In this article we will be considering majorly the different types of hazards. Before we get into the main point of discussion, let us have a recap of what an hazard is.
What is an Hazard?
An hazard is any thing, situation, environment or behavior that has the potential to cause injury, ill health, or damage to person(s), property or the environment. Anything can be an hazard depending on its current state. For example, a vehicle at its parking state is not an hazard, but when moving, it constitute an hazard. The same can be said about a person in his sober state; in a sober state he is no hazard, but when intoxicated with mind altering substances, he will become an hazard to person around him.
Lets get back to the subject matter:
Types of hazards
There are different types of hazards, they include:
- Physical hazard: A physical hazard is an agent, factor or circumstance that can cause harm with or without contact. Examples are: Slippery floors, objects in walkways, unsafe or misused machinery, excessive noise, poor lighting, fire, etc.
- Chemical hazards: A chemical hazard is a type of occupational hazard caused by exposure to chemicals in the workplace. Exposure to chemicals in the workplace can cause acute or chronic detrimental health effects. Examples include: Gases, dusts, fumes, vapours and liquids.
- Ergonomic hazards: Ergonomic hazards are physical conditions that may pose risk of injury to the musculoskeletal system, such as the muscles or ligaments of the lower back, tendons or nerves of the hands/wrists, or bones surrounding the knees, resulting in a musculoskeletal disorder. These include poor design of equipment, workstation design, (postural) or workflow, manual handling, repetitive movement, etc.
- Biological hazards: Biological hazards are a biological substances that pose threat to the health of living organisms, primarily humans. They include pathogenic micro-organisms, viruses, toxins (from biological sources), spores, fungi and bio-active substances.
- Psychological hazard: A psychological hazard is any occupational hazard that affects the psychological and physical well-being of workers, including their ability to participate in a work environment among other people.
- Environmental hazards: An environmental hazard is a substance, a state or an event which has the potential to threaten the surrounding natural environment / or adversely affect people’s health, including pollution and natural disasters such as storms and earthquakes.