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Which aids for determining hazards may I use?

You may use checklists and hazard catalogues as aids for a systematic approach regarding the determination of possible hazards.

Checklists

Checklists are mainly intended for small- and medium-scale companies. They are intended to provide information on the performance of the risk assessment, as well as on typical hazards and protective measures for a certain industry, for activity groups, or occupational groups. The information is compiled in the form of a checklist that may also be used for documenting the results.

Checklists can be found with your competent trade supervisory board and Industrial Health and Safety Office or with your accident insurer regarding industry-specific checklists. The template Checklist hazard factors made available by the occupational safety and health administration of North-Rhine Westphalia illustrates examples of what checklists should include.

Hazard catalogues

Hazard catalogues include lists of typical hazards and protective measures for certain industries or company areas. You may use hazard catalogues in order to prepare the risk assessment and use these in order to create company-specific checklists, for example.

An overview of available checklists and hazard catalogues of the accident insurers, the state safety and health authorities, and additional relevant providers can also be found by browsing our database with guidelines for risk assessment.

Expert knowledge on the individual hazard factors is included in our section Expert knowledge.

Determination of inappropriate psychic stresses

Also keep in mind the psychic stress at the workplace and take it into consideration within the framework of your hazard determination.

There are different methods for determining inappropriate psychic stresses. In order to get an overview of weaknesses and strengths regarding psychic stresses, orienting methods (among others use of checklists) are sufficient that may be used without having to be an industrial psychologist. If, after having applied these methods and taken measures for designing the work, no success can be observed, specific methods must be used, possibly in consultation with specialists.

In order to be able to objectively assess a workstation and the activities to be performed there, it is often necessary to pay several visits to one workstation. For example, this necessity arises if work is being performed in shifts, frequently different volumes of working material or information must be processed in the same time, or activities vary regarding time.

The workstation visit concentrates on observing. The observation is a third-party evaluation. Since, in most cases, the workplace owner knows the working conditions at his/her workplace best, a self-evaluation frequently complements the third-party evaluation and identifies additional weaknesses. Practical methods for third-party and self-evaluation are listed in the referenced citation.