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Common hazards and risks at work

Information for young workers.

  • Information to help young people stay safe and well
  • Learn about common hazards and risks
  • British Safety Council's young people campaign

The law requires employers to conduct their business in such a way as to ensure, so far is reasonably practicable, that persons affected are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

If this is not done after you have raised a concern then you can contact a relevant authority.

A hazard is anything that might hurt you, either physically or mentally. Some are obvious like a speeding car. Others, like a bully, are less obvious. We face hazards all the time in life and the workplace is no different.

Certain hazards are the cause of the majority of injury and ill health at work. Learn to spot them and it will help you stay safe.

Common hazards:

  •  Lifting or moving heavy objects
  • Falling off things like ladders and scaffolding or down holes
  • Moving around a site, for example being hit by a reversing van in a forecourt,
  • Tripping over cables and leads not tied up properly or slipping over liquid left on the floor
  • Getting caught up in machinery
  • Stress hazards such as over-work, bullying or aggressive behaviour, either by colleagues or general public.

Areas of work that commonly involve these types of hazards include:

  • Construction and building
  • Agriculture, for example during busy periods such as harvesting
  • Manufacturing, for example on a production line.
  • Transport, for example driving for work
  • Waste and recycling
  • Public facing work, such as guards or health workers

Some questions to ask your employer/supervisor when you start work:

  • What are the dangers of my job?
  • What job safety training will I receive?
  • Should I get any supervision?
  • Is there any safety gear that I’ll be expected to wear? When will I receive my training in how to use it?
  • Where are the fire extinguishers, first aid kits and other equipment located?
  • What are my health and safety responsibilities?
  • Who do I ask if I have a safety question?