Physical Hazards and Psychological Hazards: Examples and Control Measures

Physical Hazards and Psychological Hazards: Examples and Control Measures

The success of any organization depends on its ability to manage workplace safety, which includes both psychological and physical risks. It is crucial to recognize and reduce these risks to protect workers’ health and well-being and to create a positive work environment. This article explores the different kinds of workplace safety risks, offering examples and explaining control measures that are effective in ensuring workers’ health.

Physical Hazards:

Any element of the environment that has the potential to endanger or injure a person’s body is referred to as a physical hazard. These risks may exist in a variety of locations, such as public areas, homes, and workplaces. Physical hazards include a wide variety of risks, including biological agents, ergonomic strain, chemical exposure, and hazards relating to machinery or other physical elements. Managing physical hazards entails putting safety procedures, guidelines, and controls in place to reduce the possibility of mishaps, injuries, or negative health impacts.

Some types of physical hazards are:

Chemical Hazards

1. Chemical Hazards:

Strong control measures are necessary because exposure to hazardous chemicals is frequent in manufacturing environments. To reduce risks, it is essential to have proper training, wear personal protective equipment (PPE), and keep ventilation systems in good working order.

For instance, being exposed to hazardous substances in a production plant.

Control Strategies: Establish appropriate ventilation systems, wear personal protective equipment (PPE), and give sufficient training.

2. Ergonomic Risks:

Musculoskeletal conditions can be brought on by poorly designed workstations. To create a workspace that promotes physical health, counteract this by adjusting workstations, providing ergonomic furniture, and conducting regular ergonomic assessments.

An illustration would be a shoddy workstation design causing musculoskeletal problems.

Control Measures: Make workstation adjustments, supply ergonomic furniture, and carry out routine ergonomic evaluations.

3. Biological Hazards:

There is a significant chance of coming into contact with bacteria or viruses in medical or laboratory settings. Implementing strict hygiene procedures, offering protective gear, and, if necessary, starting immunization programs are all part of controlling biological hazards.

For instance: Being exposed to bacteria or viruses in medical environments.

Control Measures: Put protective clothes on, practice good hygiene, and, if necessary, start immunization programs.

4. Physical Hazards:

Machine hazards are a common occurrence in industrial and construction settings. To prevent injuries, it is imperative to install safety guards, perform routine equipment inspections, and enforce stringent safety procedures.

An illustration would be injuries caused by machinery on a building site.

Control measures include enforcing stringent safety procedures, installing safety guards, and regularly inspecting equipment.

Psychological Hazards:

Any element of the work environment that could have a detrimental effect on a person’s psychological health or mental well-being is referred to as a psychological hazard. These risks may result from things like a heavy workload, unstable employment, bullying at work, violence in the workplace, a lack of job control, and other pressures that negatively impact an employee’s mental health.

Creating a supportive work environment, encouraging candid communication, and putting stress reduction, job satisfaction, and positive mental health initiatives into practice are all part of managing psychological hazards. Taking care of these risks is essential to keeping a mentally sound and effective workforce.

Common psychological hazards are:

Workload and Stress

1. Workload and Stress:

Burnout and illnesses linked to stress are common consequences of a high workload. Encourage open communication about workload concerns, offer stress management programs, and support work-life balance as ways to combat this.

For instance, a heavy workload can cause burnout and illnesses linked to stress.

Control Strategies: Encourage open communication about workload concerns, offer stress management programs, and support work-life balance.

2. Workplace Violence and Bullying:

When coworkers verbally or physically abuse one another, a toxic environment is created. Establishing explicit anti-bullying policies, providing conflict resolution training, and promoting reporting mechanisms are some ways to combat workplace violence and bullying.

Example: Abuse amongst coworkers, either verbal or physical.

Control Measures: Create unambiguous anti-bullying guidelines, provide conflict resolution training, and support reporting channels.

3. Work Insecurity:

Fear of losing one’s job can be a result of economic uncertainty. Reduce job insecurity by encouraging open communication, giving chances for professional advancement, and providing employee support services.

Ex: Fear of losing one’s job because of unstable economic conditions.

Control measures include offering employee assistance programs, career development opportunities, and transparent communication.

4. Lack of Job Control:

When workers feel out of control during decision-making processes, it can lead to discontent. To improve job satisfaction, address this by fostering a supportive leadership style, encouraging employee participation in decision-making, and promoting autonomy.

An illustration would be workers who feel helpless during decision-making.

Control measures include encouraging employees to participate in decision-making, fostering a supportive leadership style, and promoting autonomy.


Taking care of the psychological and physical risks is essential to establishing a secure and effective work environment. To guarantee the well-being of their employees, employers need to take a comprehensive approach that incorporates open communication, frequent assessments, and training. Through the implementation of efficient control measures, organizations can raise overall productivity and job satisfaction while simultaneously improving employee safety.


  1. Workplace, physical and psychological hazard: 
  2. Qualitative study of psychological hazard among healthcare workers: