We often get asked about what the difference is between a “hazard” and a “risk”? Often it is felt that the two terms mean the same thing. With the new WHS laws it is important for your business to differentiate between these terms and what they actually mean. We’ve made a downloadable safety glossary so you can easily identify and differentiate a range of safety terms that often appear in legislation.
What does hazard mean?
A “hazard” means a situation or thing that has the potential to harm a person. Hazards in your business may include: noisy machinery, a moving forklift, chemicals, electricity, working at heights or a repetitive job at your workplace.
What does risk mean?
A “risk” is the possibility that harm (death, injury or illness) might occur when exposed to a hazard in your workplace.
Another important safety risk management term to your business:
“Risk control” means your business taking action to eliminate health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable, and if that is not possible, minimising the risks so far as is reasonably practicable. Eliminating a hazard will also eliminate any risks associated with that hazard in your workplace.
Safety terms and defintions are often surrounded with technical jargon, making them difficult to understand. You can download our handy glossary dof safety terms to use when you’re faced with those tricky expressions.
Source Document: Code Of Practice: How To Manage Work Health And Safety Risks 2011
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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