Health & Safety Hazards

The words ‘risk’ and ‘hazard’ are often used interchangeably.  However,  if you are responsible for managing the health and safety in your workplace, it’s important that you understand the difference between them. There are many types of hazards which can cause harm or adverse effects in the workplace. Not all hazards are obvious and they will be unique to a workplace. This can make it difficult to immediately identify and protect your employees from them.

The six main categories of hazards are:

  • Biological. Biological hazards include 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.
  • ChemicalChemical hazards are hazardous 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.
  • PhysicalPhysical hazards are environmental factors that can harm an employee without necessarily touching them, including heights, noise, radiation and pressure.
  • SafetyThese are 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.
  • ErgonomicErgonomic hazards are a result of physical factors that can result in musculoskeletal injuries. For example, a poor workstation setup in an office, poor posture and manual handling.
  • PsychosocialPsychosocial hazards include those that can have an adverse effect on an employee’s mental health or wellbeing. For example, sexual harassment, victimization, stress and workplace violence.

Recent post title

Reasons Workplace Hazards Go Unreported

In this article we look at 3 common reasons why workplace hazards go unreported: 1. Culture: Group Thinking When humans are put into groups we are less likely to take …

Read more

07 reasons why workers often don’t report Near Misses

1. Difficulty If an organization makes near misses difficult to report, with confusing paperwork or a convoluted process, workers won’t do it. Instead, supervisors should simply listen to the worker’s …

Read more

10 Steps of Workplace Complaint Investigation

If a problem or complaint has come up at your company, a proper investigation can help you figure out what happened — and what to do about it. It can …

Read more

What is an incident and why should it be investigated?

The term incident can be defined as an occurrence, condition, or situation arising in the course of work that resulted in or could have resulted in injuries, illnesses, damage to …

Read more

Who should do Workplace Incident Investigation?

Ideally, an investigation would be conducted by someone or a group of people who are: – experienced in incident causation models,– experienced in investigative techniques,– knowledgeable of any legal or …

Read more