Risk vs Hazard vs Safety

The never ending debate over the difference between a risk and a hazard………..and what is Safety?

The poster, courtesy of Dr Rob Long from SPoR, very succinctly and effectively defines each, perhaps slightly differently to what you may have thought or heard before. You wont see words like faith and imagined used very often in the safety vernacular.

The poster can be downloaded here: Risk Hazard Safety poster portrait

RISK = the faith and trust required to suspend uncertainty to take an action

HAZARD = An object that is imagined to have the potential for harm

SAFETY = A temporary moment when physical harm is low


5 Replies to “Risk vs Hazard vs Safety”

  1. Thanks for posting Dave. Always fascinating to see more of Rob’s work. I thought it was quite notable that risk was coloured green and safety coloured red, now pondering why. Could it be that somehow ironically risk is safer than safety because it requires wisdom and discerning to move forward whereas safety being a temporary moment could be a sitting duck?

    1. Bruce,
      If you have followed Rob for any length of time you know that EVERYTHING has significance, everything. Choosing the colors for each of these is no different. Rob has a card with the “Influences of Color” that lists colors and the way they can influence us unconsciously. Red is associated with “power”, yellow with “hope” and green with “realism”. Likewise the Workspace-Headspace-Groupspace model is color coded red=workspace, yellow=headspeace and green=groupspace. One of the most significant paradigm shifts for me has been just thinking about what “safety” actually is and what it means. In a sense, NOTHING is really safe but in the moment you are in. Life is random and we are in control of far less than we actually realize in terms of choice. Safety is something we can aspire to, but nothing we can assure because to be alive is to be at risk.

      1. Hey Dyno, thanks for the comments.
        When the worldview is zero you won’t see much.
        When humans are objects in a system, you won’t live much.
        When the goal of being is counting then you won’t be much.
        When the fear of injury is paramount you won’t learn much.
        Will post you the new book when I get a minute.

  2. Hi Bruce.
    When we take the human unconscious seriously then everything takes on significance.
    When we understand our world ecologically and as a semiosphere then we see how everything affects us.
    Such understandings change the way we live and have our being.
    What a shame safety is trapped in its mechanistic worldview.

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