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Last edited 23 Jan 2023
A hazard is a situation that creates a threat to life, health, property, the environment, personal integrity, and so on. Hazards differ from risks, in that risks describe the potential for a situation such as a hazard to cause harm.
From a health and safety perspective, a hazard may be seen as a condition with the potential to cause physical impairment or health consequences in people (or any other type of life). In a project environment, a hazard is anything that may affect the success of project activities or the project as a whole. Similarly, companies, ventures, physical assets, the environment and society face hazards.
- Working with heavy plant and machinery.
- Working with tools and equipment.
- Working with live electricity.
- Working at height.
- Lifting operations.
- The presence of hazardous substances such as asbestos.
- Exposure to chemicals.
- Structural collapse and falling debris.
- Material and manual handling.
- Hand arm vibration syndrome.
- Loud noise.
- Slips, trips and falls.
- Working long and physically-demanding shifts.
- Working in confined spaces.
- Sharp objects.
- Hot work.
- Use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Regular waste disposal.
- Provision of modern tools and equipment.
- Staff and visitor training.
- Ties, chutes and netting to prevent falling debris.
- Signage warning of hazards.
- Proper assignation of operatives.
- Keeping sites secure.
- Zoning of activities.
- Emergency procedures.
NB AR5 Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Glossary, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines a hazard as: ‘The potential occurrence of a natural or human-induced physical event or trend or physical impact that may cause loss of life, injury, or other health impacts, as well as damage and loss to property, infrastructure, livelihoods, service provision, ecosystems, and environmental resources. In this report, the term hazard usually refers to climate-related physical events or trends or their physical impacts.’
Insurance Policyholder Taxation Manual, published by HM Revenue & Customs on 19 March 2016, defines a hazard as: ‘a condition which may create or increase the likelihood of a loss arising from a given peril.’
- As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP).
- Causes of sinkholes.
- Competent person.
- Hazard pay.
- Hazardous substances.
- Health and safety.
- Health and safety file.
- Major hazard for planning purposes.
- Major hazard sites, installations and pipelines.
- Near miss.
- Project risk.
- Risk assessment.
- Risk in building design and construction.
- Risk management.
- Risk register.
- Safety management.
 External references
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