A hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm like a cutting machine. The potential severity of harm from the machine could be a minor cut needing a plaster if you knock in to it or a serious cut or amputation if you get a hand caught in it.
Some examples of hazards and the injury that could occur are:
- Temperature - Heat stress, sunburn, melanoma, hypothermia, freezer burn, frost nip or frost bite
- Ventilation & humidity – headaches, nausea, tiredness, dry or itchy eyes
- Manual Handling - Back injury, musculoskeletal disorders, hernia and many other injuries
- Work with Display screen equipment (DSE) - Musculoskeletal disorders, eyestrain or eye soreness, headaches and blurred vision, fatigue, occupational stress
- Tripping and slipping - Injury to any part of the body depending on how you fall and what you are carrying
- Work at heights - Fall of the persons, suspension trauma or objects falling and hitting someone on the ground
- Obstructions - Striking against it, tripping over it as well as blocking emergency escape routes
- Poor Stacking or Storage - Falling materials, back injuries, falls during retrieval
- Repetitive movements - Musculoskeletal disorders
- Fire and explosion - Burns, health effects of smoke inhalation, exposure to hazardous substancesand toxic fumes, psychological trauma
- Hazardous chemicals substances - Acute and chronic health effects, allergiesWhen we know the hazards we can work out the risk factors and what control measures we need to adopt to reduce or eliminate the risk.
Finally hazards in the workplace can also cause harm to the environment. This can be things like chemicals getting into to rivers or dust leaving a factory.