What is Hazard? Types Of Hazards & Control Measures

Different Types Of Hazards

Every day, we are surrounded by potential hazards. While some of them may be minor, others can cause serious injury or even death. It is important for business owners to understand what a hazard is and how to control the risks associated with them. In this blog post, we will discuss what hazard is, the different types of hazards, and the various control measures that can be taken to mitigate those risks.

What is Hazard?

A hazard can be anything that can cause harm or damage to people, property, or the environment. It is important to note that a hazard does not necessarily have to be physical in nature; it can also be chemical, biological, or psychological. Hazardous substances and conditions can exist in both natural and man-made environments.

What is Risk?

Risk is the likelihood that a hazard will cause harm or damage. It is important to note that not all hazards will result in an accident or incident; the level of risk is determined by the severity of the potential harm or damage and the likelihood that it will occur.

Difference Between Hazard and Risk

It is important to understand the difference between hazard and risk. A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause harm or damage, while risk is the likelihood that a hazard will actually cause harm or damage. For example, a pool of water is a hazard because it can cause drowning; however, the risk of drowning is determined by the depth of the water, the presence of lifeguards, and the person’s swimming ability.

Hazards Risk Assessment

Hazards risk assessment is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling risks posed by hazards. It is a proactive approach to managing health and safety and can be used to identify potential hazards before they occur.

The first step in conducting a hazard risk assessment is identifying the hazards in your workplace. This can be done by observing the work environment and identifying potential hazards. Once the hazards have been identified, they need to be assessed to determine the risks posed by each hazard.

The next step is to control the risks posed by each hazard. This can be done by implementing controls such as safety procedures, personal protective equipment or engineering controls.

Hazard risk assessment is an important part of managing health and safety in the workplace. By identifying hazards and assessing the risks posed by each hazard, you can control the risks and prevent accidents from happening.

Types Of Hazards At Work

There are four main types of hazards:

  • Physical hazards
  • Chemical hazards
  • Biological hazards
  • Psychological hazards

Physical Hazards & Control Measures

Physical Hazards & Control Measures

Physical hazards refer to the dangers that are posed by a substance or object due to its physical properties. These hazards can be either visible or invisible or naturally occurring or man-made.

Many different types of physical hazards can be present in the workplace. Some of the most common include:

  • Falls: Falls from heights are one of the most common causes of serious injury and death in the workplace. Workers should always use proper safety equipment and follow safe work practices when working at heights.
  • Slips, trips and falls: Slips, trips and falls are also common causes of injuries in the workplace. Workers should be aware of potential hazards in their work area and take precautions to avoid them.
  • Exposure to harmful substances: Workers may be exposed to harmful substances such as chemicals, dust or fumes while working. It is important to follow safe work practices and use proper personal protective equipment to avoid exposure.
  • Ergonomic hazards: Ergonomic hazards can cause musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome or back injuries. Workers should be aware of potential ergonomic hazards in their work environment and take steps to prevent them.
  • Noise: Exposure to loud noise can cause hearing loss. Workers should use hearing protection when working in noisy environments.
  • Heat and cold: Exposure to extreme temperatures can cause heat stress or cold stress. Workers should take precautions to avoid exposure to extreme temperatures.
  • Lighting: Poor lighting can cause eye strain and other vision problems. Workers should have adequate lighting in their work area.
  • Electricity: Exposure to electrical hazards can cause shock, burns or even death. Workers should be aware of potential electrical hazards in their work environment and take steps to avoid them.
  • Fire: Fire is one of the most dangerous physical hazards because it can spread quickly and cause extensive damage. If you are in an area where a fire is burning, it is important to stay calm and evacuate immediately. Do not try to fight the fire yourself; instead, call 911 and let the professionals handle it.
  • Floods: Floods are another major physical hazard that can occur suddenly and without warning. If you live in an area prone to flooding, it is important to have a plan in place for how you will evacuate if a flood occurs. Do not try to drive through floodwaters; instead, seek higher ground and wait for help to arrive.
  • Earthquakes: Earthquakes are another type of physical hazard that can be very dangerous. If you are in an area that is prone to earthquakes, it is important to know what to do during one. Drop to the ground, cover your head, and hold on to something sturdy until the shaking stops. Then, evacuate the area immediately and do not re-enter until it has been declared safe by authorities.
  • Hurricanes: Hurricanes are another type of physical hazard that can cause significant damage. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, it is important to have a plan for how you will evacuate if one does occur. Do not try to ride out the storm; instead, seek shelter and wait for help to arrive.

Physical hazards are present in many workplaces. It is important for workers to be aware of the potential hazards and take steps to avoid them.

Chemical Hazards & Control Measures

Chemical Hazards & Control Measures

Many different types of chemical hazards can be present in the workplace. Some of these hazards are more common than others, and others can be more dangerous. It is important to be aware of all the different types of chemical hazards that could be present in your workplace so that you can take steps to protect yourself and your coworkers.

Here are the most common types of chemical hazards that you might encounter in the workplace:

1. Asbestos

Asbestos is a material that can cause lung cancer and other health problems. It is found in some construction materials, such as insulation, and can be released into the air when these materials are disturbed. Asbestos exposure is a serious health hazard, and it is important to take steps to avoid it. If you suspect you have been exposed to asbestos, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

2. Lead

Lead is a heavy metal that can damage the brain, kidneys, and nervous system. Exposure to lead can cause learning and behavior problems and even death. There is no safe level of lead exposure, so it is important to take steps to avoid exposure.

Lead is found in many different products, including paint, plumbing pipes, and even some types of food. Lead exposure is most common in children, who can be exposed by eating lead-contaminated dust or soil. Adults can also be exposed to lead through work or hobbies that involve lead, such as soldering or working with lead-based paint.

3. Acids and Bases

Acids and bases can be extremely dangerous chemicals. They can cause burns, irritation, and corrosion. If you come into contact with an acid or base, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Acids and bases are often used in industrial and manufacturing settings. If you work with these chemicals, it is important to take precautions to protect yourself. Wear protective clothing, including gloves and a face mask. Ensure you have access to an emergency eyewash station in case of accidental contact.

4. Flammable Liquids

Flammable liquids are another common type of chemical hazard. These liquids can easily catch fire and can be very dangerous to work with. If you come into contact with a flammable liquid, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

5. Toxic Gases

Toxic gases can be extremely dangerous. They can cause respiratory problems, irritation, and even death. It is important to know how to safely handle and store toxic gases.

Toxic gases should always be stored in a well-ventilated area. If possible, they should be kept in a specialized storage container. Always wear protective clothing when handling toxic gases. This includes gloves, a mask, and eye protection. If you are working with a large volume of gas, make sure to have an emergency plan in place in case of a leak.

5. Corrosive Chemicals

Corrosive chemicals can cause burns, irritation, and corrosion. Corrosives are found in many common household products, such as drain cleaners and oven cleaners. Inhalation of corrosive fumes can also be dangerous. If you come into contact with a corrosive substance, immediately rinse the affected area with cool water for at least 15 minutes. If you have any questions about the safety of a product, always consult the product label or manufacturer.

6. Oxidizing Agents

Some oxidizing agents are so reactive that they can cause fires or explosions. Others may be corrosive, which can eat away at skin or other tissues. Some oxidizing agents are poisonous if ingested.

Overall, it is important to handle all oxidizing agents with care. If you come in contact with an oxidizing agent, be sure to wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. If you are exposed to a large amount of an oxidizing agent, or if you experience any adverse effects, seek medical attention immediately.

7. Toxic Metals

There are a variety of ways that toxic metals can enter the body. Inhaling them can cause respiratory problems, while skin contact can lead to irritation or burns. Ingested, they can cause serious gastrointestinal issues. In some cases, exposure to these substances can be fatal.

Identifying toxic metals is often difficult, as they may not be immediately obvious. However, some common signs of exposure include skin irritations, difficulty breathing, and gastrointestinal distress. If you believe you have been exposed to a toxic metal, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

8. Flammable Solids

Flammable solids are another common type of chemical hazard. These solids can easily catch fire and can be very dangerous to work with. Flammable solids can include things like dust, powders, and chips. They can be made from various materials, including metals, plastics, and chemicals. When these materials are heated, they can catch fire and burn quickly. This can be a serious hazard in the workplace, and it is important to take precautions to avoid it.

There are a few things that you can do to prevent flammable solids from catching fire. First, you should always keep them away from heat sources. This includes things like open flames, heaters, and hot surfaces. Second, you should ensure they are stored in a cool, dry place. This will help to prevent them from catching fire. Finally, you should always wear proper protective clothing when working with flammable solids. This includes things like gloves, goggles, and a face mask.

9. Toxic Liquids

Toxic liquids can be extremely dangerous. They can cause respiratory problems, irritation, and even death. If you come into contact with a toxic liquid, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

10. Flammable liquids

Flammable liquids are another common type of chemical hazard. These liquids can easily catch fire and can be very dangerous to work with. If you come into contact with a flammable liquid, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

11. Radioactive Materials

Exposure to radiation can cause several health effects, ranging from minor skin irritation to death. The severity of the health effects depends on the amount of radiation exposure and the length of time of exposure. Even brief exposures to high levels of radiation can cause serious health effects.

12. Mercury

Mercury is a heavy metal that is poisonous to humans. It can damage the brain, kidneys, and lungs. Mercury exposure can occur through contact with mercury-containing products, such as Thermometers, or from eating fish that contain mercury. Pregnant women and young children are particularly at risk for health effects from mercury exposure. Mercury can also be released into the environment from coal-fired power plants and other sources.

If you work with any of these chemicals, it is important to take precautions to protect yourself. Be sure to read all warning labels carefully and follow all safety instructions. If you have any questions about a particular chemical, be sure to ask your supervisor or safety officer for more information. Remember, safety comes first!

Many different types of chemical hazards can be present in the workplace. Some of these hazards are more common than others, and others can be more dangerous. It is important to be aware of all the different types of chemical hazards that could be present in your workplace so that you can take steps to protect yourself and your coworkers.

Biological Hazards & Control Measures

Biological Hazards & Control Measures

Biological hazards can cause harm or damage to people, property, or the environment due to exposure to a biological agent. Examples of biological hazards include but are not limited to:

1. Bacteria

When it comes to the workplace, one of the most common hazards is bacteria. Bacteria are tiny, single-celled organisms that can cause disease. While some bacteria are essential for our health, others can make us sick.

Bacteria can enter our bodies through cuts or open wounds and can also be inhaled through our nose and mouth. Once inside our bodies, bacteria can multiply and cause illness.

Symptoms of bacterial infections vary depending on the type of bacteria but can include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, bacterial infections can lead to death.

2. Fungi

Fungi is a type of microorganism that can cause infections in humans. These infections can range from mild to life-threatening. Fungi can be found in many different environments, including soil, water, and plants. Some fungi are even capable of causing disease in healthy people.

Fungal infections can be difficult to treat because the fungi can live inside the human body and are not always destroyed by antibiotics. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the infected tissue. People with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of developing fungal infections.

If you think you may have a fungal infection, it is important to see a doctor to get the proper treatment. Fungal infections can be serious and even life-threatening if they are not treated promptly.

3. Viruses

Viruses are tiny infectious particles that can replicate inside the cells of living organisms. Viruses can cause various diseases in humans, from the common cold to more serious illnesses like AIDS. Most viruses are harmless, but some can be deadly. There is no cure for viral infections, but treatments are available for some viruses, such as HIV and influenza.

Viruses are classified into two main groups: DNA viruses and RNA viruses. DNA viruses contain genetic material made of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). RNA viruses contain genetic material made of ribonucleic acid (RNA).

4. Protozoa

Protozoa is a serious biological hazard. They are responsible for causing diseases such as malaria, amoebiasis, and giardiasis. Protozoa can also contaminate food and water supplies, leading to gastrointestinal illnesses outbreaks. In some cases, protozoa can even be deadly.

There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from protozoa. First, make sure that you cook your food properly. Protozoa can often be found in contaminated water, so it’s important to boil or filter your water before drinking it. You should also avoid contact with contaminated soil or water. If you do come into contact with contaminated materials, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly. Finally, if you are traveling to an area where protozoa are common, make sure to take precautions against mosquito bites, as mosquitoes can transmit some types of protozoa.

Following these simple tips can help protect yourself from the dangers of protozoa. Remember, however, that protozoa can be a serious threat, so it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

5. Parasites

There are many different types of parasites, and they can be found in various environments. Parasites can cause many diseases, some of which can be deadly.

Most people think of parasites as only affecting animals, but this is not always the case. Many parasites can also infect humans, some of which can be quite dangerous.

Knowing about these different types of biological hazards can help you avoid them and protect yourself from potential health risks. You must see a doctor immediately if you think you may have been exposed to any of these hazards.

Psychological Hazards & Control Measures

Psychological Hazards & Control Measures

Psychological hazards are those that can cause harm or damage to people, property, or the environment as a result of exposure to a psychological stressor. Examples of psychological hazards include but are not limited to:

1. Bullying

Bullying in the workplace can lead to many psychological hazards. The first hazard is that it can lead to stress. When you are constantly being bullied, it can take a toll on your mental health and well-being. You may start to feel anxious, depressed, or even suicidal. If you are not careful, bullying can also lead to substance abuse. Bullied people often turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain.

Another psychological hazard of workplace bullying is that it can lead to social isolation. When you are constantly being ridiculed and made to feel inferior, you may start to withdraw from social interactions. You may become scared to speak up or participate in activities because you don’t want to be humiliated. This can lead to loneliness and feeling like you have no one to turn to.

If you or someone you know is being bullied at work, a few things can be done. First, try to talk to the person who is doing the bullying. This can be difficult, but it is important to try to resolve the issue. You can talk to a supervisor or the HR department if that does not work. They can help to investigate the situation and take action if necessary. Finally, you can also seek help from a professional counselor or therapist. They can provide you with support and guidance to help you cope with the situation.

2. Harassment

It is a common scenario at workplaces today. You are sitting in your chair, minding your business, when someone from the other side of the room hurls a lewd comment your way. You are frozen in shock, not knowing how to react. This is just one example of the many ways in which people can be harassed at their workplaces.

While sexual harassment is the most common form of workplace harassment, there are other types as well. These include but are not limited to racial harassment, religious harassment, and disability-based harassment. Workplace harassment can have a severe impact on an individual’s mental health. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you are being harassed at work, you must reach out for help. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about what is going on. You can also contact a professional therapist or counselor to help you deal with the psychological effects of workplace harassment. Remember, you are not alone in this. There is help available if you reach out for it.

3. Stress

Stress is the number one psychological hazard in the workplace. It can lead to various problems, including anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, heart disease, sleep disorders and stroke.

A number of things can cause stress in the workplace, including long hours, tight deadlines, heavy workloads, job insecurity and conflict with co-workers.

There are several things you can do to manage stress in the workplace. These include:

  • Taking breaks during the day
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. Left untreated, stress can lead to serious problems at work and in your personal life.

4. Violence

Violence can be defined as an act of aggression, whether physical or psychological, that is intended to hurt or kill. It can occur in the workplace, at home, or in public. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), violence is a leading cause of death and injury in the workplace. In fact, it is the second leading cause of death for American workers, behind only car accidents.

Many factors can contribute to workplace violence, including job stress, bullying, and exposure to violence in the community. However, one of the most important risk factors is a history of violence or aggression. This includes a history of domestic violence, assault, or other violent crimes.

If you have a history of violence or aggression, getting help from a mental health professional is important before it leads to workplace violence. There are many resources available to help you deal with anger and aggression in a healthy way. With the right support, you can prevent workplace violence before it happens.

Public Health Hazards & Control Measures

Public Health Hazards & Control Measures

Many potential public health hazards can occur when people do not have access to clean water. Waterborne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid fever, are a major concern in areas where water is contaminated. In addition, people who do not have access to clean water are at risk of developing skin infections and other health problems.

One of the most significant public health hazards associated with dirty water is the spread of waterborne diseases. Waterborne diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can contaminate water supplies. These diseases can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration and can even be fatal. In areas where clean water is unavailable, people are at risk of contracting waterborne diseases if they consume contaminated water or come into contact with it.

Another public health hazard associated with dirty water is the development of skin infections. Skin infections can occur when people come into contact with contaminated water. These infections can cause redness, swelling, and pain and can sometimes lead to serious health problems.

Dirty water can also lead to other health problems, such as respiratory infections and digestive problems. In addition, dirty water can exacerbate existing medical conditions, such as asthma and allergies.

The best way to avoid public health hazards associated with dirty water is to ensure you have access to clean water. If you are unsure about the quality of your water supply, you should contact your local public health department or water utility company. You can also take steps to purify your water at home using a filter or boiling it before drinking it. These simple precautions can help protect yourself and your family from potential public health hazards.

Hierarchy Of Control Measures For Hazards

There are a variety of control measures that can be taken to mitigate the risks associated with hazards. The type of control measure that is most appropriate will depend on the specific hazard involved. Some common control measures include but are not limited to:

  • Engineering controls
  • Administrative controls
  • Personal protective equipment

Engineering Controls

Engineering controls are those that seek to eliminate or minimize exposure to a hazard by altering the work environment. Examples of engineering controls include but are not limited to:

  • Local exhaust ventilation
  • Machine guards
  • Guardrails

Administrative Controls

Administrative controls seek to eliminate or minimize exposure to a hazard by altering how work is done. Examples of administrative controls include but are not limited to:

  • Job rotation
  • Workplace policies and procedures
  • Training programs

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is clothing, equipment, or a device that is worn by an individual to protect them from risks in the work environment. Examples of PPE include but are not limited to:

  • Hard hats
  • Safety glasses
  • Earplugs
  • Protective clothing

By understanding what hazard is, the different types of hazards, and the various control measures that can be taken to mitigate those risks, you can create a safer workplace for yourself and your employees.

Conclusion

Hazards are present in all work environments, but you can create a safer workplace by understanding what they are and how to control them. It is important to always promote a safe culture at your workplace. By doing so, you can help to ensure that everyone remains safe and healthy while they are working. Please contact your local health and safety representative if you have any questions about hazard control or want more information. Thanks for reading!

Did you find this blog post helpful? Let us know in the comments below. Stay safe out there!

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14 Comments

  1. Hello.
    While we would like to understand and learn to mitigate the risks of ergonomics.
    Can any one tell me what are the

    1. Awkward movements, especially if they are repetitive.
    2. Repeating the same movements over and over.

    Regarding improper posture i got an idea that this is related with the improper sitting. But what about the awkward movement. Because some time i had experience backache while sleeping at night, too much tummy noise and gas trouble, stomach pain last night while i work in Field.

    Thank or your fruitful suggestion.

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