How to Create a Formal Hazard Assessment

How to Create a Formal Hazard Assessment

A formal hazard assessment is the basis for the organization’s entire occupational health and safety management system. It outlines the hazards, measures risk (to help prioritize hazards), and points to the necessary control measures.

  • Levels of Hazard Assessment
  • Formal hazard assessment
  • Field-level hazard assessment

Formal Hazard Assessment are the foundation of safety program and involve:

  • identification of all jobs and tasks performed by employees,
  • assessment of each task for hazards,
  • prioritization of the hazards based on the level of risk,
  • implementation of controls for the identified hazards

Steps for Conducting a Formal Hazard Assessment

Create an inventory of jobs and tasks – The first step of formal hazard assessment is to create a list of all jobs within the scope of your companies business, and record the number of workers that perform each job. Then, list all the tasks performed as part of each job identified.

Identify and assess hazards – Each task needs to be assessed to determine the potential hazards and associated risk.  Workers who perform the tasks should be involved in this process to ensure nothing is overlooked. After the hazards are identified, calculate their risk ratings by asking the following questions:

  • What are the consequences if the hazards are not controlled?
  • What is the probability of an incident occurring?
  • What is the frequency of exposure to the hazard?

Prioritize hazards- Using the information created so far, determine the overall risk rating for each task, and rank the tasks in order of priority, based on the level of risk.  Sort the tasks from high risk to low risk, and this will give you a critical task list.

Determine controls- Address identified hazards by assigning methods of control to eliminate or reduce the hazard. Elimination, engineering, administrative, PPE or a combination of controls can be used for each identified hazard.

Review hazard assessments – Formal hazard assessments should be dated and subject to a regular review schedule to prevent the development of conditions that may put workers at risk. These reviews should take place annually (at a minimum), or anytime a new process is introduced, a change is made to the operation, or a significant addition or alteration is made to a work site.


This blog was written by OnTrack Safety Logo of Red Deer Alberta – – which Ok Alone is pleased to share with permission.  On-Track Safety Solutions develops company-specific safety documentation, provides online training and manages on-site project safety for small to large companies from the petroleum, transportation, and construction sectors.  On-Track Safety can help your company with the creation of a formal hazard assessment that will meet government and partnership requirements.  Call our office at 800-440-6650 for more information.