NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Small business nugget: hazard mapping.

Sinclair RC
North KY Bus J 2012 Sep; 32(1):8
An injury to an employee in a small business hurts the employee and the employer. Business-related costs include workers' compensation, worker replacement, production interruption, related equipment damage and the emotional cost of knowing that a valued employee was hurt at work. A technique called hazard mapping can help reduce workplace injuries in any business. To use hazard mapping, here's what to do. On your own or with your managers and/or employees: 1. Draw the floor plan of your facility on a large sheet of paper. 2. Include the rooms and hallways, the major equipment, entrances/exits, dock areas, customer areas and the grounds around the building. The drawing does not have to be exactly to scale, and it may be drawn freehand. 3. Mark real or potential hazards on the floor plan. Hazards include slippery surfaces, material handling (lifting, carrying, pushing), fire and electrical hazards, insufficient machine guarding, forklifts and other vehicles, chemicals, sharp objects, and noise. Hazard checklists are available from a variety of sources. 4. When everyone involved is satisfied that the major hazards have been indicated on the hazard map, single out individual hazards and decide how to reduce them. 5. Prioritize the hazards by likelihood of resulting in a serious injury. Try to eliminate hazards entirely by altering the workplace, production equipment or processes. If that won't work, next try limiting employee exposure by job rotation, training, or other administrative arrangements. In some cases you may need to use personal protective equipment like gloves, safety glasses, and ear muffs or plugs. Hazard mapping works best when it is part of a complete safety and health program. You can learn more about a complete program for a small business from the "Small Business Handbook: <a href=""target="_blank"></a>.
Small-businesses; Injuries; Sociological-factors; Psychological-responses; Psychological-reactions; Employee-health; Worker-health; Work-operations; Work-organization; Hazards; Occupational-hazards; Industrial-hazards; Health-hazards; Injury-prevention; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Management-personnel; Work-environment; Environmental-control; Environmental-hazards; Control-systems; Job-rotation; Physical-properties; Training; Administration; Personal-protective-equipment; Safety-programs; Health-programs
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article; Lay Publication
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Northern Kentucky Business Journal
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division