Workplace Hazards Part 1 - Definitions

What is a hazard ?

A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm. According to OHSAS 18001:1999, hazard is a source or situation with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or illness health, damage to property, damage to the environment, or a combination of these.

Why hazards identification?

Hazard recognition or hazard identification is vitally important in accident prevention. By recognizing hazards' characteristics and properties, we can clearly determine proper controls. Unfortunately, the majority of us sometimes overlook to recognize hazards. There are many reasons why hazard identification has to be updated. We have identified the following top 15 reasons after doing extensive research:

  1. the identification of workplace hazards is the first step in the risk management process;
  2. when a new job, task or activity is introduced\initiated;
  3. when the existing process conditions will have to change;
  4. when current standard operating procedures need to be altered;
  5. when we plan to modify plant facility or plant layout;
  6. when a new equipment or machine will be installed in the plant site;
  7. when new safety equipment is introduced;
  8. when replacement of chemical, catalyst or fuel is required;
  9. when a new product will be produced;
  10. when plant expansion project is scheduled;
  11. when after an incident or accident occurred;
  12. when a neighbour plant will be built near the existing chemical plant;
  13. when safety audit, safety inspection, safety patrol or self-inspection system is being done;
  14. when transportation of the hazardous chemicals is required;
  15. when on-site and off-site emergency plans are prepared as per the schedule 11 and 12 of MS and IHC rules 1989 of EPA 1986.

In an industry there is interface in between man and machine with various materials through standard operating procedures (SOPs) in diversified working environment. Any variation in coordination or short cuts or uncomfortably of the man may lead to happening of any type of the errors. This error may transform in the bigger accident, if not control in time. The popular fish bone example above is used to show this relationship for error or accident.



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