How are Potential Hazards Identified?
A hazard is something that can cause harm, e.g. electricity, chemicals, working up a ladder, noise, a keyboard, a bully at work, stress, etc.
A risk is the chance, high or low, that any hazard will actually cause somebody harm.
For example, working alone away from your office can be a hazard. The risk of personal danger may be high. Electric cabling is a hazard. If it has snagged on a sharp object, the exposed wiring places it in a ‘high-risk’ category.
How are potential hazards identified?
Two commonly-used techniques for identifying potential hazards are:
A) Kepner and Tregoe method based on change analysis; B) Gibson and Haddon approach based on unwanted energy flow and energy barrier.
A. Change analysis (Kepner and Tregoe)
Change analysis helps establish the significance of changes in causing accidents and losses. It also helps determine counter-changes to prevent these accidents and losses.
Change is needed for improvement, but the change may have unwanted side effects. Changes can be planned or unplanned. Sometimes, preventive changes can cause problems if not intro-duced properly.
In planned changes, potential problems can be identified and controlled.
Change analysis offers a powerful safety analysis methodology for the unplanned and anticipated changes in the operation of equipment, material, or process. Any unplanned changes may result in accidents and losses unless preventive measures (counter-changes) are implemented.
First introduced by C.H. Kepner and B.B. Tregoe in 1965 as a managerial tool to solve production problems, the change analysis technique was eventually adapted to occupational health and safety issues.
In the 1970s, the “What if” procedure was developed to identify possible accident event se-quences. Once these sequences are established, it is easier to pinpoint the hazards, conse-quences, and potential methods for risk reduction.
The “What if” analysis involves conducting a thorough and systematic examination of each task by asking questions that begin with “What if?” The formulation of the exact questions is left up to those conducting the examination.
The Common Hazards At Workplace:
- Working at height. …
- Poor housekeeping. …
- Electrical – Extension cords. …
- Forklifts. …
- Lockout/tagout. …
- Chemicals. …
- Confined spaces.