The word hazard definition is very difficult to explain since it is mixed with other terms like danger and risk. We can define hazard as a cause or source of potential loss/danger. Hazard can be a situation or an object that may cause harm to personnel or property if handled improperly.
If a person is working on height there is hazard of fall that could lead to death or injury. If welding work is being done there is a fire hazard, there can be fire if proper measures are not taken. In short we can say that ” A Hazard Can Cause Damage or Harm“.
Below are few definitions of hazard:
- Something that has the potential to cause harm (loss)
- The potential to cause harm, including ill-health and injury, damage to property, plant, products or the environment, production losses or increased liabilities. (Source: Successful Health and Safety Management, HSG65, UK HSE)
- The intrinsic property or ability of something (for example, work materials, equipment, work methods and practices) with the potential to cause harm. (Source: European Commission Guidance on risk assessment at work)
- A source of exposure to danger. (Source: South Africa Occupational Health and Safety act 1993)
Examples of Hazard
Following are few examples of different hazards and harms that can be caused:
- Welding Process: Fire hazard, fumes, eye damage etc.
- Lifting of Weight: Fall hazard, lifting gear failure
- Wet Weather/Floor: Slip/Fall
- Natural Hazards like floods, earth quacks, lightning etc.
- Running plants and machinery
- Work environments like prolonged working in hot or cold weather and lone works
- Hazards related to working methods like working at height and labors working on production lines
- Articles & tools i.e. chisels
- Electricity: Electrocution, electric shock, death, burn
- Substances and chemicals
- Fire: Burn, collapse of structure
Types of Hazards
There are different type of hazards i.e. biological, chemical, ergonomics, natural hazards and physical hazards etc. For more details about hazards you can read our article on “Hazard Identification”.