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Threat and Hazard

Threat and Hazard
"""What is a risk?

The definition of the word ""hazard"" is not always clear. Dictionary entries sometimes lack detailed definitions or pair it with the word ""risk."" One dictionary's definition of hazard, for instance, is ""a danger or risk,"" which helps to explain why the phrases are sometimes used interchangeably. There are various ways to define a hazard, but when discussing occupational health and safety, the most popular definition is: A hazard is any source of possible harm, damage, or ill health consequences on something or someone. A risk is essentially the possibility of harm or a negative outcome (for example, to people as health effects, to organizations as property or equipment losses, or to the environment). The actual source of the hazard may occasionally be referred to as the hazard rather than the harm that results from it. For instance, some people could refer to the illness tuberculosis (TB) as a ""hazard,"" although in most cases, the ""hazard"" or ""hazardous biological agent"" would be the bacteria that causes TB (Mycobacterium tuberculosis).

What types of risks are there?

Hazards at work might originate from a variety of places. Examples that can be used broadly include anything that has the potential to harm someone or damage their property, as well as any chemical, material, method, activity, etc. Look at Table 1. Examples of Hazards and Their Impacts, Table 1 Workplace Risk Typical Hazard A Case of Damage Occurring ThingKnife CutSubstanceBenzene Leukemia Material Tuberculosis-causing mycobacterium Tuberculosis Origin of Energy Electricity electrocution and shock Condition moist floor falls, slips Process Welding Metal fume toxicity Practice mining of hard rocks Silicosis Behaviour Bullying Depression, dread, and anxiety Workplace dangers also include activities or circumstances that result in the release of uncontrollable energy, such as the potential for an object to fall from a height (potential or gravitational energy), the potential for a chemical reaction to go off course (chemical energy), the potential for the release of compressed gas or steam (pressure; high temperature), the potential for hair or clothing to become tangled in rotating equipment (kinetic energy), or the possibility of coming into contact with electrodes of a battery or capacitor (electrical energy). For further information, read the OSH Answers on Hazard Identification.

Describe risk.

Risk is the possibility or likelihood that someone would suffer harm or have a negative impact on their health as a result of being exposed to a danger. It may also apply when there is a loss of property or equipment or when there are negative environmental repercussions. For instance, ""cigarette smokers are 12 times (for example) more likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers"" or ""the number of smokers per 100,000 who will get lung cancer"" are two ways to represent the risk of acquiring cancer from smoking cigarettes (actual number depends on factors such as their age and how many years they have been smoking). While hazard refers to the agent at fault, these risks are expressed as a probability or likelihood of contracting a disease or becoming wounded (i.e. smoking). The nature of the exposure: how frequently a person is exposed to a hazardous thing or condition (e.g., several times a day or once a year), how the person is exposed (e.g., by breathing in a vapour, by skin contact), and the severity of the effect are all factors that affect the degree or likelihood of risk. For instance, one chemical might lead to skin cancer while another might irritate the skin. A much worse consequence than irritability is cancer.

A risk assessment is what?

The process of risk assessment entails: Recognizing dangers and risk factors that could result in damage (hazard identification). Analyze and assess the risk brought on by the hazard (risk analysis, and risk evaluation). Find appropriate strategies to reduce the risk or, if the danger cannot be reduced, remove it (risk control). Details on how to conduct an evaluation and set priorities can be found in the OSH Answers document on risk assessment.

Exist any further names for these procedures?

It is common to hear terms like ""hazard assessment,"" ""hazard and risk assessment,"" ""all hazards risk assessment,"" etc. used to describe the process of detecting hazards and evaluating the associated risk. Whatever the terminology, the most important steps are to ensure that the workplace has adopted a systematic approach that searches for any hazards (current or potential), has taken the proper steps to assess the risk posed by these hazards, and has then taken actions to reduce or eliminate the risk. The words ""hazard identification"" and ""risk assessment"" will be used in CCOHS documentation to refer to the steps involved in finding hazards and assessing the level of risk they pose. The measures that can be implemented to protect employees and the workplace are referred to as hazards control.

What does a negative health consequence mean?

""Any change in body function or the architecture of cells that can result in disease or health concerns"" is a common definition of an adverse health effect. Body damage, illness, altered bodily growth or development, teratogenic or fetotoxic effects on a developing fetus, affects on children or grandchildren, and more are examples of adverse health effects (inheritable genetic effects) reduction in life expectancy, alteration in mental state brought on by stress, traumatic events, solvent exposure, etc., and consequences on the capacity to handle additional stress.

Will being exposed to risks at work necessarily result in an accident, a sickness, or other negative health effects?

No, not always. What hazards are present, how a person is exposed (route of exposure, frequency, and amount of exposure), what kind of effect could result from the particular exposure a person experienced, the risk (or likelihood) that exposure to a hazardous thing or condition would cause an injury, disease, or some incidence causing damage, and how severe would the damage, injury, or harm (adverse health effect) be from the exposure are all necessary details to know in order to respond to this question. When something has an acute effect, it means that the injury or harm can happen or be felt as soon as a person comes into touch with the dangerous substance (for example, an acid splash in the eyes). Some reactions could be persistent (delayed). For instance, two to six hours after coming into contact with the plant, exposure to poison ivy may result in red skin swelling. On the other side, there is a chance of prolonged delays: mesothelioma, a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lung cavity, can appear 20 years or more after asbestos exposure. The consequences may be reversible or irreversible once the risk has been removed or eliminated (permanent). For instance, a risk may result in an injury that heals entirely (reversible) or an illness that is incurable (irreversible).

What kinds of risks exist?

Hazards are frequently categorized by category: biological factors include bacteria, viruses, insects, plants, birds, animals, and humans; chemical factors depend on the chemical's physical, chemical, and toxic properties; ergonomic factors include repetitive motions and improper workstation setup; physical factors include radiation, magnetic fields, pressure extremes (high pressure or vacuum), noise, etc.; psychosocial factors include stress and violence; and safety factors include trip hazards, improper machine guarding, and equipment breakdowns or malfunctions."""

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"Threat and Hazard" was written by Mary under the Health category. It has been read 21 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 15 January 2023.
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