Definition of Occupational Hazards, Types, and Risks

Definition of occupational hazards – Every job has many risks caused by the work environment, work tools and so on. The existence of this risk can cause work accidents or other conditions such as illness.

The workplace is a place where people gather. The average person works in an office for approximately 8 hours per day. There are many jobs in the workplace, where each job has risks and hazards, all of which can cause Occupational Diseases (PAK) and Work-related Accidents (KAK).

The triggers for work accidents are divided into three with their respective percentages, namely accidents due to unsafe types of work, working conditions, and accidents beyond human control. Therefore, a worker must still follow work safety standards in a company. The existence of work accidents is a special concern and the main rule in the work implementation guidelines.

What are Occupational Hazards?

Occupational hazards are risks that can cause a worker to get sick or get an accident and this happens at the work site. This occupational hazard can have a long or short impact. Impacts in the short term category such as injuries that do not cause disability, pain due to radiation or fatigue and so on.

Therefore, for long-term impacts, such as the occurrence of physical disabilities so that a worker cannot work again. Forms of disease such as heart disease, lungs and even cancer.

There are many occupational hazards, but they can be grouped according to the specific area of ​​work. Every company in a certain field of work has risks that can have an impact on different diseases. For example, chemical companies will have an impact on diseases caused by chemical substances, as well as construction companies which will definitely have more physical risks.

Definition of Occupational Hazards According to Experts

The following is the definition of occupational hazards that have been disclosed according to experts.

1. Tarwaka (2008)

Hazard is a condition that allows or has the potential for an accident to occur in the form of injury, illness, death, damage or the ability to carry out defined operational functions.

2. Tarwaka (2014)

Potential hazard is something that has the potential to cause loss, damage, injury, illness, accident or even cause death related to work processes and systems.

3. Soehatman Ramli (2010)

Hazard is anything including a situation or action that has the potential to cause an accident or human injury, damage or other disturbance. Because of the presence of a hazard, it is necessary to control efforts so that the hazard does not cause adverse consequences.

4. Frank Bird- Loss Control Management in Ramli (2011)

Hazards are sources with the potential for human injury, illness, property damage, the environment or a combination thereof.

5. Ashfal 1999 in Alfatiyah (2017)

Hazards are conditions that have the potential for accidents and damage to occur, hazards involve risks or opportunities related to unknown elements.

6. Suma’mur (1996)

Occupational hazards are factors in the employment relationship that can lead to accidents. The hazard is called potential, if these factors have not caused an accident.

Occupational Hazards in a Company

The following are job hazards in a company, namely:

1. Chemical hazard

Hazards caused by exposure to chemicals in the workplace. These chemicals can be directly exposed to or carried by other agents. From exposure to these chemicals a person can suffer from certain diseases in the long term.


There are hundreds of hazardous chemicals, including immune agents, dermatologist agents, carcinogens, neurotoxins and reproductive toxins. In addition, asthma agents, sensitizers and systemic toxins are also hazardous chemicals.

2. Biological hazard

This hazard arises from microorganisms and in the form of animals that threaten the safety of workers. The biggest danger is in the form of infection from microorganisms that can attack the body. These microorganisms are in the form of bacteria, viruses, fungi and various toxins released from these microorganisms.


3. Physical hazard

A physical hazard can cause a negative condition in the body whether or not there is contact. The form of this hazard such as vibration, heat, cold, noise and so forth.

In addition, physical hazards also cause injury and illness in some industries such as additions and construction, they are unavoidable.


4. Psychosocial hazards

This hazard affects the psychological health of workers which can create conflict within the company. This hazard is usually influenced by social, economic conditions and work pressure in offices and companies.


Psychosocial harm is associated with how the work is designed, organized and managed. They are also related to the social and economic context of the work. The patient suffers from a psychological or psychiatric injury or illness. Some also suffered physical injury or illness. Examples of other psychosocial hazards are workplace violence and job stress.


5. Hazards of the type of project or work

This hazard arises due to the lack of adequate work support equipment, which can cause injury to workers.


6. Danger type human aspect

Caused by ignorance, skills and concentration that are lacking or not focused on working data, underestimating the dangers and other reasons that come from the workers themselves.

Kinds of Occupational Hazards

Occupational hazards are divided into two types, namely:

Occupational safety hazards (Safety Hazard)

Occupational safety hazards as hazards that have an impact on the occurrence of work accidents that can cause injury, disability to death and property damage. /i>The resulting impact is acute. Types of work safety hazards can be classified into:

1. Mechanical hazard

Mechanical hazards, namely originating from mechanical equipment or moving objects, both manually and with actuators. This mechanical movement can cause injury or damage such as cuts, cuts, falls, pinches and slips.

2. Electrical hazard

Electrical hazards are hazards originating from electrical energy which can result in various fire hazards, electric shocks and short circuits.

3. Fire and explosion hazard

Fire and explosion hazards are hazards originating from flammable and explosive chemicals.


Occupational health hazards (Health Hazard)    

Occupational health hazards can be regarded as hazards that have an impact on human health and occupational diseases. The impact is chronic. Types of occupational health hazards can be classified into several things, including:


1. Physical hazard

Physical hazards can be in the form of radiation, extreme temperatures, weather, lighting, vibration and air pressure.

2. Chemical hazard

Chemical hazard is a hazard in the form of gas, liquid, solid which has toxic properties i>(toxic), /i>irritant i>(irritant),/i> shortness of breath i>(asphyxia), /i>flammable i>(flammable ),/i> explode i>(explosive),/i> and rusty i>(corrosive). /i>

3. Biological hazard

Biological hazard is a hazard that can come from microorganisms, especially those that can cause health problems, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses.

4. Ergonomics hazard

Ergonomics hazard is a hazard that can cause disturbances to the body physically as a result of inappropriateness and wrong working methods.

5. Psychological hazard

Psychological hazards in the form of work pressure, violence in the workplace and long, irregular working hours.

K3 Functions and Objectives

In a company, occupational hazards pose a very serious threat to employees and the company itself. Because there are always losses incurred due to the dangers of this work. In overcoming and minimizing this threat, the government requires the implementation of Occupational Safety and Health (K3) in every company. This rule is contained in Law Number 12 of 2003 concerning the application of K3 in the corporate environment.

The existence of K3 is expected to be able to protect the workforce and the company itself when carrying out its activities. So, the K3 function in overcoming and minimizing the risk of occupational hazards is as follows:

  1. Management in the management of occupational hazards is a guideline in assessing risks and hazards in the work environment.
  2. Can be done in planning, organizing and design in every job. So that workers are safe in carrying out their duties.
  3. K3 also functions in monitoring the health and safety of workers.
  4. K3 can be a consideration in conducting education and training for workers, so they can work safely.
  5. As one of the guidelines in determining the design of work in a company.
  6. Providing effectiveness in managing each occupational hazard control.

From this function K3 shows various objectives in the implementation of countermeasures and minimization of occupational hazards. Thus, specifically the objectives of this K3 are:

  1. Can prevent diseases that threaten the health of workers.
  2. Improving the standard of living in the form of the degree of health of workers.
  3. Providing optimal conditions for each worker. So they can be more productive at work.
  4. Provide a safe and comfortable work environment.
  5. Being a tool in preventing losses, both material and non-material in nature.
  6. Can be a controller of the risks that exist in the workplace.
  7. This rule of K3 also provides protection for employees in a company. Because this K3 has been recognized by law and must be carried out in every company.

Role of K3

K3 itself has a role that has been regulated by the government, including:

  1. Workers are entitled to work hazard protection from the company.
  2. Everyone is guaranteed safety in the work environment.
  3. Can be a guideline for using production resources effectively and efficiently
  4. Anticipation and prevention of occupational hazards.

Types of Risk Based on OSH Views

In addition, in risk management from an OHS perspective, the types of risk can be divided as follows:

1. Safety risk

Safety risk is a risk that has a low probability of occurring but has major consequences. This risk can occur at any time and is acute and fatal. The losses that usually occur in safety risks are injuries, lost workdays, property damage and lost production and sales.

2. Health risks

A health risk is a risk that has a high probability of occurring, but has low consequences. This type of risk can occur at any time continuously and has a chronic impact. Diseases that occur such as respiratory disorders, nervous disorders, reproductive disorders and metabolic or systemic disorders.

3. Environmental risk

This risk is related to the environmental balance. The characteristics of environmental risk are insignificant changes, have a large impact on populations or communities, changes in habitat and ecosystem function and capacity and damage to natural resources.

4. Financial risk

This risk is related to the well-being of many people’s lives. So, unexpected things such as water and air pollution can be avoided.

OHS Hazard Factors in the Workplace

In general, there are 5 (five) K3 hazard factors in the workplace, including the following:

Biological Hazard Factors

Biological hazard factors include:

  • Mold.
  • Virus.
  • Bacteria.
  • Plant.
  • Animal.

Chemical Hazard Factors

Chemical hazard factors include:

  • Hazardous substances/ materials/ liquids/ gases/ dust/ vapors.
  • Toxic.
  • reactive.
  • Radioactive.
  • Easy to explode.
  • Flammable/flammable.
  • Irritant.
  • Corrosive.

Physical Hazard Factors

Physical/ mechanical hazard factors include:

  • Height.
  • Construction (infrastructure).
  • Machines/tools/vehicles/heavy equipment.
  • Limited space (locked up).
  • Pressure.
  • Noise.
  • Temperature.
  • Light.
  • Electricity.
  • Vibration.
  • Radiation.

Biomechanical Hazard Factors

  • Biomechanical hazard factors include:
  • Repetitive motion.
  • Work posture/position.
  • Manual transport.
  • Workplace/tool/machine design.

Socio-Psychological Hazard Factors

Socio-psychological hazard factors include:

  • stress.
  • Violence.
  • Abuse.
  • Excommunication.
  • Intimidation.
  • Negative emotions.

Steps to Minimize Occupational Risks and Hazards

To reduce work hazards, several efforts can be made as follows:

Conduct a study or analysis of risks

This method can be done by making a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) which involves people who are directly involved in the job, then socializing it to all workers.

Establish work safety standards

It is better to establish a standard for all workers to protect them from the hazards that exist. For example, providing protective uniforms for the whole body, periodic electrical security, fire alarm systems and so on.

Make a report

This report has a goal as a basis for policy making to prevent work risks, so that in the future there will be no more hazards that have previously befallen the company.

Stages in the Implementation of SMK3

In order to support controls related to work activities in order to create a safe, comfortable and productive workplace, every company or office has an OHS Management System (SMK3). The stages in the implementation of SMK3 are:

  1. Determination of the company/office K3 policy which is a written statement from the head of the office regarding the K3 policy.
  2. K3 office planning, at a minimum contains goals and objectives, priority scale, hazard control efforts, determination of resources, implementation period, achievement indicators, and accountability system.
  3. Implementation of K3 office plans.
  4. Office K3 monitoring and evaluation.
  5. Reviewing and improving office K3 performance.

Office safety and health standards are contained in the Regulation of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia Number 48 of 2016. In principle, if every workplace/office leader has a strong commitment to upholding K3 standards in the office, a healthy and comfortable workplace will emerge so that employees/ workers who are in the workplace will feel excited, always in good health and work productivity will automatically increase.

Well, that’s a discussion about the definition of occupational hazards in relation to occupational safety and health that must be fulfilled by every company. Protection from occupational hazards is a responsibility that must be carried out and guaranteed by the government.