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The content following is in the process of being transitioned from WorkCover to SafeWork SA.

Definition of hazards

A hazard is a situation in the workplace that has the potential to harm the health and safety of people or to damage plant and equipment. The situation could involve a task, chemical or equipment used. Hazard management is a continuous process that can be used to improve the health and safety of all workplaces.

Hazard management is essentially a problem-solving process aimed at defining problems (identifying hazards), gathering information about them (risk assessment) and solving them (risk control). This is followed up by checking to see that the controls were successful (evaluation) and reviewing the whole process (review) after a period of time or when something changes.

A simple way of describing the hazard management process is the SAFER approach:

S ee it (identifying hazards)

A ssess it (risk assessment)

F ix it (risk control)

E valuate it (evaluation)

R eview it (review).

This site is organised according to the five stages listed above. Together the five stages comprise a hazard management program. To be effective the program should be supported with a documented system. There are examples of documents in the tools section which you could adapt to your situation.

One of these is a flow chart showing the five stages and questions to ask during the process. Click in the downloadable documents to see this flow chart.

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