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Hazard Identification

Hazard Identification Principles

Identification and recording of hazards is an important step in the risk management process and is a precursor to effective risk assessment.

A hazard is something with the ‘potential to cause harm’, but not all hazards present a risk to individuals, especially if they are adequately controlled: something can be a hazard whilst at the same time presenting a negligible level of risk.

Without identifying all hazards, and subsequently assessing whether they present a risk or not, individuals with responsibility for the health and safety of others cannot discharge their duty of care easily.

Hazard checklists can be a useful tool for such individuals, which is why the University has developed a hazard identification tool, or Hazard Grid, which allows users to identify the hazards which are present within their own areas.

The Hazard Grid (for those working in Science and Medical Faculties)

This hazard identification tool consists of a user friendly Hazard Grid and supporting Hazard Grid Guidance, containing approximately 40 typical hazards across four different hazard categories, allowing users to select whether they have low, medium or high level hazards within their workspace at the click of a button. The four hazard categories are: biological, chemical, radiation and lasers, and physical. The Hazard Grid and supporting Hazard Grid Guidance is available on the Hazards Module page.

The Hazard Grid can be used as a stand-alone prompt list. It will shortly also be available for researchers working within the Science and Medicine faculty to use as part of an online hazard assessment system: the QuEMIS Hazards Module.

Risk Assessment Training

A risk assessment training package, which explains the use of the Hazard Grid as part of the QuEMIS Hazards Module, will also be available from the Health and Safety Team.

For Health and Safety enquiries that require additional professional advice please contact the Health and Safety Helpdesk or visit the Contacts page.

Hazard Aide Memoire - this document can be useful to identify all hazards related to an activity. You simply then transfer only those that are considered 'significant' hazards onto a full risk assessment template