4.3. Common Hazards and Descriptions


absorption through the skin, inhalation, or through the blood stream that causes illness, disease, or death


Check Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for chemical hazard information.


heat ignition source,results in combustion

Chemical (Corrosive): A chemical that, when it comes into contact with skin, metal, or other materials, damages the materials. Acids and bases are examples of corrosives.

Explosion (Chemical Reaction): Self-explanatory.

Explosion (Over Pressurization): Sudden and violent release of a large amount of gas/energy due to a significant pressure difference, such as rupture in a boiler or compressed gas cylinder.

Electrical (Static/ESD): The moving or rubbing of wool, nylon, other synthetic fibers, and even flowing liquids can generate static electricity.

This creates an excess or deficiency of electrons on the surface of material that discharges (spark) to the ground resulting in the ignition of flammables or damage to electronics or the body’s nervous system.

Ergonomics (Strain): Damage of tissue due to overexertion (strains and sprains) orrepetitive motion.

Ergonomics (Human Error):A system design, procedure, or equipment that is error-provocative (A switch goes up to turn something off).

Excavation (Collapse): Soil collapse in a trench or excavation as a result of improper or inadequate shoring. Soil type is critical in determining the hazard likelihood.

Fall (Slip, Trip): Conditions that result in falls (impacts) from height or traditional walking surfaces (such as slippery floors, poor housekeeping, uneven walking surfaces, exposed ledges, etc.).

Fire/Heat: Temperatures that can cause burns to the skin or damage to other organs. Fires require a heat source, fuel, and oxygen.

Mechanical: Typically occurs when devices exceed designed capacity or are inadequately maintained. Skin, muscle, or body part exposed to crushing, caught-between, cutting, tearing, shearing items or equipment.

Noise: Noise levels (>85 dBA 8 hr TWA) that result in hearing damage or inability to communicate safety-critical information. (TWA is time-weighted average.)

Radiation (Ionizing): Alpha, Beta, Gamma, neutral particles, and X-rays that cause injury (tissue damage) by ionization of cellular components.

Struck By (Mass Acceleration): Accelerated mass that strikes the body causing injury or death (Examples are falling objects and projectiles).

Struck Against: Injury to a body part as a result of coming into contact of a surface in which action was initiated by the person. (An example is when a screwdriver slips.)

Temperature (Heat/Cold): Temperatures that result in heat stress, extreme exhaustion, or metabolic slow down such as hypothermia.

Vibration: Segmental or whole-body vibration can cause damage to nerve endings, and organs.

Visibility: Lack of lighting or obstructed vision that results in an error or other hazard.