Published October 27th, 2020
What is Hazard Identification?
Hazard identification is the process of detecting potential sources of harm or damage from doing a job task in a specific work area. Identifying workplace hazards is crucial to implement controls that will help ensure the safety of workers and other stakeholders. Hazard identification is part of a hazard assessment, or evaluating risks associated with a hazard and taking action to remove it or reduce risks involved with it.
In this article we will discuss the following:
- What is a hazard identification checklist
- How to perform hazard identification
- Paper-based versus digital hazard identification
- Powerful hazard identification tool
- Hazard identification checklists you can download and use right away
A hazard identification checklist, also known as a hazard assessment form, is a tool used by safety officers in performing hazard assessments. The main purpose of a hazard assessment is to identify potential health and safety hazards by examining conditions or practices in the workplace. Performing regular hazard assessments is critical for implementing adequate corrective measures that can help prevent injuries and illnesses.
A hazard assessment reduces the probability of workplace accidents from occurring and ensures the safety of your employees. Easily perform fire risk assessments by following the steps below:
- Look – Walk around the facility and look for out-of-place items. Identify potential or existing hazards. Learn how to identify common workplace hazards.
- Think – Evaluate identified hazards and determine their underlying causes. Set appropriate controls to mitigate the likelihood of recurrence.
- Act – Implement corrective actions or controls.
- Monitor – Perform regular inspections and reviews to ensure that standard operating procedures and safety control measures are followed.
Performing a pen & paper based hazard assessment involves typically involves doing the following:
- Carrying around numerous of paperwork on a clipboard and a camera while manually checking and documenting hazards in the facility.
- Manually searching for workers to explain and assign corrective actions and hope they follow through.
- Compiling all data gathered from inspection and attaching photos to create a report.
The above illustration shows a typical paper-based audit. Replace existing workflows involving paper forms, spreadsheets, scanning, and faxing.
iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a powerful inspection software and mobile app that can be used to perform hazard assessments quickly and accurately using your chosen hazard identification template. With iAuditor you can:
- Create mobile-ready risk assessment apps online (no IT skills needed)
- Empower teams to complete risk assessments using smartphone and tablet
- Attach photos and annotations in the app
- Save all reports online to the cloud. Preview a report here
- Use for free with small teams. Unlimited reports and storage for premium accounts
Top 8 Hazard Identification Templates
1. General Hazard Identification Form
This general hazard identification assesses potential risks (e.g noise, manual handling, excavation, etc.) observed within the work premises. Maximize this template by following the points below:
- Describe the nature of work and select the protective equipment available and needed to protect the employees from harm. Proceed with identifying the hazards present.
- Capture photo evidence of the situation or object that may cause serious problems to workers.
- Assign an action to a supervisor for review and immediate resolution.
- State observations and rate the overall assessment if the work site is safe or not.
- Sign off by capturing digital signature of safety inspector.
2. Basic Hazard Identification Template
Use this basic hazard identification template to perform general hazard assessments. Safety officers can also use this template during walkthroughs to easily document potential hazards in the facility. Maximize the use of this template by following the points below:
- Identify potential hazards, provide a description, and determine the risk rating depending on the hazard’s severity
- Take or attach a photo of the hazard (if possible)
- Add notes or comments where necessary
- Assign corrective actions to appropriate personnel, set priority level, and indicate the due date
- Provide additional comments and sign off with a digital signature
3. Workplace Hazard Assessment Form
Hazards associated with job processes and workflows need to be examined and reviewed to determine if existing control measures are effective and sufficient. Start by listing a process and identify the category of hazard (physical, chemical, biological, etc.). Evaluate the severity, frequency, probability of loss, and significance of hazards observed based on the rating guide provided. Site some recommendations for safety planning and purposes.
4. Comprehensive OSHA Hazard Assessment Checklist
This OSHA hazard assessment checklist template is based on the regulatory hazard assessment of OSHA. This checklist contains 43 sections covering a wide range of hazard identification procedures in the workplace. Modify this template and delete sections that may not be relevant or suited to your workplace’s needs. Use iAuditor to convert your paper checklists into digital mobile templates.
5. Hazard Assessment Checklist for Construction Industry
The construction industry accounts numerous fatalities caused by the “Fatal Four” – falls, struck by object, electrocution, and caught between objects. These hazards were responsible for more than half of construction workers’ deaths. Use this template before commencing work on a construction project. Determine the hazards that may arise from the work activity to be performed. Use iAuditor to record significant data of detected risks like presence of electrical tools, an ongoing excavation activity, use of scaffolds and ladders, and handling of deadly substances and materials.
6. Hazard Identification Checklist for Retail Industry
The main segments of the retail industry include retailing food, personal and household goods, and motor vehicle services. Activities in the industry often include hazards caused by improper loading and unloading of materials, mishandling of chemicals, and unsafe working environment that may cause slips, trips and falls. Use this checklist to ensure safety during operation. Carry out risk assessments to determine if there are sensitive risk groups in the retail sector like night workers, young persons and pregnant women and if they receive sufficient protection. Next, check if bullying and violence prevention policy is implemented and followed. Evaluate if the staff are well educated on the safety rules when working with big equipment, extreme temperatures, electricity, and chemicals. Lastly, provide recommendations to improve safety.
7. CCOHS Hazard Assessment Checklist for Manufacturing Facilities
The work processes in a manufacturing company largely involve the use of machineries, transportation, and labor force. Therefore, thorough evaluation of the environment, equipment, and employees’ compliance to safety rules must be conducted to identify workplace hazards. This CCOHS hazard assessment checklist containing 22 sections was converted using iAuditor and can be used to check the overall safety of a manufacturing site. Conduct safety inspections by using your mobile devices on site and send reports to your managers.
8. Toolbox Talk Template
Before performing a hazard assessment, it is best to gather your team to talk about existing issues and problems in the workplace. Use this toolbox talk template prior to a job or shift commencing for about 5 to 10 minutes. All staff and managers working on the shift discuss the key hazards and remediation plans associated with the works to be performed. Use iAuditor to document the group discussion and prompt all workers to sign off.