5.3. Engineering Control

If you cannot eliminate or substitute a hazard, the next best strategy is to “engineer the hazard out” by using control methods that physically change a machine or work environment. Engineering controls are built into the design of a facility, equipment or process to minimize the hazard. Engineering controls are a very reliable way to control worker exposures as long as the controls are properly designed, used and maintained.

If, during the JHA, you discover a hazard that can be engineered out, do it. Turn the dangerous step into a safe step that doesn’t require safety precautions.

Engineering controls may include:

  • Enclosing the hazard using enclosed cabs, enclosures for noisy equipment, or other means
  • Isolating the hazard with interlocks, machine guards, blast shields, welding curtains, or other means
  • Removing or redirecting the hazard such as with local and exhaust ventilation.