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Eliminate or Minimise your hazards

Published 17 Jul 2020

On occasion we are asked why our online Health & Safety system in our cloud platform Employers Toolbox doesn't offer 'Isolation' as an action directly under hazard reviews or assessments.

The simple answer being that the system reflects the more recent approach to risk management after the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).

Traditionally we were trained to look at a hazard and decide whether it can be;
  • Eliminated - hazard removed. Changing practices so workers are not faced with the risk eg. upgrading machinery.
  • Isolated - hazard moved or guarded against so workers are protected from the risk. eg. Putting a noisy machine in its own room.
  • Minimised - only other option to address the risk factors presented. eg. Wear ear muffs/PPE add guards etc.
Following on from HSWA the modern approach is either to Eliminate the risk, or Minimise it.

While isolation is still a perfectly valid and effective thing to do, it is considered as a method of minimisation.

Our online hazard review screen reflects this:

Click to zoom

If you click the 'Select' button under your control actions, a pop-up window appears with a quick help note on minimisation techniques, and offering the options available, isolation being one of them.

The documentation in terms of the reports produced and the risk management chapter in the provided Health & Safety Manual from the  Employers Toolbox also reflects this in its narrative.