No matter your industry, it can be easy to become complacent and lower your guard when working near power lines.
Hazard assessments can help everyone on your worksite keep safety top of mind. And there's another good reason for your employer to conduct a hazard assessment — it's the law. Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation requires employers to conduct hazard assessments, and to either eliminate the hazards or put controls in place to protect workers against them.
There are two common types of hazard assessments:
Formal Hazard Assessments
Detailed and thorough, formal hazard assessments take a close look at the overall operations of a company. They're used to identify hazards and develop, implement and monitor controls needed to eliminate them at the outset of a project. These assessments are most valuable when the whole crew is involved to ensure that everyone's roles, work and perspectives are considered.
While formal hazard assessments require commitment and resources, they're crucial in preventing work-related injuries.
Site-Specific Hazard Assessments
Before any work begins, site-specific hazard assessments are required to identify hazards specific to the location, such as overhead or underground power lines, as well as any hazards introduced by a change on the worksite, such as scaffolding or new equipment. These hazards need to be eliminated or controlled before it's safe for work to begin or continue.
For more detailed information about identifying hazards, roles and responsibilities and the OHS Act, check out the Hazard Assessment and Control Handbook.