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Workplace Hazards Part 2 - Categories of Hazards

Categorising hazards

To assist in identifying hazards, the hazards may be categorised as follows:

  • The obvious hazard is apparent to the senses (e.g. unguarded machinery, building defects, or and faulty electrical equipment).
  • The concealed hazard is not apparent to the senses (e.g. electricity, presence of toxic vapors, or and high frequency noise).
  • The developing hazard cannot be recognised immediately and will develop over the time (e.g. a worn tire on a mobile crane or and frayed steel cables), and
  • The transient hazard is an intermittent or a temporary hazard (e.g. overload of machinery, when a confined space permit has expired, a sticking safety valve on a boiler, intermittent electrical or and mechanical defect).

To make the job of identification of hazards in the workplace easier, it is important to record the following

  • all activities involved in work process and tasks
  • who is involved in those activities
  • details of plant or materials that are used

It is important to make a list of all the hazards at the workplace. Once this list of hazards is compiled then each of the hazards should be considered individually for risk management.


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