Workplace injuries can happen anywhere, at any job. Wherever you work, whether that’s a factory, restaurant, office, or any other worksite, it’s important to conduct a hazard assessment. Hazards differ depending on where you work and the type of work you do, but the goal of a hazard assessment is the same: to protect the health and safety of your employees.
Take a minute to think back. When was your last workplace hazard assessment? If it was more than a year ago, you’re probably overdue for another one. Some high-risk environments may need assessments more frequently, though.
Here’s a list of FAQs to help you get ready for your next workplace hazard assessment.
Hazard assessments create awareness about potential hazards and the risks associated with them. They also help inform safe work procedures. These assessments help you maintain a healthy and safe workplace.
According to the 2021 Report on Work Fatality and Injury Rates, Canadian workers’ compensation boards reported more than 900 fatalities in 2019 due to work-related causes. By identifying and controlling potential hazards, you can help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses before they happen.
What are some common workplace injuries?
Workplace hazards can vary depending on the nature of your work. For example, common hazards at a construction site may be different than an office building. This is why hazard assessments require a keen eye—it’s important to identify hazards that are specific to your workplace and industry.
Here are a few of the most common workplace injuries:
- Slips, trips, and falls;
- Being struck by an object;
- Repetitive stress and overexertion;
- Being caught in machinery;
- Fire and explosion-related injuries;
- Vehicle-related accidents; and
Accidents happen, but many injuries can be prevented by following the right hazard assessment process.
What does a hazard assessment involve?
A hazard assessment is a three-step process:
- Hazard identification: Inspect the workplace, including processes and equipment, to identify existing or potential sources of harm.
- Risk assessment: Determine how likely it is that the hazard will cause harm and the level of risk posed.
- Hazard control: Implement measures to eliminate the hazard or reduce the risk.
Through this process, you will see what type of safety processes, procedures, and training are important for your workplace. It may be anything from Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training to safe lifting techniques or addressing mental health and wellness.
When do I need to do a workplace hazard assessment?
It’s best practice to conduct a full workplace hazard assessment at least once a year. If your workplace is a high-risk environment, like a manufacturing facility, you will want to do assessments more frequently. You should also conduct an assessment when there are changes to work processes or equipment, since it may create new hazards.
How do I get ready for my next hazard assessment?
Workplace hazard assessments require a critical eye and creative thinking to make sure you don’t miss or overlook anything. If it’s time for your next workplace hazard assessment, we are here to help. Our experts have created a step-by-step guide on everything you need to know. Download our FREE Workplace Hazard Assessments Guide!