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.
Remember, you must do a risk assessment to be compliant with the OHS Act!
P.S. Do you have more than 20 employees? Don't ignore this health and safety obligation or else…