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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Physical: Environmental factors that can harm an employee without necessarily touching them, including heights, noise, radiation and pressure.
  4. 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.
  5. Ergonomic: Physical factors that can result in musculoskeletal injuries. For example, a poor workstation setup in an office, poor posture and manual handling.
  6. 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).

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