Think about common workplace hazards at your office, processes, activities and generically (e.g., at home, driving etc).
Depending on your audience (i.e., Office, Process, Activities or Generic) discuss the following:
- What Hazards would you/ the team consider is the most relevant at your workplace?
- Have the Hazards been identified/ assessed?
- What is being done about risk elimination or mitigation?
- Can anything more be done?
- What else…?
Framework for Discussions
A Hazard can be defined as “something that will cause harm”.
The 6 most common workplace hazard categories are:
- Biological: Includes viruses, bacteria, insects, animals, etc., that can cause adverse health impacts. For example, mould, blood and other bodily fluids, harmful plants, sewage, dust and vermin
- Chemical: Substances that can cause harm. These hazards can result in both health and physical impacts, such as skin irritation, respiratory system irritation, blindness, corrosion and explosions.
- Physical: Environmental factors that can harm an employee without necessarily touching them, including heights, noise, radiation and pressure.
- Working Conditions: Hazards that create unsafe working conditions. For example, exposed wires or a damaged carpet might result in a tripping hazard. These are sometimes included under the category of physical hazards.
- Ergonomic: Physical factors that can result in musculoskeletal injuries. For example, a poor workstation setup in an office, poor posture and manual handling.
- Psychosocial: Include those that can have an adverse effect on an employee’s mental health or well-being. For example, sexual harassment, victimisation, stress and workplace violence.
For more details on the difference between Safety, Hazard and Risk, watch this short video (click here).