In August 2021, 10 serious incidents occurred on Manitoba jobsites — that’s the highest number of serious incidents in one month so far this year.
Every worker has the right to go home safely, and an important step in preventing workplace injuries and serious incidents is to perform hazard assessments. Providing a safe work environment and ensuring workers are aware of the site and task hazards is a legislated duty of the supervisor, as outlined in the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
The basic principles of all hazard assessments is to identify, communicate, and control hazards. You can find a step-by-step guide to conducting hazard assessments here.
When conducting hazard assessments, CSAM reminds you to be thorough. Hazards are not limited to the tasks themselves and can be affected by all aspects of a jobsite.
As an example, let’s look at ladder use. Ladders, while common on jobsites, create high-risk activities. You might be accustomed to look for things like broken rungs or uneven ground, but there are many more factors to consider — even if you frequently use the ladder.
This list is for informational purposes only and is not a complete list of all the hazards you may find on site.
- Is the ground frozen or slippery?
- Is the ground soft or uneven?
- Are ladders secured in windy conditions?
- Are ladder rungs and boots free of mud, snow, and ice?
- Is the ladder tall enough for the job?
- Does the task require the worker to hold/use tools or equipment that would prevent them from maintaining three-point contact?
- Is the ladder’s load-rating appropriate for the work and the task?
- Ladder condition
- Is there any bowing, warping, or distortion?
- Is there any corrosion, rust, rot, or cracks?
- Are there any signs of excessive wear?
- Are there any loose or missing rungs?
- Ladder use
- Does the worker ensure the ladder is moved when needed, rather than shifting or “walking” when standing on it?
- Does the worker know not to stand on or above the top two rungs, if using a stepladder?
- Does the worker load the ladder according to the load rating?
- Is the ladder secured top and bottom?
- Is a step ladder used correctly — not folded leaning against a wall — while in use?
- Is the ladder stored indoors in a dry, well-ventilated environment?
- Is the ladder stored vertically?
- Is the ladder kept free of rust, dirt, and other foreign materials?
- Are ladders secured while in transport on trucks/vans?
As you can see, there are a lot of considerations to take into account when completing a hazard assessment. While this list is specific to ladders, it’s important to consider factors such as the environment, the type of work being done, the tools/equipment, and the other workers on site when conducting any hazard assessment. It may take time, but it’s important to be thorough in preventing incidents.
If you need help identifying, communicating, or controlling hazards, CSAM’s Client Services Team can help. We’ll come right to your jobsite to ensure your workers can complete projects safely. Call 204-775-3171 in Winnipeg or 204-728-3456 in Brandon to speak with a client services advisor.