A: In health and safety management jargon, the terms danger and risk are often confused. It becomes difficult to have a discussion about assessment and mitigation if we cannot agree on a glossary first. The confusion could stem from the fact that these are two everyday words that are reused as professional terminology. Intent and meaning in a professional context can be mixed with the familiar use of these words. So what`s the difference? Theoretical measure of the risk (probability) of the occurrence of an event, for example. B death or new illness, at some point, t. For example, working alone outside your office can be a danger. The risk of personal danger can be high. Electrical wiring is a danger. If caught on a sharp object, the exposed wiring places it in a “high-risk” category.
Workplace hazards can come from a variety of sources. General examples include all substances, materials, processes, practices, etc. that have the potential to cause harm or damage to the health of a person or property. See Table 1. A risk is the chance, whether high or low, that a danger actually harms someone. A factor or exposure that may be harmful to health; Anything that has the potential to cause damage. A health and safety risk depends on a high or low probability that a worker will be injured by a particular hazard. A hazard means anything that can cause harm to the worker in the work environment; such as chemicals, electricity, radioactivity, biological hazards, employee behavior and other factors. Employers often conduct risk assessments to identify potential risks on a particular construction site.
Behavioral health risks can include tobacco or alcohol use, poor health habits, physical inactivity, sun exposure, and lack of vaccinations. Biomedical risks could include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and other long-term diseases. The genetic risks are similar to those of biomedicine, but usually focus on long-term diseases that have their roots in genetic traits. These could include chromosomal or monogenic disorders. Environmental risks can include site location, social unrest, political pressures, concerns in combat zones, chemical agents, and biological agents. Demographic factors such as age and gender are also taken into account. These risks are identified through risk assessments and investigations, which generally consider four main points: The meaning of the word danger can be confusing. Dictionaries often do not give specific definitions or combine them with the term “risk”. For example, a dictionary defines danger as “a danger or risk,” which is why many people use the terms interchangeably.
(1) Epidemiological definition Probability of an event occurring, e.B that a person will become ill or die within a certain period of time or age. Formally defined as the proportion of people initially disease-free who develop a disease during a defined observation period. These guidelines provide practical advice and recommendations on how an organization can further develop its occupational health, safety and well-being management system and comply with its legal obligations. When referring to occupational safety and health hazards, the most commonly used definition is “A hazard is a potential source of harm or adverse effects on the health of one or more persons”. It is common to describe the process of hazard identification and corresponding risk assessment in a variety of ways, including “hazard assessment”, “hazard and risk assessment”, “risk assessment of all hazards”, etc. It is important for employers to be aware of what is a danger and what is a risk, especially since the two words are often (wrongly) used interchangeably! Risk assessment is an essential part of workplace safety and can make a big difference in preventing workplace accidents. As part of health and safety management, each employer must, by law, assess the risks to the health and safety of their work and establish a plan to control it. Everyone has the right to be protected from harm, especially if it could have been avoided. A risk is the possibility of something happening that has a negative effect. The level of risk reflects: In the narrowest sense, a danger is simply something that could potentially harm a person`s life or well-being. However, hazards are sometimes classified according to the combination of the likelihood that the hazard will become an (health) effect and the severity of that effect (see also the discussion of risk above). This type of consideration tends to indicate a protective effect when the probability of an adverse reaction is high or its effects are high (even if the probability is low), or both.
A hazard is any potential source of harm, damage or adverse health effects on something or someone. The relationship between two risks (or, informally, rates or quotas) that compare the risk of illness or death in those at risk in those who are not. Setting risk levels is a discipline in itself. The best methods use statistical data and mathematical models to produce objective results, but risk management professionals are not exactly on the payroll of all companies. Many workplaces assess risks in a simple way by estimating probability and severity with common sense. Doing this in a group leads to better results, as it somewhat corrects the subjective perception that is informed by the level of knowledge and experience of each participant. Risk and hazard are terms commonly used to describe aspects of the potential for harm from environmental and other influences. The meaning of these terms in epidemiological language is somewhat different from their meaning in everyday language, and in fact differs from their use in disciplines dealing with risk management. This section presents epidemiological definitions that consider risk as probability (without reference to the potential magnitude of adverse health effects) and hazard simply as a means that can cause harm. The distinction with risk management terminology is explained, as are other terms that refer to exposures and measures of disease onset. Another variant of the hazard definition is found in Section 8 (Health and Safety). This is the preferred definition by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. (2) Definition of risk management The probability of an adverse event occurring (e.B. exposure to a chemical event) multiplies the consequences of the adverse event CCOHS defines hazard as “any source of potential harm, harm or adverse health effects on something or a person”. We are talking about things that could contribute to a loss under the right circumstances, rather than the incident itself or the likelihood of an incident occurring. If you want to draw the wrath of safety traitors, simply add “slips/trips/falls” to the list of dangers. I still see it in many risk assessments – to be clear, it doesn`t fit the definition. When a worker slips, the hazard in question is a slippery surface, not the event itself. An occupational health and safety hazard refers to an assessment of hazards that may cause damage, injury, death or illness to an employee in a particular workplace. Although these risks are noted separately, they are considered in conjunction with each other. The determination of the risk to health and safety is based on the physical conditions in which a particular worker develops a particular side effect.
Nuclear power, for example, is often viewed with particular fear because it is misunderstood, the magnitude of the risks is uncertain, and the government agencies responsible for administering it are often untrustworthy. Risk has both technical and general definitions of use. In everyday use, it refers to “the likelihood of danger, loss, injury or other adverse consequences” (Oxford English Dictionary) – a health risk, etc. Sometimes it is understood as a threat indicator or the combination of probability and impact, e.B. now that we have dangers under control, what is a risk? These risks are expressed as the probability or probability of developing a disease or injury, while the hazard is related to the causative pathogen (i.e., smoking). Regardless of the terminology used, the critical step is to ensure that the workplace has taken a systematic approach that looks for hazards (existing or potential), has taken appropriate action to determine the level of risk for those hazards, and has then taken steps to control the hazard or eliminate the hazard. CCOHS documentation uses the terms “hazard identification” and “risk assessment” to describe the process of identifying hazards and then determining the level of risk for that hazard. Hazard control describes the measures that can be taken to protect workers and the workplace. It must be ensured that the residual risk after the implementation of control measures is “as low as reasonably possible (ALARP)”. For a risk to be ALARP, it must be possible to demonstrate that the costs associated with further risk reduction are significantly disproportionate to the benefits obtained.
More information on risk assessment is available in the publication Guidelines on Risk Assessment (2.1 MB). .