Importance of Work Practice Controls in an Organization

Often, there are policies and practice standards to perform any task or job. One of these policies, called work practice controls, is intended manage how you should carry out a task to lower the risk of injury or a hazard.

People discussing work practice controls

Work practice controls are put in place to ensure that workers adhere to chosen best practices when completing a task to keep themselves and the organization safe from all kinds of harm. Following is a detailed analysis of what work practice controls are, why they are maintained, how they function, and why they are beneficial.

What are Work Practice Controls?

A labor task can frequently be completed utilizing a variety of techniques. Work practice controls identify the most secure ways to complete a task. An employer should constantly monitor and assess employee conduct in the workplace to prevent harmful work behaviors.

Workplace hazard reduction can be accomplished by an employer communicating to employees general and operation-specific regulations through work practice controls. A work practice encouraging employees to push handcarts rather than pull them can be implemented by an employer looking to lower injuries caused by inappropriate material transportation.

Government rules frequently specify specific procedures for industries and tasks regarded as harmful elements and aspects, in addition to employer-designated work practice standards. Regulations for using respiratory protection equipment, entering restricted areas, and hearing conservation are a few instances of regulatory work practice restrictions.

Role of Work Practice Controls in an Organization

Organizational practice control includes defining organizational standards to ensure that employees' behaviors align with the organization's goals and monitoring and rewarding compliance with those standards for security and safety assurance.

Control procedures may include a variety of formal and informal controls. Informal controls are founded on conventions and frequently applied by peers, whereas formal controls are founded on formally stated rules and are frequently administered by managers.

There are many kinds of control targets as well. For instance, outcome controls aim to achieve objectives and results, process controls focus on following rules, and normative controls ensure the same normal control values. Control procedures generally have three main objectives: to correct inappropriate behavior, encourage effective performance, and ensure that personnel is informed about relevant performance standards to keep themselves safe.

The greatest strategy to safeguard personnel is to manage a danger at its source using work practice controls. An engineered control, for instance, is the use of barriers to restrict access between a potentially infectious or hazardous material and unqualified individuals.

Changing how workers conduct their tasks, such as by wearing PPE, is an example of a work practice control. PPE must be provided and used by both employers and employees. Employers must carry out workplace hazard assessments to recognize and manage physical and health risks.

Benefits of Implementing Work Practice Controls in Your Organization

Other than keeping the employees safe and maintaining a secure and safe environment at the workplace, implementation of work practice controls can have the following benefits:

  1. Workplace controls aid in the efficiency and effectiveness of the business by assisting managers in maintaining cost and productivity levels. Budgets allow for cost control by allowing managers to compare total costs to anticipated ones. Measuring how much each person can generate in terms of services or goods can also be used to manage productivity.
  2. The second advantage of controls is quality control. Quality is increasingly being measured in terms of response time or accuracy. One important factor is control, or how effectively the organization monitors and evaluates its operations.
  3. Opportunity recognition is the third area where controls may help companies. Opportunities are usually the outcome of a surprise and can come from outside the organization.
  4. Workplace controls aid organizations in handling complexity and uncertainty. This is the fourth area where well-designed and implemented controls are advantageous. How financial controls assist a business in navigating economic downturns may be the simplest illustration of this advantage.
  5. Decentralized decision-making is associated with the fifth category of benefit in organizational controls. Organizational scholars have long claimed that performance is at its highest when those members of the organization and parts of it that are most in contact with customers and areas of uncertainty are also able to react to them.

Functions of Work Practice Controls

Work practice controls, while keeping your employees and workplace safe from all kinds of hazards and incompetent procedures, perform the following functions:

1. They Ensure Security

The most crucial function of work practice controls is to keep your organization and employees safe and secure from medical hazards, medical emergencies, infections, health issues, and unforeseen situations.

Implementing work practice controls in an organization lays boundaries, laws, and policies to keep the employees, staff, and clients, hence everyone, safe. Ensuring people's security, safety, health, and well-being at an organization is the core function of work practice controls.

2. They Regulate Compliance

In our world of today, a mistake in compliance can be devastating. Compliance mistakes have led to bankruptcy and even legal actions taken for certain organizations. Sometimes, all that lies between you and success is a small mistake that incorrectly labels an employee's standing or expectations. Your first line of defense for compliance is your policies and procedures that you can effectively maintain through work practice controls.

3. They Ensure Accountability

The work practice controls will dictate how employees should behave. This calls for the establishment of procedures that hold accountable any employee who disobeys established rules which are maintained to keep the employees safe. Every task holder will know the consequences of breaking the rules if the rules are clear. While keeping the environment and employees safe, it also holds the people who break policies and laws accountable.

4. They Identify Inconsistencies

An organization with work practice controls and processes runs like a well-oiled engine. Its operations and transactions are foreseeable. Consistent workplace controls put any irregularities in the limelight.

Failures like the misappropriation of money, time, or resources will be brought into stark relief by effective policies and processes. On the other hand, ineffective or obsolete workplace controls will start to stand out, destroying morale and productivity while putting the health and security of the staff at stake.

5. They Implement Comfort and Productivity

Build business culture that helps all stakeholders feel secure and at ease. Your employees' everyday activities will be guided by the map based on the controls you established so they may fulfill the company's requirements safely.

Organizations that use their policies to foster a positive workplace culture are more productive, have lower employee turnover rates, and experience fewer compliance issues.

Efficient Work Practice Controls

Efficient work practice controls have many kinds, and each kind plays a vital role in ensuring safety, compliance, and improvement at any organization. Following are the efficient measures one can take for the betterment of their workplace:

Engineering Controls

Employee isolation from workplace risks is a component of engineering controls. These controls can be the most economically viable option to deploy and decrease exposure to dangers in organizations where they are necessary without depending on employee behavior. Efficient engineering controls consist of:

  • Putting in high-performance air filters
  • Increasing the rate of ventilation in the workplace
  • Putting up physical barriers, like sneeze shields made of transparent plastic
  • Putting in a driveway door for assistance from customers
  • In some situations, specialized controlled pressure ventilation is used, such as specialized autopsy suites in mortuary environments and airborne infection patient areas in healthcare centers.

Administrative Controls

Administrative controls are modifications to work practices, including written safety regulations, rules, supervision, timetables, and training to lower the length, frequency, and intensity of exposure to hazardous materials or circumstances. Administrative controls include following all necessary policies and procedures for infection control at your place of employment, complying with all applicable legal requirements, and completing all necessary training.  Below are some of the effective administrative controls implemented in organizations:

  • Encouraging absenteeism from sick workers
  • Reducing face-to-face contact between employees, clients, and consumers by substituting virtual communications for in-person meetings and, where practical, instituting telework in case of any health issues
  • By scheduling alternate days or additional shifts, it is possible to prioritize workers' productivity and comfort while still permitting them to complete a full workweek on-site
  • Halting unneeded trips to areas where infectious outbreaks are active
  • Creating emergency communication plans, which include online communications and a platform for addressing workers' issues
  • Educating and training employees on the most recent risks and protective practices, e.g., coughing manners and adherence to PPE
  • Employees who should wear protective gear and apparel are instructed on how to properly wear it, use it, and dispose of it, as well as how to do so in the setting of their regular and possible jobs
  • All employees should have access to training materials that are simple to grasp and available in the relevant communication and level of literacy

Safe Work Practices

These practices are administrative controls meant to lessen exposure to hazards' length, frequency, or severity. They include protocols for proper and safe work, such as:

  • Supplying tools and a set at work that encourages personal cleanliness. For instance, give employees access to tissues, sharps containers, non-touchable waste bins, hand sanitizers, alcohol-based hand wipes of at least 60% alcohol, disinfectants, and paper towels to clean their workspaces.
  • Requiring frequent hand washing or hand rubs with alcohol in them. Workers must always wash their hands after removing any PPE and when dirty
  • Display handwashing reminders in the bathrooms

Usage of Personal Protective Equipment

While PPE may also be required to prevent some exposures, engineering and administrative controls are more successful at reducing hazardous exposure. While properly employing PPE can prevent some exposures, you should still use other preventative methods.

Goggles, gloves, face masks, face shields, and respiratory protective gear, where necessary, are some examples of PPE. The recommendations for personal protective equipment (PPE) specified for professions or jobs could change during an infectious disease outbreak, depending on the geographical areas, up-to-date worker risk assessments, and knowledge of the effectiveness of PPE in halting the disease’s spread. Employers should frequently check the CDC and OSHA websites for updates regarding suggested PPE.

Following are the guidelines adhered to for proper PPE usage:

  • Medical equipment such as respirators should be properly installed and, as necessary, regularly reinstalled
  • When necessary, consistently and correctly worn
  • Inspected, maintained, and replaced as needed regularly
  • To prevent contaminating oneself, others, or the environment, waste must be properly removed, cleansed, stored, or disposed of, as appropriate
  • Employers are required to give employees the PPE they need to stay safe while doing their duties The kinds of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed during any epidemic depend on the likelihood of contracting the virus. At the same time, at work and the tasks that could expose one to it.
  • Workers must wear respirators, including those within 6 feet of anyone
  • To avoid bulk contamination of a respirator in certain jobs, face masks may also be placed on top Using certain mask designs with front protrusions correctly behind a face shield may be challenging
  • Function, fit, decontamination, disposal, and pricing are a few things to consider when maintaining adherence to PPE. Employers should train employees regarding the proper usage, disposal, and wastage of PPE equipment
  • Training on respiratory protection equipment should cover equipment selection, use, disposal services or disinfection, and checking for deterioration, maintenance, and restrictions
  • The type of exposure and the transmission pattern of any illness or infection determines the best type of respirator


Work practice controls are the most effective and efficient way of keeping your organization, staff, and clients at bay from any harm, hazard, medical issue, and unforeseen problem. Effective work practice controls are a necessary and mandatory part of OSHA compliance. Maintaining work practice controls boost the productivity of any organization, ensure its stability, and keep everyone in the workplace safe and sound.