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Biological hazards

Biological hazards include bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins and others such as protozoa. These can all cause harm to human health. Although rarely visible, biological hazards are not always understood. Exposure can lead to sudden and long-term health issues, and sometimes life-threatening diseases.

Biological hazards are widely found in the natural environment and as a result are present in many work sectors and industries. Most biological hazards are harmless but due to the health effects and problems, they can be a hazard and risk in all workplaces. Health issues can be a result of either direct exposure or related allergens and toxins.

Although biological hazards are found in all work environments, some sectors are at a higher risk such as:

  • healthcare
  • veterinary services
  • agriculture
  • sewage management
  • laboratories.