What is a hazard?

Introduction
Every day we face things that potentially could cause harm or damage to ourselves, our organisations and the environment. To understand what these things could be, first of all, we have to understand the term "hazard".

The term "hazard"
A hazard can be defined in more than one way. Many times, it is defined in combination with the term “risk” or “danger”. In the Cambridge Dictionary a hazard is defined as “something dangerous and likely to cause damage” (Definition of hazard). Another way of defining a hazard can be found on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), whose definition is commonly used when talking about workplace health and safety. The definition they use is: “A hazard is any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects on something or someone.” (CCOHS: Hazard and Risk). So basically, a hazard is the potential of harm that may cause loss of life, health impacts, property or equipment losses, social and economic disruption, or environmental impacts.

Sources Used
Cambridge Dictionary. (n.d.). "Definition of hazard". Retrieved from dictionary.cambridge: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/hazard

CCOHS. (n.d.). "Hazard and risk". Retrieved from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/hazard/hazard_risk.html

About the Author

Dahlia Nedergaard

dh@rocconsult.eu

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