Hierarchy of controls hierarchy of controls

Hierarchy of Controls

There are many stated ways of controlling Hazards but the controls established within BSB41419 Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety are fairly straight forward.

  1. Eliminate
  2. Substitute
  3. Isolate
  4. Engineer
  5. Administer
  6. PPE

So we are often asked how does this matrix work in the real world? Lets assume a Hazard that has been identified.

A hole and severe crack has developed in the cement floor of the Despatch Department (I saw this a few weeks ago on a very large manufacturing site).

The first question is, can this be eliminated right now? This may not be able to be done immediately thus the first level of control is not available to us.

Next, can we substitute the hole? This makes no sense in the context of the Hazard so this does not work.

Thirdly, can we isolate the hole? Now this works so we will utilise a guard around it,

Next, can we fill the hole temporarily? We may well be able to put something in the hole right now as a temporary fix which, together with the previous element will help maintain a better level of safety until the hazard can be eliminated.

Can we place a sign next to it and on the notice Board and in the toilets to ensure all workers are aware of and protected from the hole. This now combines 3 of the 6 elements of control.

Remember the identification of Hazards and the Hierarchy of controls are some of the elements from one Unit of competency from BSB41415 Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety.