Risk Identification

Risk identification is identifying hazards. A hazard is anything that has the potential to harm the health and safety of a person.

What hazards need to be identify?

Identifying hazards which may be present in the workplace, including those arising from:

  • Work premises, including the access and egress
  • Structures and buildings
  • Plant (including the transport, installation, erection, commissioning, use, repair, maintenance, dismantling, storage or disposal of the plant)
  • Traffic and transport movements at a workplace
  • Hazardous manual tasks and ergonomics
  • Layout and condition of the workplace (including lighting and workstation design, airborne contaminants and hazardous atmospheres)
  • Violence, harassment, bullying, intimidation, aggression
  • Physical working environment (electrical, drowning hazards, fire hazards, explosion hazards, slips, trips and falls hazards, contact with moving or stationary objects, falling objects, noise, heat, cold, vibration, static electricity)
  • Biological organisms, products or substances
  • High risk work
  • Presence of asbestos and how it is handled, treated or removed
  • Confined spaces
  • Remote or isolated work
  • Hazardous chemicals (including the production, handling, use, storage, transport, or disposal)

Classification of hazards

Hazards include the work practices and systems used to perform work as well as physical, chemical, biological and psychological aspects.


  • Noise
  • Light
  • Plant
  • Ventilation
  • Machinery
  • Electrical
  • Equipment
  • Mobile Plant
  • Vehicles
  • Temperature
  • Slips/trips
  • Falls hazards
  • Working at Height
  • Manual tasks
  • Nip points
  • Air Quality
  • UV radiation


  • Poisons
  • Dusts
  • Fumes
  • Gases
  • Hazardous Chemicals including dangerous goods
  • Oxidising Agents
  • Flammable solids/liquids/gases
  • Radioactive Substances
  • Cleaning Chemicals


  • Parasites
  • Plants
  • Harmful Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Moulds
  • Infectious Agents
  • Contaminated Specimens
  • Body Fluids


  • Stress
  • Repetitive Work
  • Shift Work
  • Violence/Aggression
  • Bullying
  • Excessive Work Load

When must hazards be identified?

The PCBU (person conducting a business or undertaking) must ensure that effective procedures are in place and are implemented to identify hazards. This will include:

  • when designing workplaces, plant, structures and systems of work
  • immediately before using premises for the first time as a place of work
  • before and during the installation, erection, commissioning or alteration of plant in a place of work
  • before changes to work practices and systems of work are introduced
  • before hazardous chemicals are introduced into a workplace
  • while work is being carried out
  • when new or additional information relevant to the health or safety of workers (or others who may be affected) becomes available from an authoritative source
  • following an injury, near miss, incident or accident.