Young Workers

Starting Work : Common Hazards in the Workplace

A hazard is a source of harm, something with the potential to cause you an injury or ill-health. Here are some of the most common hazards to be found in most workplaces with some examples.

Test your knowledge of workplace signs here...

Slipping on water spilt on a tiled floor or slipping on a highly polished floor surface.

Tripping over something left on the floor such as a box or a stray cable; tripping over loose matting or carpet tiles or raised surfaces that you cannot see.

Falling down steps or stairs; falling off stepladders or chairs - especially if you are larking about.

Read about a typical case study.

Lifting and CarryingLifting and Carrying
Referred to as 'manual handling' you can injure yourself if you lift and carry anything incorrectly whether it is a box of envelopes or apples or a tray of bricks.

Read about a typical case study.

Fire is a major hazard in any workplace and may be caused in a variety of ways: waste paper and smoker's materials; faulty wiring or other electrical faults; equipment overheating; chemical reactions, and arson: the deliberate act of setting fire to something.

Read about a typical case study.

There are all sorts of chemicals in workplaces which may cause harm from the liquid soap in the washroom causing skin irritation to the chemicals used to run photocopiers and printers to the more dangerous acids used in industry.

Repetitive strain injury is the name usually give to pains in the hands and arms from repeated use while carrying out a work activity - typing and word-processing for example.

Human BehaviourHuman Behaviour
Human behaviour can also be a hazard when workers act in such a way that they cause harm, whether intentional or unintentional, to their colleagues. For example: shoving someone down steps or stairs or pushing them into another worker as a joke.

Read about some typical case studies.

Think what other hazards you would expect to find in the following places: a restaurant kitchen, an office, a warehouse storing paper, a hospital, a school, a Nuclear power station, a bank, a supermarket.

| Accessibility | Copyright & Disclaimer © RoSPA | Contact Us |
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Return to the Young Workers Home Page