Glossary - Transport and Logistics Information Portal




The term "risk" is often confused with "hazard". A high voltage power supply, a sample of radioactive material, or a toxic chemical may present a hazard, meaning that they present the potential for harm. Concentrated acids, for example, pose a clear hazard because incorrect handling could lead to serious burns.
The risk is the probability or chance that the hazard posed by the chemical will lead to injury. Thus, concentrated sulphuric acid is a hazardous chemical, because it is very corrosive and reactive. However, provided it is handled cautiously and with a full understanding of the hazards that it presents, the risks it poses may be small.
It is thus evident that hazards are something we can do little about. The hazards posed by a carcinogen, a concentrated acid or an explosive substance are inherent properties of the material. The risks they pose, however, can be (and should be!) minimized by initially preparing a suitable risk assessment, and then by following the procedures laid down in that assessment
Hazardous Materials
Hazardous materials are other materials that may have hazardous
properties, and include dangerous goods, hazardous substances, scheduled poisons, hazardous wastes and environmental pollutants.
Hazardous Materials Incident
A hazardous materials incident involves the actual or impending spillage or release of a hazardous material, in sufficient quantity to pose a danger to life, property or the environment. A hazardous materials incident may occur during manufacture, use, handling, transport or storage of hazardous materials.
Hazardous Substances
Hazardous substances are substances with the potential to harm health.
They can be gases, liquids or solids, and can be either pure substances or mixtures.
Hazardous substances are classified according to their long term health effects, while dangerous goods are classified by their immediate physical and /or chemical effects.