Identify Hazards on a Worksite
Processes For Growing Restoration Companies
Identify Hazards on a Worksite
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One of the first steps to protecting workers on a worksite is to accurately identify all potential hazards. All situations and things that could possibly harm a worker are considered a hazard.
Step 1: Review OSHA's hazard identification and assessment protocol
View the attached link to ensure you're up-to-date on the proper protocol.
Step 2: Perform a walk-around inspection and consider all common workplace hazards
Common workplace hazards include:
  • Working at height: ladders, forklifts, scaffolding. Make sure to identify all locations where fall protection is necessary
  • Poor housekeeping: material blocking fire exits, over stacked loads, blocked sprinkler heads, leaks, standing water, or anything that may cause a slip, trip or fall.
  • Electrical Extension Cords: confirm that they are in good shape, not frayed or cut and not near bodies of water or water leaks. Don’t daisy chain together cords, and consider tripping hazards.
  • Forklifts and Machinery: Check manufacturer instructions or safety data sheets to make sure everything is up to current specifications.Think about long-term health hazards such as high levels of noise.
  • Chemicals: For chemicals, check manufacturer instructions or safety data sheets. Remember to think about long-term health hazards such as exposure to harmful substances. Keep an inventory and review the inventory to make sure to keep track of expiration dates as some chemicals can degrade into volatile compounds when left unchecked.
  • Confined spaces: Make sure you have the proper permits, and assess the atmosphere in each confined space. Ensure that employees know what constitutes a confined space.
Step 3: Consider non-routine operations
This includes things such as maintenance, cleaning operations, or changes in production cycles.

Consider an emergency when the lights are out; could you find the breaker in the dark? What happens when maintenance is required, cleaning happens or a shift or production change happens?
Step 4: Review near misses or worker complaints
These can help identify less obvious hazards. People tend to deal with incidents as they occur, but viewing all that has occurred over time can alert you to a pattern and help you identify a hazard that may be systemic. This can include near misses on other sites, or similar jobs that have happened in the past as well.