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Different types of hazards in the workplace

Different types of hazards in the workplace

Hazards in the workplace require effective management, dealing promptly with risk and preempting any potential hazards before risk turns to injury. Deploying efficient health and safety protocols helps protect employees and minimises workplace accidents. This helps ensure the reputation of your business as a safe place to work and visit remains intact. 

Let’s take a look at some of the different types of workplace hazards and how you can manage them effectively.

Common Safety Risks

Ultimately, the most common risk to health and safety in the workplace depends on the nature of the workplace. Different working environments will pose various risks, so the most common risk in one workplace may be entirely different to your own.

Equally, there are many workplace hazards that can occur across varying working environments. These include:

  • Ergonomic injuries
  • Stress
  • Slip, trip and fall hazards
  • Poor mental wellbeing
  • Eye strain
  • Fire safety

Ergonomic injuries

This is one of the most common health and safety risks, and it can apply to workplaces from offices to industrial warehouses. Many people in offices can spend hours sitting in a fixed position, and while it may seem harmless, back, hand and neck strains are all commonly associated with prolonged periods of sitting at a desk. 

There are many types of ergonomic equipment (including desks, chairs, and computer keyboards) that can prevent these types of injuries. If a specific risk here is identified, this could be one effective way of mitigating it. 

For manual workers, ergonomic injuries are common through handling heavy loads. This could result in musculoskeletal disorders such as repetitive strain injuries. Wherever possible, avoid handling heavy loads, however, when this is not possible, the HSE state that it is vital to consider a risk assessment that highlights the following things:

  • Individual capability
  • The nature of the load
  • Environmental conditions
  • Training
  • Work organisation

Our Manual Handling Training course is a great way to keep employees, as it teaches things like lifting techniques and safe handling methods. It is a legal requirement for any business where staff are required to do any lifting, lowering, pushing or pulling.


Stress can cause employees to take time off work and results in lost working days. HSE statistics show that stress, depression and anxiety was the highest factor in lost working days across the 2021/22 period. 

If your employees are overloaded with work, then this can bring on stress, which may also be compounded by personal circumstances. There are positive steps you can take to raise awareness about stress in the workplace.

We have Stress Awareness and Management Training course tailored to the needs of everyone, employers, employees and safety representatives. For further information on this topic, check out our blog on work-related stress.

Slip, trip and fall hazards

Slips and trips make up the majority of health & safety workplace injuries, so they are an essential hazard to consider. To prevent injuries and accidents from happening, you should assess whether you are sufficiently ensuring these risks in your workplace are controlled. The HSE provide a list of recommendations:

  • Prevent floors from getting wet or contaminated in the first place.
  • Have procedures in place for both routine and responsive cleaning.
  • If a spillage does happen, clean it up quickly.
  • If floors are left wet after cleaning, stop anyone from walking on them until they are dry and use the correct cleaning methods and products.
  • Look out for trip hazards, such as uneven floors or trailing cables, and encourage good housekeeping by your workers.
  • Make sure workers wear footwear and protective equipment that is suitable for the environment they are working in.
  • Make sure your flooring is suitable, or floors likely to get wet are of a type that does not become unduly slippery.

By following these guidelines, you are creating a safe working environment for your employees. Alternatively take a look at our Slips, Trips and Falls Training.

Poor mental wellbeing

Poor mental health is often related to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. Taking into account your employees' mental wellbeing and providing support measures can help those suffering. The HSE suggest the following ways employers can support their staff:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan that promotes good mental health of all employees and outlines the support available for those who may need it.
  • Develop Mental Health Awareness Training among employees by making information, tools and support accessible.
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling, during the recruitment process and at regular intervals throughout employment, offer appropriate workplace adjustments to employees who require them.
  • Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work-life balance and opportunities for development.
  • Promote effective people management to ensure all employees have a regular conversation about their health and wellbeing with their line manager, supervisor or organisational leader and train and support line managers and supervisors in effective management practices.
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing by understanding available data, talking to employees, and understanding risk factors.

Eye Strain

For people who work with display screen equipment (DSE) such as laptops or computers, eye strain and computer vision syndrome are associated hazards with this. Symptoms can include headaches, neck or shoulder strains and blurred vision.

Display screens should be located at a minimum distance of 20 inches from the user’s eyes for better protection. Discover more about the impacts of DSE with our specialised DSE Training course, helping you to understand and work towards compliance with The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992

Fire Safety

Any workplace should have adequate fire safety procedures in place so you are well prepared in the event of a fire. Fire risk assessments should be carried out on an annual basis, checking the power outlets, electrical heaters, emergency lighting and any other internal appliance that could pose a fire risk.

Fire Safety courses are the best way to ensure all employees are up-to-date with the latest legislation and procedures associated with fire hazards. Fire awareness, fire extinguisher training and fire warden training are all valuable things for employees to know, and these are all covered in a fire safety course. 

Online health & safety training

Providing your staff with high-quality and effective training doesn't need to be expensive or complicated. Get your safety procedures set up in place today.

Our online Health & Safety Training courses offer a simple yet highly effective way of working towards compliance with current legislation. Ultimately not only does this protect your staff, but it also protects your business and its interests. 

Each course is CPD Accredited, with many containing additional approvals from the likes of IOSH, IIRSM, and RoSPA, and provides a printable certificate upon completion of the end-of-training test.

You can claim a free, no-obligation trial for any of our courses today! Alternatively, you can request a bespoke quote for your organisation, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly to discuss your training requirements to make your business a safe workplace with a safety policy in place. Whatever your training requirements are, our comprehensive range of e-learning courses have you covered.