could result in burns, eye injuries or ignition of protective equipment;
- Types of chemical exposures;
- Sources of harmful dust;
- Sources of light radiation such as welding, brazing, cutting, furnaces, heat treating, high intensity lights...
- Sources of falling objects or potential for dropping objects;
- The layout of workplace and location of co-workers; and
- Any electrical hazards.
In addition, injury/accident data should be reviewed to help identify problem areas.
Even though the timeline is not specified in OSHA 1910, OSHA 1960, Basic Program for Federal Employees OSHA, Paragraph 1960.25(c) states:
"All areas and operations of each workplace, including office operations, shall be inspected at least annually. More frequent inspections shall be conducted in all workplaces where there is an increased risk of accident, injury, or illness due to the nature of the work performed. Sufficient unannounced inspections and unannounced follow-up inspections should be conducted by the agency to ensure the identification and abatement of hazardous conditions."
DoD 6055.01: Occupational Safety and Health Program confirms this requirement for annual inspections and the requirement for more frequent inspections for special emphasis programs, for changing operations or organizations, or for other events that indicate increased risk. Also, be aware that changes of mission, new processes or processes not previously assessed, new operations and new equipment must be assessed within 3 months of being identified or for before the process has been performed more than three times, whichever is longer and identify associated risks and hazards (including eye hazards).
The types of surveys include:
- Those that are required as stated previously such as annual surveys or those due to changes of mission, process or equipment;
- Problem oriented surveys due to a past history of injuries or damage or due to past failures during assessments; and
- Familiarization surveys which enable you to understand the organization and programs, the issues and needs of the site, to develop and assist in maintaining a positive working relationship and to meet management and the workers. If you have never done a worksite survey, it is recommended that you go your first time with someone familiar with the site such as Industrial Hygiene or Safety personnel.
Understanding all aspects of performing a site survey and a hazard assessment are beyond the scope of this page. The rest will apply to the components relevant to vision, visual performance and eye safety. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to CONTACT US.
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