Hazards in the workplace

These lists identify some common examples of workplace hazards.

Equipment hazards

  • Dangerous machinery.
  • Services (electricity, water, gas, compressed air).
  • Vehicles.
  • Lack of planned maintenance.
  • Lack of training.
  • Failure of permit-to-work system.
  • Lack of regular testing etc.

Physical hazards

  • Trips and falls.
  • Ergonomics.
  • Noise and vibration.
  • Extremes of temperature.
  • Radiation, including UV and infra red.
  • Temporary systems.

Chemical and biological hazards

  • Hazardous substances.
  • Pathogens (micro-organisms hazardous to human health).
  • Genetically-modified organisms.
  • Dangerous animals i.e. dogs.

Human factors

  • Size/age/gender.
  • Disability.
  • Shift patterns.
  • Lack of safety awareness and poor attitude.
  • Lack of or poor training.


  • Poor cleanliness.
  • Slippery floors.
  • Dirty equipment.
  • Cluttered pedestrian gangways.
  • No procedures to clear spillages etc.

Control of waste

  • No control of hazardous waste.

Traffic movements

  • Unsafe vehicle access and egress.
  • Unrestricted access to hazardous areas.
  • No speed controls.
  • No parking restrictions.
  • Inadequate lighting of traffic routes.
  • Poor maintenance of roadways.
  • No segregation of vehicles and pedestrians etc.

Materials handling and storage

  • A lack of handling devices, including conveyors, lift trucks, etc.
  • Poor manual handling techniques.
  • Inadequate product segregation i.e. flammable chemicals stored next to materials that can easily burn.

Contractors and visitors

  • No visitors book.
  • Poor health and safety information for visitors.
  • No induction training.
  • Lack of supervision.

Spillage procedures

  • No spillage kits.
  • Lack of training.


  • Ignition sources.
  • Combustible materials.
  • Flammable liquids.
  • Risk of arson
  • No smoking policy.
  • Unsafe electrical installation and appliances.
  • Little or no fire detection and warning systems.
  • Inadequate protection from smoke.
  • No fire fighting.
  • Blocked means of escape.
  • No fire drills and training.

First aid

  • No first-aiders.
  • Inadequate facilities.

Evacuation procedures

  • No evacuation plan.
  • No fire drill.

Updated: 27 June 2012