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First you need to work out how people could be harmed. When you work in a place every day it is easy to overlook some hazards. To make sure you cover as much as possible, walk around your workplace and look at what could reasonably be expected to cause harm. Ask employees, managers and contractors what they think. They may have noticed things that are not immediately obvious to you as they are working in the environment all the time.

It is a good idea to visit the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk to find more ideas and information. The HSE also publishes practical guidance on where hazards occur and how to control them. We have put a link in the student document section of this course.

If you are a member of a trade association, contact them. Many produce helpful guidance notes.  Look at manufacturers instructions for equipment that you are using, check user manuals, and keep up to date by checking manufacturers websites for risk information. Check data sheets for chemicals that you use, as they can be very helpful in spelling out the hazards and putting them in their true perspective.

A good way of finding more about your workplace is to look at back at your workplace accident and illness records to see what has already caused problems in your workplace and this will help you identify hazards that you amy have missed. Remember you are not just looking at short term accidents, you also need to see what long term hazards there are like workplace illness, respiratory problems or hearing damage