Hierarchy of Controls: Question 1

Elimination and substitution of hazard are the best two options on the hierarchy of controls. If applicable, it is not necessary to consider the other options. Hazards should be neutralized as close to the sources as possible (Government of Alberta, 2016). This is what makes elimination and substitution to outrank all other options of hazard control. Employers should therefore consider them first.

There are various examples where elimination is applicable. The first one is, the hazards of workers handling toxic material can be eliminated by use of the appropriate handling equipment like earth movers in the case of benzene contaminated soil. The workers will therefore not be in contact with the soil. The second example is hazardous laundry soap in a dry cleaning business. It can be replaced with a safer option in order to protect the worker’s hands and their health in general.


Pros of Elimination and Substitution: Hierarchy of Controls

The first, they are cheaper than their alternatives unlike engineering which requires experts who could be expensive. Secondly, they improve the efficiency of the workers unlike use of personal protective equipment which are burdensome and may at times impair the workers productivity. Thirdly, once applied they protect the employer from legal liability. Application of these options reduces the chances of legal suits against the employer either from workers or its neighbors.

Cons Hierarchy of Controls Pros of Elimination and Substitution

The most prominent drawback of elimination and substitution as hazard control measures is its limited application. An investor may spend a lot of money on research on ways to eliminate or substitute a hazard and still fail. Finally, substitution and elimination may at times be applicable but not effective to the employer’s satisfaction.

Hierarchy of Controls Question 2

Investing on the engineering controls would cost the company $33,000. Such a move would save $9000 annually on the continuing hearing conservation program. Any amount saved can be accounted for as a cash inflow. Bearing this in mind we can therefore apply the payback method.

    • Payback period = (Initial Investment/ Periodic cash flows)
    • = $33000/ $9000
    • =3.667 Years
    • =3 years 8 months

According to the payback method it will take 3 years 8 months to payback the initial investment. However the method does not consider the time value of money therefore the 5% interest is irrelevant in this case.


The hierarchy of controls is a series of control measures used in industries to contain exposure to hazard in the order of priority (Health and Safety Handbook, 2013). Such measures include: elimination controls, substitution controls, engineering controls, administration controls and personal protection equipment.

According this hierarchy, the engineering control measure that involves the construction of the 12’ x 30’ noise barriers outranks the personal protection measures which in our case is the continuing hearing conservation program. I therefore would recommend that the employer takes the loan and effect the engineering measure. It not only makes sense according to the hierarchy of controls but would also make economic sense. It would take 3 years 8 months to payback back the loan after that the employer will enjoy the $9000 annual savings into perpetuity with cheap and reliable essay help now.


Hierarchy of Controls References

  • Government of Alberta. (2016). OHS Code Explanation Guide; Hazard Assessment, Elimination and Control.
  • Health and Safety Handbook, (2013). The hierarchy of controls; How the Hierarchy of Control Can Help You Fulfill Your Health and Safety Duties.

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