A hazard is anything (including work practices or procedures) that has the potential to harm the health and safety of a person. They are best identified by using systematic methods (orderly and regular).
Identification methods include:
Doing regular workplace inspections. These are planned, regular, physical inspections of the workplace by managers, supervisors, H&S Committee members or Health and Safety Representatives who observe, use check lists and discussion with employees to locate hazards.
Training employees in spotting hazards and making it easy and rewarding for them to report any they observe.
Monitoring the environment and the health of employees for evidence of any harmful effects from hazardous chemicals.
Establishing consultation mechanisms such as a Health & Safety Committee or Health and Safety Representatives so that employees can raise WHS issues.
Checking records of injuries, illness and incidents.
Investigating all incidents and accidents.
Getting a regular safety audit done. This is an orderly and periodic check to see whether the WHS management system is being followed and is effective.
Reviewing the potential impact of new work practices, or new plant and equipment.
Researching for information, developments and trends in WHS in your industry.