Situational Risks - National Safety Council

Situational risks are the risks inherent to the situation or the proximate cause of injury (e.g., fall to a lower level, struck by an object, electrocution, etc.) Below is a list of seven specific situational risks with short descriptions. These include the most common situational factors from our hazardous situations.

Struck by machinery, vehicle, debris, equipment or part: An injury or death occurs due to a worker being struck by an object with forcible impact. 

Fall to a lower level: A worker falls from height due to collapsing structures or equipment, an opening in the surface or falling to a lower level. The worker also falls without guardrails, safety nets, harness systems or other technologies, resulting in serious injury or fatality.

Fire risk – machinery or materials: The placement of combustible materials too close to heaters, careless refilling of heaters, not regularly inspecting heaters and equipment, and other lack of procedures – along with improperly working equipment – can be a risk for fires. 

Explosion risk – compressed or environmental gases: The risk for explosion increases when a leaking or improperly secured or tagged cylinder or special storage unit is used, handled or disposed of incorrectly.

Crushed by machinery, load, moving load or vehicle risks: An injury or death resulting from being squeezed, pinched or compressed between two objects or parts due to neglectful safety standards.

Electrical shock/arc flash, electrocution: Burns or shock that can occur when electrical current passes through the body at high voltages causing severe injury or death. Can also cause falls to a lower level.

Oxygen deprivation – gases or material: When an atmosphere contains less oxygen than required through spaces that are concealed, flammable, corrosive, toxic or combustible.