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TAXONOMY represents various hazard classifications (table 2).


Table 2


Genesis Official standard Exposure Time
- Natural - Technological - Man-made - Ecological - Mixed - Physical - Chemical - Biological - Psychological and Physiological - - Rapid - Cumulative
Consequences Loss (Damage) Sphere
- Fatigue; - Illness; - Injury - Catastrophe - Fire - Death - Social - Technical - Ecological - Sport - Domestic - Road - Industrial - Military


GLOSSARY OF TERMS: List of terms identifying hazard.

Abnormal temperature, electricity…


1. Evaluating parameters of potential hazard, its location, source;

2. Considering conditions of work or life;

3. Assessing parameters against standard provided for considered conditions.

Results of HI is to be written in risk management worksheet.



It is like predicting the future.

You can't be really sure; you can only make a 'best estimate' on the basis of the information available.

When assessing risks one should consider likelihood and consequences of the accident.

LIKELIHOOD - the chance of an event actually occurring:

1. Very Likely - Could happen frequently

2. Likely - Could happen occasionally

3. Unlikely - Could happen, but only rarely

4. Highly Unlikely - Could happen but probably never will

CONSEQUENCES can be classified as:

1. Fatal – death;

2. Major injuries - normally irreversible injury or damage to health requiring extended time off work to effect best recovery;

3. Minor injuries - typically a reversible injury or damage to health needing several days away from work to recover. Recovery would be full and permanent;

4. Negligible injuries - would require first aid and may need the remainder of the work period or shift off before being able to return to work.


RISK RATING is defined from the table 3.

Table 3

Risk rating

Very Likely Likely Unlikely Highly Unlikely
Negligible injuries MEDIUM MEDIUM LOW LOW


RISK CONTROL: the measures we take to eliminate or reduce the risk to an acceptable level.

Principles of risk control:

- safety standards: acceptable or optimal standards for environmental parameters: temperature, air quality, maximum weight lift, office time duration;

- weak link: component inserted in machine or facility, which first reacts to hazard so that preventing accident: fuse; protecting grounding;

- safety training: providing training to personality working with hazards;

- classification and labeling: dividing objects into classes or categories related to their hazards: fire and explosion categories of buildings.

Methods of risk control:

- method A: separation people from hazard: remote controls, using robots;

- method B: reducing level of hazard exposure to comply with safety standard;

- method C: adapting people to hazardous environment: feasibility study, using PPE.

Hierarchy of control measures:

When selecting appropriate measures to control a risk we should select a control measure from as high on the hierarchy of control list as practicable.

ELIMINATION: the most satisfactory method of dealing with a hazard is to eliminate it.

Once the hazard has been eliminated the potential for harm has gone.

Example: The dangers associated with transporting an explosive called Anfo are known and documented. Anfo is made by simply mixing ammonium nitrate with fuel oil (diesel). Both constituents are safe in isolation but when mixed they become unstable. The dangers of long distance transport can be removed by not mixing the component parts until they are on site. By this simple expedient we have eliminated the hazard.

SUBSTITUTION: This involves substituting a dangerous process or substance with one that is not as dangerous.

This may not be as satisfactory as elimination as there may still be a risk (even if it is reduced).

Example: many chemicals can be substituted for other safer chemicals which perform in the same manner but do not have the same dangers eg. water based paints rather than those that contain lead.

SEPARATION: Separate or isolate the hazard from people.

This method has its problems in that the hazard has not been removed. The guard or separation device is always at risk of being removed or circumvented.

Example: A guard is placed over a piece of moving machinery. If the guard is removed for maintenance and not replaced people are again at risk.

ADMINISTRATION: Administrative solutions can be done by reducing the number of people exposed to the danger and providing training to those people who are exposed to the hazard.

Example: The dangers of electricity are well known and only trained and licensed people are allowed to work on electrical equipment. We can appreciate that the electrician is still at risk, but their training is such that the risks are reduced to an acceptable level.

Administrative solutions also include danger signs, and written systems of work such as those for working in confined spaces and lock out procedures.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT: Provision of personal protective equipment should only be considered when all other control methods are impractical, or to increase control when used with another method higher up in the Hierarchy of Control.

Example: To remove the possibility of a person dropping something on their foot in a workshop situation would be impracticable as it would involve securing every movable object large enough to do damage if it fell on a person's foot. The practicable solution is to provide every person at risk with safety footwear.


The example of plant risk management worksheet is given in table 3.

Table 3

Plant risk management worksheet

Company: Ben's Snack Shop. Site/location: 5 The Mall, Smithfield. Date: 02/01/95
Hazard identification Risk assessment Risk control
Likelihood Consequence Risk rating
Heat hazard from oven Very likely Minor injury High PPE: one should use gloves
Electrocution hazard from meat slicer Unlikely Fatality High Administrative: use RCD: test regularly
Cutting hazard from meat slicer Likely Minor injury Medium PPE: use steel mesh cutting glove & Administrative: safe work practices.



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