Identifying hazards in the workplace isn’t as easy as it seems. In fact, it can be quite difficult – often there are hazards where there seem none, and it hasn’t entered anyone’s mind that such-and-such could possibly happen until it actually does. A layman needs the help of experts to come up with a risk assessment, considering the various industries and businesses there are. However, whatever your business may be and whatever materials you have to deal with, a proper risk assessment must be done. So where do you start? What line of reasoning do you take? Here’s your guide to identifying hazards in your workplace: an important step in proper risk assessment.
Think of who could be harmed
In principle, everybody – or anybody – could be harmed; it’s often just a matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, probability theory confirms that it’s the people who are closest to the potential hazard most of the time who get hurt first. These people should be identified – they have the right to know the risk and should receive training on how to handle it.
Of course, you should consider everybody. You should especially consider the following employees:
- Workers that have special requirements, such as older workers, pregnant workers, immigrants with language barriers or cultural differences, and so on
- Visitors and those who may pass by
- Immediate neighbours
Look at the fire safety code and building plans
When accidents happen, or when there is an emergency, the emergency exits become very important. So do the entrances where professional help and assistance can come through. There should be no obstacles that hinder traffic and smooth transportation. Floor plans and fire safety codes should also give you an idea of where possible dangers are.
Identify the hazards
When dealing with products, check the labels and consult manufacturers. Study operations or work events that are not routine and need special care. Remember also that certain activities might have long-term effects on health. And make sure you follow the law: certain procedures, such as working from heights, have safety provisions.
As stated before, a lot of the protocol you have to develop will depend largely on the industry you are in. In fact, depending on your business, you may have to follow safety procedures which have already been recorded in the law. For example, some hazards are legally recognised as risk of harm, such as working from heights, with machinery, with chemicals, and so on. Follow a recognised and logical plan; build on other people’s experience, and count on expert advice such as that given by www.firstresponsetraining.com. When it comes to safety, it deserves a lot of thought.