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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z All terms

Hazard identification

The process of recognising that a hazard exists and defining its characteristics.


  • IEC 60300-3-9

The process of establishing where certain processes are likely to pose a threat to humans and/or the environment.

Hazard identification involves a systematic review of the system under study to identify the type of inherent hazards that are present together with the ways in which they could be realized. Historical accident records and experience from previous risk analysis can provide a useful input to the hazard identification process. It needs to be recognized that there is an element of subjectivity in judgements about hazards, and that the hazards identified may not always be the only ones which could pose a threat to the system. Is is important that the identified hazards are reviewed in the light of any relevant new data. Hazard identification methods fall broadly into three categories:

a) comparative methods, examples of which are checklists, hazard indices and reviews of historical data;

b) fundamental methods, that are structured to stimulate a group of people to apply foresight in conjunction with their knowledge to the task of identifying hazards by raising a series of "what if?" questions. Examples of this type of methodology are Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) studies, and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA);

c) inductive reasoning techniques such as event tree logic diagrams.


  • IEC 60300-3-9

Related Material

Contentbelongs to:Risk management
Childcontains:Accident investigation
Childcontains:Cause-consequence analysis
Childcontains:Expert judgement
Childcontains:Hazard and operability study (HAZOP)
Childcontains:Master logic diagram (MLD)
Childcontains:Safety audit
Childcontains:What-if analysis
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