Spotting the hazards

An important aspect of your risk assessment is to identify potential hazards in your workplace. A good starting point is to walk around your workplace and consider what activities, processes or substances could injure your employees or harm their health?

Here are some pointers to help you spot them:

  • Check manufacturers’ instructions and safety data sheets, these will assist in determining the hazardsand putting them in their true perspective.
  • Look at previous accidents, injuries, ill health records, and/or near misses, these often help to identify the less obvious hazards.
  • Consider non-routine operations, such as maintenance, changes in production layout etc.
  • Consult with employees, for their knowledge of the process or work activity, as very often they have a feel for some of the more specific work-related hazards.
  • Think about long-term hazards to health, such ashigh levels of noise, exposure to harmful substances and those associated with mental ill-health at work.
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