RACE stands for Recognize, Assess, Control, and Evaluate. It is a common process adopted by an organization to deal with workplace hazards. RACE process helps largely in maintaining workplace health and safety. The Joint Health and Safety Committee or the Health and Safety Representatives perform the RACE process for an organization. Moreover, supervisors also participate in the RACE process.
RACE is a commonly used process for dealing with workplace hazards.
An organization should first recognize the hazard. Next, it should assess the potential exposure of the workers to the hazard. At this stage, the organization will be in a good position to control the hazard. After implementing the control processes, the organization should evaluate its efficacy in terms of hazard control or elimination. Let’s look at each of these steps in detail.
Recognizing a hazard
Recognizing hazards is the first step in preventing illness, injury, and property damage in a workplace. Moreover, recognition means being aware of those substances present in the workplace that would put workers at risk.
One of the best ways to recognize a hazard is to watch the work as it is being done. Moreover, you can talk to workers about the work and the areas where the work happens. Further, participation in workplace inspections is one of the best ways to recognize hazards.
Another good reference point for recognizing hazards could be the workplace reports and records. Moreover, listening to workers’ concerns about the work they perform can help in recognizing a hazard.
Assessing the hazard
Once you recognize a hazard, you will need to assess the hazard. This will include identification of the potential exposure of workers to that hazard. Moreover, you will need to determine whether the identified amount of exposure is hazardous.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is by comparing the suspected hazard against standards and expectations. This will include referring to the OHSA provisions, Act’s regulations, CSA guidelines, and manufacturers’ recommendations.
Asking questions is a helpful way to move forward in terms of assessing the hazard. The first question could be how the hazard compares with legislation, standards, and guidelines. Next, you can check whether it cause a worker to get hurt or become sick. Moreover, you can assess whether the hazard is likely to affect workers’ health and safety. Further, you can assess the severity of the harm a worker may endure due to the hazard.
Controlling the hazard
Once you have recognized the hazard and assessed it thoroughly, you can plan to control the hazard. Moreover, controlling a hazard refers to limiting, substituting, or eliminating the harmful effects of the hazard on workers. One of the best ways of controlling a hazard is by removing the hazard. Moreover, you can look to prevent workers from coming into contact with the hazard, if it can’t be removed.
Evaluating the hazard controls
Shortly after implementing controls, you should reassess the hazards with the control measures in place. This will help you determine if you have adequately eliminated or controlled the hazard. In case you feel the control procedures are not adequate, you can use alternate methods of control.
You can perform the evaluation process by talking to the workers who report to you. Moreover, you can watch them do their work. Listening to what they say will help you look for effective ways to improve health and safety.
Certified JHSC members can support employers through the RACE process
In Ontario, Occupational Health & Safety Act mandates workplaces with 20 or more workers to have a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). Of this, at least two committee members must complete their JHSC certification to become certified JHSC members.
JHSC members can use RACE process effectively
For employers, JHSC certification is the best way to develop a strong Health and Safety program, which will help minimize workplace spread of COVID-19. Certified JHSC members are well-trained to identify and deal with hazards using the RACE process.
In fact, JHSC members have to participate in your workplace inspections, which helps them understand and identify hazards much better.
One of the key benefits that JHSC members bring to the table for employers is that they can recommend improvements to the employer in the OHS program.
JHSC members can help you:
Identify hazardous practices at your workplace
Look for improper practices pertaining to sanitization at the workplace
Monitor your overall personal protective equipment infrastructure
If you are aiming to build a safety culture of prevention vs. protection at your workplace, certified JHSC members can be of great help.