When discussing occupational health and safety, the most popular definition of hazard is ""A hazard is any cause of possible damage, harm, or bad health effects on something or someone."" The following phrases are used in the CSA Z1002 Standard ""Occupational health and safety - Hazard identification and elimination and risk assessment and control"": Harm is defined as physical harm or health harm. A risk is a source of potential harm to a worker. A risk is essentially the possibility of harm or a negative outcome (for example, to people as health effects, to organizations as property or equipment losses, or to the environment). For further information, please refer to the OSH Answers on Hazard and Risk.
How do you identify hazards?
The process of determining if a specific circumstance, thing, situation, etc. may have the potential to cause harm includes hazard identification. Risk assessment is the phrase frequently used to describe the entire procedure: Determine the dangers and risk factors that could lead to injury (hazard identification). Analyze and assess the risk brought on by the hazard (risk analysis, and risk evaluation). Find appropriate strategies to reduce the risk or, if the danger cannot be reduced, remove it (risk control). The main objective of hazard identification is to locate and document any potential risks in your workplace. Working as a team and including both those who are and are not familiar with the work area may be beneficial. This will provide you both an experienced and a new perspective when conducting the inspection.
When should hazards be identified?
You can identify hazards by: When planning and executing creating a new method or technique Before duties are completed, new equipment must be purchased and installed. examining tools or performing procedures examining the environment before each shift while completing things Be alert to any alterations, unusual circumstances, or unexpected emissions. Throughout inspections supervisor, official, informal, and health and safety committee following events minor mishaps or incidents Injuries To ensure that all risks are identified: Consider all facets of the job, taking into account irregular tasks like upkeep, repair, or cleaning. Look at the actual workspace, tools, supplies, things that are used, etc. Describe how the tasks are completed. Check the records of incidents and injuries. Speak with the employees; they are the most knowledgeable about the risks associated with their profession. Include all shifts, as well as those who perform off-site work at their homes or on other job sites, as well as drivers, teleworkers, clients, and others. Take a look at how the task is completed or structured (include experience of people doing the work, systems being used, etc). Consider the likely unexpected circumstances (for example: possible impact on hazard control procedures that may be unavailable in an emergency situation, power outage, etc.). Ascertain whether a product, piece of machinery, or piece of equipment can be modified intentionally or accidentally (e.g., a safety guard that could be removed). Go over each stage of the lifecycle. Check the public or visitor risks. Think about the different risk categories that might exist, such as young or inexperienced workers, those with disabilities, or new or pregnant mothers.
What kinds of risks exist?
Hazards are frequently categorized by category: biological factors include bacteria, viruses, insects, plants, birds, animals, and humans; chemical factors depend on a chemical's physical, chemical, and toxic properties; ergonomic factors include repetitive movements and improper workstation setup; physical factors include radiation, magnetic fields, temperature extremes, pressure extremes (high pressure or vacuum), noise, etc.; psychosocial factors include stress and violence; and safety factors include trip hazards, improper machine guarding, and equipment
How can I identify a hazard?
You can also consider your workplace's health and safety by asking yourself the following questions. These are merely examples. Other things or circumstances might present a risk. Indicate everything that needs to be looked at. The degree of injury will be measured throughout the risk assessment process. What elements or circumstances do I encounter? Possible outcomes could be: chemicals and electricity (liquids, gases, solids, mists, vapours, etc.) extremes of either heat or cold (e.g., bakeries, foundries, meat processing) radiation that is ionizing or non-ionizing (such as x-rays and ultraviolet (sun) rays) oxygen shortage water What objects or machinery might strike me? moving things (e.g., forklifts, overhead cranes, vehicles) flying things (e.g., sparks or shards from grinding) falling objects (e.g., equipment from above) What tools or objects could I use to strike or beat my body against? What may a part of my body become entangled in? either still or moving things sticking out things jagged or pointed edges machines with catches (places where parts are very close together) things that protrude (protrude) moving things (conveyors, chains, belts, ropes, etc.) What could cause me to fall? Falls to lower levels, for instance tanks, silos, buildings, items, and lofts ladders and overhead bridges trees, cliffs, roofs What could cause me to trip or fall? (Example: Falls on the same level) stairs and floor impediments surface problems (wet, oily, icy) Poorly maintained footwear How could I exert myself too much? lifting pulling pushing carrying repetitive motions What other situations could I come across? unknown/unauthorized people in area a potentially violent situation working alone confined space missing/damaged materials new equipment/procedure at work site fire/explosion chemical spill or release
Where can I find more information about hazards?
It may be necessary to research about what might be a hazard as well as how much harm that hazard might cause. Sources of information include: Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). Manufacturer’s operating instructions, manuals, etc. Test or monitor for exposure (occupational hygiene testing such as chemical or noise exposure). Results of any job safety analysis. Experiences of other organizations similar to yours. Trade or safety associations. Information, publications, alerts, etc. as published by reputable organizations, labour unions, or government agencies.
What if I am new to the workplace?
If you are new to your workplace, to learn about the hazards of your job, you can: ask your supervisor ask a member of the health and safety committee or your health and safety representative ask about standard operating procedures and precautions for your job check product labels and safety data sheets pay attention to signs and other warnings in your work watch for posters or instructions at the entrance of a chemical storage room to warn of hazardous products ask about operating instructions, safe work procedures, processes, etc."""