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Hazard Assessment

Hazard Analysis and Hazard Assessment

Overview of Hazard Analysis and Hazard Assessment

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Overview of Hazard Analysis

OSHA defines hazard as any situation, source, or act that has a potential to cause harm such as ill health or injury, or even a combination of the two. Hazards are the primary cause for occupational safety and health problems. All employers should identify and remove all potential hazards from the workplace. To keep the workplace safe, employers must conduct hazard analysis. Hazard analysis is the process of identifying hazards that have the potential to arise from a system or environment, documenting their unwanted consequences, and analyzing their underlying causes. The hazard analysis process starts in the early stages of a project with a Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA) and continues throughout the product’s life cycle. The objectives of hazard analysis are threefold:

  • To identify hazards of the equipment under control and the control system for all circumstances, including fault conditions and misuse
  • To identify and analyze causes leading to the hazardous events identified
  • To determine potential risks.

Hazard analysis is performed for one of the following reasons –

  • Examination of new system development to identify and analyze potential hazards and consequently control or eliminate them
  • Examination of the existing system to identify and analyze hazards to improve safety, create new safety management policy, train personnel, increase motivation for safety and efficiency of operation among employees
  • Examination of an existing system to showcase the safety commitment of the organization to its customer, government, and the public through certification

Hazard analysis is a continuous process that has to be performed to mitigate hazards that can be introduced at any stage from requirements, design, development, product testing, installation, commissioning, operation, system maintenance, and disposal of a system. Some of the events that could initiate hazard analysis include –

  • Concept definition
  • Reviews of requirement, design, design change
  • Evaluation of different plans including installation and commissioning, operating and support, decommissioning

By conducting hazard analysis, organisations can

  • Improve the quality of the product
  • Reduce down time of processes
  • Enhance process or procedure
  • Promotes safety feeling among employees

Fundamentals of Hazard Assessment

To perform a hazard assessment, one must be aware of the different types of hazards. OSHA lists five different types of workplace hazards. They are-

  • Safety hazards includes any substance, object, or condition that has the potential to harm workers. Examples of safety hazards include spills on shop floor, falls from height, machines with moving parts, electrical hazards, walkway blockages, among others.
  • Chemical hazards which is caused by exposure to acids, flammable liquids, silica dust, pesticides, carbon monoxide, pesticides. The exposure can be in any form such as vapors, fumes, gases, or liquids
  • Biological hazards include exposure to animals or other infection-prone material such as fungi, blood, mold, viruses, or animal droppings
  • Physical hazards can harm workers with or without direct contact through radiation, exposure to extreme temperatures, surrounded by loud noise, or long hours under the sun
  • Ergonomic hazards that can occur due to repetitive work, tasks that puts the body under certain strain or even the type of work. As the problem develops over time, this type of hazard is difficult to spot.

Hazard assessments help identify, evaluate, and manage risk associated with hazards. Hazard assessments also help adopt different hazard controls in the design process. Depending on the nature of the process, manufacturers can use different hazard controls.

There are three fundamental parts to hazard assessment – prepare, implement, and learn


  • Define the scope of hazard assessment
  • Assemble the team with clearly defined roles, expectations, and responsibilities
  • Familiarise with common hazards that can be encountered in research activities


  • Determine different ways to conduct a hazard assessment
  • Conduct risk assessment and risk rating to predict the chances of any hazard occurring
  • Based on the hazard assessment, establish the possible danger in the task, material, or equipment
  • Leverage control measures to prevent, eliminate or reduce the risk of any identified hazard occurring


  • Research past injuries, accidents, and near misses
  • Understand the new equipment, facilities, and personnel for new hazards and prepare new controls to apply
  • Conduct regular visits, revise and update safety documents and protocols to prevent hazard encounters
Hazard Analysis Limitations

What are the Limitations of Hazard Analysis?

The success of hazard analysis is based on the committee. Members of the committee must have relevant experience and understanding of the processes. Any lack thereof could affect the effectiveness of the analysis. Although hazard analysis is a continuous process, there are many limitations to it. Some of them are-

  • Benefit-1
    Unavailability of the hazard analysis method to identify all accident scenarios, hazards, and consequences
  • Benefit-1
    Assumption based hazard analysis method can yield different results with a different set of parameters
  • Benefit-1
    The analysis is based on the experience of participants
  • Benefit-1
    Results of a hazard analysis can be challenging to manage and interpret

How to Conduct Hazard Analysis?

Broadly, there are two types of hazards – realized and unrealized. While a realized hazard can be identified from experience, an unrealized hazard has no previous occurrence but can be identified by observing and analyzing the environment or by studying the failed models of equipment.

There are many different hazard analysis techniques. Some of them are –

  • Any work-related fatality
    Function Failure Analysis
  • Any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness
    Cause-consequence Diagrams
  • Any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid
    Failure Modes and Effects Analysis
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases
    Hazard and Operability Studies
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases
    Fault Tree Analysis
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases
    Event Tree Analysis
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases
    Job Hazard Analysis

A hazard analysis includes the following steps:

  • Any work-related fatality
    Define objectives of the system, procedure, and process
  • Any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness
    Identify the various hazards based on the complexities of the process through different data points such as historical data, standards and code of practice, and experimental results
  • Any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid
    Research various scenarios and categorize them based on the potential to become a hazard
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases
    Determine the probability of an accident in risk assessment using source models
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases
    Conclude and decide if the risk is acceptable. If acceptable, implement the process. Else, restart the hazard analysis.

While conducting hazard analysis, follow these best practices

  • Any work-related fatality
    Involve employees to get their unique knowledge and understanding. This helps minize oversights and improves employee morale
  • Any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness
    Review history of accidents and other occupational illnesses as they act as indicators to existing hazards
  • Any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid
    Conduct preliminary review of jobs to understand the potential risk involved and brainstorm hazard controls
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases
    Based on the severity of the risk potential, rank the jobs and set priorities for hazard analysis
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases
    Create an outline of tasks or steps that needs to be taken as part of hazard analysis as this helps collect information accurately

What is Process Hazard Analysis mandated by OSHA?

OSHA mandates a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) for all industrial processes that use hazardous chemicals. PHA identifies and analyzes data that will allow employers and employees to make decisions related to improving safety and reducing the repercussions of an unplanned release of hazardous chemicals into nature. PHA’s purpose is to identify the implications of scenarios that can cause fires, explosions, chemical spills, or the release of toxic chemicals. There are various methods for conducting PHA.

  • A What-if Study where review consists of what-if questions based on the processes
  • A Checklist to support a what-if study of a more complicated process
  • A formal structured method, namely Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) that analyzes possible deviations in the design conditions
  • A systematic study called Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) includes a diagram of the operation and details all components that have the potential to fail and, in turn, affect the safety of the operation
  • A qualitative or quantitative Fault Tree Analysis that focuses on all the potential undesirable outcomes, like toxic gas release or explosion that can arise from a specific initiating event
  • A qualitative or quantitative Fault Tree Analysis that focuses on all the potential undesirable outcomes, like toxic gas release or explosion that can arise from a specific initiating event
  • An appropriate equivalent method
Hazard Analysis

ComplianceQuest Solution For Hazard Analysis

Centralize all the incident data, near misses, safety observations, investigations for implementing agile corrective actions with ComplianceQuest’s Health and Safety Incident Management Solution. Furthermore, mitigate risks and prevent accidents by detecting a hazardous trend ahead of time using built-in analytics, predictive intelligence, dashboards, and mobile capabilities. By instilling an enterprise-wide safety culture that can reduce the cost of compensation, improve employee productivity and morale, enhance brand reputation and increase regulatory compliance with ComplianceQuest Health and Safety Incident Management solution. Being built on Salesforce.com, the solution is flexible, scalable, and customizable to suit any organization’s needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can IoT help with safety?

IoT innovations in health and safety are effective, affordable, and more productive than human or physical barriers on site. Sensors and apps interact with each other to monitor equipment and environmental performance and alert workers and supervisors of potential hazards in real-time. This helps safety personnel be more effective and less intrusive at the same time. Some of the advantages of using IoT-enabled technology in Health & Safety (H&S) Management include:

  • Reduced costs as wearable tech devices are becoming affordable. Carefully monitoring the health parameters of people, especially in locations like factories, oil rigs or mines, will certainly help increase employee well-being and early detection of health challenges.
  • Better accessibility & analytics of safety-related data as smart IoT infrastructure transmits data from the sensors to the cloud automatically. Going a step further, the analysis of this data can be automated and predictive insights can be drawn out for further analysis by leaders.
  • Enhanced visibility into workers’ health and the work environment gives management the opportunity to make data-driven decisions that protect the safety and health of the employees.
What is ComplianceQuest's Workplace Safety for work.com?

Enterprises must invest in health and safety information to effectively and efficiently protect workers, reduce safety costs, and lower risk to operations. With CQ’s Workplace Safety for Work.com Solution organizations can now combine safety management methodology with robust technology that will provide a platform to collect, collate and trend health and safety data.

Workplace Safety – Safety, Risk Management, Compliance

  • People Safety: Manage current and emerging hazards for workers, contractors, suppliers, clients, and the community as full operations resume.
  • Safety Risk Management: Collect and analyze information from operations to understand the hazards and manage the risk.
  • Management Tools: Ensure safety managers and HR have the information at their fingertips to manage the return of staff after illness or injury
  • Facility Compliance: Provide the tools and schedule for consistent inspections to ensure the safety of people and quality of operations.
  • Analytics: Take the guesswork out of decision-making with real-time data and metrics across the organization.

Some of the features of CQ’s Workplace Safety for Work.com Solution include

  • Facility inspections that help define the checklists, schedule, and support assessment of the type and level of safe activity for specific locations
  • Injury and illness reporting ensures all workers have complete access to report any illness, risk events, or hazards
  • Track and manage PPE inventory with PPE management
  • Record and manage information and approvals of employes returning to work
  • Allow workers to report both positive and negative safety related observations
  • Manage and record information to conduct hazard analysis that helps understand and manage risk effectively
  • Record a stop work order and manage risks using Stop work authority
  • Improve health and safety communication across the organisation through safety notifcation (Chatter)
  • Gain complete access to all information related to risk using analytics and dashboard
What are the different uses of hazard analysis?

Once hazard analysis is complete, the findings can be used in the following ways –

  • Improve system safety requirements
  • Device new test plans
  • Implement operational instructions to improve safety
  • Document design descriptions for future reference
  • Prepare management plans for review

Hazard analysis also helps evaluate the risk and promote hazard control and hazard avoidance. By implementing administrative measures such as training, maintenance, PPE, inspections or engineering control measures such as design features, warning alarms, operating procedures, material or chemical substitution, businesses can control hazards within the organsiation.

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