What’s the RACE process of dealing with workplace hazards
RACE is a commonly used process for dealing with workplace hazards
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.
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.