How to identify and assess workplace hazards?

A key step in any safety protocol is to conduct a thorough hazard assessment of the work environment and equipment at a workplace. In a hazard assessment, it is important to be as thorough as possible because after all, you can’t protect your workers against hazards you are unaware of. Therefore, there should be a nominated trained safety officer for conducting formal risk assessments at each workplace or project site.

To identify and assess hazards, safety officers or trained employers and workers should:

  • collect and review information about the hazards present or likely to be present in the workplace
  • conduct initial and periodic workplace inspections of the workplace to identify new or recurring hazards
  • investigate past illnesses, incidents, and close calls / near misses to determine the underlying hazards, their causes, and safety and health programme shortcomings
  • group similar incidents and identify trends in injuries, illnesses, and hazards reported
  • consider hazards associated with emergency or non-routine situations
  • determine the severity and likelihood of incidents that could result for each hazard identified, and use this information to prioritise corrective actions

You can understand the steps necessary to assess your workplace safety hazards for self-assessment here. [LINK to the document/template can be added after checking with trainers/GERMI].

One can also study the ‘Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs’ issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United States.



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