Tuesday, November 01, 2016


HIRARC is the term used by DOSH(Department of Safety and Health) to indicate Hazard Identification, Hazard Assessment and Risk Control. 
HIRADC is term used by OHSAS 18001:2007 to indicate Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Determine of Control.
HRA is the term used in Industrial Hygiene to indicate Health Risk Assessment — to carry out the same thing as HIRARC and HIRADC.

So What is the different? Are they the same?  The purpose is the same, but the way they carry out Risk Assessment is not similar.

We cannot use simply Generic Format of  HIRARC to  assess Health Hazard like Chemical, Physical and Ergonomics — our assessment will not indicate the real risk.

In assessing the risk of chemical and Physical hazard for example using HRA, we need to assess the Exposure Magnitude, we need to know the Exposure level and compare it with the PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit). That is why CHRA existed, CHRA means Chemical Health Risk Assessment.

In assessing Ergonomics Hazard, we need to find out the Ergonomics Risk Factors, the body Symptom level and other things— which Ergonomist like to call it as EWA (Ergonomic Workplace Assessment).

Sometime I feel, HIRARC is created from the perspective of Safety Hazard Assessment. For Health hazard, we need to do a proper HRA whether we called it CHRA or EWA.

Lastly, HIRARC/HIRADC and HRA are similar but not the same.


HAZARD according to OHSAS 18001:2007 (3.6) is a Source, Situation or Act with a potential for Harm in terms of human injury or ill health or a combination of these.
It can be explained by the following simple diagram:


Now let's explore further about hazard. From the definition there are 3 things about Hazard namely :

Hazard as a source can be divided into : Safety, health and Environmental Hazard. It can be classified further into 5 class :

1. Biological Hazard which can do harm by producing Toxin
2. Chemical Hazard which is toxic to the human
3. Ergonomic Hazard which can injure Musculoskeletal system
4. Physical Hazard which can cause harm by body contact
5. Psychosocial Hazard which produce physiological, psychological and behaviour changes.

Hazard as a Situation normally come in the form of Unsafe Condition - any condition which can produce injury or ill health.

Lastly, Hazard as an act normally called Unsafe Act including Reasonably Foreseeable Misused (RFM).

Normally, in hazard identification and risk assessment, we focus on the source of hazard — which can be identified and rating based on the current control measures available. We called this Preventive Measure - to make sure the harm will not occur.

For both Unsafe Condition and Unsafe Act - normally we cannot predict when the human do it because we cannot monitor the human activity all the time. There fore whenever we find these two hazards we need to do Correction immediately and Corrective Measure to make sure it won't recur again.

From the above explanation, we can conclude that Hazard as a source can be identified using HIRARC or HIRADC method, put it into the matrix to label it Risk as High, Medium and Low.

For both Unsafe Act and Unsafe Condition, we need to have a periodical Inspection as well as a feedback or report from the workers whenever they encounter these two type of hazard.

It is useless to do HIRARC without educating the workers about it. Similar too, it is like waiting a time bomb by ignoring the workplace inspection.

Last but not least, we need to carry out AN AUDIT to make sure we have done the right thing and also done the things right.