Technical Services

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Biological Agents

Risk of:

  • Infection.

Possible causes:

  • Failure to decontaminate equipment properly or in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use of knives, cutting devices, equipment and machinery.
  • Exposure to environmental bacteria e.g. tetanus in soil, legionella in water systems, sewage, moulds, contaminated litter, discarded syringes or thorns.

Chemical Agents

Risk of:

  • Health effects such as allergies, asthma, respiratory problems and dermatitis.
  • Fire.
  • Explosion.
  • Hit by flying projectiles.
  • Suffocation.

Possible causes:

  • Failure to decontaminate equipment properly in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.
  • Exposure to flammable gases, paints, cement, metal working solvents, degreasing agents, herbicides, insecticides, adhesives, solvents, asbestos, cleaning agents, lead, refrigerant gases, welding fumes, waste anaesthetic gases.
  • Failure, rupture or leakage of compressed gas cylinders or fittings.
  • Exposure to dust or latex consumables.
  • Lack of local exhaust ventilation.

Confined Spaces

Risk of:

  • Confusion.
  • Death via drowning or asphyxiation.
  • Heat stress.
  • Back pain.

Possible causes:

  • Lack of oxygen.
  • Exposure to poisonous gases or fumes.
  • Lack of confined space entry permit to work.
  • Exposure to free flowing liquids or solids.
  • Lack of training.
  • Working in restricted work space.

 

Driving for Work

Risk of:

  • Physical injury even death.
  • Back pain.

Possible causes:

  • Poor ergonomic set up / inadequate lumbar support.
  • Manual handling material from the vehicle.
  • Road collision.

 

Electricity

Risk of:

  • Burns.
  • Electric shock.
  • Death.
  • Fire.

Possible causes:

  • Faulty or absent residual current devices.
  • Faulty plugs or cables, unmaintained equipment.
  • Working on live equipment without a safe system of work and permit to work system.
  • Equipment unsuitable for use in a wet, dusty or outdoor work environment.
  • Unqualified staff.
  • Improper use of arc welding equipment.

Environmental Conditions

Risk of:

  • Colds.
  • Burns.
  • Heat stress.

Possible causes:

  • Working in inclement weather e.g. freezing conditions, rain etc.
  • Contact with hot surfaces, products or steam.
  • Working in hot environments e.g. boiler houses or ventilation systems.

Equipment

Risk of:

  • Electrocution.
  • Amputation.
  • Broken bones, dislocations or crush injuries.
  • Entanglement.
  • Cuts, burns, eye injuries.

Possible causes:

  • Use of unguarded equipment such as planers, drills, grinders, presses, saws and routers.
  • Work on motors and fans.
  • Hit by falling objects.
  • Lack of equipment maintenance.
  • Exposure to energy sources (steam, hydraulic fluid, compressed air, gas or electricity) or ultra violet radiation.

Fire

Risk of:

  • Burns.
  • Smoke inhalation.
  • Death.

Possible causes:

  • Unsafe system of work / failure to implement hot work permit.
  • Improper storage of flammable chemicals and gases.
  • Lack of flashback arrestor on welding equipment.
  • Flames, sparks or hot material generated during cutting and welding.

 

 

Lone Working

Risk of:

  • Increased vulnerability in the event of an incident.

Possible causes:

  • Working in isolated areas.
  • Unsafe system of work.

 

Manual Handling

Risk of:

  • Back injury, sprains and strains.

Possible causes:

  • Lack of mechanical handling equipment.
  • Improper lifting techniques or over exertion.
  • Handling equipment unsuitable for the task.
  • Lack of maintenance of lifting devices e.g. material hoists and lifts.

 

Noise

Risk of:

  • Hearing damage or loss.
  • Physiological effects.
  • Work related stress.
  • Increased risk of accidents.

Possible causes:

  • Exposure to noisy equipment such as back up generators, chillers and boilers or noisy environments such as service or plant rooms.
  • Operation of power tools or compressed air tools.

 

Sharps

Risk of:

  • Inoculation injury.
  • Infection.

Possible causes:

  • Exposure to sharp items including needles discarded by the public.

 

Slips, Trips and Falls

Risk of:

  • Minor to major physical injuries.

 

Possible causes:

  • Inadequate space especially around equipment.
  • Trailing leads.
  • Uneven or wet surfaces.
  • Inappropriate footwear.

 

 

Welding

Risk of:

  • Burns especially eye and skin.
  • Eye injuries.
  • Electrocution.
  • Fire.
  • Explosion.
  • Adverse health effects e.g. metal fume fever, hearing damage, lead poisoning, asthma, cancer.
  • Effect on pacemaker.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders.

Possible causes:

  • Absence of flashback arresters on oxyacetylene welding equipment.
  • Exposure to welding fume due to lack of ventilation.
  • Exposure to toxic metals or noise.
  • Being hit by slag or spatter.
  • Exposure to ultraviolet and infrared rays or EMF.
  • Lack of shielding.
  • Incorrectly installed or improperly grounded equipment.
  • Poorly maintained equipment especially cables.
  • Lack of proper PPE e.g. eye & ear protection, insulating gloves, helmet, flame retardant overalls.
  • Welding near or on flammable materials or environment.
  • Poor posture during welding.
  • Mishandling of gas cylinders.
  • Failure to use spark lighters to ignite gases.

Working at Height

Risk of:

  • Serious injuries such as broken limbs, concussion and even death.

Possible causes:

  • Fall from unprotected edge.
  • Improper use of ladders.
  • Inadequate working platform.
  • Lack of edge protection on working platform.

 

Further Information

For further information on related controls click here.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of hazards and risks.