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Hazards at Work

Identifying Hazards & Risks

An important part of emergency preparedness for businesses is doing a business risk analysis to identify hazards, inventory critical business assets, and analyze impacts and risks.

Hazards to Businesses

Natural Hazards

  • Flood/Debris flows
  • Earthquakes
  • Extreme weather
  • Landslides
  • Tsunamis
  • Wildfires

Technological/Accidental Hazards

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Hazardous materials
  • Power outages

Health & Other Hazards

  • Influenza
  • Pandemics
  • Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear
  • Structure fires

Risks to Businesses

  • Loss of services (eg. water, gas)
  • Building damage
  • Inventory or equipment damage
  • Loss of files and critical data
  • Employee or customer injury
  • Damage to employee homes
  • School closures
  • Road damage
  • Disruption to suppliers, service providers, etc.

After completing the Risk Analysis, you should also complete a Business Impact Assessment to determine the financial and operational implications for your business.

For instructions on creating your Risk Analysis and Business Impact Assessment and samples, download the Emergency Preparedness Toolkit for Businesses (Appendices C & D)

Risk Reduction

As your planning team discusses the various risks you've identified, determine what risk-reduction options make the most sense for your business. It's important to consider cost, time required, and the expected benefits of each option.

Brainstorm all the potential options with your planning team to compare which are the most appropriate for your business given the cost, timing, benefit and priority of the risk. For example, if you need to keep your products cold but don't have a budget for a backup generator, you could develop a list of local dry ice vendors.

Numerous resources are available from government, safety, insurance and research organizations. Start with these: