Introduction to hazard identification & risk assessment
This Appendix comprises an aide-memoir of hazard sources and hazards, with sample risk controls of a variety of examples. This is illustrative and not exhaustive, therefore should be used only as a guide. Several generic risk assessments are also provided which are designed to cover many 'typical' situations and activities.
Download a copy of the Hazard/risk assessment form
Fieldwork - means ‘any practical work carried out by staff or students of a University for the purpose of teaching and/or research in places which are not under University control, but where the University is responsible for the health and safety of its staff and/or students and others exposed to their activities.
Hazard Sources - All of the people, organisms, things, activities, places and ways of working that are expected to be encountered MAY be sources of hazards.
It follows, therefore, that unless you know exactly what you are managing, you will not know all of the possible sources of hazards. They are often broken down into:
- Inputs - Includes physical resources such as components and raw materials, reagents, human resources such as employees and contractors, and the information required to carry out the work required.
- Processes - Vary widely depending on the nature of the work but they all involve the transforming of inputs into products or services.
- Outputs - What the work is intended to produce. By-products such as waste materials are also included in this category - from used inputs and unwanted products.
Hazards - Any Thing, living Organism or way of working with the potential to cause harm.
- Thing: Equipment, machinery, electricity, fuel gas, fire, noise, tools, chemicals. Likelihood of harm increases with deterioration of these.
- Living organism: Wild and domestic animals, people, insects, bacteria, viruses, parasites. Likelihood of harm increases with extent of exposure, lack of prophylaxis/treatment.
- Way of working: At a height, in confined spaces, lifting/handling, alone, trained/untrained. Likelihood of harm increases with time exposed, lack of training.
Harm - Injury or damage to health, and damage or loss to property or equipment
Risk - The likelihood of a hazard causing harm
Risk Assessment - Likelihood of occurrence combined with severity of effect.
Risk Control Measure- Action taken to reduce risk to acceptable level.
|Hazard Source||Hazard||Sample Risk Controls|
|Storm/Rain||Lightening||Shelter from storms, stay dry|
|Snow/Sleet||Hypothermia, Snow blindness||Goggles/sunglasses|
|Wind||Blown over, wind chill|
|Mist/fog/low cloud||Getting lost||Navigational sills, equipment (compass, maps, GPS, radio beacons), detailed itinerary, plans and contact details at base, adequate rations, including emergency.|
|UV exposure||Sunburn||Suitable clothing, sunblock and hat|
|High temperatures||Heat exhaustion||Adequate supplies of water, electrolyte supplements, suitable clothing, shade|
|Hyperthermia||As above, plus avoid over-exertion, certain drugs, alcohol|
|Low temperatures||Hypothermia/Frostbite||Cold weather gear, camping equipment, stay dry, out of wind|
|Uplands||Loose/falling rocks, falls||Good footwear, hard hat, avoid climbing, unstable areas, use proper equipment and skills|
|Lowlands (including below ground)||Soft ground, roof fall, radon, floods, oxygen deficient/poisonous atmosphere||Avoidance, knowledge of terrain, local knowledge, no lone working, gas detection, breathing apparatus|
|Tropics||Heat exhaustion||Correct clothing, equipment|
|Marine/Coastal||Currents, riptides, abnormal waves||Knowledge of conditions, buoyancy aids|
|Inland waters, lagoons||Tides, flotsam and jetsam, quicksand, loose rocks, flash floods, drowing, sludge pits, underwater obstacles, unstable substrate||Knowledge of tides, local conditions, stay out of water, buoyancy aids|
|Woodland||Fire||No fires or smoking, tree climbing gear and skills|
|Rocky areas||Falls, chippings, rock falls||Care with hammers and sample removal; goggles, gloves|
|Urban||Vehicles, assault||Road safety skills, local knowledge, escorts, care in questioning|
|Roads and railways||Vehicles, trains, electricity||Avoidance, permits, guide|
|Farm stock||Bulls, pigs, dogs||Observance of warning signs|
|Flora and fauna||Poisonous/irritant plants, fungi, reptiles, arthropods||Proper clothing, local knowledge, repellents, antidotes|
|Microbiological||Weil's Disease||Rubber gloves|
|Tetanus, Malaria, Cholera, Typhoid||Vaccination, Prophylaxis|
|Lyme disease||Light-coloured clothing|
|Algal toxins||Hand hygiene|
|E coli, Campylobacter||Hand hygiene|
|Food borne illness||Good food hygiene practice, medical backup|
|Water-borne infection||Wound infection||Suitable clothes, hygiene, First Aid practice|
|General||Medical evac, vaccination (if required), insect repellent|
|Water pollution, dumps||Harmful chemicals, toxic/flammable gases, wastes||Stay out of water, test kits, correct clothing, purification methods, local knowledge, avoidance, PPE|
|Machinery, plant, tools/equipment||Entanglement, trapping, crushing, etc, sudden failure||Guarding, training, maintenance, spares|
|Generators, equipment||Shock, fire, exposed circuits, differing safety standards||Use low voltages, correct use, guarding|
|Farming, forestry, industrial||Machinery, chemicals, vehicles, felling, static and mobile machinery, buildings, vehicles, large plant and machines at open cast sites and quarries||Avoidance, access permits, local knowledge, guides|
|Excavations, mines, quarries i.e. 'confined spaces'||Toxic gas, flooding, asphyxiation, explosive mixes, roof fall/collapse, hidden shafts, dead ends, failure of props/supports||Oxygen/other gas monitor, radon/radiation monitor, breathing apparatus, other PPE, local knowledge, no lone working, permits|
|Military||Explosion, ammunition||Do not touch explosives, detonators, fuses, suspect objects, etc.|
|Waste disposal||Hazardous materials||Avoid refuse tips, landfill sites|
|Hunting/Shooting||Firearms||Avoid area, observe warning signs|
|Climbing||Rock-falls||Correct equipment, local knowledge|
|Horse riding||Collision||Training, riding helmet, correct equipment|
|Skiing||Avalanche, collision||Check weather forecasts, seek local advice|
|Boats||Sinking, swamping, blown out to sea||Seamanship, sailing training|
|Diving||Drowning, bends||Training (use of equipment/techniques)|
|Working at heights (>2 metres)||Falls||Harness, safety ropes etc., correct equipment, training|
|Cooking/heating||CO poisoning, fire||Training, gas detector|
|Vehicles||Collision, being struck, fuel fires, loose loads, hazardous terrain||Driving competence, training, restrict U/G drivers, extinguishers|
|Sampling||Hard rock splinters||PPE|
|Vehicles||As above||Use of local drivers, knowledge of local laws/penalties|
|Catering||Food-bourne illness||Avoid higher risk foods (e.g. ready to eat, milk, ice, unwashed salads, shellfish)|
|Water-bourne illness||Potable water, purification tablets, bottled water|
|Local factors||Restrictions on photography, differing customs/sense of humour, sexual harassment, criminal element||Local knowledge, guide, circumspect behaviour|
|Health||Illness, infection (including hepatitis and HIV)|
|Accommodation||Availability, suitability, sanitation, security||Health insurance, see above|
|Civil unrest, International tensions||Armed conflict, terrorist activity||Local knowledge, advance arrangements, FC Office advice|
|Other stressors||Accommodation problems, differing expectations, crime, language/communication problems, isolation, remoteness, lack of family/peer support, workload||Contact arrangements, support|
|Lone working||Isolation||Communications, always within hailing distance of others, ensure your location and movements are known|
|Health||Pre-existing conditions||Health declaration, special arrangements|
|Food intolerance/allergy||Health declaration, special arrangements|
|Foot problems||Foot care|
|Lack of fitness, exhaustion||Adequate preparation|
|Behaviour||Group dynamics, relationships||Knowledge of standards required, sensible standards, respect for other people/cultures, comply with leader instructions|
|Sampling||Legal problems||Take only what is permitted, leave site clean and tidy, minimise disturbance to crops, livestock, landscape, only enter private/restricted areas after gaining permission|
|Clothing||Various||Suitable for climate, area, activities, customs, laws, carry spare items, suitable footwear|
|High places||Falls, material falling/slipping, unguarded mine shafts, unstable cliffs||Stay away from tops and bottoms of steep slopes, mine shafts, etc., quarry/cliff/bank edges|
|Environmental||Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), conservation areas, etc.||Avoid, permits|