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2.1 Policy

The British Columbia Conservation Foundation’s Hazard Assessment and Control Program is designed to provide a standardized process to identify foreseeable hazards in the workplace, determine risk, and implement appropriate actions to eliminate or control the risk of incidents.

All BCCF employees and contractors are required to take a proactive approach to managing and reporting hazards. If hazards are identified during the project that were not anticipated in the planning phase, the employee/contractor is required to stop work and ensure appropriate controls are in place.

Key Definitions

Hazard: A condition, device, substance or thing that may result in harm or injury to people, property or the environment.

Control: A type of intervention used to manage, direct, or mitigate a workplace hazard.

Risk: A chance of injury, damage or occupational disease.

Acceptable Risk: The level of risk deemed acceptable to a group of people. Usually based on industry practices, previous loss experience and cultural norms.

Personal Risk Tolerance: Is the variability in an individual's willingness to accept a given level of risk. Personal risk tolerances must be adjusted to align with Acceptable Risk.

Incident: An unplanned or unwanted event that results in, or had the potential to cause, damage, injury or occupational disease. 

Critical Task: Any task or job identified as having a high risk of incident.

2.2 Responsibilities 


  • Ensure hazard assessments are completed.
  • Review hazard assessments for completeness.
  • File completed hazard assessments.
  • Keep up-to-date on regulatory requirements and industry best practices in hazard control.


  • Assist workers with completing hazard assessments.
  • Report hazards to management.
  • Make suggestions for controls.
  • Ensure hazards are effectively controlled.


  • Report hazards to supervision and management.
  • Make suggestions for controls.
  • Complete hazard assessments.

2.3 Program Overview

A Project Safety Assessment (PSA) will be conducted before each project commences. All BCCF employees and contractors are required to complete a PSA. The PSA will be completed by the employee/contractor with assistance provided by BCCF management, BCCF Project Coordinators and third party stakeholders. Before a project commences, the PSA will be approved by BCCF management.

Project Safety Assessment (PSA)

When: Conducted before the start of all projects.

Who: Completed by workers with assistance from the Safety Administrator, Project Coordinator and third party stakeholders.

Tool: Project Safety Assessment form and the Project Safety Assessment Example.

Approval Required from: Safety Administrator or Project Coordinator.


  • Before the commencement of the project.
  • Annually for reoccurring projects.
  • If identified as a factor related to a workplace incident.
  • If new hazards are identified throughout the term of the project.

Documentation: A copy of the PSA will be kept by the workers throughout the project term. The PSA will also be stored electronically on the BCCF server.

Task Hazard Analysis (THA)

When: Regularly during site inspections and as critical tasks are identified.

Who: Completed by the Safety Administrator and Project Coordinator with assistance from workers and supervisors.

Tool: Task Hazard Analysis form.


  • After an incident involving the task.
  • Critical tasks were identified that require a written practice or procedure.

Documentation: A copy of the Task Hazard Analysis will be kept electronically on the BCCF server.

2.4 How to Conduct a Hazard Assessment 

Step 1 - Recognize the hazard(s)

Determine the work tasks that are to be conducted (e.g. removing invasive plants with hand tools or operating a boat) and then identify the inherent hazard(s) associated with each task. Below is a list of common hazards:

Uneven surfaces

Vehicle collision

Animal bite/scratch

Temperature extremes

Repetitive motions

Corrosive products

Projectiles or falling objects

Fall into water

Compressed gasses


Step 2 -  Evaluate the level of risk associated with each identified hazard

The risk calculation is based on the severity of damage/injury that could occur, and the probability of it happening. To calculate, use the Risk Matrix (Table 1) and the formula below.

Risk = Severity (S) * Probability (P)

For Example, 

The risk of sustaining a repetitive motion injury whilst removing invasive plants with hand tools:

Injury Severity (S) is (1) - First aid could be required

Injury Probability (P) is (3) - Highly likely

Risk = (1) * (3) = 3  - MODERATE RISK 

This initial value represents the risk before controls are implemented. See Table 2 to determine the required actions for each risk level.

Table 1 - Risk Matrix: Tool designed to determine the severity and probability of a hazard

Table 2 - Top: The actions required for each hazard risk score. Bottom: Injury severity explanations and example. 

Step 3 Determine and implement controls for each hazard

Controls should always be selected as high on the hierarchy of controls (Figure 1) as reasonably practicable, with preference to the following order: Elimination, Substitution, Engineering, Administration, and as a last resort, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Generally a combination of controls can be used.


After the implementation of controls, the hazard(s) risk score can be re-calculated.

In the example from Step 2, an administrative control to rotate between tasks could be implemented. By rotating between the high exertion removal of invasive plants and a low exertion data entry task, the probability of an injury occurring would decrease. The revised risk score could be:

Revised Risk =  Revised Severity (Rs) *  Revised Probability (Rp)

Revised Risk =  (1) * (2) = 2 - LOW RISK

Table 2 determines that the required action of the new risk score is to complete work with no additional control measures necessary (Note: even low-risk hazard controls must be monitored for effectiveness).

Step 4 Communicate the hazards and controls to workers

Workers have a right to know about hazards in the workplace. Management and supervisors are required to inform workers of the hazards, and changes to the workplace and processes. This may occur during orientations, toolbox talks, reviews of written materials, and completion of courses.

Step 5 Evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the controls

Management and supervisors are required to ensure that effective controls have been implemented. An incident or near-miss would indicate that the controls need to be re-evaluated.