Ensure a safe workplace Part 1 of 4

Learning Outcome

In this short introduction you will learn about hazards, their types and simple ways to ensure safety at your workplace.

  • Section 1: What is a Hazard?
  • Section 2: Type of Hazards?
  • Section 3: Control Measures

Section 1 - What is a Hazard?

How do we define a hazard?

A hazard is anything that may cause injury, illness, disease or even death. For example:

  • a slippery floor
  • equipment or furniture not suitable for worker
  • a contaminated air conditioning unit
  • a fire
  • and more ...
Fire is a hazard.

It is important that we should look out for hazards and proactively prevent them from happening.

Section 2: Type of Hazards

There are seven types of hazards that can happen in any workplace. These are:

  • Physical
  • Ergonomic
  • Psychological
  • Biological
  • Chemical
  • Radiation
  • Electrical

Let's have a look at each one and discuss more in details. Note that a hazard of one type can easily cause other hazards of different types.

Safety on a building

Physical Hazards

  • Buildings
  • Floors
  • Noise
  • Temperature
  • Lighting
  • Vibration
  • Humidity
  • Air Movement
  • Explosion
  • Fire
Question: Explain how each of the above hazards can cause you illness, harm, injury or even death?

Ergonomic Hazards

Ergonomic hazards relate to tools or work environments that do not suit the worker or user. For example, poor chairs, wrong desk heights or no foot rest.

Modern ergonomic couch

Are you currently sitting well in front of the computer reading this text? Here is an illustration of how you should be sitting.

Proper seating arrangement at a workplace

Psychological Hazards


These relates to events and/or situations that can effect us emotionally or mentally. For example, aggressive angry customers can cause an support employee emotional distress. This event can also happen within one organisation in form of workplace bullying or even stress. A company restructure can also have an effect on its employees.

Have you experienced psychological hazards before?

Biological Hazards

Watch this video to learn more about biological hazards.

Biological hazards are often not visible to the naked eyes. It is therefore important that we take extra care and prevent them from occurring.

What measures does your organisation take to prevent biological hazards?
Chemical agents ... can they be hazardous?

Chemical Hazards

Chemical hazards relate to substances that are used for tasks in the workplace. If these substances are not used correctly they can cause harm. Watch the video to learn about some examples.

Electrical Hazards

Generally, electrical hazards occur around wiring used in or leading to and from an equipment connected to electricity. Examples are power cords, sockets, switches and transformers.

Do not touch this!
Have you experienced an electrical shock before?


Radiation can have multiple sources. Any emission from light, heat or energy source can be hazardous dependant on the energy it holds. Examples are the back of a projector, welders, computer monitors or even TV screen.

Can the sun be hazardous? We all have experienced it, right?
The sun is a powerful radiator.

Section 3 - Control Measures

There are key steps you should consider to identify, select and assess control measures to minimise the risks from potential major incidents. Watch the video below to learn about them.

Question: Do you know of any control measures your organisation has in place?

For more information about work, health and safety please visit Safe Work Australia's Website.


In this part you have learned about hazards, their types and what control measures you should consider to protect yourself and others.

You have concluded Part 1 of this introduction. Click the button below to go to Part 2, where you will learn about Health & Safety personnel and notifiable incidents.

Created By
Hisham Attia


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