Hierarchy of control

  • Health & Safety
Peninsula Logo

Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

Hierarchy of control advice guide for employers from Peninsula Business Services UK. Employers call us today on 0800 0282 420.

Whenever a significant risk to health or safety in the workplace is identified the employer has to take action to control the risk to an acceptable level. There are always alternative courses of action that could be taken. These are identified in legislation and set out in order of preference. They are listed here in the order in which they should be considered

  • eliminate the risk completely by removing the hazard, for example replace a solvent based material with one that is water based.
  • where elimination is not possible or reasonably practicable substitute a hazardous activity or process with one that is less hazardous or use improved equipment or technical solutions that reduces the level of risk.
  • if elimination or substitution is not possible redesign the equipment or work activity to reduce the risks, e.g. arrange for cash handling to be carried out in a secure area or when the premises are closed to the public rather than in front of customers; redesign the layout of the workplace to give better lines of sight and better CCTV coverage.
  • if redesign is not possible it may be reasonably practicable to physically remove exposed people from risk, e.g. help to provide safe transport home for staff working late.
  • put in place controls such as training, safe systems of work and personal protective measures.
  • Finally, make sure that your workers understand the control measures in place, the need for them and how to use them to best effect.
  • When introducing control measures always;
  • give collective protective measures priority over individual measures, i.e. give priority to measures which protect the whole workplace and everyone working there
  • aim to alleviate monotonous work and paced working at a predetermined rate, and increase the control individuals have over work they are responsible for
  • combat risks at source, rather than taking palliative measures. If the floor or steps are slippery, treating or replacing them is better than displaying a warning sign.


Got a question? Check whether we’ve already answered it for you…

Related articles

  • Guide

    Welding risk assessment

    In this guide, we'll discuss safety hazards, risk management, and adequate control measures for welding.

    Peninsula GroupHR and Health & Safety Experts
    • Risk Assessment
  • Guide

    The employer’s menopause toolkit

    According to research, the UK could lose 14 million working days a year due to menopause-related symptoms.

    Peninsula GroupHR and Health & Safety Experts
    • Occupational health
  • Person working on laptop looking stressed


    Stress Risk Assessment

    Employers are legally responsible to protect employees from work-related stress by conducting a risk assessment and taking appropriate action.

    Peninsula GroupHR and Health & Safety Experts
    • Risk Assessment
Back to resource hub

Try Peninsula for free today

See for yourself why Peninsula is the UK’s favourite HR and health & safety provider. Tap below to unlock free advice, policies, e-learning, and more.

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.

International sites

© 2023 Peninsula Business Services Limited. Registered Office: The Peninsula, Victoria Place, Manchester, M4 4FB. Registered in England and Wales No: 1702759. Peninsula Business Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the sale of non-investment insurance contracts.

ISO 27001 and 9001 accredited company.
The Sunday Times - Top Track 250.
Glassdoor 2018 Best Places To Work.