Health and Safety

Hazards may arise from

  • The workplace environment e.g. insufficient lighting
  • Equipment/Plant e.g. a noisy engine which has not been insulated
  • Substances e.g. explosive fumes building up in a storage area; and
  • Work systems e.g. storage of files at high level causing retrieval hazards


Examples of work related hazards and risks


a) Use of work equipment


  • Inadequately guarded rotating or moving parts which can crush, clip, stab, knock, catch or pull
  • Free movement of parts or material (falling, rolling, sliding, tipping, flying off, swinging, collapsing) which may result in a person being hit
  • Machine and vehicle movements
  • Danger of fire and explosion (e.g. from friction, pressure vessels)
  • Trapping


b) Work practices and layout of premises


  • Hazardous surfaces (sharp edges, corners, points, rough surfaces, protruding parts)
  • Working at heights
  • Tasks involving awkward movement/postures
  • Limited space (e.g. having to work between fixed parts)
  • Tripping and slipping (wet or other slippery surfaces etc.)
  • Stability of workstation
  • Impact of wearing personal protective equipment on other aspects of work
  • Work techniques and methods
  • Entry and work in confined spaces


c) Use of electricity


  • Electrical switchgear
  • Electrical installations, e.g. ring mains, lighting circuits
  • Electrically-operated equipment, controls, insulation
  • Use of portable electric tools
  • Fire or explosion initiated by electrical energy
  • Overhead electric lines


d) Exposure to substances or preparations hazardous to health and safety


  • Inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption of material hazardous to health (including aerosols and particulates)
  • Use of flammable and explosive materials
  • Lack of oxygen (asphyxia)
  • Presence of corrosive substances
  • Reactive/unstable substances
  • Presence of sensitizers


e) Exposure to physical agents


  • Exposure to electromagnetic radiation (heat, light, x-ray, ionizing radiation)
  • Exposure to lasers
  • Exposure to noise, ultrasounds
  • Exposure to mechanical vibrations
  • Exposure to hot substances/media
  • Exposure to cold substances/media
  • Presence of fluids under pressure (compressed air, steam, liquids)


f) Exposure to biological agents


  • Risk of infection arising from handling and resulting in unintentional exposure to micro-organisms, exo- and endo- toxins
  • Risk of infection due to inadvertent exposure to micro-organisms (e.g. legio-nella dispersed from wet cooling towers)
  • Presence of allergens


g) Environmental factors and working climate


  • Inadequate or inappropriate illumination
  • Inappropriate control of temperature/humidity/ventilation
  • Presence of pollutants


h) Interaction of workplace and human factors


  • Dependence of safety system on need to receive and process information accurately
  • Dependence on knowledge and capabilities of staff
  • Dependence on norms of behaviour
  • Dependence on good communication and proper instructions to tackle changing conditions
  • Impact of reasonably foreseeable departures from safe working procedures
  • Suitability of personal protective equipment
  • Poor motivation to work safely
  • Ergonomic factors, such as design of the work station to suit the worker


i) Psychological factors


  • Severity of work (intensity, monotony)
  • Workplace dimensions, e.g. claustrophobia , working alone
  • Role ambiguity and/or conflict
  • Contribution to decision-making affecting work and task
  • High demand, low control of work
  • Reactions in event of emergencies


j) Work organization


  • Factors conditioned by work processes (e.g. continuity, shift systems, working at night)
  • Effective management systems and arrangements in place for organizing, planning, monitoring and controlling the health and safety process.
  • Maintenance of equipment including safety equipment
  • Proper arrangements for dealing with accidents and emergencies


k) Miscellaneous factors


  • Dangers caused by other people e.g. violence to counter staff, staff-security guards, police and sports
  • Working with animals
  • Working in pressurized or under-pressurized atmospheres
  • Severe weather conditions
  • Software integrity
  • Working near or under water
  • Variable workplaces

This is an illustrative list and is not exhaustive.

For more information contact

Courses and Workshops




The OHS Act and the Responsibilities of Management

22 November 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

29 November 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Stay Easy: Cape Town

Employment Equity Committee Training

22 November 2019

Protea Hotel Fire & Ice: Menlyn

Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment Course

27 November 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Stay Easy: Cape Town

Workshop Incident/Accident Investigation Course

28 November 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Stay Easy: Cape Town

AARTO and the Impact on Your Business

28 November 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre


 Our Clients 


Android App On Google Play

Android App On Google Play