Hazard And Risk - Health & Safety Assessment

Hazard And Risk

When making risk assessments the employer will come across the terms 'hazard' and 'risk'. The term 'hazard' identifies something with the potential to cause harm (for example a substance, a machine part, a work method, a feature of the premises, etc). The term 'risk' expresses the likelihood that the harm from a particular hazard is realised.

'Risk' is generally used to reflect the likelihood that harm will occur and its severity and extent. Its severity depends on the seriousness of the harm that could be caused to someone, for example a broken toe or an amputated leg. Its' extent depends on the number of people who might suffer the consequences, for example one person could be poisoned or all 50 on the shift could be poisoned.