What is Work Hazard Analysis?

Hazard analysis is performed by companies as the first step to assess risks within their business. This is an important process to avoid any casualties and fatalities in the workplace. This analysis will help identify all hazards within the workplace that can potentially harm workers and employees. It can be an existing hazard or non-existent at the moment but could potentially exist in the future. It can happen singlehandedly or together with other hazards and threats.

Analysts can find out if a system has potential risks or not. A sequence of different events that could potentially happen within the system is reenacted and probability of the scenario happening in real life is then analyzed. Oftentimes, systems working within a business have a lot of potential risk scenarios where one can easily spot if there is a hazard there or not. The hazards are also scaled from the most severe to the least severe case.

What is a Hazard?

A hazard is defined as a condition, event or situation that can potentially lead to or contribute to unwanted and accidental events. It is very seldom that a single hazard will cause accidents or the system to fail. Most often, systems failure is caused by a sequence of hazards simultaneously occurring. This is why a scenario is needed to analyze risks to foresee sequences of hazards that can result one after the other.

Definition of Severity

As mentioned above, hazard analysis involves categorizing each hazard according to their degree of severity. This is so proper safety precautions can be devised and planned to address varying degrees of severity of hazards.

  • Catastrophic – if a hazard is classified under this, it means the hazard can lead to multiple losses of life and/or system.
  • Hazardous – this would mean that the operator’s or the system’s capabilities to cope with adverse working conditions will be reduced that would cause: safety margins to be reduced; physical distress experienced by the operator or crew so that they cannot be relied upon to carry tasks; and, serious to fatal injuries on a small number of residents.
  • Major – likewise, major hazards would also decrease the capability of the system or the operator to cope with adverse working conditions to the extent that would: reduce safety margin; increase the workload of the operator; impair the efficiency of the operator or make him significantly uncomfortable; physical distress as well as injuries; and, some major occupational illness, damage to the environment, and/or property.
  • Minor – minor hazards do not significantly affect or reduce the capability of the operator or the system to cope with adverse conditions. However, these hazards can still cause major discomfort, slight injuries, and minor work-related illness.
  • No Safety Effect – the hazard does not affect the health and safety of the workers at all.

Analyzing hazards in the workplace are important to keep workers secured and protected. This is a process that all companies must perform every now and then to make sure that their business is operating smoothly and that their employees are working safely.