The hazard identification process could involve
- The principal with health and safety reps or committee members inspecting the workplace – regularly walking around the workplace and observing how things are done can help you predict what could or might go wrong.
- The principal on behalf of the board consulting with workers – working closely with workers and looking at every task in the workplace will assist in finding potential hazards.
- The board analysing principal reports of health monitoring, workplace incidents including near misses, worker complaints, sick leave and the results of any inspections and investigations to identify hazards.
Examples of common hazards
Here are some examples of common hazards arising from work activities and their potential harm:
- Falling objects, falls, slips and trips of people – bruises, lacerations, dislocations, fractures, concussion, permanent injuries or death
- Vehicles, plant, machinery, equipment – bruises, lacerations, dislocations, fractures, concussion, permanent injuries or death
- Repetitive movement (e.g. data entry, lifting children) – muscular strain, occupational overuse syndrome (OOS)
- Biological (bacteria, viruses) – e.g. leptospirosis
- Loud noise (from power tools in technology classes or children’s noise levels) – permanent hearing damage
- Bullying in the workplace – stress-related illness
- Hazardous substances – burns, skin conditions, respiratory problems