Although people often use these words as synonyms, they are not. We use them in our conversation quite often and mix their meaning ever more often.
There is a substantial difference between these two words, and we will help you to understand it better through this article.
Risk is a word which by definition means, that certain hazard may harm you. Hazard, on the other hand, means that something will cause you harm. Knowing difference between these words can help you protect yourself, and avoid getting into dangerous situations. When you are exposed to dangerous situations, that is when your actions count the most. Hazard can cause you harm when you are exposed to it to a certain level. Risk can possibly cause you harm, but if certain measures are taken for the reduction of risk, then it is harmless.
To make this explanation simpler, you need to be exposed to hazard and then you could be at risk. Or, there is no risk without exposure to hazard first.
The higher the amount of hazard it is, the higher the risk factor is in that case. To explain this through examples we can use Ebola as an example of hazard, and the risk might be death caused by this disease.
In this example, the risk of Ebola caused death can be reduced through avoiding the main infection sources. These include avoiding contact with infected people, avoiding places that have been marked as sources of infection. Cleaning your hands and keeping hygiene on high level can also help when trying to reduce risk of Ebola virus caused hazard.
Control measures in high risk situations
Control measures represent behavior that helps with reducing the amount of risk. Measure that includes elimination of hazard, is for example, not always a possibility. In certain situations, risk is too high and the main source of the risk can’t be controlled by people. In other situations where we can act, it is important to do so at any cost.
Hazard can also be replaced by a risk that is less dangerous. This includes actions that help to reduce the risk, and overall hazard danger, with a slightly better outcome. This means that risk is not completely removed, but it is significantly decreased.
The best way to fight something is by determining it. We need to know what we are dealing with exactly, so isolation of hazard is very important. If the risk can be avoided by protection standards, then this is also a necessary measure to take.
Connected to the above measure we have special engineering techniques that can prevent effects of hazard on people, through special protection measures. If these measures are not provided, then we are left with our own protection equipment, which includes gloves, helmets, earmuffs and other protective gear that we can use in various situations.
Knowing the amount of risk, to which you are exposed, can be crucial. When evaluating risk all of the factors that can increase or decrease his value are taken into consideration.
Within those factors, we can sum up number of people that can be affected by a certain hazard, the level of damage that these risk factors can cause and in what way we can fight these risk factors to reduce hazard effects.
Through this evaluation, all of the necessary information must be shown, so that we can find the best solution for a certain hazard risk. This method has been proven as the most effective one, and if done right, risk evaluation has to show an outcome of the risk.
Ending of this risk evaluation method must show that any situation can be dangerous or hazardous. Evaluation should also point to the method that needs to be used for fighting risk factors and the method that is best for determining the exact time the hazard can occur.
Method should provide an answer to the question of plan B solutions, in case the primary plan doesn’t succeed. Every information in this situation is crucial, so as much of them, as this evaluation contains, the better. On the subject of information, it is important to know the ones that are not determined yet. They can be of great importance, since everyone will be alerted if these situations do occur, even though there is no real reaction to them.
Applying risk evaluation method
When we have all the necessary information, the next goal is to apply knowledge to the real life threat. This means we need to find out what is the hazard that we need to fight against. Many of the methods, in this case, include stepping out to the field and inspecting the area itself. Information from the first hand are the best ones, and building database is just another great part of this first step.
Determining the number of subjects who can be harmed by a certain hazard is also important. This is a second step, and it includes separating subjects that are more in danger than others. This can be due to their age, race, health state and other factors. Distance from the area which is marked as a high risk area, can also be of great importance.
Finding out how great the risk is, and how it will affect the subjects is the next step. This step will clear our whether the risk can be easily removed or is it a situation that is more complicated than that. Knowing the amount of power you have in this case, is very important, since unrealistic expectations can only cause harm and distract us from the possible solution.
Keeping on track with all the information and data is another crucial step. Documenting everything you see and notice is done for legal protection as well, since situations you may handle in these cases can be of great importance for larger amount of people. Documenting everything you do, can later protect you from any legal lawsuits regarding your actions.
Updating your database is the final step, since keeping on track with old and useless information can cause harm to the overall process. All of the documents should be saved even after the risk is gone, because you never know when they can come back. Most of our studies are based on earlier researches, and many of them play an important role in today’s evaluations.
Controlling risky situations
The way we can act in risky situations has also been determined. The best way to keep away from risk is by avoiding it. Like I mentioned earlier, keeping away from infected areas, cleaning your hands and clothes regularly, and avoiding contact to people who suffer from certain diseases is the best protection you can provide for yourself.
Increase of security factors in your environment is also important, and even though this means a certain loss of people or employees, if it is done for safety of the remaining ones, then it is justified.
Since transfers are number one risk factor today, you can even make sure to hire a professional help in a form of cleaning crew that will make sure no health risks are present in your environment.
If none of the above methods seem like a solution for you, then you are left with exposure to risk. Accepting this condition can be very dangerous for you, but it also doesn’t have to be. This in the end depends on the amount of risk you are exposed to.