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BLS Articles | Hazard and risk compared

Can you define the difference between a risk and a hazard?


Before using any respiratory protective device, all measures must be taken to minimise the risk arising from the work activity.

 

 

What is meant by risk?

A risk is the possibility of harm arising from more or less predictable circumstances. It is conceived in terms of probability as a result of a more or less high level of exposure.

 

How does it differ from hazard?

Hazard refers to a circumstance or set of circumstances from which serious harm could arise. In this case, therefore, we can define it as the harm potential. Hazards coming from elements can be physical, biological or chemical.

 

 

If a risk is determined by exposure, in terms of quantity, duration and frequency, then in its absence there is no risk.

However, rarely will just one risk be the cause of an accident. Generally, an accident is the result of a combination of causes.

To minimise the risk in a working environment it becomes necessary to make a wide range of assessments, covering technical, organisational and procedural aspects, as well as the equipment used.

 

In the majority of cases it is not possible to eliminate safety hazards completely.

In these cases it is necessary to consider how to limit them, either by reducing the risk or by insuring against the part of the risk that cannot be reduced.


 

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