Health & Safety Terms - Glossary from EcoOnline US

Health and Safety Glossary

Get to know some of the most common terms of the industry with our ABCs of health and safety. Click a letter in the bar below to jump to that section.

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CE marking

The CE marking, also known as the Conformitè Europëenne Mark (which translates to European Conformity) is a mandatory conformity marking required in the European Union for regulating the sale of goods throughout the European Economic Area.

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The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 were introduced by the Health and Safety Executive and focus on the management of health, safety and the general welfare of individuals who work on construction projects.

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Confined Space

A confined space is any space that offers limited entry and exit points, and is generally not designed to accommodate humans.

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Construction Phase Plan (CPP)

All construction projects require a Construction Phase Plan (CPP) before work begins. It's an important document for managing the project safely.

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The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is a British company that offers training and qualification verification schemes that are commonly used throughout the construction industry in Britain.

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Chemical Identity

Chemical identity is the concept that each chemical or substance has a distinct property that separates it from other chemicals.

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Corrosive

“Corrosive” refers to materials which can destroy other materials they come into contact with. Most corrosives are bases, oxidizers, or acids.

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Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are generally a mixture of chemicals that are commonly used as a refrigerant.

Chemical Exposure
Chemical Exposure

Chemical exposure occurs when a worker comes into contact with any substance that can cause harm to their health. These may include liquids, gases, solids, or even dusts that can be inhaled. 

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Ergonomics

Ergonomics is a holistic term that refers to the process of arranging a workplace in a way that makes it easy for people to use it.

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Ergonomic Hazards

An ergonomic hazard refers to any physical condition or factor found in the workplace that can cause injury or health concerns, both in the short and long term.

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Ecological Footprint

The ecological footprint is a method that determines how dependent humans are on natural resources.

Emergency Response Plan
Emergency Response Plan

Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. 

Emergency Evacuation
Emergency Evacuation

Emergencies can strike anytime and unexpectedly. Natural disasters, fires, chemical spills, and even terrorist attacks can cause situations where an immediate evacuation becomes necessary. 

Electrical Safety
Electrical Safety

Electrical safety is crucial to ensure a secure and healthy working environment for employees who work with electronic equipment. 

Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a vital process used to determine the possible environmental effects of a proposed project and analyze ways to mitigate those effects. 

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EHSQ (Environmental, Health, Safety, and Quality)

EHSQ systems help businesses identify risks and take steps to mitigate them before they cause harm. An EHSQ system is a set of processes and procedures that aim to prevent workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses.

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ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance)

Environmental social governance, or ESG, is a set of standards for measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of businesses and organisations. In other words, it's a framework for ensuring that workplaces are doing their part to protect the environment and promote social responsibility. 

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Hazard

A hazard is defined as anything that can be a potential source of harm, or something that could have an adverse health effect on those who come into contact with it.

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Health and Safety Audit

A health and safety audit is an assessment of a company’s systems, procedures, and policies related to employee health and safety to ensure compliance with current regulations. Such audits are carried out by independent, certified consultants.

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Health Hazard

A health hazard can mean many things, but when it comes to occupational health and safety, a health hazard simply refers to any substance or a chemical that might prove to be dangerous if exposed to individuals.

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Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a serious condition or illness that often manifests after an individual is exposed to extremely high temperatures. In most cases, heat exhaustion also often results in dehydration.

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Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste is defined as waste that is hazardous to human health, mainly because it contains toxic chemicals or substances

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HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response)

The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, also known as HAZPOWER, is a comprehensive series of guidelines that are regularly maintained by OSHA.

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Hazardous Event

A hazardous event is described as any situation that leads to the creation of a hazard or exacerbates the impact of existing hazards.

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Hydrofluoric Acid

Hydrofluoric acid is different from other types of acids because of the fluoride ion, which easily penetrates the skin and starts damaging body tissue.

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Hazard Communication

Hazard communication is the process of identifying and communicating potential hazards and risks associated with chemicals and other hazardous materials in the workplace. 

Hot Work Permit
Hot Work Permit

A hot work permit is a document that authorizes hot work in a controlled manner. The permit provides a systematic process that identifies and controls potential hazards from hot work.

Hazardous Waste Management
Hazardous Waste Management

Hazardous waste management is an essential but often overlooked aspect of environmental health and safety. 

Hazardous Materials
Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials are substances, materials, and products that can pose a risk to human health, safety, and the environment. 

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Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE)

Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) is a multidisciplinary approach designed to manage and control workplace hazards, environmental risks, and employee well-being. 

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Health, Safety, Quality, and Environment (HSEQ)

The HSEQ management system encompasses various policies, procedures, and protocols designed to address a wide range of issues, such as employee well-being, waste management, incident reporting, and quality control, among others.

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Permit to Work

Permit to Work systems are commonly used in the Health and Safety industry and are designed to mitigate the risks of safety in high-risk tasks. In the following article, we discuss what a Permit to Work system is, why it’s important, and how it helps mitigate risk in the workplace.

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Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is a common term that refers to the inspection and examination of electrical machinery and equipment to determine if they are operating at maximum effectiveness and if they are safe to use.

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Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)

A personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP) is a dedicated plan for an individual who may require assistance or support to evacuate from the premises in case an emergency arises.

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Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a term that defines any piece of clothing or equipment that’s worn by employees to minimize exposure to biological, chemical, or any physical hazards on the worksite.

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Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) is the routine maintenance of different assets, equipment and machinery to ensure smooth operations and reduce any unplanned equipment failures. 

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Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB)

Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs for short, are a category of synthetic organic chemicals that contain hydrogen, chlorine, and carbon atoms.

Process Safety Management
Process Safety Management

Process safety management is a vital element of employee and environmental protection in industrial processes. 

Plan, Do, Check Act (PDCA)
Plan, Do, Check Act (PDCA)

If you are a part of an Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) team or a manager in your organization responsible for implementing EHS management systems, you may have come across the term “PDCA.” 

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RIDDOR

RIDDOR, or the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, is health and safety law in the UK. It requires companies and all those deemed ‘responsible persons’ to both report and maintain records of any workplace accidents or work-related injury.

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Risk-Based Inspection (RBI)

Risk-based inspection is a business process that’s used to examine equipment, ranging from pressure vessels to the pipes used in industrial plants.

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Risk Management

In terms of Health & Safety, risk management refers to identifying workplace hazards and outlining the steps to be taken to eliminate or mitigate them.

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REACH

REACH, which is an acronym for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals, is a regulation of the European Union from 2007.

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Risk

Risk is defined as the possibility of a hazard actually causing harm. Risk refers to the uncertainty that something may result in a loss or injury.

Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive Strain Injuries

Repetitive strain injuries (RSI), also known as repetitive stress injuries, are injuries that occur due to the gradual decline of muscle tissue, tendons, and the nerves caused by performing repeated strain. 

Risk Assessment Matrix
Risk Assessment Matrix

A risk assessment matrix is essentially a table that contains different levels of severity and likelihood of potential hazards. 

Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS)
Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS)

When it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of employees in the workplace, particularly those in high-risk industries, a comprehensive understanding of all the necessary precautions and procedures is undeniably crucial. 

Young Person’s Risk Assessment
Young Person’s Risk Assessment

EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) professionals play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of young workers in the workplace while also fostering their growth and development, especially in high-risk workplaces. 

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Safety Analysis Risk Assessment (SARA)

Safety Analysis Risk Assessment (SARA) is a powerful tool for reducing risk in the workplace. Safety is widely regarded as a joint responsibility of the employees and the management.

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Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS)

A safety instrumented system (SIS) is a system that contains control elements, sensors, and logic solvers to monitor parameters and values of processes within a plant and ensure that they remain within defined limits.

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Safety Management System

A safety management system (SMS) is the framework or management approach taken by an organization to mitigate and control safety risk in the workplace.

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Safety Mitigation

Mitigating safety risks in the workplace is the employer’s responsibility. Whether you own a business or are the manager of a plant in a company, it’s important to take proper actions to mitigate safety risks.

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Safety Compliance

Safety compliance is defined as an ongoing process of complying with the health and safety standards established by regulatory legislators and bodies.

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Severity

Severity is the degree of hardness of a specific thing. Severity indicates just how serious or harsh the effects of an incident can be.

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Scissor Lift

A scissor lift is a commonly used piece of equipment often found on construction sites: An aerial platform with a lifting mechanism attached to it.

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Solvent

A solvent is any substance, usually liquid, which is capable of dissolving one or several substances, thus creating a solution.

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Safety Audit

A safety audit is a process through which businesses collect information about the company’s overall safety culture and protocols.

Safety Equipment
Safety Equipment

At its most basic level, safety equipment is any device or tool that is designed to protect workers from injury or illness.

Safe Systems of Work (SSOW)
Safe Systems of Work (SSOW)

Workplace safety is at the top of every employer's list of priorities, and for a good reason. 

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Safety PLC

A safety PLC, also known as a safety programmable logic controller, is used to control machinery and equipment, and is designed to automate industrial processes. 

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Stress Risk Assessment

A stress risk assessment is a detailed evaluation of different sources of stress in the workplace. Employers often conduct an assessment to determine if they can mitigate these risks to provide a safer working environment.

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