Hazard types in the workplace
Identifying hazards at your workplace or job site is a process of finding the chemicals, substances, equipment, and tools (plus work methods and situations) that have the potential to cause harm. Hazards can be found in all aspects of a workplace, here are some examples:
Equipment, tools, materials, chemicals and substances
Job tasks and work processes
Work design, operating procedures, depth of supervision, and management culture
Staff training, contractor induction, and refresher programs
Site layout, adjacent properties, and environmental fault-lines
Flammable liquids introduce an additional layer of risk to workplaces because of the ignition potential in nearly all of the areas listed above. Equipment failure or misuse, natural disasters, structural damage, and work demands that exceed an employee’s ability to cope, can all contribute to igniting flammable liquids that lead to a fire or catastrophic explosion.
3 steps to identifying flammable liquid hazards
1. Review available data
2. Physically inspect work areas
- Where flammable liquids are being used and stored.
- What PPE is available and how it is being stored and maintained.
- How staff are actually using the flammable liquids and if there are any unsafe work practices.
- If housekeeping is acceptable and work areas are tidy.
- If other hazardous chemicals or dangerous goods are being used or stored in the same area.
- Do other work processes (production, repairs and maintenance, deliveries, use of personal electronics) create potential ignition sources?
- Are tools and equipment suitable for use alongside flammables?
What type of work culture exists and are staff receiving enough training and supervision?
3. Consulting workers, contractors and suppliers
a critical hazard that you don’t know about — you will need to speak with the people who are on the ground every day working with the flammable liquids at the job site. Consulting workplace personnel is not about observing a worker on the job, it’s about listening to their concerns about the way the workplace is designed whether the operating procedures they are expected to follow are practical.
- Formal meetings of safety committees and WHS representatives
- Conducting regular toolbox talks and safety forums
- Monitoring the responses of staff and contractors during safety inductions and refresher training
- Meeting with supplier representatives
4-step risk management approach to hazard control
He loves helping organisations reduce risk and improve efficiencies in the storage and management of dangerous goods.
Where can I get more information?