Deutsch: Gefährdung / Español: Peligro / Français: Danger / Italiano: Pericolo
A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to life, health, property, or environment. Most hazards are dormant or potential, with only a theoretical risk of harm; however, once a hazard becomes "active", it can create an emergency situation. A hazardous situation that has come to pass is called an incident. Hazard and possibility interact together to create risk.
In the industrial context, a hazard refers to anything that has the potential to cause harm, damage or injury to people, property or the environment. Hazards can occur in any workplace or industry, and it is essential to identify and control them to minimize the risk of accidents and incidents.
Some examples of hazards in industrial settings include:
- Chemical hazards: Exposure to chemicals and hazardous substances such as acids, solvents, and pesticides can cause severe health effects.
- Physical hazards: Machinery, equipment, and tools can pose a physical hazard, leading to injuries such as cuts, bruises, or fractures.
- Biological hazards: Exposure to infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses can cause illnesses and infections.
- Ergonomic hazards: Poorly designed workstations, repetitive motions, and awkward postures can lead to musculoskeletal disorders.
- Radiation hazards: Exposure to radiation from sources such as X-rays or radioactive materials can cause radiation sickness or cancer.
Similar terms to "hazard" in the industrial context include risk, danger, peril, threat, and exposure.