There are many hazards associated in an industrial workplace. With new technologies, new machinery and constant updates with regulations it is more important now than ever before to produce efficient risk assessments. Good risk assessments reduce hazards and fatalities in dangerous areas in the workplace. A good risk assessment will make workers feel safer and therefore happier and promotes a good business structure within the company. A good risk assessment will help prevent legal action against the company therefore saving the company money.
When looking at a general workshop there are several hazards that could potentially cause an accident. In this section, I will identify hazards in the workplace and will give them a danger rating. The danger rating is the overall rating which is calculated from the frequency (the likelihood of an occurrence) and the severity (the damage the occurrence can do to a human). I will access what hazards can happen in this particular workshop.
The work area is a workshop for several electrical maintenance engineers. There are roughly 3-5 engineers using this workshop on a daily basis. The workshop is used 6 and a half hours a day excluding breaks. The main workshop consists of 3 rows of work benches which have tables and chairs and a draw containing cables and test equipment, there is a bench for mechanical work and a drill machine. A PC is located here and several electrical outlets for testing. In this area engineers will test small power supplies using testing equipment. There is another area that is sectioned off to most employees for only trained personnel (engineers) to enter.
This section has a safety barricade and warning notices for no entry to unqualified staff. This area is used to test power supplies that use deadly amounts of voltage, it has larger, heavier units (power supplies) and more complex cables and test equipment. It has complex electrical outlets (3 phase). The workshop has access to a storage area. In this area, many power supplies for maintenance are stocked on pallets that are placed on shelving that exceeds 20 metres in height. Large acidic batteries are also stored here for battery boxes. A trained member of staff operates a dangerous vehicle to help stock the power supplies. There is an outdoor loading bay where the items are shipped off or collected just outside the storage area.
Hazards within the scenario
Electrical Hazards There are many electrical hazards from the electrical outlets, from the cables used to the actual power supplies themselves. Electrical Hazards can be very fatal (Severity: 5) and within this particular industry there is heavy exposure to electrical products (Frequency: 5).
There are corrosive hazards such as risk of acidic battery spillage. There are corrosive hazards regarding cleaning equipment. The engineers will be working with batteries on a regular basis and will need to clean the workshop/equipment regularly (Frequency: 3) although the severity of the cleaning products is minor, the battery acid can be lethal overtime if left untreated or infected areas of the skin are not cleaned (Severity: 3).
The only toxic hazards in the area come from the same items that are also corrosive. Ingesting battery acid or cleaner fluid is very hazardous and can cause a lot of damage internally. The repercussions would be very harmful (Severity: 4) but it would be highly unlikely that people would be exposed to battery acid or cleaner product in this way (Frequency: 1).
Fire hazards in this scenario are mainly going to come with electrical hazards, possibly from cables using too much power and becoming overheated. Any other source is unlikely as there is no welding involved with this workshop and no smoking. There are not many extremely flammable products to start a fire with either. The chances within this particular company of a fire not only starting but spreading is very low (Frequency: 1) but fires are very dangerous and can cause multiples deaths and uncontrollable property damage (severity: 5).
Accidents with tools
The engineers have to use tools to carry out maintenance work, tools include small pocket knives, screwdrivers, drills, ratchet sets etc. There is the need of tools to do maintenance so the likelihood of incidents and accidents is very likely (Frequency: 4), severity is not as bad as there are a lack of dangerous saws and other dangerous tools etc. Cuts from electrical/ metallic equipment are also likely as well but shouldn’t be too severe (Severity: 3).
Trip hazards come from misplaced boxes, pallets and other items that have been misplaced. Slip hazards can come from a leaky roof or spilled drink, these incidences can often occur (Frequency: 3) but they usually don’t do too much damage but on rarity can be fatal (Severity: 2).
There are no real chemicals within the workplace that can cause oxidising problems or need constant ventilation, therefore any oxidising accidents should be extremely rare (frequency: 1) but if they was a miraculous incident, it could cause an explosion (Severity: 5).
There is waste in the workshop that can be harmful to the environment, such as disposing old batteries that have Ni-Cad Acid which can harm the environment /animals. Waste and rubbish is of a high quantity and should be exposed of properly using the correct authorities. The amount of rubbish thrown out of the workshop is great (Frequency: 4) and it could potentially harm the environment, especially the acidic batteries (Severity: 4).
Courtney from Study Moose
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