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07. Haddon Strategies

Dr. William Haddon is a pioneer in the field of injury prevention. In the 1970's he created a useful rubric for identifying and preventing potential injuries and mitigating injuries that have occurred. The first of these guidelines are Haddon's 10 Strategies. The second part is a matrix for injury influences in the pre-injury phase, occurrence aspects in the event phase, and post event factors that can affect the injury. The Haddon Matrix is an excellent basis for today's hierarchy of controls for injury prevention. The hierarchy consists of engineering controls, administrative and personal protective equipment. According to Ellenbecker (1996), engineering controls are a necessity for reducing injuries in the workplace.

1. Prevent the creation of the hazard in the first place

  • Example: Identify potential slip, trip or fall hazards on the worksite by doing an initial visual worksite assessment or survey

  • Fall protection training

  • Job hazard analysis for each task that the worker is going to do

  • Fall protection inspection (scheduled or unscheduled) by supervisors

2. Reduce the amount of the hazard brought into being

  • Example: Reduce the ladder height required by replacing with scaffolding.

  • Install passive systems such as guard rails, railing or safety nets.

  • Personal fall arrest systems limiting the distance a person can fall

3. Prevent the release of the hazard that already exists

  • Example: Fall protection equipment

  • Ensuring that ladders or scaffolding are on a stable surface

4. Modify the rate or partial distribution of release of the hazard from it's source

  • Implement the use of rope grabs, shock absorbing lanyards, lifelines, and anchor points on the ladder or scaffolding.

5. Separate, in time or space, the hazard and that which is protected

  • Ensure that workers do not go near the edge of an unprotected or unguarded opening.

6. Separate the hazard and that which is to be protected by interposition of a material barrier

  • Example: Provide guardrails, scaffolding or ladder railings, or safety nets

7. Modify basic relevant qualities of the hazard

  • Example: Ensure that he ladder is strong enough for the worker and equipment. Ensure that all work surfaces have are skid or slip resistant

8. Make what is to be protected more resistant to damage from the hazard

  • Example: hardhat or helmet use in order to prevent head injuries. Safety harness use. Slip resistant footwear. Fall harnesses can also be used to protect the worker.

9. Begin to counter the damage already done by the environmental hazard

  • Example: Ensuring all workers know Basic Life Support measures, and are aware of how to contact emergency services

  • Safety monitoring system or inspection follow-up

10. Stabilize, repair, and rehabilitate the object of the damage

  • Example: Repair broken equipment. Ensure the injured worker receives adequate medical treatment and facilitate the process for possible Worker's Compensation claims.