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Beginners Guide :The difference between “Hazard” and “Risk” with workplace examples

The difference between “Hazard” and “Risk”

The Difference between the hazard and risk, the most important question that you should knew,

Really if you are looking for the Difference between hazard and risk,the success journey of yours in to an health and safety career is already started,

It’s pointless to encourage without the right answer!


Let’s come to the topic, before analyzing the concepts lets we revise the definitions once again,

Definition Of hazard:

Anything or something which has potential to cause harm.

Definition of risk:

The Combination of likelihood of occurrence and the resulting severity if it occurs.

Memorizing the definitions will never help you to succeed except in exams.

The Concepts behind the difference between hazard and risk is that,

Meaning Of Hazard :

Any substance, activity, process, equipment which is having ability to induce,
  • Injury to the persons 
  • Damage to the equipment’s 
  • Damage to the environment should be considered as a hazard. 

Some of the examples of hazards are,

  • Sharp objects which can cause a harm to persons by puncturing 
  • Plastics which can cause an environmental pollution 
  • Poorly protected electrical panel, which can damage the insulation and integrity of electrical equipment’s that everything should be considered as a hazard. 

OK, than what is risk?

As discussed above, the risk is the combination of, Chances of injury , damage , pollution to occur and the potential severity if it does

The Conclusion is that,

  • Each and every hazard is having their own risk level 
  • The risk is the chances for the hazard to cause harm the level of harm that may occur 
  • The level of risk is purely depends on the work conditions for clarity, I will explain you with the same example , 

As I have already given you the sharp objects should be considered as a hazard, but the level of risk is depends on the conditions that exist,

  • The sharp objects in a central of walk way where there are more personal involvements 
  • The sharp objects in a corner , where there is no interference of persons 
  • The sharp object which is corroded and protruded into an walkway 
  • The sharp object where there is no sign of corrosion and it’s in a surface level 
  • The sharp object exist in the children’s care home 
  • The sharp object that exist in the waste bin 

So here the sharp object (hazard) remains same, but the level of risk (chances to cause harm & the potential severity) is different.

For clarity :

  • The sharp object in a central walk way is highly riskier compared to , which exist in the corner due to the increased chances of being harm 
  • The sharp object which is corroded is highly riskier with the comparison to the one with no corrosion due to the increased severity due to infection. 

Frequent doubts that may arise?

Question 1:

I have implemented all the control measures, do I consider, the risk level is zero?

Nope, even the implementation of all the control measures, there is always a possibility for accidents.

Remember most of the things are cannot be eliminated such as human error, influences by weather etc.

Give your Most easiest examples of Hazards & Risk in Comments that help the safety aspirants to learn & Grow..

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  1. Valueable share ...

    I have some more questions regarding nebosh igc exams

    1. One accident occurred in the work place after the investigation found that an inspection done before accident.
    Why the issue did not identify in the prior inspection ?

    2. Identify factors that may increase the risk of injury to workers who need to walk through a warehouse.


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