Every hazard that is identified can be assessed for risk. A risk assessment evaluates how likely it is the hazard will arise and how severe it would be. The goal of the risk assessment process is to prioritizing hazards to assist in determining which hazard is the most serious and thus which hazard to control first.
The risk assessment takes into consideration those things, situations, processes, etc. that may cause harm, as well as product information, history of past events, industry codes of practice; the capability, skill or experience of workers who do the work; legislated requirements, etc..
Assess the consequence of the potential harm (the damage that will likely occur if the hazard is not controlled) and the likelihood of the harm occurring (the chance that the hazard will actually harm someone).
Use the Matrix to determine risk classification.
Health & Safety Risk Classification Matrix
Catastrophic - fatality or permanent disability occurs, facility loss, loss of major supplies or customers
Major - extensive injuries, significant equipment damages, supplier and customer impact
Moderate - medical treatment, equipment damage, supplier and customer impact
Minor - first Aid treatment, minor equipment damage, minor supplier and customer impact
Insignificant - no injuries, correctable supplier and customer impact
Almost Certain - The event is expected to occur in most circumstances, (>once a year)
Likely - The event will probably occur in most circumstances, i.e. once a year
Possible - The event should occur at some time, i.e. once in 2-10 years
Unlikely - The event may occur at some time, i.e. once in 10-100 years
Rare - The event may occur only in exceptional circumstances
The higher the risk classification, the higher the level of risk associated with the hazard. Priority of hazard mitigation can be assigned to the hazard based on the risk classification: