Hazard Assessments

Hazard Assessments must be completed for all research spaces, whether they be an office, teaching space, laboratory, and/or in the field, must be completed as required by the Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) code.

Using the above linked template:

  • List all the hazards in your lab, whether they be chemical, biological, physical, or psychological
  • Determine the likelihood (1-5) and consequence (1-5) of the hazard if there were no controls in place using descriptions described in the “Risk Rankings and Colour Coding” tab on the excel template. This will generate a risk rating (RR) score (RR = L X C)
  • Determine the controls that already exist or that will be implemented to decrease the likelihood and/or consequence of each hazard. Make sure to consider all 5 levels of controls:

  • Re-evaluate the likelihood (1-5) and consequence (1-5) of the hazard with the controls you have listed in place. You should end up with a RR score between 1-5 or at least under 10 in the case of a particularly hazardous scenario
  • HSE has a number of example hazard assessments for reference

Hazard Assessments should be:

  • Thorough and comprehensive
  • Reviewed annually or whenever new hazards are introduced
  • Easily accessible to all working where the hazards are present

Non-compliance can result with fines issued by government inspectors. If a serious incident occurs and no hazard assessment had been completed prior, the PI can be fined $500,000 and/or given a six-month prison sentence for a first offense.