An environmental hazard in the workplace is a situation that presents a substantial or potential significant risk to employees, other people, and/or the environment. The objective of an EHW is to address these hazards and avoid or control them so that EHW’s do not become a significant problem. The employer is responsible for determining an EHW and for correcting an EHW when it becomes apparent that it does present a problem.
How to Determine EHW
An EHW can be determined through several methods.
The first step in hazard assessment is identifying the type of hazard. This will involve identifying, for example, dust or pollen, which may be a health hazard. Once an EHW has been identified, an appropriate solution must be determined to address the hazard. This will involve the identification of the hazard, identifying the potential solution to the hazard, assessing the costs of the solution and implementing it, monitoring the results of the solution, and making any adjustments if necessary.
The type of hazard should be specified in the occupational safety program (OSSP) of the workplace. This is a legally binding agreement that describes how employers and employees will deal with potential hazards in the workplace. It sets out the responsibilities of employers and their employees. It may also set out what they are required to do to identify and correct EHW’s and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of an EHW occurring. The OSSP also sets out criteria that an employer must consider when deciding whether to implement an EHW.
The second stage in hazard assessment is risk assessment. This involves identifying the risk that an EHW may cause. This will involve identifying the hazard in the environment, evaluating the risk, drawing up a risk profile, identifying actions that could potentially address the hazard, and communicating this to the workers. The risk profile and its implications must then be communicated to the employees
Thirdly, hazard identification and risk assessment come together. During the hazard analysis stage of the hazard assessment, a worker will identify the EHW that has been identified. The worker will also identify how and where the EHW may occur. Based on this information the hazard assessment team will identify measures that need to be taken to mitigate the risk and will determine whether or not an EHW should be identified, or if there is a likelihood of it occurring.
Then the next stage involves the identification of the EHW. In some workplaces, this may involve making a detailed report about the hazard, describing it, and containing a recommendation for the management to take action. This information is then stored in a database and may be shared with other occupational health and safety professionals. Other times a hazard report may be referred to an occupational health and safety office that would then carry out hazard assessments in the workplace.
Finally, the hazard assessment team will conduct a physical assessment of the EHW. During the physical assessment, an agent will identify any unusual damage or abnormalities to the EHW. They will also assess its stability and identify any issues that could affect its operation or cause it to break down. If any abnormal conditions are found, steps to control or remove them may need to be taken.
Where appropriate, a professional EHW classification is undertaken. This will enable an organization to identify the type of hazard and provide advice about how to manage it. It will also highlight the classification’s limitations, benefits, and implications. It will also identify how to best control or remove the EHW.