The Hierarchy of Controls: The Essential Practice To Protect Your Business

When we are looking for ways to protect our workers, it’s vital that we use an approach that encompasses the right practices while also being something that anybody can follow. Traditionally, what is known as a “hierarchy of controls” has been used as a way to determine effective solutions in health and safety. The idea behind the hierarchy is that the methods at the top are more effective than those at the bottom. Following this hierarchy usually leads to a great reduction in the risks of injury or illness. Here are the five key aspects of the hierarchy of controls, from the top to the bottom. 


This is usually the most effective, however, it can be the most difficult to implement within an existing process. But this could very well be incorporated through effective technology. Technology is something that can be beneficial because of its multifarious uses. Because, after all, if the right tech can help businesses pass dam safety inspections, they can benefit a wider variety of practices! 


If a process is already in existence, changes in procedures and equipment may be needed to substitute for a specific hazard. Replacing the hazard is one of the more effective ways of minimizing exposure to it. 

Engineering Controls

This is a very popular method over PPE or administrative methods for controlling exposures within the workplace. Because they are designed to remove the hazard at the source before coming into contact with the worker, they can be a very effective method in protecting workers in this environment. Engineering controls may have initial expensive costs in comparison to administrative methods, however, because of its effectiveness, it results in lower operating costs and may even help to save in numerous other areas of the process. 

Administrative Controls

This is an approach that aims to change the ways people work. Typically they are used with existing processes if the hazards are not well controlled. The benefit of using administrative controls is that they are less expensive to establish. However, a smaller cost upfront can mean it is more expensive to sustain. 


Personal Protective Equipment is something that has been spoken of in many circles now because of the pandemic. It was an essential part of the front line during the pandemic, however, there were numerous instances of PPE being ineffective or even running low. When it comes to actual hazard mitigation, PPE can be less effective than the previous measures but they also require more effort by the affected workers. 

The Hierarchy of Controls: an Essential Practice

Starting with the most effective methods is going to guarantee a far more regulated and streamlined workplace. In the effort to prevent issues within the workplace and minimize exposure to any form of hazard, this is a very simple method to follow and can prove to be one of the most stringent approaches to dealing with workplace hazards. As businesses become more conscious of health and safety, they demand a framework in which to operate. This is one of the best approaches that any new business can implement.

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