Hazard and risk

Hazard and Risk

Hazard & risk are different but related.

How are they related?

If there is no hazard, there can’t be risk. It is the exposure to hazard that breeds risk.


What is the difference between hazard and risk?

Let us differentiate the two (2) based on their definitions:

What is hazard

A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause harm, e.g. electricity, chemicals, working up a ladder, noise, a keyboard, a bully at work, stress, etc.


What is risk

Risk is the chance, high or low, that any hazard will actually cause somebody harm. However, risk are always graded; high, medium or low.

Example of risk: Electric cabling is a hazard. If it has snagged on a sharp object, the exposed wiring places it in a ‘high-risk’ category.

Risk can also be expressed as the combination of the likelihood of the occurrence of a harm and the severity of that harm.

Likelihood – The chance of something happening.


See related articles

The salient relationship between Hazard – Risk – Accidents

21 Examples of electrical hazards

11 Common Fire Hazards in the Workplace

10 Typical examples of chemical hazards

Mechanical hazards and common mechanical injuries

Ways of identifying hazards in the workplace

6 Major types of hazards you should know

By Ubong Edet

A passionate Health and Safety professional with a good level of field experience and relevant certifications including NEBOSH, OSHA, ISO, etc certifications. An Health and Safety activist who believes in the growth and continual improvement of the profession. He is going all out to create awareness and safe precious lives.

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