Workplace Hazards Part 4 - Categories of Hazards

Broad categories of hazards

To help with the process of identifying hazards it is useful to categorize hazards in different ways for example by topic, for example:

  • mechanical;
  • electrical;
  • radiation;
  • substances;
  • fire and explosion;
  • toxic release; and
  • natural calamities.

During work activities the following hazards exist:

  • Slips/falls on the floor level;
  • Falls of persons from heights;
  • Falls of tools, materials, etc, from heights;
  • Inadequate headroom;
  • Hazards associated with manual lifting/handling of tools, material, etc;
  • Hazards from plant and machinery associated with assembly, commissioning, operation, maintenance, modification, repair and dismantling;
  • Vehicle hazards, covering both on-site transport and travel by road;
  • Fire and explosion;
  • Violence to staff;
  • Substances that may be inhaled;
  • Substances or agents that may damage the eye;
  • Substances that may cause harm by coming into contact with, or being absorbed through the skin;
  • Substances that may cause harm by being ingested (for example entering the body via the mouth);
  • Harmful energies (for example, electricity, radiation, noise, vibration, etc.);
  • Non-compliance of regulation
  • Inadequate thermal environment, for example too hot;
  • Lighting levels;
  • Slippery, uneven ground/surfaces;
  • Inadequate guard rails or hand rails on stairs; w) Subcontractors' activities.

General understanding about hazards

The following figures/photographs helps in understanding the hazards from control point of views:

Poor signage fails to convey the message about the hazards and therefore increases the possibilities of damages due to hazards.


Poor maintenance and repair of vessels and pipes increases the potential hazards of the release of the chemicals into the workplace surrounding environment.

Poor security and broken boundary walls are biggest potential hazards.


Poor storage or the pile up of the chemical drums or tonners are the potential hazards, falling of drums and consequently the release of the chemicals.



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