Control of hazards requires the use, appropriate to the situation, of four basic approaches: engineering controls, administrative arrangements, safe work practices, preventive maintenance and the use of personal protective equipment. Engineering controls are considered to be the most effective because they do not require unusual effort by the worker and can be maintained easily. Ideally, the design for engineering controls takes place before the facility is built in the first place. However, workplaces can often be redesigned after it has been in operation and modified to reduce hazards, a process called retrofitting. Ventilation is an important method of engineering controls. Ventilation moves airborne hazards away from the worker, dilutes them in the atmosphere of the workplace and maintains a fresh atmosphere for the worker to breathe. Preventive maintenance throughout the workplace is an important means of controlling hazards. Safe work practices depend on compliance by the workers, which requires education and training. Written procedures are needed and the employer should have policies that require workers to comply and supervisors to manage health and safety in the workplace. Administrative are controlsare considered the least effective approach to hazard control because they require changes in the behavior of workers and of work organization and are easy to avoid or defeat. Personal protection depends on equipment provided to individual workers to prevent direct contact with the hazard, such as respirators, gloves, safety goggles (glasses), hardhats (helmets), safety shoes and protective clothing. Two common situations illustrate the application of these approaches to hazard control: airborne particles and noise.
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