Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island

Hazards and Safe Practices

In an effort to prevent work-related injury and illness, the WCB provides employers and workers with useful information they need to recognize hazards within their workplace and prevent serious injuries.

What is a Hazard

Hazards are sources of potential damage, harm or adverse effect on something or someone. A hazard can be anything, including a condition, situation, practice, or behaviour. In workplaces, there are six types of hazards:
  • Physical - sun, extreme heat or cold, noise, vibration, electricity, etc.
  • Chemical - cleaners, stripping agents, pesticides, paint, glues, drugs, alcohol, etc.
  • Biological - viruses, bacteria, germs, poisonous plants, mould
  • Ergonomic - heavy lifting, standing or sitting for long periods, awkward workstations, etc.
  • Safety - untidy workstations, water on the floor, trip hazards, workers impaired by a substance, etc.
  • Psychological - bullying, harassment, trauma, extreme workload and pressure, etc.
Both employers and workers are responsible for controlling and minimizing the risk of hazards in the workplace.

Hazard Assessments

A hazard assessment is the process of identifying, assessing, and eliminating or managing workplace hazards and the risks they present to a worker’s health and safety.

In general, the workplace should include a three-step hazard assessment process. The process includes:
  • Hazard Identification - identify sources that expose a worker to a risk of injury or disease.
  • Risk Assessment - determine the risk to rank the hazard by priority. Risk is a combination of the likelihood of harm and its severity.
  • Hazard Control - identify actions necessary to eliminate the hazard or control the risk using the hierarchy of risk control methods.
Learn more about assessing and controlling hazards in your workplace:
  • Hazard Assessment – OHS App
  • Personal Protective Equipment – OHS App
  • Guide to Performing a Hazard Assessment
  • Determining a Service Provider’s Qualifications
  • The WCB has a variety of resources to help you identify and minimize the risk of hazards in your workplace. If you need more information about safety in your workplace, please contact us.