Do We Have To Complete Yearly Hazard Assessments?

Yes, OSHA requires annual assessments of a company’s hazards in all of its work environments at least annually. The actual requirement for the evaluation comes from OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I:

 1910.132(d)

Hazard assessment and equipment selection.

1910.132(d)(1)

The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If such hazards are present, or likely to be present, the employer shall:

1910.132(d)(1)(i)

Select, and have each affected employee use, the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from the hazards identified in the hazard assessment;

1910.132(d)(1)(ii)

Communicate selection decisions to each affected employee; and,

1910.132(d)(1)(iii)

Select PPE that properly fits each affected employee. Note: Non-mandatory Appendix B contains an example of procedures that would comply with the requirement for a hazard assessment.

1910.132(d)(2)

The employer shall verify that the required workplace hazard assessment has been performed through a written certification that identifies the workplace evaluated; the person certifying that the evaluation has been performed; the date(s) of the hazard assessment; and, which identifies the document as a certification of hazard assessment.

 This mandates that Personal Protective Equipment must be reevaluated annually. The need for the entire assessment comes from a blanket statement made by OSHA regarding specific standards. Various standards, such as Bloodborne Pathogens, Lead, Hexavalent Chromium, and Occupational Noise Exposure, have statements that mandate that all feasible engineering and administrative controls are attempted before personal protective equipment is utilized. OSHA has blanketed that requirement into all hazards. Based on this blanket, all employers must evaluate the hazards for feasible engineering and administrative controls before they can evaluate hazards for personal protective equipment controls.

Additional information on hazard assessments can be found here.

 

*Unless specific citations are shown, all answers are based on interpretations provided by authorized officials. As such, all information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.