Hazard Identification at Work Place

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Introduction:
With a rapid increase in industries from the last few decades, equally corresponding increase in the hazardous materials in process. The industries became larger and often situated in or close to densely inhabited areas. Therefore it is need of the day to develop comprehensive approach to the prevention of human and economic loss or any occurrence associated to the hazards. In the forthcoming paragraphs we will discuss in detail hazards, risks associated to hazards and how preventive measures can be taken to minimise the risks of any accident with reference to the Restaurants (McDonalds Restaurants Ltd). Before to go further one should know what hazard means and how it can be defined. The most common definition of the word Hazard is, “A potential source of harm or adverse health effect on a person or persons”. The word hazard has many definitions but most common when talking about workplace health and safety is; “A hazard is any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects on something or someone under certain conditions at work”. In concise hazard is any condition, event or circumstances that could be the source of an accident. Therefore hazard is a potential source of harm, for example sharp knife is a hazard while working in a kitchen because it can cut. A cutting board is a hazard as it can produce bacteria. Sometimes the meaning of the hazard is confusing. Often dictionaries do not give specific definitions or combine it with the term “risk”. Such as, dictionary defines the word hazard as a “danger or risk”. Hazard is not deemed to be identical with risk although it can be significant determinant of risk. This example will differentiate and explain appropriately the meaning of these two terminologies. If there was a spill of water in a room then that water would present a slipping hazard to persons passing through it. If access to that area was prevented by a physical barrier then the hazard would remain though the risk would be minimised. Under the law it is required that the employers must to any extent identify the hazards in the workplaces under their control and assess the risks presented by these hazards. It is the responsibility of the employers to write down the workplace risks and how to deal with it, which is known as a risk assessment. This means the employers must examine in the workplace that what could cause harm to the employees and other people including customers and members of the public. Moreover it allows the employers to evaluate weather adequate precautions have taken or should do more to avoid harm.

Hazard identified:
In the process of risk management the most important step is to identify the hazard, the hazard not identified cannot be controlled. Whereas the identification process must be comprehensive and conducted in close consultation with the people performing the activity. Under Section 20 of the Act 2005 it is required by the employer to prepare a written statement (known as safety statement) based on the identification of hazards and risk assessment. Safety statement must specify the manner in which the safety, health and welfare of employees shall be secured and managed. But still it is difficult to declare a hazard identification process as complete. Therefore it should be periodically reviewed. Moreover the process of hazards identification should be documented in the form of hazard logs. For hazard identification the workplace needs to be examined regularly. It assists in determining exactly where slips, trips and falls or any accident on the same level have happened, or there is a potential of likely to happen. This could be completed through simple three steps to pursue; * Consultation with the employees, this is the legal obligation of employers to consult with employees when going through the steps of this procedure. * Regular inspection of the premises. This may be helpful in identifying the source of usual hazards. * Check records...
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