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Guidelines for Identification of Issues

Guidelines for Identification of Issues

Consider all operations of the departmentConsider the process flow of each such operation & divide it into different activities, so that each activity can be considered separately for identifying the releases & discharges, Land intake, visual impact, resource consumption, health & safety risks, etc.Record activities in the ‘Initial Review Report’.

While dividing operations into activities, consider :

ACTIVITIES (e.g. handling of hazardous materials, receiving activities, storage, Processing, Disposal activities, etc.)

SERVICES (e.g. Transportation, Maintenance, washing, conditioning, etc.)

PRODUCTS (e.g. Use of Raw materials, consumables, Packing materials, finished products, Bye-products, etc.)

Classify activities into ‘Direct’ and ‘Indirect’ 

DIRECT : Those which are under the direct control of the organization

INDIRECT : Those which are not under the organization’s direct control , but over which it can be expected have an influence (e.g. the activities performed by the contractors, sub-contractors, or suppliers )

Identify Aspects of each activity by considering the following :


Use of raw materials, consumables, etc. (in case of natural resource),  use of a non bio-degradable material (for possible material substitutions)

Use of Water

Use of Energy

Use of Land, etc. (in case of new developmental activity)


Releases to Air

Discharges to Water

Solid Waste

Discharge / releases to Land


Nuisance (Smoke, Odour, Dust, Vibration,

Light, Heat, Radiation, etc.)

Visual Impact

Finished Products

Bye Products

Identify health & safety risks considering following:

Use the following potential source for identifying hazards

a)Ask your people working in relevant areas.

b)Task analysis/ job safety check.

c)Injury and illness history (first aid reports, compensation claims etc.

d) Safety audit reports.

Physical Hazards:  Electricity, Noise and vibration, Heat & cold, Dust & fibres, Radiation, Exposed moving machinery parts, Occupational Overuse Syndrome (RSI)

Chemical Hazards: Liquids (e.g. office supplies, cleaning products, paints, acids), Vapours and fumes (e.g. welding fumes, toluene), Gases (e.g. oxygen, acetylene, propane, carbon monoxide), Flammable, combustible, and explosive materials

Biological Hazards: Unclean restrooms, improperly stored medical waste, Mould, fungus, and mildew, Bacteria & viruses, Plants (e.g. poison ivy), Insect stings, Animal bites

Ergonomic Hazards: Lighting, Workstation layout, Video Display Terminals (VDTs), Worksurfaces, Chairs, Colour, Lifting, Repetitive movements, Posture, Shift work.

Psychological hazards

Identify issues under all the following conditions for each activity:

Normal running conditions of the activities

Abnormal conditions (e.g. start-up & shut down/breakdown activities, etc.).

Emergency conditions (e.g. possibility of fire hazard, leakage of hazardous gas, etc.)
Use following documents / reports as potential source for identifying aspects:
Permits, consents, etc. from regulatory authorities

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) of materials
Reports of previous incidents/accidents (especially in case of abnormal & emergency conditions).

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