A hazard is an object or situation that causes injury, harm or damage. Can you see, smell or hear anything that could cause damage? Talk to other people on the scene about any hazards that they might have found.
The three concepts behind a risk assessment in an emergency situation are:
- Risk assessed before, during and after providing first aid
- Weighing up the benefits of going ahead with first aid against risks that could be involved
- Think before you act, rather than act before you think
In order to identify hazards, you should check:
- up high – overhead hazards, weather conditions
- at eye-level – traffic, people, fire, smoke, gas
- down below – wires, sharp objects
- other specific hazards – bystanders, bodily fluids, drugs
If you find a hazard, you need to conduct a risk assessment. Ask yourself: What is the chance that the hazard will hurt someone or cause damage? If it does, how bad will the injury or damage be?
Identified hazards need to be controlled, which can be done by:
- Using personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Isolating the casualty from the hazard (asking bystanders to make space/leave the scene)