Hazard Physical hazards
Physical hazards occur when objects such as equipment and tools, or areas of the working environment, come into contact or have an effect on a person, resulting in the potential to cause actual physical injury.
Examples of physical hazards include:
- Uneven and slippery surfaces leading to slips, trips and falls
- Poor lighting
- Falls from height
- Bodies of water
- Extremes of temperature
- Manual handling/ergonomic injuries
- Vehicle movement
Some physical hazards can be associated with a variety of actions. For example, a manual handling hazard could be attributed to lifting, posture, awkward and/or repetitive movements, use of force or improper or unsuitable use of equipment. Or a heat induced hazard, as a further example, could be directly related to the weather, to workload/task, or both.
At operational incidents personnel could at times be exposed to higher levels of threat of injury from physical hazards than in normal situations (applicable to the circumstances). In every case a full assessment is vital to put additional control measures in place and avoid unacceptable exposure.
A hazard may outweigh or potentially outweigh the benefit of action. In such cases it may be appropriate to adopt a 'defensive mode' until further measures are implemented.
National Operational Guidance: Utilities and fuel
National Operational Guidance: Transport
National Operational Guidance: Incidents involving animals
Knowledge and understanding
Understand all associated hazard knowledge