Glossary of Health & Safety Terms.

Explore the essential terminology of health and safety with our ABC guide. Simply click on a letter in the navigation bar below to leap to the corresponding section.

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A.

Accident Prevention

This term encompasses the strategies and actions implemented by organizations to minimize and potentially eliminate the occurrence of accidents.

Acute Exposure

This refers to a high level of contact with a harmful substance, where the level of harm varies based on an individual’s health and body weight.

Asbestos-Containing Materials

Asbestos was a common material in building and construction during much of the 20th century.

ASTM Standards

ASTM International sets and publishes standards across numerous sectors to enhance safety and performance.

B.

Behavioural Safety

This is the process of actively identifying and managing human behaviors to prevent unsafe actions and conditions to ensure a safer working environment.

Behaviour-Based Safety

A process that involves analyzing employees’ behavior as a way to prevent accidents and promote a culture of safety.

Biological Hazards

These are organisms or substances derived from organisms that pose a risk to human health

Bradley Curve

This tool is utilized to graphically depict and evaluate the safety performance within a workplace setting.

Business Continuity Management

This involves planning and preparation to ensure business operations can persist through unexpected disruptions.

C.

Cacinogen

A substance or agent that is known to cause cancer in living tissue.

CE Marking

A compulsory mark of conformity required in the European Union for selling products within the European Economic Area.

Chemical Exposure

When a worker comes into contact with substances that could be detrimental to their health including liquids, gases, solids, or dusts.

Chemical Identity

This defines the unique properties that differentiate one chemical from another.

Chemical Storage

The safe storage of chemicals that minimizes risk and ensures compliance with legal requirements and best practices for health and safety.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

A group of chemicals once commonly used as refrigerants.

Confined Space

A space with restricted entry and exit that is not primarily designed for continuous human occupancy.

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

Introduced to oversee health, safety, and welfare management on construction sites by the Health and Safety Executive.

Construction Phase Plan (CPP)

A mandatory plan for the safe management of construction projects before commencement.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

A UK-based scheme providing training and certification verification widely recognized in the construction industry.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

Regulations aimed at controlling exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health.

Corrosive

Materials capable of deteriorating or destroying other materials through chemical reactions, typically acids, bases, or oxidizers.

D.

Disaster Recovery

The strategic and tactical plans for responding to interruptions of critical business functions, to ensure their timely restoration.

DOT Hazard Classification

A set of regulations by the United States Department of Transportation for transporting hazardous materials.

Dynamic Risk Assessment

A method of risk assessment that adapts to changing conditions and environments.

E.

Ecological Footprint

A measure of human demand on Earth’s ecosystems and resources.

EHSQ (Environmental, Health, Safety, and Quality)

Integrated systems that help organizations manage and mitigate workplace risks.

Electrical Safety

Practices and regulations to ensure a hazard-free environment where electrical systems are in use.

Emergency Evacuation

The organized withdrawal from a place in response to an emergency.

Emergency Response Plan

A strategy prepared for quick response to unexpected, urgent situations.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

A procedure to evaluate the environmental implications of a proposed project and how to alleviate negative effects.

Ergonomal Design

The application of theory, principles, data, and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

Ergonomic Hazards

Workplace conditions that can potentially cause injury or health issues over time.

Ergonomics

The study and design of work environments to improve ease of use and prevent injuries.

ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance)

Criteria for measuring a company’s adherence to ethical, sustainable, and socially responsible practices.

F.

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

An analytical method used to predict possible system failures and their impacts.

Fall Arrest System

Equipment designed to protect employees from falling at a worksite.

Fall Protection

Measures to prevent injuries resulting from falls in the workplace.

Fire Prevention

A set of measures designed to prevent the outbreak of fire by reducing potential hazards.

Fire Risk Assessment

An analysis to identify fire risks, the likelihood of a fire, and potential outcomes in a building or workplace.

Fire Safety Plan

A comprehensive outline of fire prevention, evacuation strategies, and response plans.

First Aid

Immediate care provided to a person suffering from a minor or serious injury or illness.

Flammability

The property of a material’s ability to ignite and burn rapidly.

G.

H.

Hazard

Any potential source of harm or adverse health effect to individuals exposed to it.

Hazard Communication

The process of identifying and communicating about hazards associated with chemicals and hazardous materials.

Hazardous Event

Any occurrence that creates a new hazard or exacerbates an existing one.

Hazardous Materials

Substances that pose risks to health, safety, and the environment.

Hazardous Waste

Waste materials that pose significant risks to health due to toxic chemical content.

Hazardous Waste Management

The handling and disposal processes for hazardous waste, critical for environmental and public health.

HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response)

A set of procedures developed by OSHA for managing hazardous waste operations and emergency services.

Health and Safety Audit

An evaluation of a company’s health and safety protocols for regulatory compliance.

Health Hazard

Any substance or chemical in a workplace that could pose a risk to health.

Health Surveillance

The ongoing system of health checks which are required when workers are exposed to certain health risks.

Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE)

An approach that combines health, safety, and environmental management practices in the workplace.

Health, Safety, Quality, and Environment (HSEQ)

A system that integrates health, safety, quality, and environmental management protocols.

Heat Exhaustion

A condition resulting from excessive heat exposure, often leading to severe dehydration.

Hot Work Permit

Authorization for performing potentially hazardous work involving high temperatures.

Hydrofluoric Acid

An acid that is notably hazardous due to its ability to penetrate the skin and damage tissue.

I.

Incident Investigation

The examination of work-related incidents to determine causes and prevent recurrence.

Incident Response Plan

A predefined set of instructions for detecting, responding to, and limiting consequences of a malicious cyber attacks or accidents.

Inhalation

The act of drawing breath, involving the intake of air or gases into the lungs.

J.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)

A systematic process to identify and mitigate workplace hazards.

K.

L.

Liquefied Gas

Gases that are stored as liquids at room temperature under high pressure.

Lockout-Tagout (LOTO)

Safety procedures that ensure dangerous machines are properly shut off and not able to be started up again prior to the completion of maintenance or repair work.

Lost Time Injury

An injury resulting in a worker being unable to return to work, impacting workplace safety metrics.

M.

Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO)

All activities to maintain and repair equipment, ensuring operational efficiency.

Management of Change (MOC)

A systematic approach to managing changes in an organization, particularly in dynamic industrial environments.

Manual Handling

The process of lifting, holding, or moving objects by hand or bodily force.

Material Handling

The movement, protection, storage, and control of materials and products throughout manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal.

Material Safety Data Sheet

Documentation providing safety information about materials handled in the workplace.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDS)

Conditions causing pain in the body’s musculoskeletal system due to repetitive or excessive strain.

Mutagen

An agent capable of causing changes in DNA, potentially leading to mutations and cancer.

N.

Near Miss

An incident that has the potential for injury or illness but does not result in any harm.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Hearing impairment resulting from prolonged exposure to high noise levels.

O.

Occupational Ergonomics

The scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system to apply theories, principles, data, and methods to design to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

Occupational Exposure Limit

Standards set to limit workers’ exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace.

Occupational Health (OH)

The practice focused on maintaining and promoting the health of workers across various occupations.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

The field dedicated to the well-being and protection of workers in their professional environments.

Occupational Illness

A disease arising primarily from exposure to harmful factors in the workplace.

P.

Permit to Work

A regulatory system designed to control high-risk work activities and ensure safety.

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)

A customized plan for assisting individuals in evacuating during emergencies.

Personal Fall Arrest System

A system used to safely stop a worker who is falling from a working level.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Gear and garments worn to protect against workplace hazards.

Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA)

A cyclic strategy for continuous improvement within the EHS framework.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB)

Man-made chemicals composed of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

The process of inspecting and testing electrical equipment for safety and effectiveness.

Preventive Maintenance

Regular upkeep to maintain equipment functionality and prevent unexpected failures.

Process Safety Management

The oversight of industrial processes to safeguard employees and the environment.

Q.

Quality Management System (QMS)

A structure for ensuring consistent delivery of high-quality outputs by an organization.

Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment (QHSE)

A holistic management approach that ensures quality and safety in business operations.

R.

REACH

EU regulations for the management of chemical substances, ensuring safety and environmental protection.

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)

Injuries caused by repetitive motion or strain, affecting muscles, tendons, and nerves.

Respiratory Protection

The use of respirators to protect against inhalation of hazardous substances in the workplace.

RIDDOR

UK regulations requiring the reporting and recording of workplace injuries, diseases, and dangerous occurrences.

Risk

The potential for hazards to cause harm or loss.

Risk Assessment Matrix

A tool that plots the probability and impact of hazards to assess risk levels.

Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS)

Documentation outlining safety measures for high-risk work environments.

Risk Management

The identification and mitigation of potential hazards in the workplace.

Risk-Based Inspection (RBI)

A methodology to evaluate industrial equipment and prioritize inspection based on risk levels.

S.

Safe Systems of Work (SSOW)

Organizational procedures to maintain a safe working environment.

Safety Analysis Risk Assessment (SARA)

A systematic approach to identifying and reducing workplace risks.

Safety Audit

An evaluation to assess an organization’s adherence to safety practices and culture.

Safety Compliance

Adherence to health and safety regulations set by authoritative bodies.

Safety Culture

The way in which safety is managed in the workplace, and often reflects the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and values that employees share in relation to safety.

Safety Data Sheet

A document that lists information relating to occupational safety and health for the use of various substances and products.

Safety Equipment

Tools and devices designed to protect workers from harm.

Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS)

Systems comprising sensors and controls to maintain process safety within operational parameters.

Safety Management System

An organizational framework for managing and reducing safety risks.

Safety Mitigation

The process of implementing measures to reduce workplace safety risks.

Safety PLC

A specialized controller used for automating and monitoring industrial safety functions.

Scissor Lift

A mobile elevated work platform used for reaching high areas.

Severity

A measure of the seriousness or intensity of an event’s impact.

Solvent

A liquid that dissolves other substances to form solutions.

Stress Risk Assessment

Analysis to identify workplace stressors and develop strategies to reduce their impact.

T.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

A U.S. government agency tasked with ensuring workplace safety and health.

Toxicology

The study of the adverse effects of chemical substances on living organisms and the practice of diagnosing and treating exposures to toxins and toxicants.

Toxin

A biologically produced poison with metabolic origins in living organisms or cells.

U.

V.

Vibration Control

Measures implemented to reduce exposure to vibration, typically from machinery or equipment that can cause injury or impair performance.

W.

Working at Heights

Any work carried out where there is a risk of a fall from elevation.

Workplace Accident

An unplanned event at work resulting in injury or damage.

Workplace Ergonomics Assessment

An evaluation of a workplace to identify conditions that might contribute to musculoskeletal disorders and recommend improvements.

Workplace Stress

The psychological and emotional response to challenging or demanding work conditions.

X.

Y.

Young Person’s Risk Assessment

An evaluation to ensure the safety of young employees in the workplace.

Z.

Zero Accident Culture (ZAC)

A safety culture where the goal is to eliminate all accidents by making safety a core value in the organization.

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