Published 10 Sep 2023
What is a Hazard Identification Checklist?
A hazard identification checklist, also known as a hazard assessment form, is a tool used by safety officers in performing hazard assessments. The main purpose of a hazard assessment is to identify potential health and safety hazards by examining conditions or practices in the workplace. Performing regular hazard assessments is critical for implementing adequate corrective measures that can help prevent injuries and illnesses.
Ultimately, this process is covered by an organization’s holistic Health, Safety, and Environment or HSE management system.
In this article
- What is Hazard Identification?
- 4-Step Guide to Effectively Perform a Hazard Identification
- Why Use a Checklist for Identifying Hazards
- What to Include in This Checklist
- Hazard Identification Checklist Example
- FAQs about Hazard Identification
- Address Workplace Hazards with SafetyCulture
- Top Hazard Identification Templates
What is Hazard Identification?
Hazard identification is the process of detecting potential sources of harm or damage from doing a job task in a specific work area. Identifying workplace hazards is crucial to implement controls that will help ensure the safety of workers and other stakeholders. Overall, it’s part of hazard assessment, the process of evaluating risks associated with a hazard and taking action to remove it or reduce risks involved with it.
4-Step Guide to Effectively Perform a Hazard Identification
A hazard assessment reduces the probability of workplace accidents occurring and ensures the safety of your employees. Easily perform fire risk assessments by following the steps below:
- Look – Walk around the facility and look for out-of-place items. Identify potential or existing hazards. Learn how to identify common workplace hazards.
- Think – Evaluate identified hazards and determine their underlying causes. Set appropriate controls to mitigate the likelihood of recurrence.
- Act – Implement corrective actions or controls.
- Monitor – Perform regular inspections and reviews to ensure that standard operating procedures and safety control measures are followed.
Why Use a Checklist for Identifying Hazards
Industries like construction, manufacturing, and transportation face numerous workplace risks in their daily operations. And as the risks increase, determining them can take more time and effort to accomplish.
Using a hazard identification checklist can help simplify this task by establishing a framework to document and examine workplace hazards. This structured approach facilitates a more efficient, consistent, and comprehensive recording of risks, leading to improved safety protocols, hazard control measures, and risk mitigation strategies.
Aside from this, here are 5 reasons why you should use a checklist for identifying hazards:
- It reduces the chances of oversight during the assessment process by accounting for all relevant hazard categories and work-specific considerations.
- It standardizes the assessment process to ensure that similar hazards are identified and evaluated consistently.
- It speeds up the hazard identification process by providing a ready-to-use tool at your disposal.
- It serves as a helpful resource for training and guiding individuals involved in the hazard assessment process.
- It aids in tracking the progress of risk management efforts and serves as evidence of due diligence.
What to Include in This Checklist
When creating your own checklist, it’s important to keep in mind the environment, activities, and components specific to your workplace. At its most basic form, a hazard identification checklist will include the following elements:
- Nature of work
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Noise exposure
- Manual handling
- Working at heights
- Slip and trip hazards
- Site security and emergency preparedness
- Ambient conditions when working outdoors
- Cuts and abrasions
- Hazardous substances
- Plant and machinery
- Falling objects
- Lifting procedures
- Fire or ignition sources (hot work)
- Environmental impacts
- Decontamination of plant and equipment
- Spill prevention measures
- Waste disposal
- Customer and surrounding property
- Nearby work
Hazard Identification Checklist Example
The image below illustrates how you can use a digital checklist for hazard identification:
FAQs about Hazard Identification
Hazard identification checklists play a vital role in systematically assessing potential risks in a particular work environment, process, or activity. By having a framework for examining various aspects where hazards may exist, organizations can take appropriate actions to reduce or eliminate risks and enhance overall safety.
A hazard identification checklist is a handy resource for safety professionals, supervisors, facility managers, and workers. This tool can be customized to specific work functions and industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and logistics.
Generally, workplaces should carry out the hazard identification process on a regular basis, but this frequency can change depending on specific circumstances. For example, the need for this procedure can arise due to newly detected risks or changes in the work environment.
Address Workplace Hazards with SafetyCulture
Performing a pen-and-paper-based hazard assessment typically involves copious amounts of time, effort, and paperwork. For example, safety officers may carry around piles of paper on a clipboard to document hazards in a facility. They might also need to approach workers one by one to explain and assign corrective actions with the hopes that they follow through.
Depending on the size and complexity of the organization, paper-based audits can take hours to complete. Replace these long, arduous workflows with digital tools like SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor).
SafetyCulture is a powerful inspection software and mobile app that can be used to perform hazard assessments quickly and accurately using your chosen hazard identification template. With this operations platform, you can:
- Create mobile-ready risk assessment apps online (no IT skills needed) with ready-to-use health and safety checklists and risk assessment templates.
- Empower teams to complete risk assessments using their smartphone or tablet.
- Attach photos and annotations of issues and safety concerns in the app.
- Assign corrective actions with priority levels and deadlines to rectify identified risks.
- Save all reports online to the cloud. Preview a report here.
- Submit hazard identification reports to local authorities in PDF, Excel, and Web formats.
- Make informed decisions about safety protocols and practices using real-time insights from the analytics dashboard.
- Deploy bite-sized training courses on hazard identification and assessment procedures to specific teams and individuals.
Top Hazard Identification Templates
Use this basic hazard identification template to perform general hazard assessments. Safety officers can also use this template during walkthroughs to easily document potential hazards in the facility. Maximize the use of this template by following the points below:
- Identify potential hazards, provide a description, and determine the risk rating depending on the hazard’s severity
- Take or attach a photo of the hazard (if possible)
- Add notes or comments where necessary
- Assign corrective actions to appropriate personnel, set priority level, and indicate the due date
- Provide additional comments and sign off with a digital signature
Hazards associated with job processes and workflows need to be examined and reviewed to determine if existing control measures are effective and sufficient. Start by listing a process and identify the category of hazard (physical, chemical, biological, etc.). Evaluate the severity, frequency, probability of loss, and significance of hazards observed based on the rating guide provided. Site some recommendations for safety planning and purposes.
This OSHA hazard assessment checklist template is based on the regulatory hazard assessment of OSHA. This checklist contains 43 sections covering a wide range of hazard identification procedures in the workplace. Modify this template and delete sections that may not be relevant or suited to your workplace’s needs. Use SafetyCulture to convert your paper checklists into digital mobile templates.
The construction industry accounts for numerous fatalities caused by the “Fatal Four” - falls, being struck by objects, electrocution, and being caught between objects. These hazards were responsible for more than half of construction workers’ deaths. Use this template before commencing work on a construction project. Determine the hazards that may arise from the work activity to be performed. Use SafetyCulture to record significant data on detected risks like the presence of electrical tools, an ongoing excavation activity, the use of scaffolds and ladders, and the handling of deadly substances and materials.
The main segments of the retail industry include retailing food, personal and household goods, and motor vehicle services. Activities in the industry often include hazards caused by improper loading and unloading of materials, mishandling of chemicals, and unsafe working environment that may cause slips, trips and falls. Use this checklist to ensure safety during operation. Carry out risk assessments to determine if there are sensitive risk groups in the retail sector like night workers, young persons and pregnant women and if they receive sufficient protection. Next, check if bullying and violence prevention policy is implemented and followed. Evaluate if the staff are well educated on the safety rules when working with big equipment, extreme temperatures, electricity, and chemicals. Lastly, provide recommendations to improve safety.
The work processes in a manufacturing company largely involve the use of machinery, transportation, and labor force. Therefore, a thorough evaluation of the environment, equipment, and employees’ compliance with safety rules must be conducted to identify workplace hazards. This CCOHS hazard assessment checklist containing 22 sections was converted using SafetyCulture and can be used to check the overall safety of a manufacturing site. Conduct safety inspections by using your mobile devices on-site and send reports to your managers.
Before performing a hazard assessment, it is best to gather your team to talk about existing issues and problems in the workplace. Use this toolbox talk template prior to a job or shift commencing for about 5 to 10 minutes. All staff and managers working on the shift discuss the key hazards and remediation plans associated with the work to be performed. Use SafetyCulture to document the group discussion and prompt all workers to sign off.