Hierarchy of hazard control
Hierarchy of hazard control is a system used in industry to minimize or eliminate exposure to hazards. It is a widely accepted system promoted by numerous safety organizations. This concept is taught to managers in industry, to be promoted as standard practice in the workplace. Various illustrations are used to depict this system, most commonly a triangle.
The hierarchy of hazard controls are, in order of effectiveness, elimination, substitution, engineering, administration, and personal protective equipment.
Components of the hierarchy 
Elimination of the hazard is the most effective means of hazard control. It involves the physical removal of the hazard, for example, if employees are required to work high above the ground, the hazard can be eliminated by moving the piece they are working on to "ground level" to eliminate the need to work at heights.
The second most effective way to control hazards is substitution, which involves removing something that produces a hazard (similar to elimination) and replacing with something that does not produce a hazard. An example of substitution is replacing lead based paint with acrylic paint. In order to be an effective control, the new product must not produce another hazard. Because airborne dust can be hazardous, if a product can be purchased with a larger particle size, the smaller product may effectively be substituted with the larger product.
Engineering controls 
The third most effective means of controlling hazards is engineering controls. Engineering controls do not eliminate hazards, but rather keep people isolated from hazards. Capital costs of engineering controls tend to be higher than those the less effective controls within the hierarchy, however they may reduce future costs (i.e. building a work platform rather than purchasing, replace, and maintaining fall arrest equipment). "Enclosure & isolation" creates a physical barrier between a person and hazard, such as using remotely controlled equipment. Fume hoods can be used to remove airborne contaminants as a means of engineering control.
Administrative controls 
Administrative controls are changes to the way people work. Examples of administrative controls include procedure changes, employee training, and installation of signs and warning labels (such as those in the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System). Administrative controls do not remove hazards, rather limit or prevent people's exposure to the hazards, such as completing road construction at night when fewer people will be driving.
Personal protective equipment 
Personal Protective Equipment (known as PPE) is the least effective way to control hazards. PPE can include gloves, respirators, hard hats, safety glasses, high-visibility clothing, and safety footwear. PPE is the least effective means of controlling hazards because of the high potential for the PPE to become ineffective due to damage. Additionally, some PPE, such as respirators, increase physiological effort to complete a task and, therefore, require medical examinations to ensure the worker can use the PPE without any detrimental risk to his or her own health.
See also 
- "Hierarchy of Controls" (PDF). Health and Safety Authority (Ireland).
- "Hierarchy of Hazard Controls". NYCOSH. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "How the hierarchy of control can help you fulfil your health and safety duties | OH&S Handbook". Ohshandbook.com.au. 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Hazard Control : OSH Answers". Ccohs.ca. 2006-04-20. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "CDC - Engineering Controls - NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic". Cdc.gov. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Tree Work – Working at height". Hse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Hierarchy of control - University of Liverpool". Liv.ac.uk. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Hierarchy of control diagram". Safework.sa.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Hierachy of Controls". Saunions.org.au. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- MANUAL HANDLING HIERARCHY OF CONTROLS
- "Hazard identification, risk assessment & risk control in the workplace - WorkSafe Victoria". Worksafe.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-04-11.