What Are Hazardous Sources (2023)

Posted by Tyler Britton on Apr 17, 2019 7:00:00 AM

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What Is a Hazard

What Are Hazardous Sources (1)

A hazard in aviation risk management is a condition that poses danger to your organization, and can lead to safety incidents if not mitigated. Hazards are central to the entire risk management process. Often, hazards are either confused with risks (i.e., accidents) and hazardous sources. We will explore what hazardous sources are and how they differ from hazards in this article.

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First, let’s distinguish what a hazard is. A hazard is a term that satisfies ALL the following real-life conditions:

  • It is a dangerous condition, such as an object, situation, circumstance, that poses an unacceptable level of danger;
  • Occurs once in the issue life cycle;
  • Can lead directly to safety mishap, accident if not mitigated; and
  • Arises from hazard mechanisms.

For example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines a hazard as,

“A condition that could foreseeably cause or contribute to an aircraft accident…”

(14 CFR § 5.5)

Though it is sometimes confused as other things, such as below, a hazard is NOT:

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  • Benign objects (birds, mountains, people), which are hazardous sources;
  • Safety mishaps, which are another way of saying risk occurrences;
  • Damages, which are a product of risk occurrence; and
  • Dangerous actions, which are associated with initiating mechanisms.

The only point where different organizations may disagree on a hazard for a given situation is what part of a safety event was the “dangerous condition.” We advise you seek guidance from your compliance authority on this point.

What Are Hazardous Sources

Hazardous sources are the “raw material” that hazards arise from. Hazardous sources might be considered:

  • Hazards without context;
  • Benign objects;
  • Things that become dangerous through initiating mechanisms.

Benign objects (hazardous sources) can become hazards in the right context. For example, a tower is not a hazard. But a tall tower in proximity to a flight path is a hazard. Notice that in this case, a hazardous source (tower) became a hazard when given context (height, location).

It’s extremely important to note that hazardous sources:

  • Pose no inherent dangerous condition;
  • Have no inherent threat level;
  • Can lead to hazard occurrence in the right circumstances (they don’t lead to accidents directly); and
  • Don’t “arise” from anything – they are the “raw material” or “base elements” that can lead to threat.

Distinguishing the difference between a hazard and hazardous sources will help you build your classification scheme and analyze safety issues.

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What Is a Root Cause (Hazardous Mechanism)

Hazardous sources should also not be confused with root causes. Hazardous sources are NOT root causes, nor can they ever be. Root causes describe an entirely different element of safety than hazardous sources.

Root causes are initiating mechanisms that give hazardous sources context. Consider the following example:

  • There is a tall building (hazardous source);
  • Due to a storm, a pilot strays off course (storm/straying are root causes); and
  • The aircraft flies in close proximity to the building (hazard).

See the difference? The tall building posed no threat, but certain mechanisms (storm and leaving flight path) caused this source to become dangerous.

See how to conduct root causes analysis for more information about root causes.

What Is the Difference between Hazard and Hazardous Sources

Hopefully you see the difference between a hazard and hazardous sources. Let’s compare the main differences:

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  • Threat level:
    • Hazards are an inherently dangerous condition
    • Hazardous sources are not inherently dangerous
  • Leads to:
    • Hazards can lead to safety mishaps if not mitigated
    • Hazardous sources can lead to hazard occurrence through initiating mechanisms (root causes/contributory factors)
  • Context in safety life cycle:
    • A hazard occurs once in the issue life cycle
    • There are usually multiple hazardous sources in any given issue
  • Useful for:
    • Hazards are useful for understanding top threats
    • Hazardous sources are useful for understanding what objects have the greatest relevance in your risk management efforts

What Are Hazardous Sources (2)

Last updated January 2023.

Topics: Risk Management Training


What are the hazard sources? ›

A hazard source is a location or condition that can give rise to a hazard. Hazard sources include, but are not limited to: areas of low flow or stagnant water within the facility distribution system (dead legs and disused taps)

What are three 3 examples of sources of information that may assist you in identifying hazards in the workplace? ›

Equipment and machinery operating manuals. Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) provided by chemical manufacturers. Self-inspection reports and inspection reports from insurance carriers, government agencies, and consultants. Records of previous injuries and illnesses, such as OSHA 300 and 301 logs.

What are four sources of hazard? ›

  • Inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption of material hazardous to health (including aerosols and particulates)
  • Use of flammable and explosive materials.
  • Lack of oxygen (asphyxia)
  • Presence of corrosive substances.
  • Reactive/unstable substances.
  • Presence of sensitizers.

What are hazards examples? ›

physical - radiation, magnetic fields, pressure extremes (high pressure or vacuum), noise, etc., psychosocial - stress, violence, etc., safety - slipping/tripping hazards, inappropriate machine guarding, equipment malfunctions or breakdowns.

What is the source of hazard in workplace? ›

They include: Anything that can cause spills or trips, such as cords running across the floor or ice. Anything that can cause falls, such as working from heights, including ladders, scaffolds, roofs, or any elevated work area. Unguarded and moving machinery parts that a worker can accidentally touch.

What are hazards and any three sources of hazards? ›

Any single or combination of toxic chemical, biological, or physical agents in the environment, resulting from human activities or natural processes, that may affect the health of exposed subjects, including pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides, biological contaminants, toxic waste, and industrial and home ...

What is a hazard easy definition? ›

A hazard is a dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition. It may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage.

What is the main source of information when using hazardous materials? ›

Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), formerly called Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), are documents that provide information about hazardous products and advice about safety precautions. SDSs provide more information about products than labels do and are important resources.

What are five 5 sources of reliable information that are relevant to typical workplace procedures? ›

Books, journal articles, conference papers, blogs, social media, newspapers, government reports, reference material – do you know the difference?

What are 6 common ways you can identify hazards in the workplace? ›

Sources of information include:
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).
  • Manufacturer's operating instructions, manuals, etc.
  • Test or monitor for exposure (occupational hygiene testing such as chemical or noise exposure).
  • Results of any job safety analysis.
  • Experiences of other organizations similar to yours.
May 4, 2018

What are the three 3 types of hazards? ›

There are three types of hazards: Human-Caused, Natural, and Technological. Human-Caused hazards include: Hazardous Material Incidents.

What are 10 common hazards? ›

We have put together this quick guide to alert you to the hazards in your home so that you can keep your family as safe as possible.
  • Falls. Falls are the leading cause of death when it comes to home accidents. ...
  • Poisoning. ...
  • Carbon Monoxide. ...
  • Fire Hazards. ...
  • Drowning. ...
  • Choking. ...
  • Sharp Objects. ...
  • Stoves.

What are the 9 types of hazards? ›

The nine hazard classes are as follows:
  • Class 1: Explosives.
  • Class 2: Gases.
  • Class 3: Flammable and Combustible Liquids.
  • Class 4: Flammable Solids.
  • Class 5: Oxidizing Substances, Organic Peroxides.
  • Class 6: Toxic Substances and Infectious Substances.
  • Class 7: Radioactive Materials.
  • Class 8: Corrosives.

What is a hazard answer? ›

A hazard is a source or a situation with the potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill-health, damage to property, damage to the environment, or a combination of these.

What are the types of hazards *? ›

What are the 6 types of hazards in the workplace?
  • Safety hazards. Sometimes confused with physical hazards, these are things that create an unsafe working environment. ...
  • Physical / environmental hazards. ...
  • Biological hazards (biohazards) ...
  • Chemical hazards. ...
  • Ergonomic hazards. ...
  • Psychosocial hazards.
Jan 27, 2022

How do you identify a hazard? ›

Identifying hazards
  1. Observing how work tasks are being performed.
  2. Assessing the equipment workers are using, and considering how that equipment is being used.
  3. Analyzing the design and layout of the work areas.
Sep 18, 2020

What is the example of commonly source of physical hazard? ›

Physical hazards include exposure to slips, trips, falls, electricity, noise, vibration, radiation, heat, cold and fire.

What is the best definition for all hazards? ›

Definitions. All-Hazards Approach: An all-hazards approach is an integrated approach to emergency. preparedness planning that focuses on capacities and capabilities that are critical to preparedness. for a full spectrum of emergencies or disasters, including internal emergencies and a man-made.

What is the meaning of hazardous *? ›

dangerous and involving risk, especially to someone's health: hazardous industries/materials/substances.

What is a good sentence for hazard? ›

They are free to avoid means of protecting themselves from hazards. In section 5 we present evidence of health hazards and environmental costs associated with pesticide use.

What are the methods source of information can be used to identify hazard? ›

conducting hazard (or risk) surveys; reviewing product information, e.g. safety data sheets, operating manuals; and. researching publicly available data on hazards, e.g. newspaper articles, industry or safety regulator alerts; and. looking at past incident and near-miss reports.

What are hazardous wastes and identify their sources? ›

Hazardous waste is generated from many sources, ranging from industrial manufacturing process wastes to batteries and may come in many forms, including liquids, solids gases, and sludges.

What are 5 examples of reliable sources? ›

Primary, secondary & tertiary sources
  • original research articles.
  • literary works.
  • podcasts.
  • diaries.
  • census and statistics.
Jul 18, 2022

What are 3 examples of reliable sources? ›

What is reliable information?
  • Scholarly, peer-reviewed articles and books.
  • Trade or professional articles or books.
  • Magazine articles, books and newspaper articles from well-established companies.

What are the 4 common sources of information? ›

Finding Information
  • Primary Documents. A primary document is a document that was written at the time of an event or period of research. ...
  • Secondary Documents. A secondary document is written after an event - usually the authors will not have witnessed the event themselves. ...
  • Tertiary Documents. ...
  • Internet Sources.

How can hazards and risks be prevented? ›

Some practical steps you could take include:
  1. trying a less risky option.
  2. preventing access to the hazards.
  3. organising your work to reduce exposure to the hazard.
  4. issuing protective equipment.
  5. providing welfare facilities such as first-aid and washing facilities.
  6. involving and consulting with workers.
Sep 6, 2022

What are 3 ways that hazards can be identified? ›

Hazards can be identified through one or more of the following activities:
  • routine hazard and housekeeping inspections and audit activities.
  • study of information provided by manufacturers and suppliers of equipment and substances.
  • investigation of incidents and accidents.

Which of the following is a common hazard? ›

Some of the most common hazards at home include fire, poisoning and allergies. There may also be risks posed by your home's contents, such as falls, choking, cuts and burns.

What are 4 common workplace hazards explain each? ›

Workplace hazards can incur great costs for a company, but if identified and assessed properly, they can be controlled and prevented, or at least minimised. We've listed out the 4 most common ones - physical, ergonomic, chemical, and biological.

How do you control hazards and risks in the workplace? ›

Sometimes using more than one control measure could be the most effective way to reduce the exposure to hazards.
  1. 1 Eliminate the hazard. Remove it completely from your workplace. ...
  2. 2 Substitute the hazard. ...
  3. 3 Isolate the hazard. ...
  4. 4 Use engineering controls. ...
  5. 5 Use administrative controls. ...
  6. 6 Use personal protective equipment (PPE)
Jun 9, 2022

What are the 4 most common hazards according to OSHA? ›

Fires and explosions. Chemical releases. Hazardous material spills. Startups after planned or unplanned equipment shutdowns.

What are the 7 hazardous substances? ›

Hazard pictograms (symbols)
  • Explosive (Symbol: exploding bomb)
  • Flammable (Symbol: flame)
  • Oxidising (Symbol: flame over circle)
  • Corrosive (Symbol: corrosion)
  • Acute toxicity (Symbol: skull and crossbones)
  • Hazardous to the environment (Symbol: environment)
Feb 11, 2022

What is hazard and risk examples? ›

Examples of what are a hazard and risk

HAZARD: A hot-tempered supervisor screaming at staff. RISK: A mental health issue for a staff member. HAZARD: An extension cord running across a frequently used hallway. RISK: A trip and possible injury resulting.

Which is an example of natural hazard answer? ›

For example, a flood resulting from changes in river flows is a natural hazard, whereas flooding due to a dam failure is considered a manmade hazard, and therefore excluded from the National Risk Index.

What are examples of hazard give at least 5 *? ›

5 Major Hazards in the Workplace
  • Falls and Falling Objects.
  • Chemical Exposure.
  • Fire Hazards.
  • Electrical Hazards.
  • Repetitive Motion Injury.
Nov 13, 2019

What are the types of safety hazards? ›

Safety Hazards

Tripping and slipping hazards, including spilled liquid, cords running across the floor and blocked aisles. Working from any raised work area, including roofs, scaffolding and ladders. Moving machinery parts and unguarded machinery that a worker can accidentally touch.


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