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HAZard IDentification

there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to identify and manage hazards

When it comes to risk management, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to identify and manage hazards. The chosen assessment method should align with the desired output based on the stage at which the assessment is undertaken. It is essential to start risk management and risk assessment processes as early as possible.

HAZID Purpose

HAZID (Hazard Identification), is a straightforward method used to identify potentially hazardous situations and events.

HAZID involves reviewing concepts, design, preliminary engineering, planning, intent etc and identifying hazards in proposed solutions to aid in making final methodology decisions.  Early hazard identification enables safety concerns to be addressed in early phases. This reduces the need for extensive rework during later phases when implementing hazard controls will be more complex, costly, and less feasible to achieve.

If the activity is already at an advanced stage with established procedures or methods, HAZID may not be as effective as HAZOP (Hazard and Operability Study), HIRA (Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment), or TRA (Task Risk Assessment).


HAZID focus should remain on identifying and logging hazards, and determining mitigation measures, either simultaneously or as an ongoing element of the HAZID process.

HAZID Output

The output of the HAZID process guides design and methodology decisions, leading to a final concept aided by a comprehensive assessment of activities. The assessment includes identified hazards and their corresponding control measures to be implemented into the design and methodology as work progresses.

Hazards that are not mitigated at this stage or require localised control measures can be carried forward and addressed in subsequent risk assessment methods applied at later stages, (HAZOP, HIRA, TRA).

HAZID Format

The best way to present HAZID is using worksheet with predefined headings. This worksheet should be easily accessible to all personnel involved in the activities, allowing them to update it as work progresses.

The format of the worksheet should be straightforward, making it easy to read and understand. It should also provide enough detail to ensure that the assessment adds value. During the HAZID process, there is no need for qualitative assessment, as the primary objective is to identify hazards rather than classify risks.

Actions in the worksheet should be categorised as either ‘Open’ or ‘Closed’ based on the status of the identified control measure or mitigation. If the control measure is deemed suitable to mitigate the hazard, it can be marked as ‘Closed’. If there is uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of the control measure, the action should be left ‘Open’ until suitable mitigation is identified and implemented. Alternatively, the action can be transferred to another risk assessment method such as HAZOP or HIRA.

Structuring HAZID

In example #1, a comprehensive HAZID can be conducted for the entire project, covering all aspects.

In example #2, HAZID can be employed as a smaller component within a larger work scope. Multiple HAZID sessions are combined to encompass the entire scope of the project.

Both approaches have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. For instance, a complex project might result in lengthy and intricate HAZID worksheets and workshops that are challenging to manage. In such cases, example #2 may be more suitable, as it allows for a focused breakdown of the work scope into manageable areas.

Ultimately, the choice of HAZID structure depends on the specific requirements and characteristics of your project. It is recommended to carefully evaluate the project’s complexity and objectives to determine the most appropriate HAZID structure for optimal effectiveness and efficiency.

HAZID – Continual Evaluation

To maximise its effectiveness, HAZID should be viewed as an ongoing process that engages multiple disciplines. All individuals participating in the activities should be encouraged to actively contribute by promptly logging hazards and suggesting mitigation measures as they arise. To facilitate this collaborative approach, your organisation should adopt an accessible format for HAZID.

By embracing this inclusive approach, a comprehensive list of hazards and corresponding control measures can be compiled. These can then be thoroughly reviewed and agreed upon during dedicated HAZID workshops. It is vital not to restrict hazard identification solely to scheduled HAZID workshops.

By promoting continuous hazard identification throughout the project lifecycle, your organisation can proactively address risks and enhance safety measures. This approach fosters a comprehensive understanding of potential hazards and encourages a proactive mindset towards risk management.

HAZID – Workshop

HAZID workshops can be employed in two different ways: as a one-time evaluation of a workscope or as a recurring group activity. The latter approach involves regular sessions to discuss, identify additional hazards, and reach consensus on proposed control measures that have been documented within the HAZID worksheets throughout the development phase.

It is important to recognise that hazards can emerge as soon as a workscope is initiated. Adopting a process of continual evaluation and mitigation, rather than waiting for a workshop, is often the more effective approach. By promptly identifying and addressing hazards as they arise, organisations can proactively manage risks and maintain a high level of safety throughout the project.

HAZID Moderator

To maintain control and effectiveness during HAZID workshops, it is essential to have a moderator. The moderator’s role is to ensure that the workshop stays focused on the purpose and scope of the HAZID, and ensuring that all discussion points are clearly understood and recorded.

The moderator should possess knowledge of the HAZID topics and actively encourage meaningful discussions among the participants. It is recommended to have a scribe present during the workshop. The scribe’s responsibility is to take notes and incorporate the identified actions into the HAZID worksheet during the discussions.

After the content has been added to the worksheet, it is important to share it with the participants for verification. This step ensures that the entries made accurately reflect the discussions and any necessary corrections can be made in real time.

HAZID Duration

The duration of the HAZID workshop depends on the structure you have chosen and the scope of the HAZID itself. In the provided examples, a workshop for #1 would likely to be a longer session as it covers all project activities, while #2 can be structured as shorter, focused sessions lasting approximately 1-1.5 hours each.

There is no strict rule regarding the duration of a HAZID workshop. It is important to consider that participants may start losing focus and becoming fatigued during lengthy meetings. This should be taken into account when planning your workshop. The HAZID process plays a crucial role in ensuring early integration of safety measures into your project, and it is essential to keep all attendees engaged and focused for the workshop duration.


The selection of attendees for the HAZID workshop should be based on the scope of the assessment and the specific topic areas to be addressed. In some cases, an informal HAZID can be conducted with just 2 or 3 participants.

For a more structured workshop, it is recommended to have approximately 8-12 attendees. These individuals should be chosen based on their subject matter knowledge and their involvement in the activities being assessed. This ensures that a diverse range of perspectives and expertise is represented.

While larger numbers of participants can be accommodated, it is important to consider the challenges associated with managing individual contributions and maintaining focus on the scope of the HAZID. It is necessary to assess the benefits and drawbacks of having more individuals present, taking into account the specific circumstances of the assessment.

Defining your HAZID Purpose

It is crucial for all those involved in the HAZID workshop to have a clear understanding of its purpose. Ambiguity or confusion regarding the intent and desired outcome of the HAZID should be avoided.

The purpose of the HAZID should be clearly communicated and understood by all participants. This ensures that everyone is aligned and working towards the same objectives. By establishing a shared understanding of the purpose, the HAZID process can be more effective in identifying hazards and implementing appropriate mitigation measures.

Defining your HAZID Scope

To ensure clarity and effectiveness, it is important to define the extent of the area or subject matter that the HAZID workshop will cover. This involves clearly outlining the scope and limitations of the HAZID process. The following aspects should be considered:

Subject matter content: Specify the relevant content and areas that the HAZID will address.

Specific focus areas: Identify any particular areas of focus within the subject matter that require special attention during the HAZID.

Exclusion of current control measures/processes: Clearly state any existing control measures or processes that are already in place and will not be discussed during the HAZID.

Limitations on content/discussions: Highlight any limitations or boundaries in terms of content or discussions during the HAZID.

HAZID workshop process: Provide an overview of the workshop process, including the structure, flow, and expected outcomes.

‘Housekeeping’ rules, agenda & schedule: Communicate any necessary rules, guidelines, the agenda, and the schedule for the HAZID workshop.

Method of hazard identification, mitigation, and reporting: Describe the approach and methodology that will be used for identifying hazards, implementing mitigation measures, and reporting the findings. Also, specify the expected HAZID formatting and the method for logging actions and follow-ups.

By clearly defining these aspects, participants will have a better understanding of the boundaries, objectives, and processes involved in the HAZID, leading to a more focused and productive assessment.

HAZID Report & Tracking

If necessary, a HAZID workshop report can be generated, which may include the following components:

Summary of discussion points: Provide a concise overview of the key points and findings from the HAZID discussions.

Attendees: List the participants who attended the HAZID workshop or meetings.

Agenda: Include the agenda or schedule of the HAZID sessions, outlining the topics and activities covered.

HAZID worksheet: Attach the HAZID worksheet itself, which contains the recorded hazards, control measures, and actions identified during the assessment.

Presentation material used: If any presentation materials were used during the HAZID sessions, they can be included as supporting documentation.

References to procedures utilised: If specific procedures or guidelines were referenced during the HAZID process, provide appropriate citations or references.

Follow-up actions and closeout: Outline any identified actions resulting from the HAZID, including the planned steps for their closure. This section may also reference any future HAZID workshops that are planned.

Regardless of the report requirements, it is crucial to emphasise that the HAZID worksheet should be regularly updated and used as a vital input for the development of the identified activities. The HAZID worksheet should be treated as a dynamic document, with content continually updated and added until the HAZID process is concluded for that specific work scope.

If there are actions that cannot be closed out within the HAZID, it is important to carry them over to the next chosen risk assessment method. This ensures that any outstanding actions are appropriately addressed and mitigated in subsequent assessments.

The Next Steps

Upon completion of the initial concept/design phase and the establishment of a defined methodology, the next stage of the risk assessment process can be initiated. The specific choice of the next stage depends on the structure of your risk management process.

If the focus is on assessing operability, HAZOP (Hazard and Operability Study) is an excellent option. HAZOP allows for a comprehensive examination of potential hazards and risks associated with the operation of a system or process.

If the emphasis is on a more operationally focused health and safety risk assessment, HIRA (Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment) can be a suitable choice. HIRA is specifically geared towards identifying and assessing risks to health and safety within an operational context.

By selecting the appropriate risk assessment method based on your objectives, whether it be HAZOP or HIRA, you can ensure a comprehensive and targeted approach to managing risks in line with your specific requirements.

RISKUL offers a comprehensive suite of risk assessment and risk management tools, comprising five distinct methodologies organised in a hierarchy, with HAZID being the initial step. The RISKUL HAZID tool incorporates over 40 specific design and functionality features that are exclusive to RISKUL.

In addition to HAZID, RISKUL encompasses other essential risk assessment methods, including HAZOP, HIRA, TRA, and Risk Register. Each method provides unique insights and approaches to effectively identify, analyse, and mitigate risks.

We invite you to experience the benefits of RISKUL by taking advantage of our 30-day free trial. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to us for a consultation to explore how RISKUL can revolutionise your organisations risk management practices. Discover the power of RISKUL and elevate your approach to risk management.
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