Workplace Hazards

What’s Safe? What Isn’t?

A perfectly safe and healthy workplace would have no hazards. There would be nothing that could harm you. Unfortunately, many workplace hazards are so familiar that we ignore them and put ourselves, and sometimes others, at risk.

A 17-year-old groundskeeper didn’t know that the gloves he was wearing had been in contact with gasoline. When he struck a lighter, the gloves caught fire and he received third degree burns to his arm and back.

How do you Find a Hazard?

Ask yourself what if questions...

  • What if I bump into the open containers of hot oil?
  • What if the forklift tips over on my co-worker in a fast turn?
  • What if I inhale the toxic fumes from the toilet cleaning chemicals?

Learn to spot a hazard – before an incident happens – is the first step to staying safe. Every job will have slightly different hazards. Wherever you work, there are four main types of hazards and some examples:

  1. Physical hazards
    • Using the same tool all day long
    • Being crushed by equipment
    • Tripping or falling
  1. Biological hazards
    • Bee stings
    • Allergic reaction to plants, insects or mold
    • Being in contact with materials where viruses or bacteria are present
  1. Chemical hazards
    • Using cleaning products regularly
    • Using paint materials regularly
    • Using toxic chemicals
  1. Psychosocial Hazards
    • Intimidation, verbal abuse
    • Working hours
    • Rotating shift work

More on Workplace Hazards

Jobs and Their Hazards

Find Out What Health and Safety Hazards are Unique to Your Job

Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Created: 2006-06-28
Modified: 2012-11-07
PID: 3109

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Call or email the OHS Contact Centre for general information, to order publications, file a complaint or report an incident.

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Occupational Health and Safety Council

The OHS Council is an administrative body, which operates arms length from government. The Council advises the Minister on OHS matters and serves as an appeal body for orders issued by Occupational Health and Safety.

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