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I bet you don't know the difference between these three risk assessment essentials

by , 06 March 2014
Do you know the difference between these three simple, but essential risk assessment terms: A danger, a hazard and a risk? These three definitions are vital to the success of any risk assessment.

Dear Reader

Do you know the difference between these three simple, but essential risk assessment terms: A danger, a hazard and a risk?

I know it sounds silly, but I recently attended a seminar on Risk Assessments and you wouldn't believe the number of people who didn't know the difference between three simple, but essential risk assessment terms.

These three definitions are vital to the success of any risk assessment.

So today, let's take a look at the three terms and you'll see that your risk assessment won't be a thorough and valid one if you don't take all three terms into account.  

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Definition of a danger
It's anything that may cause injury or damage to a person or property. This is a clear indication that the OHS Act doesn't only provide for the health and safety of people, but also for damage that might occur to property. Why? Because the chances are if you have damaged property, your employees are at a higher risk of getting hurt too.

Definition of a hazard
It's a source of danger, or the exposure to danger.
  • A danger becomes a hazard when people are exposed to it.
  • A danger is technically also a hazard, because:
  • A source of danger => danger => hazard.
How can you do a risk assessment and not fully investigate the source of danger?



Definition of a risk
It's the probability that injury or damage will occur.

Now that you know exactly what these three terms mean, we can actually deduce that your risk assessment should at least address the following aspects:
  • Exposure of people to dangers; and
  • Sources of dangers that may cause damage to employees and property.
Come to our Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment workshop on the 26 March 2014. We'll show you exactly how to prepare your method statement and successfully do a risk assessment that'll cover the two aspects above and more. For more information click here.

Remember, you must do a risk assessment to be compliant with the OHS Act!

Stay Safe,


Louise Harty
Senior Product Manager: Health and Safety

PS – Did I mention that we'll give you a FREE Risk Assessment Matrix template at the hands-on, practical workshop? You can take it and implement it in your workplace.

PPS – If you book and pay before 14 March, I'll give you a R1 000 per delegate discount. Click here for your early bird discount offer booking form.

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