Hazards should be identified by both management and workers.  It is critical to involve workers in this process.  They are the ones exposed to the hazards and risks and the most likely to be hurt if risk management fails.

Hazards can be identified through:

  • Considering hazards from equipment, machinery, vehicles, hand-held tools, the location and environment, chemicals, biological hazards, design of the work, design of the workplace and how work is organised (including hours worked and shift work).
  • Physical observation
  • Breaking down tasks and processes and thinking about hazards at each step
  • Near-misses, incidents, injuries and illness in the workplace
  • Reviewing industry and WorkSafe information about hazards and risks
  • Checking manufacturers notes
  • Asking “What if?”
    What if:

    • someone put their hand in a moving part of machinery,
    • a child wandered in,
    • gas leaked,
    • something fell from height,

What if someone:

    • dropped something or fell from height,
    • worked three double shifts in a row,
    • absorbed a chemical
    • is bullied at work.