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Environmental Health & Safety

Occupational Safety Unit

Job Hazard Assessment Program

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Job Hazard Assessment Program


  2. This policy provides as minimum guidelines for implementing the requirements of Subpart I of 29 CFR 1910 of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

    Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as protective clothing, respiratory devices (respirators), shields, and barriers shall be used to protect against chemical, radiological, biological, or mechanical hazards and irritants capable of causing injury or impairment through absorption, inhalation, or physical contact. Personal protective equipment must be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition.

    When conducting a hazard assessment, consideration shall be given to, among other things, impact, penetration, compression (roll-over), chemical, heat, harmful dust, light,  (optical) radiation, bio hazards, ionizing radiation.

    Controlling exposures to occupational hazards is the fundamental method of protecting workers.  Traditionally, a hierarchy of controls has been used as a means of determining how to implement feasible and effective controls.
    • Elimination of the hazard or substitution of the material for a less hazardous one
    • Engineering controls to remove a hazard or place a barrier between it and the worker
    • Administrative controls rely on individuals behaving in a certain way and are less reliable
    • Personal protective equipment is the least reliable control because it is dependent on individuals using the right PPE and wearing it correctly, and relies on no defect in the equipment

    The idea behind this hierarchy is that the control methods at the top of the list are potentially more effective and protective than those at the bottom. Following the hierarchy normally leads to the implementation of inherently safer systems, ones where the risk of illness or injury has been substantially reduced.


  4. Unless a department has its own policy that is equivalent or more stringent in hazard assessment, this policy applies to University employees throughout the University of Rochester River Campus, Medical Center, Laser Labs, and related facilities and operations.


    Hazard Assessment - The hazard assessment is a process of identifying the hazards associated with a defined task and prescribing personal protective equipment along with other relevant protection measures which must be employed to reduce the risk from the hazards. The supervisor shall assess each work assignment to determine if hazards are present or likely to be present and require the use of personal protective equipment.

    Certification of Hazard Assessment- The certification of hazard assessment is a written document detailing the hazard assessment for particular tasks. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that hazard assessments are performed and the certification(s) written, signed, dated, and readily available or posted in each location. This certification of hazard assessment should be reviewed at least annually and updated any time a new task that presents a hazard is introduced into the work area. A certification of hazard form is located on the EH&S website at

    Performing and Certifying Hazard Assessment(s) - Appendix A suggests a format for the written Hazard Assessment Certification. Supervision may choose to use that format or devise their own format as is best suited to their needs.

    Other examples of hazard assessments and protective equipment determination are included in the appendix section of this document.

    Supervisor - Any person responsible for directing the activities of employees, students, contractors or visitors, including, but not limited to trade supervisor/working leaders, principal investigators (PIs), lab managers, nurse managers.


    1. Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, Nurse Managers:
      1. Provide administrative and financial support for to complete this process within individual departments.
      2. Ensure University of Rochester supervisors complete a job hazard assessment for the tasks that are performed by their employees.

    2. Supervisors:
      Ensure a hazard assessment is completed. The supervisor may delegate this process to another to be completed, but cannot reassign or disclaim the responsibility. After evaluating the work environment and determining that hazards are present, or likely to be present, the supervisor shall do the following:
      1. Designate and authorize individuals who will be responsible for the preparation and implementation of this program.
      2. Ensure the guidelines set forth in this program are implemented and maintained within the department.
      3. Select the types of PPE that the affected employee will use for the hazards identified in the hazard assessment, and the PPE is provided to the employee.
      4. Assure the adequacy of the PPE; proper fit protection, maintenance, and sanitation.
      5. Communicate selection decisions to each affected employee.
      6. Ensure affected employees know how to use their PPE correctly.
      7. Ensure affected employees use the required controls and/or PPE when performing tasks identified in the hazard assessment that require their use.
      8. Prevent the use of PPE that is inappropriate, defective or damaged. Defective or damaged PPE must be replaced.
      9. Never assign a task for which PPE is required but not available.
      10. Ensure adequate initial and refresher training is provided to each employee who is required to use PPE. Each employee shall be trained to know at least the following:
        1. When PPE is necessary
        2. What PPE is necessary
        3. How to properly don, doff, adjust, and wear PPE
        4. The limitations of the PPE
        5. The proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the PPE
      11. When the supervisor has reason to believe that an affected employee who has already been trained does not have the understanding and skill required that supervisor shall ensure the employee is retrained. Circumstances that render previous training obsolete or inadequate and therefore require new training or retraining include, but are not limited to:
        1. Changes in the workplace.
        2. Changes in the types of PPE to be used.
        3. Observation of inadequacies in the affected employee’s knowledge or use of assigned PPE.
      12. Verify that each affected employee has received and understood the required training through a written certification that must contain the name of each employee trained, the date(s) of training, and identify the subject of certification

    3. Faculty, Staff, Students, Visitors and Volunteers
      1. Each individual is responsible for wearing his/her required PPE as identified by the supervisor, as a result of conducting a hazard assessment.
      2. Each individual is responsible for maintaining and storing his/her PPE in a clean and sanitary condition.
      3. Each individual must ensure that his/her PPE is in good operating condition before wearing it.
      4. Each individual needs to communicate to his/her supervisor any unforeseen hazards requiring additional PPE.
      5. Each individual needs to report to his/her supervisor any defective PPE or need for replacement.

    4. EH&S

      If requested, EH&S will assist supervisors in evaluating the hazards involved in the job, determining the appropriate PPE necessary, or completing the Hazard Assessment Form (Appendix I of this document). For assistance, contact EH&S at 275-3241.



      Supervisors will conduct a walk-through survey of the areas. The purpose of the survey is to identify sources of hazards to workers. Some basic hazard categories include, but are not limited to:
      • Impact
      • Harmful dust
      • Confined Space
      • Light radiation
      • Infectious agents
      • Material handling
      • Chemical
      • Energized equipment
      • Bloodborne Pathogens
      • Radioactive materials
      • Gases
      • Struck against
      • Struck by
      • DNA/RNA
      • Cold
      • Heat
      • Compression (pressure on a part of the body)
      • Penetration (needle sticks, glass, metal, other sharps)

    2. SOURCES:

      During a walk-through, at a minimum look for:

      • Sources of motion that could result in workers hitting or being hit by objects
      • Sources of high or low temperatures that could result in burns
      • Types of chemical exposures
      • Sources of harmful dust
      • Sources of light radiation such as welding, transillumination, germicidal lamps
      • Sources of falling objects or potential of dropping objects
      • Sources of sharp objects that might pierce the feet or cut the hands
      • Sources of rolling or pinching objects that could crush the feet
      • Electrical hazards
      • Biological hazards
      • Atmospheric conditions (dusts, gases, fumes, vapors, illumination, etc.)
      • Pressurized equipment (boilers, pots, tanks, piping, hosing, etc.)
      • Containers (storage areas and means of storage)
      • Hazardous supplies and materials (flammables, explosives, gases, acids, caustics, toxic chemicals, etc.)
      • Buildings and structures (condition and layout of floors, doors, stairs, etc.)
      • Electrical conductors and apparatus (wires, switches, etc.)
      • Water depth (hazards for water samplers)
      • Machinery (grinders, drilling machines, cutters, etc.)
      • Materials handling equipment (hoists, lifts, etc.)
      • Hand tools (including portable power tools)
      • Ground conditions (in outside areas)
      • Elevated work areas (risks of falls)
      • Engines, motors, pumps
      • Low or inadequate clearances

    3. PPE

      PPE must be selected which will protect employees from the specific hazards that they are likely to encounter during their work.
      • Conduct and document PPE assessment for each work task or assignment
      • Select PPE
      • Communicate selection decisions to employee
      • Provide PPE (obtain, purchase, rent, etc.)
      • Train each affected employee
      • Test employee understanding
      • Document training and employee testing results
      • Retrain as necessary
      • Ensure the requirements are met

      Specific protection guidelines apply to using protective equipment, however PPE should always be the final option when protecting workers against known hazards. Elimination of the hazard is always the most favorable option and should be considered before any other, followed by managing or removing the hazard by engineering controls. Next is protection of the employee administratively, through such means as safe work practices (procedures), rotation of employees to minimize exposure and so on. Finally, if the others are proven to be impractical, PPE appropriate for the task and situation should be utilized.

      Personal protective equipment includes protective clothing and other work accessories designed to create a barrier against workplace hazards.

      PPE shall comply with appropriate American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards, when standards exist. Examples of PPE and its intended use to be considered at a minimum are:

      1. Body Protection
        1. Chemically resistant aprons may be used to provide protection while working with large quantities of corrosive materials.
        2. Disposable suits (coveralls, gowns, etc) will provide limited protection against splashes from hazardous materials including some chemicals and infectious biologicals.
        3. Some processes require that the forearms be provided with additional protection. Chemically resistant sleeves, long gauntlet gloves, or forearm protectors can be purchased.
        4. Liquid resistant gowns are used in surgical situations to provide protection against materials containing bloodborne pathogens.
        5. Lab coats will only protect against very minimal or nuisance-type splashes of hazardous and non-hazardous materials.

      2. Electrical
        1. Whenever work is done with power tools or work is done on an electrical circuit, there is a risk of electrical shock. Many tools that pose a threat of electric shock are used everyday and the risks are often overlooked, but death or serious injury can result from electric shock. The use of power tools requires proper grounding techniques and/or the use of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
        2. Working on live or energized electrical components requires specialized protective equipment. The supervisor and worker must have the knowledge and ability necessary to evaluate and match the PPE to the level of hazard. Refer to the University’s Electrical Safety Program available on the web at

      3. Eye and Face Protection

        Eye protection should always be worn where there is potential for injury to the eyes or face from small particles, toxic chemicals, flying objects or particles, large objects, thermal or radiation hazards, and lasers. According to the types of and extent of hazards, different PPE should be worn. PPE for the face and eyes includes devices such as safety glasses, goggles, and face shields. These must always remain clean and free of contaminants. Safety glasses or goggles must always be worn in laboratory areas whenever hazards from the aforementioned activities/ objects are present.

      4. Fall Protection
        1. Work at heights needs to be properly planned in advance of the work activity, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner. Careful consideration should be given to the selection and use of work equipment.
        2. Work at heights can include, but is not exclusively limited to:
          1. Working at ground level adjacent to an excavation;
          2. Working on roofs without adequate fixed protection;
          3. Working on roofs with unprotected roof sky-lights;
          4. Working from a ladder;
          5. Working from a scaffold or scaffold tower.
        3. Fall prevention, such as guardrails or other protective barriers, must be the first consideration. Where this is not possible and fall arrest is needed, a risk assessment must be undertaken and a safe system of work developed. Contact EH&S for assistance with Fall Protection issues or any other risk or PPE assessment.

      5. Foot Protection
        1. Each affected employee shall wear protective footwear when working in areas where there is danger of slipping, objects falling on or compression injuries such as rolling across the foot, piercing the sole, and where the feet are exposed to electrical or chemical and heat burns from spills and splashes of acids and caustics. Foot protection shall comply with appropriate ANSI standards.
        2. Shoe or boot covers are worn to protect shoes and boots. Such covers are available in chemically resistant material to provide limited protection against hazardous materials. Shoe covers are also used to limit the spread of hazardous materials from one area to another.
        3. Close-toed shoes must always be worn in laboratory or other areas where chemicals are present.

      6. Hand
        1. Employees are required to use appropriate hand protection when the hands are exposed to hazards from severe cuts, lacerations, abrasions or punctures, chemical or thermal burns, harmful temperature extremes, and skin absorption of harmful substances. Supervisors shall base the selection of hand protection on an evaluation of the performance characteristics relative to potential hazards of the task(s) to be performed, conditions present, and duration of use.
        2. Biologicals: In healthcare facilities, one of the primary risks of exposure to hazardous materials is to bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens may be transmitted through contact with human blood and certain body fluids. In research labs other biological materials, including infectious agents and toxins of biological origin, may be used. Again, glove use to provide skin protection is required.

      7. Head Protection

        Head injuries are commonly caused by impact from falling or flying objects, and falling or walking into hard objects. PPE devices such as hard hats may protect you from objects falling on your head and, in a limited way, from electrical shock or burns. Hard hats should be worn in areas where there is potential for head injuries.

      8. Hearing Protection

        Exposure to high levels of noise may result in hearing loss. Hearing protection should be worn when the noise level is high, but must be worn when it is 85 decibels or greater averaged over an 8-hour period of time. Popular types of hearing protection devices include earmuffs and foam earplugs.

      9. Respiratory Protection

        Respirators are used to prevent exposure to air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors. All respirator usage, which includes disposable respirators, air purifying respirators, and air supplied respirators, requires medical evaluation through University Health Services or Occupational Heath, annual fit testing and training prior to use. EH&S Industrial Hygiene Unit may be contacted at 585-275-3241 for assistance.

        The use of respiratory protective equipment (respirators) shall be in compliance with the University of Rochester Respiratory Protection Program.

    4. Hazard Assessment and Personal Protective Equipment Selection

      Refer to the appendices listed in at the end of this document for hazard assessment forms, examples of completion and other guidance

      Please include the job hazards (i.e. exposure to TB, blood, noise levels that exceed 85 dBA, hazardous chemicals that require respiratory protection, etc.) and the associated health assessments necessary, for example:
      • Required/recommended vaccines (i.e. Hep B, rabies)
      • Medical monitoring (for enrollment in the Hearing Conservation or Respiratory Protection Program, PPD skins tests for TB infection, etc.)
      • Fit testing for respirators (N95 or any tight fitting respirator)

      University employees may be exposed to additional hazards not listed above or in the appendices. Examples of these may be falls, slips/trips, gases and/or liquids under pressure, confined spaces, etc. Hazards such as these may or may not require additional PPE, but can require hazard recognition and possible other controls or procedures. EH&S can be contacted at 585-275-3241 to assist with the hazard assessment.

      Newlypurchased PPE must conform to the updated American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards that have been incorporated into the OSHA regulations, as follows:
      • Eye and Face Protection – ANSI Z87.1-1989
      • Head Protection – ANSI Z89.1-1986
      • Foot Protection – ANSI Z41-1991
      • Hand Protection – There are no ANSI standards for gloves.  However, selection must be made based on the performance characteristics of the glove in relation to the tasks to be performed.  Manufacturer information should be reviewed to ensure that adequate protection will be provided for the work to be performed.

    • 29 CFR 1910.132 - General Requirements
    • 29 CFR 1910.133 - Eye and Face Protection
    • 29 CFR 1910.134 - Respiratory Protection
    • 29 CFR 1910.135 - Head Protection
    • 29 CFR 1910.136 - Foot Protection
    • 29 CFR 1910.137 - Electrical Protective Equipment
    • 29 CFR 1910.138 - Hand Protection
    • 29 CFR 1910 - Subpart 1 Appendix B - Compliance Guidelines for Hazard Assessment and Personal Protective Equipment Selection
    • 29CFR 1910.1030 Bloodborne Pathogens
    • 29CFR 1910.1048 Formaldehyde
    • 29 CFR 1910.1450 - Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories

    • ANSI Standards for PPE
      • Eye and Face Protection – ANSI Z87.1-1989
      • Head Protection – ANSI Z89.1-1986
      • Foot Protection – ANSI Z41-1991


    Following Appendix 1 are examples of certification forms and task analysis guidance for selecting PPE or other controls.
    2. Appendix 2: Example of Task Analysis & Minimum Requirements for Eye/Face Protection
    3. Appendix 3: Example of Task Analysis & Minimum Requirements for Foot/Leg Protection
    4. Appendix 4: Example of Task Analysis & Minimum Requirements for Hand/Arm Protection
    5. Appendix 5: Glove Selection Guidance
    6. Appendix 6: Example of Task Analysis & Minimum Requirements for Head Protection
    7. Appendix 7: Example of Task Analysis & Minimum Requirements for Hearing Protection
    8. Appendix 8: Example of Task Analysis & Minimum Requirements for Respiratory Protection
    9. Appendix 9: Example Completed Certification Of Hazard Assessment For Chemical Laboratory Employee
    10. Appendix 10: Example Completed Certification Of Hazard Assessment For Maintenance Worker
    11. Appendix 11: Example Completed Certification of Hazard Assessment for Biological Lab Employee
    12. Appendix 12: Example Completed Certification of Hazard Assessment for Patient Care Handling

  11. Date

    Revision No.




    Establish Job Hazard Assessment Program


A Word document version of the Certificate of Hazard Assessment Form is available if you prefer - University of Rochester Job Hazard Assessment Form

Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 10/3/2011. Disclaimer.