Risk Vs. Hazard: The Link Between Hazmat and Shark Week
The hazards posed by sharks are very real—they’re massive fish, armed with rows and rows of teeth, and built to tear their prey to shreds.
But the risk you take when you swim in the ocean is different. Your chances of getting attacked by a shark are 1 in 3.7 million, according to the International Shark Attack File.
When it comes to materials that can ignite, explode, or escape in transit, hazardous materials professionals understand the risks and work diligently to mitigate them, so that the materials present as little of a hazard as possible.
What Is a Hazard? What Is a Risk?"Hazard"—with respect to hazmat safety—means a “condition with the potential of causing injuries to personnel, damage to equipment or structures, loss of material, or reduction of ability to perform a prescribed function."
“Risk,” on the other hand, is an assessment that considers both the severity and the probability the possible consequences of a hazard.
We assess risk in these terms every day, even if we don’t know we’re doing it. When we swim in the ocean, we’re surrounded by hazards such as jellyfish, rip currents, and yes—even sharks. However, there are beach safety measures and swimming rules that dramatically reduce the probability of running into these hazards.
Moreover, we have lifeguards armed with first-aid training to reduce the severity of an accident if one should occur. For these reasons, we don’t generally view swimming close to shore as a high-risk activity.
If we only considered the hazard that sharks pose—and not the risk of an attack—we’d never go in the ocean.
Risk and Hazard for Hazmat ShippersThe same principles apply to shipping hazardous materials. These materials provide incredible value to the people of the world—from energy to medicine to everyday products—and not shipping them simply isn’t an option.
Instead, hazmat professionals do everything possible to contain and communicate the hazards posed by materials—by training employees, packing products properly in authorized packaging, affixing markings and labels, separating incompatible materials, providing emergency response information, and more.
The question isn’t, “Why do we ship such a risky product?” The right question is, “What are the risks, and what steps are necessary to limit the hazard?”
Incidents Do HappenThough they’re rare, both shark attacks and hazardous materials incidents do happen. When hazardous materials are released or spilled, employees should know what to do—whether it happens in transportation or on the facility floor.
The 2-hour HAZWOPER Awareness Training provides the annually required Level 1 awareness HAZWOPER training for employees who are responsible for sounding alarms and/or evacuating in the event of a hazardous substance release. This online course satisfies the classroom-based competency training as part of initial or refresher HAZWOPER training. Because it’s online, you can even start, pause, and come back to the course at any time, from any computer, tablet, or mobile device.
The instructor does a great job at presenting material in an approachable way. I have been able to save my company about $30,000 in the last year with what I have learned from Lion!
The training was impressive. I am not a fan of online training but this was put together very well. I would recommend Lion to others.
Excellent job. Made what is very dry material interesting. Thoroughly explained all topics in easy-to-understand terms.
I was able to present my scenario to the instructor and worked thru the regulations together. In the past, I attended another training firm's classes. Now, I have no intention of leaving Lion!
Senior Environmental Engineer
I attended training from another provider and learned absolutely nothing. Lion is much better. Hands down.
Lion is easily and consistently the best option for compliance training. I've learned new information from every instructor I've had.
My experience with Lion training, both online and in the classroom, is that they are far better organized and provide a better sequential explanation of the material.
Manager, Dangerous Goods Transportation
I have attended other training providers, but Lion is best. Lion is king of the hazmat jungle!!!
Hazardous Waste Technician
The exercises in the DOT hazardous materials management course are especially helpful in evaluating your understanding of course information.
Principal Industrial Hygienist
The instructor did an excellent job presenting a very dry subject; keeping everyone interested and making it enjoyable.
Hazardous Waste Professional
Download Our Latest Whitepaper
In-flight hazmat incidents can be disastrous. This guide gives 5 tips for first-time air shippers to consider before offering dangerous goods for transportation on passenger or cargo aircraft.