Peril vs Hazard – Difference Between Peril and Hazard

Peril vs Hazard – Difference Between Peril and Hazard

In simple terms, peril is the exposure to risk while hazard is the source of potential damage. When you are exposed to fire, for instance, you face the risk of getting burnt, which is perilous. In this case, the fire itself is a source of potential damage. So, it is hazardous.

Both of these terms are applicable in different walks of life, including finance, health, education, construction, and so on. In a day-to-day context, these terms are used interchangeably, but that is not the case in a professional context as we will see below.

The difference between peril and hazard is that a peril, such as a fire in a building or a tornado, etc., is caused due to a hazard. These terms do not have the same significance.

Below are some examples to illustrate the difference between hazard and peril.

  • Example 1: To save yourself from peril, you must travel to another city before the tornado hits the city.
  • Example 2: The hazard of excessive smoking caused a cloud to burst in New York City.

The sentences above clearly explain the answer to the question, what is the difference between peril and hazard.

Definition of Peril – So What Is Peril?

Peril is defined as an event that can give rise to danger. In other words, it is not a danger in itself, but it can be a factor to it. It can also be defined as being exposed to a dangerous source.

To better understand how peril vs hazard compares, you need to take note of the three categories of the former – insurance, economic, and human perils.

In the economic sector, it is defined as an event that can cause losses caused by inflation, loss of income, loss of market, etc. When the cost of goods and services within a particular economy continues to rise without any risk management system in place, it gradually decreases the purchasing power of the people.

People would most likely lose their sources of income and would be forced to depend on their savings and charity until they can get back on their feet. If not, they would be subjected to starvation, health complications, and so on.

In the case of natural peril, it is caused by human activity that can expose a person to a form of loss. When a person commits a crime, they would likely have their freedom limited or completely taken away for a period or forever. In this case, the criminal faces the risk of losing their freedom.

Definition of Hazard – So What Is Hazard?

Hazard is defined as a potential source of danger. That is, something that increases the risk of being harmed in a certain way. It could be a situation, object, or behavior that has the likelihood to cause damage to a person, environment, or property.

There are different types of hazards.

When it is classified as physical, it refers to any agent of danger that can take place by physical contact. Examples include coming in contact with very hot metal, electrocution, being pricked by sharp objects, etc.

Chemical hazards are caused by chemicals. This is common in certain workplaces where chemical substances are heavily used. These substances can lead to health complications, especially if not handled carefully.

Some potential sources of danger are classified as mechanical. Workers who make use of one machinery or the other may encounter this issue every now and then. This can lead to friction or abrasion on the body, entrapment, collision, crushing, and so on.

Another one is the psychosocial hazard. This is any unhealthy impact on the mental wellbeing of a person. It is can be encountered virtually everywhere – in workplaces, schools, parties, etc.

Comparing hazard vs peril, after going through these explanations, would give you an insight into their difference and why people often use them interchangeably.

What Is the Main Difference Between Peril and Hazard?

Basis of ComparisonPerilHazard
Type16 types of perils3 types of hazard
ExampleTornadoes, hurricanes, fire in a building, floods, etc.Immorality, physical Imbalance, lack of morale
DefinitionIt is a natural phenomenon caused by a hazardIt is a situation that leads to a peril
ImpactImmediate impact in term of life lossThe slow impact that causes life loss

So What’s the Difference Between Peril and Hazard? – Conclusion

After understanding the true definition of these terms, we can definitely say that Peril vs Hazard has an impact on people’s lives as well as on the lives of other beings on the planet. The use of these terms depends on the type of calamity we are talking about, its impact and so on.

We need to know the difference between the two words in order to use it correctly when forming a sentence. Nevertheless, we must use these terms more and more in the future because of the trend that humanity is following today.