Last Updated: June 30, 2019

Definition - What does Hazard mean?

A hazard, in the context of occupational health and safety, is a situation that represents a level of threat to health, life, property, or the environment. A hazard is generally considered dormant, or potential, when it only represents a theoretical risk of harm. Once the hazard becomes a real world threat, this is labeled as active and creates an emergency.

WorkplaceTesting explains Hazard

An active hazard situation is called an incident. In order to avoid incidents, identification of a hazard risk is made through a hazard risk assessment. This assessment figures the possibility of a hazardous situation to occur.

A hazard can be classified in three modes:

  • Dormant: When a situation represents the possibility of a hazard but people, property, and/or the environment have not yet been affected.
  • Armed: Potential harm for people, property, or environment.
  • Active: When the hazard situation occurs and develops. An active hazard can be labeled as an accident, emergency, incident, or disaster.
This definition was written in the context of Occupational Health and Safety
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