What are Control Measures?
A risk assessment is an organisation's health and safety responsibility, and control measures are a vital component within this risk assessment process. Control measures are introduced following the identification of hazards and risks within the workplace. The purpose of control measures is to protect individuals in the workplace from the identified risks and hazards, so they are essential. To implement control measures effectively, your organisation needs to be aware of all possible types of control measures and which are the most effective to use. Therefore, training and knowledge of control measures is of the utmost importance.
How to implement control measures in your organisation:
One common misconception is that control measures have to be expensive, lots of hassle and require a vast amount of paperwork. This is not the case. Control measures simply need to be precautionary measures which will either highlight a risk or hazard to a particular individual or protect them from the risk.
Ultimately, control measures need to be applied in proportion to the risks which have been identified in your workplace. Some of the essential criteria that you can use when deciding upon your control measures are:
Which measures can be used in conjunction together?
What are the benefits of certain control measures over other measures? For example, CCTV will offer the organisation an added benefit as it will monitor all conduct that occurs within the workplace.
Which individuals will come into contact with the control measures? Will they approve of the measures?
Ensure that these control measures are able to be renewed and updated; they need to be something which can be replaced.
What is the process involved with implementing control measures?
At the simplest stage you can implement control measures into your workplace environment. This can be done through taking into consideration the design and layout of the workplace, ensuring nothing is placed in a particular area that is going to cause employees to trip up. Ensuring there is high visibility in the office is important - this can simply be achieved by installing bright lighting. Moreover, the workplace security network needs to be taken into consideration.
If your workplace is in a busy area where many people can have access to the environment, security guards might be a wise decision just to assure employees that there are protective measures in place. If this seems a bit too extreme, then CCTV cameras can be installed to assure employees that if anything were to happen, there will be documentation of this for the organisation to assess.
If as an organisation you are conscious of the expense which might be involved with these control measures, keep in mind that the consequences of not implementing control measures will certainly be more expensive.
As essential as control measures are, some people have criticised control measures as being too excessive within certain workplaces, creating a negative atmosphere. This is perhaps only when there are too many visual control measures in place, which can clutter the workplace and reduce the relaxing atmosphere. It is best to ensure all of your risks are protected by control measures, but if this can be done subtly, all the better. Consequently, employees will be assured that risks are being protected, but in a relaxing way.
Finally, ensure that all individuals involved in the workplace are within a system of trust which will enable individuals to report incidents or risks which have not been identified. Employees and work associates can offer a view on how effective the control measures are.