Top 10 Most Common Hazards and associated Risks in the workplace

Top 10 most common Hazards and associated risks in the workplace

top 10 most common hazards in the workplace

MAKROSAFE have been assisting clients for more than 23 years with the identification of hazards, CONTACT US now to assist you finding at least 10 hazards in the workplace.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of possible hazards in the workplace.  Some industries naturally carry more risks, but we have outlined the top 10 most common workplace hazards and asssociated risks that pose a threat:

  1. Hazardous chemicals, which include the following:  acids, caustic substances, disinfectants, glues, heavy metals (mercury, lead, aluminium), paint, pesticides, petroleum products, and solvents.
  2. Ladders.  All plants and warehouses use ladders constantly, and 8 percent of all occupational fatalities are caused by falls.  Download your FREE Ladder Inspection Checklist
  3. Scaffolding hazards.  This includes planks giving way or breaking, employee negligence, and falling objects.  
  4. Vehicle accidents.  This includes industrial trucks, golf carts, cars, etc.
  5. Respiratory hazards.  These risks are applicable when welding, for example.  Unhealthy breathing environments include insufficient oxygen, vapours, gasses, fibreglass, and dust.
  6. Electrical wiring and systems that can cause electrocution or fires.
  7. Unexpected start-up or malfunction of machinery and equipment.
  8. Falling objects from shelves, higher floors, or scaffolding.
  9. Slippery and wet floors that cause slips and falls.
  10. Objects on the ground or in doorways, including wires and cords, which result in trips, falls, lacerations, and bruises
My Safety Shop

A Risk Assessment is the first step to identify your hazards in the workplace.


This risk assessment is conducted by a competent person to determine the hazards and risks associated with a specific task that is being performed. Using a standardised methodology, tasks are placed into a task inventory and potential hazards that may be encountered while performing each task are identified. Their associated risks are determined and quantified to determine their level of risk. Control measures are then determined that, when implemented, will mitigate and reduce the level of risk for each task to an acceptable level.

Based on their level of risk, the tasks are then arranged in the task inventory according to their level of risk from highest risks to lowest risks.

Through the re-arrangement of the quantified tasks, the employer can now concentrate on implementing the control measures for each task, prioritising their efforts on the tasks that pose the greatest risk to health and safety and then working down the task inventory to the tasks which pose lessor risks to health and safety.

My Safety Shop - Risk Assessment


This task risk assessment is intended for all companies who are required to conduct a risk assessment within their organisations.


This task risk assessment is important because it determines hazards and their associated risks in the workplace. At the same time, it quantifies these to determine how much risk they represent to the organisation and its operations and details the relevant control measures that need to be put into place in order to ensure that the level of risk is an acceptable one. This provides evidence to an inspector that a risk assessment has been conducted by the organisation and that the organisation has made a comprehensive evaluation of the hazards and risks within its workplace. A risk assessment is mandatory under section 8(2)(d) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and its availability shows that the employer is complying with this legislation in respect of the risk assessment requirement.

Risk Assessment


This task risk assessment must be conducted by a person who is competent to do so and who has been appointed to carry out the task.

Download free e/book : A Competent Person - The purpose of this e-book guide is to provide guidance to users (employers) on what the formal definition of a competent person is in the workplace, as determined by the Department of Employment and Labour. 

The risk assessment document must be approved and signed off by top management and must be communicated to all employees throughout the organisation.

The document must be maintained and reviewed regularly so that it remains relevant and must be available to any interested parties who wish to view it.

Keeping your workplace legally Health and Safety Compliant may seem like a daunting task. At MAKROSAFE, we have an experienced team of OHS experts available to assist in keeping your company Health and Safety Compliant according to South African Health and Safety Acts and Regulations.
The MAKROSAFE Health and Safety Risk Control Package will assist you with your Risk Management Programme.
By signing up with our Health and Safety Risk Control Package, MAKROSAFE will assist you with your Risk Management journey.
My Safety Shop - Health and Safety Risk Control Package

Posted date: 22nd Mar 2022
Latest News - Inspections - General Health and Safety - Risk Assessment