Occupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (2023)

katie martinelli

January 7, 2019

Occupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (1)7 minute read

To complete the first step of a workplace risk assessment, you must identify the hazards in your workplace. All workplaces have hazards and while there is a designated person to carry out formal hazard assessments, it is still everyone's responsibility to be aware of workplace hazards and minimize the risk of injury.

Not all hazards are obvious and will only occur in your workplace. This can make it difficult to immediately identify and protect your employees. That's why we've created this guide to help you understand the different categories of hazards and where they might be present.

What are the most common hazards in the workplace?

The words "risk" and "danger" are often used interchangeably. However, if you are responsible for managing health and safety in your workplace, it is important that you do so.understand the difference between them🇧🇷 The rest of this article focuses on the hazards, including where they can occur in different workplaces. We also provide a number of other resources to make your risk assessment process as easy as possible.

The six main categories of hazards are:

  • Biological.Biological hazards include viruses, bacteria, insects, animals, etc. that can cause adverse health effects. For example, mold, blood and other bodily fluids, harmful plants, sewage, dust, and vermin.
  • Chemical.Chemical hazards are dangerous substances that can cause harm. These hazards can have physical and health effects such as: B. Skin irritation, respiratory irritation, blindness, corrosion, and explosion.
  • Physically.Physical hazards are environmental factors that can harm an employee without necessarily touching them, including height, noise, radiation, and pressure.
  • Safety.These are hazards that create unsafe working conditions. For example, exposed wiring or damaged carpeting can create a tripping hazard.They are sometimes included in the category of physical hazards.
  • Ergonomic.Ergonomic risks are the result of physical factors that can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. For example, poor workplace setup in an office, poor posture, and manual handling.
  • Psychosocial.Psychosocial risks include those that may adversely affect an employee's mental health or well-being. For example, sexual harassment, victimization, stress and violence at work.

Occupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (2)

Do you need a training course?

Take a look at our rangewhere you find everythingRisks evaluationbyasbestos awareness.

Examples of Workplace Hazards

Below is a non-exhaustive list of hazards that can occur in a variety of work environments. The purpose of this guide is to help you understand the different categories of hazards so that you can safely identify them in your workplace.

biological hazardsOccupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (3)

Biological hazards include viruses, bacteria, insects, animals, etc. that can cause adverse health effects. These health effects can range from skin and respiratory irritation to infection transmission.

Some biological hazards include:

Bloodborne diseases, including HIV, hepatitis B and C, and malaria

Bloodborne diseases are viruses or bacteria that can be spread through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. Those most at risk for blood-borne diseases are those who work in health care, such as doctors, nurses, and dentists. But many other professions may also be at risk, such as cleaners, garbage collectors, sweepers, park attendants, and tattoo artists. Simply put, anyone who comes across sharp and pointy objects at work is at risk. Incidents that pose a risk of transmission of blood-borne diseases can have serious psychological and health effects. Ourcan help you take steps to reduce the risk of injury in your workplace.

Occupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (4)

bacteria, mold and fungus

Improperly managed work environments can make your work environment the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, mold and fungus, like: B. Legionella bacteria do. Exposure to bacteria, mold, and fungus can cause serious health effects, including:legionelosisand respiratory diseases and can aggravate allergies. Some of the highest risk workplaces include spa pools, textiles, printing and paper manufacturing, but any wet work environment can be at risk.

Flour, milk powder or grain powder

Exposure to organic dusts can cause serious health effects such as respiratory irritation and occupational asthma. People at risk include people who work in food production and preparation, for example in a bakery.

Occupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (5)

Other organic powders

Deterioration of construction materials and agricultural, building and construction activities can expose workers to a variety of organic dusts, fungi and bacteria, including clay dust and straw. Exposure to these can cause aggravation of allergies, respiratory and skin irritation, among other health effects.

Exposure to animals and plants.

For example, people who work in agriculture or horticulture, in zoos, or as dog handlers are at risk of encountering bacteria, fungi, viruses, and mites from animals and nearby vegetation. If not properly controlled, this exposure can lead to a number of health effects, including allergic conditions such as farmer's lung.

(Video) Occupational Hazards: Meaning, Types and Prevention of occupational hazards

chemical hazardsOccupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (6)

Chemical hazards are dangerous substances that can cause harm. They can be very dangerous, but they are not always immediately apparent in the workplace. For example, when you consider who might be at risk, you may not immediately think of hairdressers, florists, cleaners, servers, bartenders, or manicurists.

Examples of substances that represent a chemical hazard are:

cleaning chemicals

Cleaning chemicals are used in almost all workplaces to maintain good hygiene standards. Incorrect use of cleaning chemicals can have serious consequences, including allergic reactions, asthma and respiratory irritation, dermatitis, and burns to the skin or eyes.

Hair dyes, shampoos, conditioners and henna products

These are all substances that we use safely at home without regard to the risks. However, henna hair dyes, shampoos, conditioners, and products, along with other substances commonly found in hair and beauty salons, can have serious health effects if proper precautions are not taken.For more information on the dangers of hairdressing, check out our article:Barber's Guide to COSHH in the Salon.

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Occupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (7)

nail glue, nail polish remover, primer and artificial nails etc.

Improper use and storage of these materials can result in a number of serious health and safety hazards. For example, skin and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, occupational asthma, cancer, and fire hazards.

welding fumes

Welding work involves many hazards., including exposure to invisible gaseous vapors. These vapors include ozone, nitrogen oxides, chromium and nickel oxides, and carbon monoxide. Exposure to these gases can cause serious health effects including pneumonia, occupational asthma, cancer, metal fume fever, and respiratory irritation. If not properly controlled, the fumes can affect the welder and anyone working nearby.

physical hazardsOccupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (8)

Physical hazards are environmental factors that can harm an employee without necessarily touching them.

Examples of physical hazards are:


Contact with live parts can cause serious injury or death, including electric shock, burns, explosions, and falls from a height. The risk is increased in wet conditions, where equipment and the worker's environment may also be affected.


Every workplace is at risk of fire. However, some workplaces are more at risk, either due to activities/types of work or staff/residents. For example,asylum,schools,Hotels, hot work organizations, food manufacturers and restaurants. Fires can be devastating to both the organization and the people involved, causing serious injuries such as burns, suffocation, and death. A risk assessment is an essential precaution in fire safety measures; ourfree templatewill help you create one for your installation.

Occupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (9)

narrow spaces

Working in the tightest spacespresents significant risks to employees. They can be particularly dangerous due to reduced oxygen levels and the possible build-up of gases, which can lead to fires, explosions, suffocation and unconsciousness. Other risks include collapse and flooding. Examples of people at risk are those who work in mines, cold rooms, tunnels, shafts, ship holds, air ducts, and shafts.

Occupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (10)

Extreme temperatures

Exposure to frost or extreme cold can cause serious health effects including hypothermia, reduced mental alertness, chilblains, waterproofing, and reduced dexterity. People at risk include anyone who needs to work outdoors during the colder months or in cold rooms, including construction workers, rescue workers, fishermen and food manufacturers. On the other hand, extreme heat can lead to adverse health effects such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and dizziness. Workers at risk include workers in restaurants, laundries, foundries, welders, and bakers.

security risksOccupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (11)

These are hazards that create unsafe working conditions. Examples of security risks include:

  • Dangling power cords, loose or frayed carpets and rugs, spilled liquids, ice, etc.All of this can result in a slip, trip or fall in the workplace and have physical and mental repercussions for an injured employee.
  • Unprotected machines.Unguarded moving machine parts present a safety hazard as personnel can be seriously injured or killed if they accidentally come into contact with them. For example, clothing, ropes, hair, or body parts can get caught in unguarded machinery and cause bruises, fractures, loss of limbs, head injuries, and death.
  • Frayed and defective strings, wires or cords.These can present a risk of electric shock, burns and fire. Exposure to electricity can also cause a fall from a height. For example, if an employee is electrocuted while using a ladder.

Occupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (12)

(Video) What are Occupational Hazards?

ergonomic risksOccupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (13)

Ergonomic risks are the result of physical factors that can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. You can find them atallin the workplace and, if not managed properly, can have significant short- and long-term effects on the health and well-being of your employees. Musculoskeletal injuries are those that affect the musculoskeletal system, including damage to muscles, tendons, bones, joints, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels. Types of ergonomic hazards include:

  • Manual handling.Manual handling occurs any time you lift, lower, push, pull, carry, or move a load with your hands or physical force.Poor manual handling techniquescan have serious consequences unless employees aretrained accordinglyin your tasks. These include long-term damage to the musculoskeletal system and mental health of the individual.
  • Use of fabric devices.Most jobs in this current technological age require the use of some type of display device. prolonged use ofpoorly designed workplacesIt can cause a number of adverse health effects, including musculoskeletal injuries, repetitive strain injuries, fatigue, and eyestrain.You can find our DSE training courses,here.
  • Vibration.Prolonged use of vibrating tools can cause serious health effects including vibration white fingers, sensory nerve damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle and joint damage.For more information on the effects of vibration, see our article:Effects of vibration on the body: HAVS guide.

Occupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (14)

Ergonomic hazards can have serious disabling effects if not managed properly. Therefore, it is important that you understand how to identify ergonomic hazards at work and take steps to ensure that your employees can perform their jobs safely.

psychosocial risksOccupational Hazards | 6 danger categories (15)

Psychosocial hazards include hazards that can adversely affect an employee's mental health or well-being and are closely related to all other hazard categories. For example:

  • Health effects.The health impacts of biological, chemical, physical, safety, and ergonomic hazards can have a significant impact on a person's well-being. For example, exposure to a bloodborne virus as a result of an acute injury can result in months of stress and anxiety for the affected person and their family. Therefore, almost all of the hazards described in this article can also cause psychosocial effects.
  • Bullying.Harassment is the result of conduct by a person that makes you feel intimidated, humiliated, offended or otherwise distressed and can have a serious impact on a person's health and well-being. For example,bullying at workit is surprisingly common and can pose a serious psychosocial risk. Bullying behavior can cause the bullied person to experience a variety of psychosocial symptoms, including stress, anxiety and lack of sleep, loss of appetite, and feelings of vulnerability.
  • Assault and abuse in the workplace.Whether by a co-worker, client or anyone else, assault and abuse in the workplace can have a serious impact on a person's mental and physical health, leading to symptoms such as stress, anxiety and lack of sleep. Managers can actreduce sexual harassment in the workplaceand encourage employees to speak up when they witness or testify.

How to manage risks in your workplace

Failure to meet your responsibilities to protect your employees could result in fines and/or imprisonment. Therefore, it is important that you properly manage all risks in the workplace. This article should help you identify and deal with more obscure threats, but it's important that you take extra steps to protect your employees. For example, you must:

  • Carry out a risk assessment appropriate to the type of work and hazards.We have provided some downloadable templates that you can use in this article. You can find more information, including relevant to your industry, by searching the websiteAxis.
  • Initiate appropriate control measures.After completing your risk assessment, you must implement controls to reduce or eliminate the identified hazards. For example, when washing windows, you can avoid working at height entirely by using extension bars or, if they are not suitable, reduce the risks by installing fall protection.
  • Train all your employees properly on their tasks.All employees must have the properhealth and safety trainingoOffice Safety Training, in addition to training for specific risks at work.

What to read next:

  • 15 workshop hazards and how to avoid them
  • Management of occupational medicine in construction


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(Video) Occupational Hazard || Categories of Occupational Hazard || Types of Occupational Hazard


What are occupational hazards answer? ›

An occupational hazard is a hazard experienced in the workplace. This encompasses many types of hazards, including chemical hazards, biological hazards (biohazards), psychosocial hazards, and physical hazards.

What are 5 types of occupational safety hazards? ›

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) describes five categories of occupational hazards: physical safety hazards, chemical hazards, biological hazards, physical hazards, and ergonomic risk factors.

What are the 6 hazard categories? ›

Workplace hazards fall into six core types – safety, biological, physical, ergonomic, chemical and workload.
  • 1) Safety hazards. ...
  • 2) Biological hazards. ...
  • 3) Physical hazards. ...
  • 4) Ergonomic hazards. ...
  • 5) Chemical hazards. ...
  • 6) Workload hazards.
8 Aug 2019

What is a occupational hazard example? ›

This is the most common type of workplace hazards. Examples of physical hazards include slips, trips, falls, exposure to loud noises, working from heights, vibrations, and unguarded machinery. Ergonomic Hazards. Every occupation places certain strains on a worker's body.

What is occupational hazard explain with example? ›

an occupational hazard is something unpleasant that you may suffer or experience as a result of doing your job or hobby. jobs that pose occupational health hazards to employees. Catching colds is unfortunately an occupational hazard in this profession.

What are the 10 hazard categories? ›

The Top 10 Workplace Hazards and How to Prevent Them
  • Slips, trips, and falls. Falls from tripping over who-knows-what (uneven floor surfaces, wet floors, loose cables, etc.) ...
  • Electrical. ...
  • Fire. ...
  • Working in confined spaces. ...
  • Physical hazards. ...
  • Ergonomical hazards. ...
  • Chemical hazards. ...
  • Biological hazards.

What are Category 2 hazards? ›

Housing Health and Safety Rating System: The 29 Hazards
Health Effects
2Respiratory conditions: flu, pneumonia and bronchitis Cardiovascular conditions: heart attacks and strokes
3Dehydration, trauma, stroke, cardiovascular and respiratory
4Asbestos: Damage to lungs MMF: Damage to skin, eyes and lungs
26 more rows
28 Feb 2022

How many categories are in hazards? ›

GHS uses three hazard classes: Health Hazards, Physical Hazards and Environmental Hazards.

How do you categorize hazards? ›

A common way to classify hazards is by category:
  1. biological – bacteria, viruses, insects, plants, birds, animals, and humans, etc.,
  2. chemical – depends on the physical, chemical and toxic properties of the chemical,
  3. ergonomic – repetitive movements, improper set up of workstation, etc.,
4 May 2018

What is a Category 1 hazard? ›

Category 1 hazards are those where the most serious harm outcome is identified, for example, death, permanent paralysis, permanent loss of consciousness, loss of a limb or serious fractures.

What are the 8 types of hazard? ›

There are 8 common workplace hazards that can kill or have the potential to result in a serious injury. They include working at heights, suspended loads, electricity, isolating equipment, hazardous materials, physical separation and barricading, fire and emergencies, and confined spaces.

What are the 7 identified workplace hazards? ›

Hazards frequently identified by the consultants include tasks related to working at height, chemicals, housekeeping, electrical, forklifts, lockout/tagout and confined spaces.

What are the 3 types of safety hazards? ›

6 types of safety hazards
  • Work safety hazards. Work safety hazards are the most common risks in a workplace or work environment. ...
  • Chemical hazards. ...
  • Physical hazards. ...
  • Ergonomic hazards. ...
  • Biological hazards. ...
  • Work organization hazards.
17 May 2021

What are the 9 different hazard classification codes? ›

The nine hazard classes are as follows:
  • Class 1: Explosives.
  • Class 2: Gases.
  • Class 3: Flammable and Combustible Liquids.
  • Class 4: Flammable Solids.
  • Class 5: Oxidizing Substances, Organic Peroxides.
  • Class 6: Toxic Substances and Infectious Substances.
  • Class 7: Radioactive Materials.
  • Class 8: Corrosives.

What causes occupational hazards? ›

Time pressure, lack of control over work tasks, long working hours, shift work, lack of support and moral injury are important risk factors for occupational stress, burnout and fatigue among health workers.

What are the main occupational hazardous factors? ›

Biological hazards (e.g. infectious diseases, bacteria) Ergonomic hazards (e.g. heavy lifting, repetitive movements) Psychological Hazards (e.g. stress, workplace violence)
Safety Hazards:
  • Slips, trips, falls.
  • Working at heights.
  • Electrical hazards.
  • Equipment and machinery operation.
  • Fire protection.

How can we prevent occupational hazards? ›

4 steps to prevent occupational diseases and accidents
  1. Eliminate or minimize risks at the source. Want to keep. ...
  2. Reduce risks through engineering controls or other physical safeguards. ...
  3. Provide safe working procedures. ...
  4. Provide, wear and maintain personal protective equipment.

What are the effects of occupational hazards? ›

Occupational hazards drain the resources of workers. It also leads to absenteeism, low productivity and poor project performance. On a national scale, occupational hazards increase disease burden which is an additional cost to government spending on health care.

What is hazards and its types? ›

A hazard is any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects on something or someone. Basically, a hazard is the potential for harm or an adverse effect (for example, to people as health effects, to organizations as property or equipment losses, or to the environment).

What are the 16 classes of physical hazards? ›

The 16 classes of physical hazards include: explosives, flammable gases, aerosols, oxidizing gases, gases under pressure, flammable liquids, flammable solids, self-reactive substances, pyrophoric liquids, pyrophoric solids, self-heating substances and mixtures, substances and mixtures emitting flammable gases when ...

What is a Category 1 or 2 hazard? ›

Hazards are divided into two categories. Those which score high on the scale (and therefore the greatest risk) are called Category 1 hazards. Those that fall lower down the scale and pose a lesser risk are called Category 2 hazards.

What is hazard category 2A? ›

Category 2A A substance is classified as Eye Irritant Category 2A (irritating to eyes) when it produces in at least in 2 of 3 tested animals a positive response of: (i) corneal opacity ≥1; and/or (ii) iritis ≥1; and/or (iii) conjunctival redness ≥2; and/or (iv) conjunctival edema (chemosis) ≥2 calculated as the mean ...

How many categories of struck by hazards are there select the best option 2 4 5 10? ›

There are four common struck-by hazards in construction: struck-by flying objects, struck-by falling objects, struck-by swinging objects and struck-by rolling objects.

Which is the hazard category with the greatest level of hazard? ›

Category 1 is always the greatest level of hazard within its class. – If Category 1 is further divided, Category 1A within the same hazard class is a greater hazard than category 1B. Category 2 within the same hazard class is more hazardous than Category 3, and so on. There are a few exceptions to this rule.

Why do we classify hazards? ›

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has taken steps to try and keep these workers safe. Through hazard identification, chemicals and other dangers in a workplace are classified according to the risks that they present.

Is Category 1 or 3 worse? ›

Category 1 is always the greatest level of hazard (that is, it is the most hazardous within that class). If Category 1 is further divided, Category 1A within the same hazard class is a greater hazard than category 1B. Category 2 within the same hazard class is more hazardous than category 3, and so on.

Who is Category 1 occupational exposure? ›

Category 1 includes employees whose job related tasks or responsibilities involve an inherent potential of mucous membrane or skin contact with blood, body fluids, or tissues, or potential for spills or splashes on them.

What are the three elements exposed hazard 1 3? ›

4.3 Hazard, Exposure, Vulnerability and Resilience
  • 1 Hazard. ...
  • 2 Exposure. ...
  • 3 Vulnerability. ...
  • 3.4 Resilience.

What are the 4 categories of health and safety signs? ›

These 4 important safety signs can be broken into categories: Prohibition, Warning, Mandatory and Emergency.

What are the four 4 main steps in hazard management? ›

Four steps to managing risk
  • Identify hazards. The first step to manage risk in your business is to identify any hazards. ...
  • Assess the risk. Next, you'll need to assess the level of risk posed by each hazard. ...
  • Control the risks. ...
  • Reviewing controls.
11 Sept 2020

What are the 4 major elements of an effective occupational safety and health program? ›

4 Elements of a Successful Health and Safety Program
  • Management Commitment and Employee Involvement. ...
  • Worksite Analysis. ...
  • Hazard Prevention and Control. ...
  • Training for Employees, Supervisors, and Managers.
14 Dec 2021

What are the 3 main categories of signs? ›

Types of road signs are divided into three basic categories: regulatory, warning, and guide signs.

What are the 4 steps in hazard identification and risk assessment? ›

You can do it yourself or appoint a competent person to help you.
  • Identify hazards.
  • Assess the risks.
  • Control the risks.
  • Record your findings.
  • Review the controls.
10 Oct 2022

What are the 3 types categories of signs? ›

Signs are divided into three basic categories: Regulatory, Warning, and Guide signs. Most signs within each category have a special shape and color.

What are the 5 risk control measures? ›

5 Risk Control Measures
  • Elimination. It is the most effective control. ...
  • Substitution. It is the second most effective control. ...
  • Engineering controls. It refers to physically isolating people from the hazard if at all possible.
  • Administrative controls. It refers to changing the way people work. ...
  • PPE.
11 Oct 2022

What are 5 ways to identify workplace hazards? ›

Dina Adlouni
  • Collect existing information about workplace hazards.
  • Inspect the workplace for safety and health hazards.
  • Identify health-related hazards.
  • Conduct incident investigations.
  • Identify hazards associated with emergency situations.
15 Mar 2021

How do you identify a hazard? ›

Identifying hazards
  1. Observing how work tasks are being performed.
  2. Assessing the equipment workers are using, and considering how that equipment is being used.
  3. Analyzing the design and layout of the work areas.
18 Sept 2020

What are the 3 importance of Ohs? ›

Reduced risk or accidents or injuries by identifying and mitigating hazards. Improved efficiency and productivity due to fewer employees missing work from illness or injury. Improved employee relations and morale (a safer work environment is a less stressful work environment)

What are the 4 domains of safety? ›

Our research has revealed four domains and 14 elements of safety leadership.
There are four elements of trust.
  • Care for the safety of others. ...
  • Value safety. ...
  • Demonstrate openness. ...
  • Interact effectively.
5 May 2017


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