A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to life, health, property, or environment. Most hazards are dormant or potential, with only a theoretical risk of harm; however, once a hazard becomes "active", it can create an emergency. A hazardous situation that has come to pass is called an incident. Hazard and possibility interact together to create risk.
Hazards are sometimes classified into three modes:
Dormant—The situation presents a potential hazard, but no people, property, or environment is currently affected. For instance, a hillside may be unstable, with the potential for a landslide, but there is nothing below or on the hillside that could be affected.
Armed—People, property, or environment are in potential harm's way.
Active—A harmful incident involving the hazard has actually occurred. Often this is referred to not as an "active hazard" but as an accident, emergency, incident, or disaster.
In March 1809, three ships, the Argument, the Experiment and the Hazard left Pittwater, New South Wales, bound for Sydney with a cargo of wheat. A squall arose and the Hazard was driven onto Box Head, two miles north of Barrenjoey, New South Wales. The master, Andrew Lusk, got into the ships boat but was unable to persuade his single crew member, a boy, to join him. The boy was washed overboard and was dragged from the surf by some aborigines. Lusk attempted to make it to shore but the boat capsized and Lusk drowned.
The Hazard was a sloop of unknown tonnage, probably built in Sydney in 1800. It was owned by Thorley & Griffiths and had been chartered to Lusk.