June 21, 2023

Week 4 of National Safety Month: Hazard Recognition

In any workplace, it is important to identify potential hazards and take appropriate measures to mitigate them. Workplace hazards can range from physical hazards such as slippery floors or heavy machinery, to chemical hazards, such as exposure to toxic chemicals to comic hazards like poor workstation design that can lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Identifying and addressing these hazards can also prevent workplace accidents and injuries, protect the health and safety of employees and ultimately improve the overall productivity and efficiency of the workplace.

The first step in identifying workplace hazards is to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. This process involves evaluating the workplace and its operations to identify potential hazards and assess the level of risk associated with each hazard.

Another important tool for identified workplace hazards is play feedback. Employees are often the ones who are most familiar with the specific tasks they perform and the hazards they encounter on a daily basis. Encouraging employees to report potential hazards and providing a mechanism for them to do so (without repercussion) can help identify hazards that may otherwise be overlooked. Employee feedback can also help identify hazards that may arise from issues, such as poor training, inadequate supervision or ineffective safety policies.

Regular workplace inspections can help identify potential hazards that may have been overlooked or that have developed since last inspection. Inspection should be conducted by qualified personnel who are familiar with the specific hazards associated with the work being performed. They should also be conducted on a regular schedule, with more frequent inspections for high-risk areas or activities.

Additionally, it is important to conduct an investigation when any injury, incident or near miss occurs. When conducted appropriately, these post-incident investigations can be critical tools to help with identification of hazards and implementation of appropriate corrective action. Post incident investigation should be conducted timely and objectively.

For more helpful information or workplace safety training, please contact Western Growers Insurance Services.

Western Growers Insurance Services is a full-service insurance brokerage offering a suite of insurance and tailored risk management solutions and training to agribusiness and related industry members. For more information or assistance, please contact Ken Cooper, Director Risk Strategy for Western Growers Insurance Services, at KCooper@wgis.com.


June has been designated as National Safety Month by the National Safety Council. This event is intended to increase awareness of workplace safety topics and reinforce our collaborative responsibility to keep each other safe. Safety is everyone’s responsibility!

This article is one of a four-part, weekly series following the topics designated for National Safety Month.  The topics are:

Week 1: Emergency Preparedness – Planning and training are the most critical steps to ensure appropriate actions are taken when an emergency occurs.   

Week 2: Slips, Trips, Falls – A frequent cause of significant workplace injury and associated costs. These types of incidents are often preventable. 

Week 3: Heat-Related Illness – According to OSHA, heat illness is a serious occupational hazard that affects workers in many industries, especially those who work outdoors or in hot indoor environments.

Week 4: Hazard Recognition – Being able to spot hazards and implement appropriate corrective action can mean the difference between injury and safety.