What are hazards? 

Hazards are objects or situations that have the potential to cause harm to your employees, contractors, visitors or the environment. 

When identifying hazards it is very common to first classify the hazard based on the origin. The following is a common classification method:

Classifying hazards:

  • Biological hazard - e.g. viruses, parasites, bacteria, food, fungi, and foreign toxins
  • Chemical hazard - e.g. acids, solvents, vapors, fumes, flammable materials
  • Ergonomic hazard - e.g. postures, vibration, repetitive motion, poor lighting. 
  • Mechanical hazard - e.g. motor vehicles, aircraft, air bags, compressed gases
  • Physical hazard - e.g. earthquakes, floods, fires, and tornadoes
  • Psychosocial hazard - e.g. occupational stress, workplace violence

Note: It is important not to confuse a hazard for a risk.  as these two terms are often used interchangeably but have different meanings.


What is hazard management?

Hazard management are measures put in place that aim to significantly reduce the hazards within the workplace and therefore decrease the amount of harm caused to employees and the environment.  Hazard management involves recognizing potential risks, then introducing methods that aim to reduce the chances of this happening.

Good hazard management processes and procedures will result in a healthier and safer workplace.


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