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Hazard Identification

Introduction:
Employers and employees have a legal obligation to keep the workplace
safe.
Hazard identification provides information that can be used to manage
risks, which, if not controlled, can lead to workplace accidents. It can also
have other benefits, with reduced:
1. ork!cover claims"
#. Insurance payments"
$. %ost time incidents"
&. 'bsenteeism" and,
(. )osts associated with replacing in*ured workers.
+he process of hazard identification can also assist in:
,evealing hazards which were overlooked in the original
design and installation of plant, e-uipment, operating
procedures and setting!up of associated work systems"
.etecting hazards which have developed after the plant,
e-uipment, other resources /chemicals etc.0 or work system
has been established"
Highlighting any ergonomic problems associated with the
plant, e-uipment, operating procedures"
Indicating any environmental factors e.g. poor lighting, that
may contribute to accidents" and
.etermining methods for ongoing monitoring to achieve
optimum 1ccupational Health 2 3afety workplace
standards"
Highlighting any training re-uirements.
Sources of Hazards:
Hazards may arise from:
+he workplace environment e.g. insufficient lighting"
E-uipment45lant e.g. a noisy engine which has not been insulated"
3ubstances e.g. e6plosive fumes building up in a storage area" and
ork systems e.g. storage of files at high level causing retrieval
hazards.
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Forms of Hazards:
orkplace hazards can be divided into a number of groups:
Physical Hazards 7 e.g. noise, electricity, heat and cold"
Chemical Hazards 7 e.g. to6ic gases, no6ious fumes and corrosive
li-uids"
Ergonomic Hazards 7 e.g. height of work bench, design of a
chair, set!up of a workstation"
Radiation Hazards 7 e.g. from 6!ray machine, infrared beams or
badly fitting microwave doors"
Psychological Hazards 7 e.g. stress from using e-uipment without
proper training or instruction, or being forced into using faulty
e-uipment which carries a risk of in*ury"
Biological Hazards 7 e.g. syringes carrying potentially infected
blood, specimen containers carrying potentially infected materials
and viruses from air conditioning systems" and,
Plant Hazards 7 mean any machinery, e-uipment, appliance.
Items of 8plant9 may have associated physical, chemical,
ergonomic or radiation hazards.
Who and When to Undertae Hazard Identification:
1ccupational Health and 3afety legislations and regulations re-uire that
employers must ensure that appropriate steps are taken to identify all
reasonably foreseeable hazards arising from work. In many workplaces
this re-uirement is delegated to supervisors.
3upervisor is any person, who provides guidance and4or instruction
regarding the activities of another person at work.
+he supervisor is then responsible for ensuring that person is fully
informed about the hazards associated with those activities, is ade-uately
trained and instructed in safe working procedures and is appropriately
supervised.
3upervisors will be directly involved in the identification of hazards,
evaluation of risks and determination and implementation of appropriate
control measures.
Hazard Identification Should !e Carried "ut:
:efore and during the introduction of new plant, e-uipment,
chemical or other item to the workplace"
hen there is likely to be a risk to health or safety involved,
before and during any:
#
! 'lteration to the plant, e-uipment, workplace"
! )hange to the way the plant, e-uipment or an area is used"
! )hange to the work system" and,
! )hange in location of the plant, e-uipment or people.
If new or additional health or safety information associated with
the plant, e-uipment, chemical or other item or its work system
becomes available to the employer.
Com#onents of Hazard Identification:
+he key elements in implementing the hazard identification process for
the plant, e-uipment, chemical or other item and associated work systems
are listed below:
.evelop a register for all hazardous items /e.g. plant, electrical
items, and chemicals0
! +he register must list all items with some details on the
location and usage.
! 1ne person must be given responsibility for maintaining the
register in each area.
'nalyze available information about the potential hazards
associated with each item and work system, for e6ample:
! )heck accident4incident reports.
! )heck breakdown4maintenance records"
! )heck recommended training information, instruction
booklets etc.
! )heck )ode of 5ractice and 3tandards.
Inspect the workplace to identify hazards. 'nalyze:
! +he environment
! +he system of work
! +he piece of plant, e-uipment, chemical or other item itself
talk to operators4users 7 they will be familiar with the
hazards.
,ecord the hazard identification on:
! Hazard Identification )hecklist and4or
! Hazard Identification worksheet, and4or
! ,egister.
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