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| May 25 2009, 8:12 PM | Print
Hazard Identification and Assessment

Hazard Identification

A workplace hazard identification system includes hazard assessments of the workplace,
workplace inspections, process for reporting hazards and incident investigation.


A hazard assessment is a thorough, ongoing examination of a worksite for the purpose of
identifying what actual and potential hazards exist.
A hazard is defined as any condition or circumstance that, left uncorrected or unchanged, could result in an occurrence.
The Supervisor is responsible to ensure hazard assessments are completed and to control
hazards by elimination, substitution, engineering or administrative controls. Supervisors must
assess worksites regularly to determine the effectiveness of controls.
Employees are responsible to cooperate by identifying workplace hazards.

1. Hazards can be physical, chemical, biological or psycho-social
2. Look for possible hazards originating with people, equipment, material or the environment.
3. Consider consequences of mis-use, lack of maintenance, error, etc. Keep asking “What if?”
4. Determine all items that need attention and any additional items.
5. Review the findings.
6. Rank the items on a “worst first” basis.


The Risk matrix

The Risk Matrix is a tool which you can use in order to grade the "severity" and the "probability" of an event from happening. Those events which are graded in the green are those events at which there is acceptable risk.

 risk matrix
Example 1. Incident /Possible Tetanus
While rolling up your metal longline there are a few frayed and split ends. You slide your hand up the metal cable and catch your hand on the split ends and cut yourself, on an area of the cable at which you notice some rust.

This is no longer a first aid injury because at this point your concerns are with preventing yourself from getting tetanus, and you should see a Doctor.

On the way back from the Doctors office you stop by the hardware store and purchase a set of leather gloves. Later that evening you plot, on the Risk Matrix, the Severity as a 2 because you received Medical Aid. On the Probabilty area you plot it as a 3 because it had happened within your company before. Your Risk assessment is within the Yellow area, a number 6 and rated as Medium risk. You file your Safety Report selecting Medium risk, you fill in Immediate Action Taken as receiving a tetanus shot and purchasing a set of leather gloves as your Hazard Controls.

Example 2. Hazard/ Blade Strike
You are on
an exploration job. You notice that your pad-cutting crew has progressively been cutting the pads smaller and smaller. You mention your concerns to the pad-cutting supervisor and he states that the other pilot had no problem getting into the pads.

That evening you decide to file a Safety Report.

It is important when filing a Safety Report when calculating the severity of the hazard, to grade it to what happens most commonly, for all Events. (Hazard, incident, spill etc.) You may say that a blade strike could cause damage, and that the blades could depart the aircraft in flight with all passengers on board. After this blade strike occurs, the aircraft could then collide with a school bus on the highway. Thus stating it this way, you may plot it on the far end of the matrix, and Urgent for these reasons.

However, you have to assess what happens most of the time. The far end of the Severity scale would be total destruction of the aircraft and serious injury or death. In a blade strike incident/accident there are damages that occur, and in all cases the aircraft should be landed immediately to inspect the blade strike, and to get more information as to the airworthiness of the aircraft. However with most blade strikes there has been no total destruction of the aircraft or loss of life. It may be more realistic to plot the risk, as High in the orange area, depending on the circumstances.

 However if you feel it is Urgent then by all means select Urgent on the SMS Reporter.

Example 3. Incident/ Water in the fuel
While draining your fuel in the morning you are alarmed and shocked to find approximately 1/4 liter of water obtained from the aircraft sump. You cease operations and immediately phone your supervisor. You file a Safety Report form and grade it as a 4 in Severity and a 2 in Probabilty. Within the aviation industry, their has been loss of life and total destruction of the aircraft due to water in the fuel.

risk matrix
It is important to remember that using a Risk Matrix is not an exact science, and is based a lot on a persons subjective view. If for any reason you would like to draw immediate attention to some issues because you feel it is a matter of Urgency, regardless of the Risk Matrix then by all means when you file your Safety Report, select the drop down tab as Urgent.

In safety and quality management their is a high level of employee participation. Some quality management companies claim 20 reports a month from each employee. Information in the system flows upward and both employees and management participate in removing fault and errors within the management system.

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