2_HSE_Hazard_Awareness Health and Safety Information Bulletin 19: Hazard Awareness

What is a hazard?

Anything capable of causing harm or damage to people, property, environment in any possible way, is called a hazard. It is defined as “a source of exposure to danger” that can lead to injuries, illnesses or damage to property or the environment.

What is hazard awareness?

Hazard awareness is a repetitive learning behaviour. The well-being of yourself and others depends on the awareness of potential and existing hazards. Through training and planned task observations, we learn to identify and be more aware of hazards. To be more aware, we should learn from others’ mistakes to prevent us from making ours. Hazard awareness is more of a pro-active state of mind than a reactive state of mind.

Types of hazards:

  • Physical hazards: Slip and trip, falling from heights, extreme noise, burns from hot liquid etc
  • Biological hazards: Mold, insects/pests, communicable diseases, sewage etc
  • Chemical hazards: Silica, air-borne vapour, cleaning products, asbestos etc
  • Ergonomic hazards: Improper lifting technique, bad posture at workstation etc
  • Organization hazards: Work pressure, bullying, work pattern, shift work etc
  • Electrical hazards: Cracked wires, poor connection, overloaded circuits, damaged insulation etc

How can we prevent hazards?

A competent person should perform a specific HIRA (Hazard Identification Risk Assessment) before any work begins.
  • Identify all existing and potential hazards in your work area, then assess each hazard and make use of the Hierarchy of Control to minimize the risk
  • If you identify any possible hazards, make everyone aware of them. Report any unsafe conditions or unsafe acts to your supervisor immediately
  • Get in the habit of regularly pausing to make a quick mental assessment of your working environment
  • Improving in your awareness of potential and existing hazards will prevent you from any dangers or harm

image-png-Aug-31-2021-10-43-32-45-AM.png?width=293&name=image-png-Aug-31-2021-10-43-32-45-AM Health and Safety Information Bulletin 19: Hazard Awareness