What is a hazard?

The meaning of the word hazard can be confusing. Often dictionaries do not give specific definitions or combine it with the term "risk". For example, one dictionary defines hazard as "a danger or risk" which helps explain why many people use the terms interchangeably. There are many definitions for hazard but the more common definition when talking about workplace health and safety is: A hazard is any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects on something or someone under certain conditions at work. Basically, a hazard can cause harm or adverse effects (to individuals as health effects or to organizations as property or equipment losses). Sometimes a hazard is referred to as being the actual harm or the health effect it caused rather than the hazard. For example, the disease tuberculosis (TB) might be called a hazard by some but in general the TB-causing bacteria would be considered the "hazard" or "hazardous biological agent".

What are examples of a hazard?
Workplace hazards can come from a wide range of sources. General examples include any substance, material, process, practice, etc that has the ability to cause harm or adverse health effect to a person under certain conditions. See Table 1. Table 1 Examples of Hazards and Their Effects Workplace Hazard Thing Substance Material Source of Energy Condition Process Practice Example of Hazard Knife Benzene Asbestos Electricity Wet floor Welding Hard rock mining Example of Harm Caused Cut Leukemia Mesothelioma Shock, electrocution Slips, falls Metal fume fever Silicosis

As shown in Table 1, workplace hazards also include practices or conditions that release uncontrolled energy like:

an object that could fall from a height (potential or gravitational energy),

.000 smokers will likely develop lung cancer" (depending on their age and how many years they have been smoking). the release of compressed gas or steam (pressure."Y". how the person is exposed (e. emphysema and heart disease from cigarette smoking). high temperature). What is risk? Risk is the chance or probability that a person will be harmed or experience an adverse healtheffect if exposed to a hazard. Another way of reporting risk is "a certain number .• • a run-away chemical reaction (chemical energy).. For example: The risk of developing cancer from smoking cigarettes could be expressed as "cigarette smokers are 12 times (for example) more likely to die of lung cancer than nonsmokers". whereas hazards refer to the possible consequences (e. These risks are expressed as a probability or likelihood of developing a disease or getting injured. breathing in a vapour. It may also apply to situations with property or equipment loss. lung cancer. . • entanglement of hair or clothing in rotating equipment (kinetic energy). or • contact with electrodes of a battery or capacitor (electrical energy). of smokers per 100.g.g. Factors that influence the degree of risk include: • • how much a person is exposed to a hazardous thing or condition. and • how severe are the effects under the conditions of exposure. skin contact).

the risk is much less. Hazards and Risks In this element you will learn about your responsibilities in relation to potential hazards in the salon and how you should deal with them. If it is trailing across the passageway of a client. The distinction with risk management terminology is explained. In these instances you need to know ‘who’ to approach. and hazard as simply an agent with potential to cause harm. and indeed different from their usage in disciplines concerned with risk management. However. Almost everything may be a hazard. but in others you may need to ask the advice of a more qualified member of staff. as well as other terms relating to exposures and measures of disease occurrence. it has a high risk of someone tripping over it: if it is safely out of the path of the client. Risk = A risk is the likelihood of the hazard’s potential being realised (the risk of the hazard actually happening). In some cases you will be able to deal with a hazard yourself. Yet another variant of the definition of hazard is given in section 8 (health and safety). the risk is much less than if they are left out in a busy workshop for anyone to use – or misuse. how can you make sure you stick to them? It may be helpful to give you the definition of a hazard and a risk: Hazard = A hazard is something with potential to cause harm (something which may cause harm). the epidemiological definitions are presented which consider risk as a probability (without reference to the potential size of the adverse health impact). if they are kept in a properly designed secure storage area and handled by trained stylists. What you will learn • Responsibilities – who does what • Policies in your workplace • .Risk and hazard Risk and hazard Introduction Risk and hazard are terms commonly used to describe aspects of the potential for harm from environmental and other agents. The meaning of these terms in epidemiological usage is somewhat different from their meaning in common parlance. Hairdressing products. such as hydrogen peroxide. stored in the salon are hazards and because they are toxic and flammable may present a high risk. In this section. You will also need to know your responsibilities for implementing the health and safety policies used in your salon – if you do not know what they are. but it may or may not become a risk. For example. a trailing lead from a hairdryer is a hazard.

Identifying risks • Reporting and dealing with hazards content provide by Heinemann .

sunglasses and long sleeves. Wear gloves when working. falls Eye. Rotate tasks. Do not work on unstable terrain. One person is responsible for clear labelling and storage. Rotate tasks. Provide sunscreen and water. Wear dust masks when shovelling mulch. Do not leave tools on path ways. Work away from cliff edges. Rotate crowbars. Identify allergic volunteers. weed bags. First Aid procedures. Take regular breaks. Remove sharps from site when found and use correct sharps handling procedures. Wash hands when finished work. stings. Work in shade or for less time when hot. Work away from nests. and go slowly. wash skin immediately. Provide goggles. sunstroke Windy / wet weather Use of chemicals.Hazard Risks Safety measures/ actions Rating Manual handling of hand tools Teach and remind volunteers of correct . Identify people with allergies. Falling branches Send volunteer home if they are cold and Cold wet. Have a mobile phone on-site. Repetitive movements. Watch where one walks. . First Aid training and procedures. Request that volunteers wear hats. Repetitive strain tasks. positions Warn volunteers and remove trip hazards before commencing work. loppers. eyes Provide gloves. allergic reaction Bites Allergic reactions Inhalation UV radiation / hot weather Sunburn. If contact occurs. Wash hands after use. Contact with skin. broken glass and rusty metal Insect bites and stings Bites from snakes and injured wildlife Allergic reactions to native plants and weeds Bacteria and pathogens in mulch and soil Slips. herbicide Do not work under trees when windy. dehydration. falls Slips. Wear gloves. Provide insect repellent. Wear sunglasses. Wear impervious gloves in wet weather. secateurs. mattocks.knives. Back/ limb injury Teach and remind volunteers of correct bending and awkward working Repetitive strain posture. Back injury lifting and carrying techniques. face injuries and scratches Cuts and punctures to skin Bites. Trip hazards Injury Slippery/ unstable terrain Steep terrain/ cliffs Sharp edges on twigs and branches Sharp objects and rubbish: syringes. Teach correct use and storage. Mark tools with fluorescent colour. peter levers etc Lifting heavy objects incorrectly Back injury Teach and remind volunteers of correct Repetitive strain lifting technique.

Other measures Display the Poisons Information hotline. Display location and phone number of nearest doctor and hospital. Provide all volunteers with written information sheet of potential hazards and risk measures. Provide a First Aid Kit and sharps container at all volunteer work sessions. . Work when traffic is most quiet.Working on or near roadsides Hits from motor vehicles Wear safety vest.

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