If you want to ensure the best possible protection for your employees in the workplace, you have to develop a comprehensive safety and health program. The first step of this process is to conduct a hazard assessment, in other words to identify all potential physical and health hazards.
Physical and health hazards
Physical hazards could be: moving objects, sharp edges, fluctuating temperatures, electrical connections, high intensity lighting, and rolling or pinching objects. Overexposure to harmful dusts, chemicals or radiation is example of health hazards.
Basic hazard categories
As a part of your hazard assessment, you must look for potential hazards in the following basic hazard categories:
- Compression (roll-over)
- Harmful dust
- Light (optical) radiation
What should I look for?
In order to make a good evaluation of your workplace’s safety, you have to look for certain things that could occupational hazards, such as:
- Sources of electricity
- Sources of motion (machines or processes where movement may exist that could lead to an impact between personnel and equipment)
- Sources of high temperatures that could result in burns, eye injuries or fire
- Chemicals used in the workplace
- Sources of harmful dusts
- Sources of light radiation (welding, brazing, cutting, furnaces, heat treating, high intensity lights)
- Objects that may fall or drop
- Sharp objects that could poke, cut, stab or puncture
- Biologic hazards (blood or other potentially infected material)
After you have finished your walk-through, it is very important to organize and analyze the data, as you are required to document the findings of your hazard assessment. You are obliged to write a certification that includes the following information:
- Identification of the workplace evaluated
- Name of the person conducting the assessment
- Date of the assessment and
- Identification of the document certifying completion of the hazard assessment
Now that you have become aware of the potential occupational hazards in your workplace, you are ready to determine the proper types of PPE required.