Hazard identification is a systematic approach to identifying and recording all apparent and potential hazards in the workplace. A hazard comprises any activity or item that has the potential to cause injury, illness or damage.
Hazards may be present in the workplace environment, equipment, substances and work systems in the form of:
- Physical hazards such as dangerous or poorly maintained machinery, excessive noise, electricity and vehicles;
- Ergonomic hazards such as prolonged stooping or crouching, awkward postures or movement, or repetitive movements; and
- Chemical hazards such as poisonous liquids, particles, vapours or fumes;
- Psychological hazards such as fatigue, stress, bullying or time pressures;
- Biological hazards such as infectious diseases, moulds etc;
- Radiation hazards such as exposure to radiation or radioactive materials or environments;
All hazards to health and safety associated with workplace activities must be identified by:
- Walking through the workplace/worksite doing a visual check;
- Observing the way work is conducted and consult with workers to review hazards;
- Reviewing incident and injury reports; and
- Following information supplied by manufacturers and suppliers about the proper use of plant, equipment and hazardous substances.