What is Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment (HIRA)?

What is HIRA?

  • The Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) research provides a structured way for assessing hazards and the dangers they bring. 
  • HIRA Safety provides a risk management strategy and assists in identifying the intended outcome of a recognized danger.
  • As a result, controls the risk by putting mitigation measures in place prior to the commencement of the work to prevent incident. 
  • HIRA enables one to move beyond being merely reactive.

Important terms descriptions and abbreviations

  • As Low As Reasonably Practical (ALARP): This is the level at which the extra risk reduction from the incremental impacts becomes disproportionate to the time, effort, complexity, and expense of further reduction efforts. 
  • Consequence: The whole effects of the risk on People, Environment, Assets, and Reputation. 
  • Hazard: Potential for harm includes the risk of illness and injury, destruction of property, goods, or the environment; production losses; or increased liabilities. 
  • Hierarchic order of controls: A preference list for how risk mitigations should be used. Eliminate, Replace, Isolate, Engineer, Administration, and PPE are in that order. 
  • Probability: Possible number of times that the event will occur.
  • RAM: A tool used during the risk assessment stage of the planning process is a risk assessment matrix, which is often referred to as a risk control matrix. RAM provides visual representation of risk analysis and classifies the hazards with respect to the probability of occurrence and severity of the events
  • Major risk: According to the Risk Matrix, a risk that carries a high danger to people, property, the environment, and/or the reputation of the firm has the potential to cause a Major Accident. 

Effects of Safety & Health Hazard

The safety and hazards effects are divided as Identify, Assess, Control & recover.

  • Identify – Are people exposing to harm resulting from the company’s operations?
  • Assess – How likely is the loss of control and risk is of ALARP?
  • Control – Can the causes be eliminated? And what are the effective controls that needed & are they be effective?
  • Recover – What are the recovery measures required? And the recovery capabilities are suitable & sufficient?

Methodology in HIRA

  • The organized interdisciplinary hazard identification, risk assessment, and methodology known as the HIRA review offers an in-depth analysis of the hazards, risks, and controls associated with the building operations. The pertinent construction personnel facilitate the review during the brainstorming session.

Step in HIRA method

Step 1:Hazard

  • Identify all Hazards

Step 2:Main Incident/ event

   Listing out all possible incidents and identifying threats based on types of hazards. 

Examples: Loss of containment, electrical shock, falls from heights, exposure to radioactive and poisonous materials, discharge of effluent into waterways, and emission of noxious gases

Step 3: Consequences

  • Compile a list of what happens as a result of the release of the hazard. 
  • A consequence is a happening or a series of happenings that follow the discharge of the danger.


  • Latent illness or disease with a long gestation time, serious injury, death, or Environmental harm and personal or public property damage 
  • Loss of revenue – paying for compensation, medical costs, output loss or delay.
  •  Loss of reputation resulting in loss of present and prospective business.
Effects hazards

Step 4: Register Hazards 

  • Make a register of potential hazards, major events, and consequences. 

Step 5: Risk assessment 

  • Ranking the risks and effects in accordance with the likelihoods of the top event occurring should be done using the Risk Matrix and brainstorming tools.

Step 6: Threats 

  • Determine any threats or causes that could cause any hazards or effects that have been rated as HIGH risks to materialize into a major catastrophe. Threat is described as a potential factor, such as thermal, biological, electrical, chemical, kinetic, climatic, radiation, or human elements, that could cause the hazard to become a major event. 
  • Determine all potential threats or causes that could make any hazards or effects that have been rated as HIGH risks into a top event. Examples include: high temperature, corrosion, overpressure, erosion, high voltage, Radiation exposure like UV, environmental conditions, human error, and Unknown process or design 

Step 7: Establish the Obstacles

  • Obstacles for each threat. A measure implemented to stop the release of a risk or to stop the occurrence of a catastrophic event once the risk has been released is referred to as a barrier. 
  • Physical or non-physical barriers may be used. 

Step 8: Measures for Recovery

  • Determine the Recovery Measures to lessen the effects of the Consequences brought on by the occurrence of the Top Event. 
  • Smoke, gas and fire alarm mechanism for emergency shut down.

Step 9: Escalation Factors 

  • Determine the escalation factors that will affect the operation or effectiveness of the barriers or recovery measures, and put additional measures in place to account for these factors. 
  • Escalation factors are described as circumstances that raise risk due to the removal of protective barriers or safety precautions, particularly those that can save lives or have other risk-reducing effects. 
  • Examples of abnormal operating conditions include:
    • Critical standby equipment being maintained while an emergency occurs; a plant operating outside of its design envelope; 
    • Extreme environmental conditions that might prevent the activation of planned recovery measures; incorrect plant operation because outdated operating procedures are not available; and human error as a result of incompetence or inadequate training.

Step 10: Recovery measure

Connect the controls for the barriers and recovery measures to the Critical Activities that are a component of business activities. The Critical Activities are those that must be completed to guarantee the efficacy and proper operation of the barriers and recovery measures at all times.

Risk evaluation matrix

  • During the HIRA evaluation, the level of risk is determined for each identified hazard using the Risk Assessment Matrix. The amount of risk is reevaluated after taking into consideration the unmitigated risk for each hazard, which is used to perform risk ranking.

Frequently asked Questions:

1. Why HIRA is important?

  • To identify every potential risk to the workforce.
  • To estimate the likelihood of occurrences and assess their seriousness
  • List the current safety measures and controls.
  • Evaluate the safety risks and confirm that they are within allowable bounds.
  • Advice to lessen the likelihood of dangers

2. Explain the term ALARP.

  • The acronym ALARP means “As Low As Reasonably Practical.” It is a risk management principlewhich guarantees that hazards are minimized to the lowest level that is practically feasible. 
  • It involves a balanced strategy that seeks to achieve the best possible level of risk reduction without enacting excessive demands on resources.
  • To keep risks at a manageable level, the ALARP concept emphasizes the necessity for a thorough risk assessment, the deployment of risk control measures, and ongoing monitoring and improvement.

3. Briefly state3 Phases of HIRA?

  • Phase 1: Hazard Identification
    All potential incidents are identified and compiled at this phase. Identification of hazards involves visiting the site and studying all operational procedures as well as input materials like drawings and process write-ups.
  • Phase 2: Required HIRA Risk Assessment Inputs
    The availability and correctness of the input data are crucial for HIRA. A better level of confidence in the accuracy and reliability of the outcomes is attained when complete input data are provided. The exact processes, building design, and population/staff occupancy levels will be used as an example of data collecting.
  • Phase 3: Elimination of the Risk  To understand the significance of risk, the known dangers will be identified and examined inside the risk matrix. Next, the safeguarding controls and measures will be defined based on the risk levels. Finally, a recommendation to prevent or eliminate the potential hazards will be given. 

4. What are the main 5 risk assessment stages?

  • Choosing the size of the risk assessment.
  • Identifying the resources required.
  • Selecting the appropriate risk analysis controls.
  • Identifying the relevant stakeholders.
  • Selecting the suitable rules or requirements that comply with organizational policies
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