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Hazard Log

(Alias: hazard record)

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.                       - Ernest Hemingway

A hazard log is a record keeping tool applied to tracking all hazard analysis, risk assessment and risk reduction activities for the whole-of-life of a safety-related system. Important aspects of its disposition and use are:

  • It is the single source of record for all risk management activities. Where necessary it cross-references other documents to demonstrate how hazards have been resolved
  • It is the primary mechanism for providing objective evidence of the risk management process and assurance of the effective management of hazards and accidents
  • It is continuously updated throughout the project life cycle (including decommissioning and disposal)
  • It is first created as an outcome of the preliminary hazard analysis process
  • It is typically maintained by a Systems Assurance Manager throughout a projects's development and assessment phases
  • It is formally closed out at the completion of a contracted development and handed over to the system owner
  • It is preserved into a system's operation and maintenance phases to support functional safety management of maintenance and enhancement activities.


A hazard log is deemed to be closed out when the safety risks associated with all hazards identified have been reduced to a level that is acceptable to the system owner.

A Sample Hazard

Space Shuttle

Hazard Record Structure

The table provides a sample record structure for each hazard recorded in the hazard log. It also provides a sample hazard entry for a Space Shuttle hazard.

# Data Item Description
1 Equipment category System, subsystem, unit or component where the hazard exists.
Space Shuttle Thermal Protection System
2 Hazard description A brief summary of the hazard
Damaged thermal tiles.
3 Operational mode Identify the operational mode where the hazard occurs.
Shuttle launch
4 Hazard cause(s) Conditions and events that cause the hazard.
Insulating foam detaches from the propellant tank and strikes thermal tiles.
5 Hazard effects Potential adverse effects on the system, people, property and the environment as a result of the hazard causing an accident.
Ingress of hot gasses into the Space Shuttle hull during re-entry to the earth's atmosphere causes destruction of the Shuttle.
6 Risk level Given the presence of the hazard, the probability and severity of an accident (refer risk).
Probability: probable
Severity: catastrophic
7 Risk reduction measures Measures proposed to reduce risk. For example, possible safeguards, recommended action, design criteria, safety requirements.
Inspect Space Shuttle heat shield while docked at the Space Station prior to re-entry.
8 Risk reduction implementation authority The organization(s) or organizational group(s) responsible for implementing the risk reduction measures.
Mission Planning
9 Hazard responsibility The organization or organizational group responsible for ensuring that safeguards are provided for the hazard.
Mission Control
10 Verification of corrective action Specified methods for determining that the hazard has been effectively controlled or its outcome mitigated. For example, tests, demonstration, analysis, inspections.
Inspect mission plan for addition of heat shield inspection procedure.
11 Other proposed and necessary actions Example:
Investigate methods to prevent foam detaching from the propellant tank during Shuttle launch.
12 Risk reduction measures taken The measures actually taken to reduce risk.
Mission Plan passed inspection 12 June, 2011 (refer review report XYZ).
13 Residual risk The risk remaining after risk reduction measures have been taken.
14 Hazard resolution status Remarks on the status of the hazard resolution process.
For example: open | in progress | pending action by others | closed.
Note that a hazard is deemed closed when it has been verified that the recommended risk reduction measures have been implemented and are effective.

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