Chapter 1

Introduction to Risk Assessment

On any given day, in every corner of the world people are actively working, going to school, driving or taking mass transit to work, relaxing at home or on vacation, or even working at home. Some people are even finding the time to sleep. Those who are working perform jobs that range from cleaning animal kennels to being the head of state of a country and every type of job in between. Every job, in fact, every activity a human performs, has a hazard associated with it. The common hazards we all are exposed to include

  • slips, trips, and falls;
  • illness and disease;
  • food borne illness;
  • transportation: car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents;
  • sports: organized sports (football, basketball, soccer) accidents, individual sports accidents (skiing, water sports, skate boarding);
  • electrical;
  • fires;
  • snow removal.

On top of these more common hazards, every job has specific hazards associated with it. The major hazards associated with cleaning animal cages, for example, include

  • being attacked by the animal;
  • the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that might be in the animal waste;
  • the design of the cage might pose problems: size, shape, material of construction, and sharp edges;
  • the maintenance of the cage might pose problems: cleanliness, jagged metal or wood, and faulty locks/latches/gates/door;
  • the condition of the floor;
  • the electrical and/or Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system in the building;
  • the building's ...

Get Risk Assessment: Tools, Techniques, and Their Applications now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.