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Hazard Awareness Training: Guide and Setup
Hazard awareness is an integral part of occupational health and safety. According to OSHA, the primary cause of incidents, illnesses, and injuries in various workplaces is the failure to recognize or identify potential hazards. Any employee or staff in the organization should be better positioned to properly handle any issues that come their way from day one.
This might form part of your Hazard Reporting
process in conjunction with tools such as a Hazard Report app
Hazard awareness training is an essential part of keeping your workplace safe and compliant with health and safety regulations. It's important that employers and their staff have a comprehensive understanding of the risks posed by various types of hazards in order to be able to respond quickly, effectively and appropriately. This type of training provides invaluable information on how to identify potential risks, assess them, create plans for avoiding or mitigating them, as well as deal with any emergency situations which may arise in the workplace.
Whether you work in a warehouse or an office building, effective hazard awareness training can keep workers informed about the potential dangers they may face when carrying out their role. Knowing what kinds of hazards exist and how to protect against them is key for all workers since it could mean the difference between life and death in certain cases. For example, being aware that loose electrical wires often signify damaged insulation can help prevent deadly accidents involving electricity in the workplace.
At its core, hazard awareness training enables employers and employees alike to better protect themselves from harm while on the job. It also allows everyone involved to feel more confident that their working environment is as safe as possible. No matter your profession or industry, ensuring your team has access to thorough hazard awareness training can make all of the difference when it comes to promoting a healthy and productive working atmosphere.
What is Hazard Awareness?
Hazard awareness is a repetitive and proactive learning behavior on risky situations in the workplace and how to handle them properly. Generally, it revolves around hazard communication, worker involvement, personal protective equipment, and emergency response.
The safety industry always encourages organizations to train all their staff on the present and anticipated hazards at the workplace. Hazard awareness serves as an ideal reminder to employees. To do their tasks safely, they must plan for safety and be prepared for anything in the process.
Before an employee starts a particular task, they should ask themselves questions such as:
- Is the working environment organized and clean?
- Are all necessary resources to conduct the task present?
- Are all the tools and equipment to perform the task working properly to start the work safely?
- Are all the resources safe to work with?
- Does the work require any PPEs?
- Is there any fall protection issue, and has it been controlled?
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Importance of Hazard Awareness in the Workplace
Safety awareness is an ongoing practice! Working on repetitive tasks for years makes an employee reach the point that they don't put too much thought into their routine work. In turn, this reduces daily concerns on safety until it's returned to the spotlight.
However, all staff in the workplace have important roles to play when it comes to hazard management. Everyone should take the obligation of ensuring that there are zero injuries and incidents in the workplace. For better outcomes, hazard awareness training programs should begin during the induction process.
The well-being of workers and their colleagues primarily depends on their awareness of the workplace's potential and existing hazards. Safety readiness training and experience helps staff in an organization learn how to identify and be more aware of different hazards.
Without ongoing hazard awareness training, workers start neglecting safety practices to pursue more efficient and faster working methods. Once a shortcut is successful without any negative consequence, it becomes easier to repeat the same and invent new ones. Besides, it is only a matter of time before those shortcuts bring undesirable outcomes. Hence, the need for all staff to go through training on hazard awareness regularly.
Topics to Include in Hazard Awareness
In every industry, the workers get exposed to at least one workplace hazard every day. It's very costly to deal with the effects of a hazard once it occurs, but hazards can be prevented if the necessary actions are taken. Employees need to be aware of the different types of hazards in the workplace to avoid incidents.
So, here are the common areas to cover in a hazard awareness training program:
- Physical hazards
Physical hazards are the most common dangerous situations in the workplace. They include exposure to loud noise, unguarded machinery, trips, falls, slips, vibrations, and working from heights.
- Chemical hazards
A chemical hazard is present whenever a worker is exposed to chemical substances. This involves exposure to carbon monoxide, asbestos, silica, air-borne vapors, fumes, and cleaning products and solutions.
- Biological hazards
On most occasions, healthcare workers are often at the most risk of these hazards. They occur as a result of working with infectious materials either from plants or animals. They include viruses, mold, insect bites, blood, animal care, infectious diseases, and bacteria.
- Ergonomic hazards
Every work tends to place certain strains on the employee's body. These hazards occur from physical factors that can cause harm to the musculoskeletal system of a worker. Ergonomic hazards are not easy to identify, and they include poor posture, awkward movements, repetitive motion, improper lifting technique, and inadequate lighting.
- Work organization hazards
These hazards are usually stress-related, for example, congested or crowded workspaces, long working hours, and adverse weather conditions.
The work environment is usually a significant threat to employee health and safety. All workers must have knowledge of various hazards to identify and eliminate them before they cause harm efficiently. Safety must be a natural part of any organization, and to create an effective hazard awareness program, incorporate safety in everything you do!