Commonly asked questions regarding Hazard Analysis or Risk Analysis.
What is a hard risk analysis?
A hazard risk analysis is a process in which a specific work task is considered and all hazards are identified. The work task is analyzed to determine the likelihood that an incident will occur. Workers must then assess the risk of an incident associated with each hazard and determine the likelihood that an incident will occur. Workers must then assess the risk of an incident associated with each hazard and determine if the risk might result in an injury. The workers then must determine if the risk of injury is sufficiently low to be acceptable.
Why is risk included in the analysis?
No injury is possible from a hazard unless a person is exposed to it. Risk is associated with the chance that an incident will occur and subsequently, the chance that an injury will result for the incident. Some risk is associated with every task. The idea, then, is to determine if the risk of incident and the risk of injury in a particular situation are low enough to be acceptable.
For example, as a worker approaches an exposed energized electrical conductor, the likelihood of contacting the conductor increases. At some approach distance, the likelihood of contact with the exposed energized conductor becomes the primary issue. National consensus standards define approach boundaries to assist workers as they consider the risks associated with approaching an exposed energized electrical conductor.
Keep in mind that two kinds of risk are involved: the risk that an incident will occur, and the risk that an injury will result. A high degree of risk for an incident may exist, while potential for serious injury may be low. Alternatively, only a slight risk of an incident might exist, but there may be a near certainty that a serious injury will result from such an incident.
What are the components of a hazard analysis?
A complete hazard analysis includes identifying all hazards associated with the task. Available hazards might be restricted to electrical hazards, but most work tasks also have non electrical hazards associated with them. Falls and falling objects are principle additional hazards. A hazard analysis consists of asking questions either mentally or verbally about whether a hazard exists. For instance, if the work task is not elevated, a fall hazard is unlikely. If one conductor within the enclosed is energized, a shock hazard exists. If a circuit remains energized, the worker must consider the possibility of arc flash.
Who must perform a hazard/risk analysis?
Workers are exposed to hazards. Therefore, workers are the last in a series of people (beginning with the safety manager and immediate supervisor) who should evaluate hazards and assess the risk of exposure to workers. Workers must be provided with the necessary information to enable a risk/hazard analysis, although supervision should be involved in the analysis process.