Hazard reporting is one of the main key’s to keeping a safe business. A hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm. Most times we are afraid to report safety concerns or issues in the workplace because we do not want to be seen as “busybodies”. We do not want to put others in trouble or we convince ourselves that it’s not our business.

It is your business actually.

Would you rather report a wrong action that could lead to an accident or allow the accident happen and let people get hurt?

Reporting hazards could save your life. Who knows, you might be the victim of an unreported hazard. The effects of these hazards could either be immediate or occur over time.

The employer/entrepreneur has a legal obligation to keep the workplace safe. However, as an employee, you are directly involved in the work process. You see the loose ends the boss may not see. Therefore, it is your duty to report shortcomings in the system. Some of us wrongly assume the employer knows about the situation already. Sadly, they do not always know and things could go wrong.

There are four categories of hazards which can be found in the workplace, depending on the nature of the business:

Physical hazards

These are usually more common; faulty equipment, trailing cables, using wrong equipment  for tasks, exposed moving parts of machine, spills and uneven floors.

Biological hazards

These could be from working with body fluid from humans or animals, bacteria and viruses.

Chemical hazards

This is exposure to various chemicals in a liquid, solid or gaseous state like gasoline, cleaning products or fumes.

Ergonomic hazards

These type of hazards occur in workplace conditions; poor lighting, poorly arranged workstations, bad lifting posture, wrong office furniture or repetitive tasks.

We do not have to wait for accidents to happen before reporting. We should report unsafe acts and tasks or faulty equipment, because these are the components of future accidents.

When we report hazards in the workplace, it help’s by:

Creating an awareness of the situation
Leading to solution creation
Increasing staff involvement, as they also make suggestions to keep the work process safe
Improving workplace safety

 

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