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Hazard identification

Last updated May 2024

This chapter explains how to undertake hazard identification and what types of hazards to look out for.

What is hazard identification?

Definition: Hazard Identification

Hazard identification is the range of processes used to identify hazards in the workplace.
Definition: Hazard

A hazard is any situation, substance, activity, event or environment that could potentially cause an injury or illness.

Your workplace is likely to have many hazards. The types of hazards relevant to your workplace will depend on the size and nature of your business.

Hazards can generally be divided into two main categories:

  • general hazards; or
  • special hazards.
Important: Under health and safety legislation, you have a duty to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that workers and others impacted by your organisation are not exposed to the risk of work-related harm. To do this, you must carry out a risk management process. Hazard identification is the first step in the risk management process.
Definition: Risk Management

Risk management is a process that includes hazard identification, risk assessment and the implementation, monitoring and review of control measures to reduce risks to the health and safety of workers.