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Hazard ID and Risk Register

A hazard is a thing or condition that may expose a person to a risk of injury or occupational disease.

A risk is the likelihood that a worker may be exposed to the hazard, and the potential consequence of that exposure.

Hazard Identification

Airport Authority contract owners identify the hazards of the contracted work by completing the Hazard Identification List in the Contractor Safe Work Plan and submitting it to the selected contractor, who uses it to develop a risk register for the contracted work.

The following are some common examples of hazards. This list is not exhaustive.

Examples of Hazards

    • Air Quality
    • Chemicals
    • Dust
    • Falling objects
    • Fatigue
    • Hazardous atmosphere
    • Ladders
    • Mobile equipment
    • Natural disasters
    • Noise
    • Overhead hazards
    • Pathogens
    • Pinch point
    • Poor ergonomics
    • Sharp edges
    • Slippery surfaces
    • Stored energy
    • Traffic
    • Trailers
    • Uneven surfaces
    • Violence
    • Working at night
    • Working in isolation

Risk Register

The intent of the risk register is to identify, assess, and manage the H&S risks that will be present throughout the duration of the work. To develop the risk register, the contractor assesses the identified hazards to determine how likely they are to occur and what level of harm or consequence they may cause. To complete the risk register, the contractor will use the Hazard Identification List in the Contractor Safe Work Plan, as well as their knowledge of the contracted work to conduct a risk assessment to determine how likely they are to occur and what level of harm or consequence they may cause. They will then develop a risk matrix to compare likelihood with consequences and make plans for controls and actions to be implemented to mitigate the risk and complete the risk register. The risk register:

  • Identifies and manages the hazards that workers or other personnel may be exposed to
  • Is used throughout the life cycle of the work
  • Demonstrates how the contract owner, contractor, and other stakeholders have introduced effective controls to reduce risk to levels that are as low as are reasonably achievable

The risk register should be:

  • Scalable and proportionate to the size and nature of the work
  • Reviewed by the contract owner and contractor
  • Reviewed frequently throughout the life of the work
  • Revised when personnel, locations, equipment, procedures, or other aspects of the work change

Levels of Risk

Activities with hazards that present a low level of risk may be identified in the risk register, and should also be identified in the following:

  • Safe work procedures
  • Field-level hazard assessments
  • Toolbox talks
  • Other forms of hazard identification and communications

Activities with hazards that present a moderate to high level of risk must be identified in the risk register, and have adequate controls identified to eliminate or reduce risk where possible.

Activities with hazards that may present a high level of risk may pose a significant risk to human health and safety, leading to long-term injuries, illness, or fatality. These activities must be identified and controlled in the risk register, and brought to a level that is as low as is reasonably achievable before work begins. Any relevant regulatory requirements must also be met.

The following are some common examples of high-risk activities. This list is not exhaustive.

Examples of High-Risk Activities

    • Working at height
    • Confined space
    • Traffic management
    • Building-related hazardous materials
    • Stored energy
    • Excavations
    • Hot work
    • Use of cranes and mobile equipment

Risk Assessment

Once hazards have been identified in the risk register, they are assessed for risk. Key elements to consider when assessing the level of risk associated with a hazard are:

  • Likelihood/probability
  • Consequence/severity

Likelihood/Probability

Likelihood can be ranked in the following order:

  1. Remote
    Can occur because of an unforeseeable and rare combination of circumstances but is not known to have occurred.
  2. Highly unlikely
    Can occur because of a foreseeable and rare combination of circumstances, or foreseeable faults, or failures of controls, known to occur very infrequently.
  3. Unlikely
    Can occur because of foreseeable faults, or failures of controls, known to occur occasionally.
  4. Likely
    Can occur because of foreseeable and varying conditions and is known to have occurred frequently.
  5. Inevitable
    Can occur because of varying conditions and is expected as a result of circumstances associated with the product, process, or service.

When determining the likelihood of a hazard, consider the following three fundamental aspects:

  • People exposed
    The more people are exposed to the hazard, the greater the likelihood one of them may be hurt.
  • Frequency of activity
    The more often they are exposed to the hazard (for example, five times instead of once), the more likely they are to be hurt.
  • Duration of exposure
    The longer they are exposed to the hazard (for example, 60 minutes instead of 6 minutes), the more likely they are to be hurt.

All of these considerations are combined into one overall likelihood value. Next, potential consequence or severity is determined.

Consequence/Severity

The consequence is the harm that the person exposed to the hazard may suffer. Examples from CSA Z1002-12 are provided in the table below.

A value is assigned to the consequence based on the potential severity of harm.

Level Consequence Medical Attention Return to Work Examples
Fatal Irreversible or immediate or subsequent death. Critical life-threatening injury may lead to fatality. Any chance of survival requires immediate emergency medical attention. Injury or illness sustained from:
  • Explosions
  • Crushing forces to the head or whole body
  • Exposure to harmful substances that have an immediate or long-term effect on the central nervous or respiratory systems
Major Deemed major and is normally irreversible. Professional medical attention is required. Worker may not perform the same tasks upon returning to work. Injury or illness sustained from:
  • Compound fractures
  • Third-degree burns
  • Blindness
  • Loss of limbs
  • Muscoloskeletal disorders leading to permanent mobility limitations and significant long-term reduction in quality of life
Serious Deemed serious and is normally reversible. Professional medical attention is required. Worker returns to work within days.
Moderate Deemed moderate and is normally reversible. Professional medical care is required. Worker can likely return to work.
Minor Deemed minor and is normally reversible. Possible requirement for first aid. Worker can likely return to work.
  • Minor scrapes and bruises
  • Small lacerations

Risk Matrix

A risk matrix is a tool that is used to estimate total potential risk by comparing consequence with likelihood. This estimate provides a guideline to help contractors determine the level of risk that workers are exposed to and, more importantly, the controls that should be put in place to lower the risk and provide a safer environment for workers.

For more guidance on assessing hazard likelihood and consequence, and examples of a risk matrix, see the following:

For questions related to this content, please contact YVR Contractor Safety by email at contractor_safety@YVR.ca or by phone at 604-276-7797.

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