Hazards and risks examples

The National Safety Council has a team of consultants who travel across the country — and the world — to visit worksites and conduct safety audits. But no matter where each team member is, chances are good that he or she will spot one or more of seven common safety hazards.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that falls to a lower level accounted for 14 percent of all fatalities inand OSHA standards related to scaffolding and ladders are regularly among the most frequently cited violations. Dankert, an NSC senior consultant based in Arizona, said hazards associated with working at height can originate from a lack of understanding.

Employers may not know they have to provide fall protection, or the fall protection gear may not be worn properly or not hooked up to anything.

Employers need to identify all locations where fall protection is necessary — as well as where the engineered anchor points are — and train employees and regularly audit the fall protection program, she said. Some of those locations may be surprising. Dankert recently visited a manufacturing facility that was expanding and had added to its roof a new foot-tall chiller next to three existing ones. But something was missing. Dankert cites this case as an example of the need for safety professionals to have a seat at the table when decisions on design or purchases are made.

Their input, she said, can save employers time and money. More advice: Buy the correct-sized gear for workers, and keep in mind that although some work environments may have anchor points readily available, other locations may need an engineer to install them.

Remind employees to hook to the anchor point when working at height, and keep a close eye on how well personal protective equipment is holding up. Environments with sharp edges, chemicals or welding, for example, can weaken a harness. Regularly inspect gear, and remove damaged PPE from service.

In some situations, it may be beneficial to forgo using personal fall protection equipment and instead build a platform with standard railings and a swing gate in front of a fixed ladder. Although such a platform costs money, Dankert said, it may be less costly than creating a fall protection plan, buying the PPE, and training and re-training employees.

Another common hazard? Clutter, leaks or standing water also can contribute to slips, trips and falls. Instead, they should clean as they go. If the clutter or spill requires specialized training to clean up, then employees need to alert their supervisor, who can send in the appropriate staff.

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Additionally, Dankert recommends setting aside a few minutes at the end of each shift, or on a Friday afternoon, to clean up before leaving for the day. When it comes to storage, employers need to make sure appropriate areas are made available, notes Harrington, an NSC senior consultant based in Illinois. Harrington said she often sees electrical rooms used inappropriately for storage, with supplies blocking electrical installations. Even if clearance between the stored supplies and the circuit breakers is appropriate, Harrington pointed out, employers need to consider situations that could arise in which someone would need easy access to that room.

Many electrical hazards spotted are related to inappropriate use of extension cords. At one manufacturing facility Dankert visited, she saw as many as five extension cords chained together. Because the employer is a developer of prototype equipment, the layout of the manufacturing floor was regularly being changed. And in most other aspects, the employer was conscientious about safety — the extension cords being used were new and heavy-gauge, and the facility was very clean.

This opens the door for a violation. Beyond that, extension cords lying on the ground for extended periods of time are a trip hazard. They also can be subject to traffic abuse if run over by forklifts or feet, which can wear down insulation and create shock hazards. When cords are daisy-chained, they can easily overdraw electricity from the circuits, causing the wires to heat up and potentially result in a fire. Employers should assess whether extension cords are truly being used for temporary measures — perhaps to power a fan on an especially hot day.

In such an event, Dankert said, the cord should be gathered up at the end of the shift and stored.One of the top priorities of any plant manager in a manufacturing industry is protecting the employees from safety hazards. One of the top priorities of any plant manager in a manufacturing industry is protecting the employees from safety hazards since these facilities pose unique safety risks.

There are numerous factors which constitute safety risks for employees, such as heavy machinery, electrical material which may cause electrical hazards, ill-maintained equipment, etc. Listed below are 6 common safety hazards which every EHS manager in the manufacturing sector should address:. Correct machine guarding is essential to keep workers safe who operate heavy machinery every day on their job.

Improperly installed machine guards pose a hazard to employees which may result in life-threatening accidents. Electricians and engineers are the ones who are most exposed to electrical hazards such as incorrectly installed equipment, unlocked electrical panels, and exposed wires. An example of electrical hazard would be this. If exposed wires are present in the facility, it could result in electric shock. Hence, training workshops should include focused electrical safety practices, standards, and requirements to help the manufacturing staff mitigate any electrical hazards.

Several energy sources including electrical, mechanical or chemical equipment in a manufacturing workspace can prove hazardous to the workers.

When the employees are servicing or carrying out maintenance operations on the heavy machinery, an unexpected startup or release of energy may lead to serious injury or death. Surprisingly, falls are one of the most commonly occurring safety hazards in the manufacturing sector. They are the leading cause of injury and death. Steps must be taken to implement comprehensive protection measures against this safety hazard.

Safety leaders should talk and discuss about this hazard during training sessions. Poorly maintained machinery and equipment increases the risk of safety issues and may lead to serious accidents. Even high-end equipment equipped with fail-safe features can malfunction if periodic maintenance checks are not performed. Hence, in order to minimize the risk of accidents, get the equipment regularly inspected by a professional.

Train the employees so that they are able to handle the equipment correctly. The training should include aspects such as operation, maintenance, emergency breakdown, warning indications etc. Most of the machines in manufacturing facilities are dangerous regardless of how well they are maintained and often pose what is known as a permanent hazard.

For instance, most of the machines heat up quickly and hence pose an explosion or a fire hazard even if they are functioning correctly.

A Guide to the Most Common Workplace Hazards

Even several chemicals pose a permanent hazard. Hence, they should be labeled correctly so that the employees handling them are well-aware of the risk they pose. Another example is confined spaces, which are widely found in most manufacturing facilities. They pose the permanent hazard of entrapping workers or becoming oxygen-depleted areas in case of an accident.

Exhaust blowers and confined space rescue equipment should be present in such confined areas. Appropriate training is the best defense for employees in manufacturing spaces against such permanent hazards.

7 common workplace safety hazards

Manufacturers who are not committed to maintaining safe workplaces increase the risk of safety hazards, putting the business and employees in jeopardy.A hazard is something that can cause harm, e. A risk is the chance, high or low, that any hazard will actually cause somebody harm.

For example, working alone away from your office can be a hazard. The risk of personal danger may be high. Electric cabling is a hazard. If it has snagged on a sharp object, the exposed wiring places it in a 'high-risk' category. Stay up to date with the TUC and get the latest news and get early access. Join a union. What is the difference between a 'hazard' and a 'risk'? Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation.

Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action. Previous Next. What is a risk assessment? What are the five steps to risk assessment? How should my employer deal with hazards? How often should a risk assessment take place? Share This:. What is WorkSmart? A career coach that works for everyone. Enjoy bite-sized activities delivered to you every week.

Equip yourself with essential skills to be the best you yet.One of the "root causes" of workplace injuries, illnesses, and incidents is the failure to identify or recognize hazards that are present, or that could have been anticipated.

A critical element of any effective safety and health program is a proactive, ongoing process to identify and assess such hazards. Some hazards, such as housekeeping and tripping hazards, can and should be fixed as they are found. Fixing hazards on the spot emphasizes the importance of safety and health and takes advantage of a safety leadership opportunity.

To learn more about fixing other hazards identified using the processes described here, see " Hazard Prevention and Control. Action item 1: Collect existing information about workplace hazards. Action item 2: Inspect the workplace for safety hazards. Action item 3: Identify health hazards. Action item 4: Conduct incident investigations. Action item 5: Identify hazards associated with emergency and nonroutine situations. Action item 6: Characterize the nature of identified hazards, identify interim control measures, and prioritize the hazards for control.

Information on workplace hazards may already be available to employers and workers, from both internal and external sources. Collect, organize, and review information with workers to determine what types of hazards may be present and which workers may be exposed or potentially exposed. Information available in the workplace may include:. Hazards can be introduced over time as workstations and processes change, equipment or tools become worn, maintenance is neglected, or housekeeping practices decline.

Setting aside time to regularly inspect the workplace for hazards can help identify shortcomings so that they can be addressed before an incident occurs.

hazards and risks examples

Note: Many hazards can be identified using common knowledge and available tools. For example, you can easily identify and correct hazards associated with broken stair rails and frayed electrical cords.

Workers can be a very useful internal resource, especially if they are trained in how to identify and assess risks. Identifying workers' exposure to health hazards is typically more complex than identifying physical safety hazards. For example, gases and vapors may be invisible, often have no odor, and may not have an immediately noticeable harmful health effect.

Health hazards include chemical hazards solvents, adhesives, paints, toxic dusts, etc. Note: Identifying and assessing health hazards may require specialized knowledge.

Small businesses can obtain free and confidential occupational safety and health advice services, including help identifying and assessing workplace hazards, through OSHA's On-site Consultation Program.

By thoroughly investigating incidents and reports, you will identify hazards that are likely to cause future harm. The purpose of an investigation must always be to identify the root causes and there is often more than one of the incident or concern, in order to prevent future occurrences.

Effective incident investigations do not stop at identifying a single factor that triggered an incident. They ask the questions "Why? It asks such questions as: "Was the worker provided with appropriate tools and time to do the work?

OSHA must be notified within 8 hours of a work-related fatality, and within 24 hours of an amputation, loss of an eye, or inpatient hospitalization. Emergencies present hazards that need to be recognized and understood. Plans and procedures need to be developed for responding appropriately and safely to hazards associated with foreseeable emergency scenarios and nonroutine situations.

The next step is to assess and understand the hazards identified and the types of incidents that could result from worker exposure to those hazards.

This information can be used to develop interim controls and to prioritize hazards for permanent control. Note: "Risk" is the product of hazard and exposure.

Thus, risk can be reduced by controlling or eliminating the hazard or by reducing workers' exposure to hazards.To complete the first step in any workplace risk assessment, you must identify the hazards in your workplace. Not all hazards are obvious and they will be unique to your workplace. Therefore, we have created this guide to help you understand the different categories of hazards and where they might be present.

The rest of this article focuses on hazards, including where they might be found in different workplaces. We also provide you with a range of further resources to make your risk assessment process as smooth as possible. You must be appropriately trained before you carry out any workplace risk assessments. Below you will find a non-exhaustive list of hazards that can be found in a range of work environments. The aim of this guide is to help you understand the different categories of hazards, so you can confidently identify them in your workplace.

Biological hazards include viruses, bacteria, insects, animals, etc. These health impacts can range from skin and respiratory system irritation, to the transmission of infections. Blood-borne diseases are viruses or bacteria that can be transmitted through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. Those most at risk from blood-borne diseases are those working in the healthcare sector, for example, doctors, nurses and dentists.

Hazard, Risk \u0026 Safety - Understanding Risk Assessment, Management and Perception

However, many other professions can be at risk, such as cleaners, waste and refuse collectors, street cleaners, park keepers and tattoo artists. Simply put, anyone who might encounter sharps at work is at risk. Incidents that pose a risk for blood-borne disease transmission can have serious health and psychological impacts. Improperly managed work environments can make your work premises the ideal environment for bacteria, moulds and fungi to thrive, such as Legionella bacteria.

Workplaces most at risk include spa pools, textile and print industries, and paper manufacturing, however any humid work environment can be at risk. Those at risk include individuals working in food manufacturing and preparation, such as in a bakery. The deterioration of building materials, as well as building, construction and agricultural activities, can expose workers to a range of organic dusts, moulds and bacteria — including clay and straw dust.

Exposure to these can result in exacerbation of allergies, respiratory and skin irritation, among other health impacts. For example, those working in agriculture or horticulture, people working in zoos or as dog handlers, are at risk of encountering bacteria, fungi, viruses and mites off the animals and vegetation they work around. Chemical hazards are hazardous substances that can cause harm. They can be very dangerous but might not always be immediately identifiable in the workplace.

For example, when considering who may be at risk, you might not immediately think of hairdressers, florists, cleaners, waiters, bartenders, or nail technicians.

hazards and risks examples

Cleaning chemicals are used in almost every workplace to maintain good hygiene standards. Incorrect use of cleaning chemicals can have serious impacts, including allergic reactions, asthma and respiratory irritation, dermatitis and skin or eye burns. These are all substances that we safely use at home without considering the risks.

A Guide to the Most Common Workplace Hazards

Incorrect use and storage of these substances can result in a range of serious health and safety risks.To ensure you enjoy the best possible online experience with us, this site uses cookies. By using our site, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy. Click the accept button to hide this notification. The terms Hazard and Risk are often used interchangeably but this simple example explains the difference between the two.

If there was a spill of water in a room then that water would present a slipping hazard to persons passing through it.

hazards and risks examples

If access to that area was prevented by a physical barrier then the hazard would remain though the risk would be minimised. The level of risk is often categorised upon the potential harm or adverse health effect that the hazard may cause, the number of times persons are exposed and the number of persons exposed.

For example exposure to airborne asbestos fibres will always be classified as high because a single exposure may cause potentially fatal lung disease, whereas the risk associated with using a display screen for a short period could be considered to be very low as the potential harm or adverse health effects are minimal. Control measures include actions that can be taken to reduce the potential of exposure to the hazard, or the control measure could be to remove the hazard or to reduce the likelihood of the risk of the exposure to that hazard being realised.

A simple control measure would be the secure guarding of moving parts of machinery eliminating the potential for contact. When we look at control measures we often refer to the hierarchy of control measures. Risk Assessment is where the severity of the Hazard and its potential outcomes are considered in conjunction with other factors including the level of exposure and the numbers of persons exposed and the risk of that hazard being realised.

There are a number of different formulae used to calculate the overall risk from basic calculations using high, medium and low categories to complicated algorithms to calculate risks at Nuclear power stations and other high risk work locations.

For a risk to be ALARP it must be possible to demonstrate that the cost involved in reducing the risk further would be grossly disproportionate to the benefit gained. Further guidance on risk assessment can be found in the publication Guidelines on Risk Assessments 2. These guidelines provide practical advice and recommendations on how an organisation can develop its occupational safety, health and welfare management system and comply with its legal duties.

hazards and risks examples

Healthy, safe and productive lives and enterprises. Managing Safety and Health in Schools. Teacher Support and Classroom Resources. Safety and Health Initiatives in Education.

Health and Safety Courses Online.Your workplace is not an exception to that. According to an estimation by the International Labour Organization, million occupational accidents take place each year. A lot of things could go wrong in your workplace, and these incidents could sometimes lead to death. To avoid these hazards, you need to perform a thorough safety risk assessment. Safety Risk Assessment Example 2. Electrical Safety Risk Assessment 3. Health and Safety Risk Assessment Format 4.

Sample Health and Safety Risk Assessment 5. Health and Safety Risk Assessment Procedure 6.

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Basic Health and Safety Risk Assessment 7. Health and Safety Risk Assessment 8.

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Health and Safety Risk Assessment Policy 9. Event Safety Generic Risk Assessment What is the difference between risk and hazard? What do you mean by PPE? What are the five types of safety risk assessment? The five types of risk assessment are as follows: qualitative risk assessment, quantitative risk assessment, generic risk assessment, site-specific risk assessment, and dynamic risk assessment.

The qualitative risk assessment is the most common type of assessment. The basis of this is the subjective judgment of the specialist. When an assessor uses a numerical value in assessing the risk, then that is a quantitative risk assessment. You use this type of risk assessment in evaluating nuclear plants and aircraft design. A generic risk assessment is a general assessment of activity.

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This type covers the common hazards of the activity in a single assessment, which helps to avoid duplication in paperwork. A site-specific risk assessment takes into account the specific location of the work.


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