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    How to recognise the hazards in your workplace

    Published on 28 February 2016, Sunday, 9:52 PM

    Whether you work with attenuators, excavators or generators, it is important to be able to recognise and prepare for potential hazards so you can minimise the risk of danger to staff and others.

    Here are some of the major hazards presented in workplaces across the country and several ways you can reduce the risk of injury or accident.


    No matter what kind of structure you are dismantling, you always run the risk of falling objects or being caught between an operating mobile plant. Then there's the chance of breathing in asbestos or silica, amongst other airborne contaminants.

    If you are planning on any demolition work, it is vital that a licenced person conduct the business or undertaking as they will be aware of all the necessary steps that need to be taken to protect staff from risks.


    Trips, slips and falls can occur in any work environment, but those on construction sites are particularly at risk of this injury, particularly as it is possible to fall from one level to another.

    Therefore, it is important to keep an eye out for anything that staff could trip over, such as cords, wires and loose boards. Hazards need to be identified, assessed and controlled to protect workers.

    Heat stress

    Australia's warm climate can be beneficial for many, but it also increases the risk of heat stress, which is when the body cannot handle hot temperatures.

    The risk increases with certain types of work and the surrounding air temperature as well as the physical condition of staff.

    To minimise this risk, ensure staff are consuming enough water and taking adequate breaks. Appropriate clothing should be worn that keeps staff safe while allowing their skin to breathe and sweat to evaporate.

    It is also important to be aware of any conditions that could increase the likelihood of staff suffering from this ailment, such as diabetes, hypertension or heart problems.

    Confined spaces

    There are a few dangers workers may face when working in confined spaces at a job site, whether it be a lack of oxygen, carbon monoxide build up or the presence of other contaminants in the air.

    When someone is working in a small area, it is vital to ensure a stand-by person is located outside to speak to the person and sound out an alarm if something started to look suspicious.

    Personnel heading into confined spaces should also be fitted with protective equipment, rescue, first-aid, fire suppression equipment and any other training required to perform their duties.

    If there is any risk of falling, rescue lines and safety harnesses must also be provided to keep employees safe.

    Signs must also be set up to show entry is only permitted after signing the entry permit and if there is any risk of gases escaping, it is important to ensure the area is kept well ventilated.

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.