The following six categorizes, which hazards can be classified within the workplace, are identified as:

Physical - This type of hazard can be in most workplaces at one time or another.   Like other hazards these too need to be addressed to keep the worker safe.   Examples of physical hazards can include under or over exposure to heat or cold, too bright or not enough light conditions, spills on floors or tripping hazards not eliminated (ie extension cords or computer cords organisers not being utilised).   Physical hazards could also include mobile equipment such as forklifts.

Chemical – Used in the workplace, this type of hazard can be categorised into three overlapping groups – (1) hazardous substances, (2) dangerous goods and (3) scheduled poisons.   Hazardous chemicals harmful to health may cause short term health effects (such as poisoning) and long term health effects (such as cancer).   Suppliers are required to identify chemicals by labelling, and provide documented (or access to) MSDS (Master Safety Data Sheets) for workers’ information.

Electrical – Using old or poorly maintained electrical appliances, power tools, overloading of power points, working with wiring not switched off at the mains, not using a circuit breaker to prevent electrical surge/s or overload, working with high voltage, lack of training in using lock out or tag out capabilities in machinery, poorly maintained electrical equipment (frayed cords, missing ground pins, improper wiring etc) all contribute to electrical hazards.

Biological – These types of hazards may come from working with animals, people or infectious plant materials. Working in day cares, hospitals, laboratories, scientific facilities and/or veterinary offices or a zoo, as an example, may expose a staff member to biological hazards.   Hazards could include blood or other body fluids, fungi, bacterial and viruses (swine flu), poisoning plants, insect bites, epidemics, anthrax infection/s leptospirosis (caused by...