Common Workplace Safety Terms – Part 1

When do you say a situation is hazardous and when do you say it is risky? Are occupational illnesses and industrial diseases the same thing? Am I a competent person? Safety starts with knowing and really understanding. In the area of occupational health and safety, it is very important to be familiar with safety terms. This will make your work easier because you will avoid mistakes. It will also make the workplace less risky for you and the people moving around in it. Understanding might even save your life.

Most safety terms and definitions may seem familiar to most of us but do we really understand what they mean? Let’s find out. Today, we give you the first part of our countdown. Read on.

50. Lockout

When a machine is shut down for maintenance, repair, or other reasons, you don’t have to fear that it will accidentally turn on. This is because the machine is in lockout mode or is protected from sudden start-ups. So make sure a machine is in “lockout” when not in use to prevent untoward incidents.

49. Machine

is a term you use so often, you ought to know its formal definition. It’s an “apparatus combining action of several moving parts.”

48. Manual handling

This is the many activities you do with your hands or your body. It includes cleaning, holding, lifting, moving loads, and packing. This also refers to pulling, pushing, sorting, throwing, and typing.

47. Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

The MSDS is a form that summarizes the properties of a hazardous chemical product and its possible health and safety hazards. It includes information on how to handle, use, and store the product properly. It also details physical data of the products such as the melting and boiling points, reactivity, health effects, and first aid. In general, suppliers of such products are required to provide MSDS for all hazardous materials. This is important so that workers will be aware of the proper and safe use of the product.

46. Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

Don’t confuse this with the term above. MSDs or Muskuloskeletal disorders are injuries often experienced by workers due to unsafe and sometimes improper manual handling tasks. The injuries affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and joints. Workers with MSDs experience sprains and strains and even abdominal hernias and long-term pain.

45. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

The NIOSH is a federal agency in the United States of America‘s Department of Health and Human Services. The agency was established to assure safe and healthy working conditions. It does this by doing researches, tests, certifications, and trainings to occupational safety and health professionals. NIOSH also makes recommendations to prevent illnesses and injuries related to work.

44. National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC)

NOHSC is a federal authority in Australia that develops and aids in implementing a national occupational health and safety policy. For those who want an easier term to remember, NOHSC is also known as Worksafe Australia.

43. Near Miss

Here’s a “miss” term you wouldn’t want to miss in an accident.

Yes, it’s a misfortune but the good thing is that it does not result to injury or disease.

42. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA is the United States of America’s authority responsible in ensuring safe and healthy workplaces and continues to develop and implement regulations to achieve this.

41. Risk

I’m sure at one point in your working life, you took a risk while knowing that there is a chance something negative might happen. Risk is the likelihood or probability that an accident, damage, illness, injury, or loss will occur.

40. Occupational Disease

This is the term used when you get sick due to a health hazard present in your workplace.

39. Occupational health

Your workplace should provide policies and programs that will ensure an environment suitable for the physical, mental and emotional well-being or occupational health of its workers.

38. Occupational Safety

The health of workers is as important as their safety. Your work environment should prevent accidents and lessen the risk of injuries to workers.

37. Personal Monitoring

From the term itself, this technique is used to monitor one’s exposure to hazardous agents and chemicals by wearing a sampling device. Hazardous chemicals are monitored at the breathing zone while noise is examined at the ears.

36. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Unlike Personal Monitoring, PPE is a device that provides protection to a worker. It is personal safety equipment that includes ear plugs, hard hats, safety goggles, respirators, gloves, and safety shoes.

35. Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

WHMIS is system that ensures that information on hazardous materials is disseminated. This is done by requiring labels, MSDSs, and training programs for workers.

Now that you know that elimination of the risk is an effective occupational safety measure and that wearing PPE will minimize risk and prevent occupational disease, it is time you assess the occupational safety and health program of your workplace.

If you would like to read more common safety terms, please click here to go to Part 2 of “Common Workplace Safety Terms”.


Related Links:

All about Material Safety Data Sheets

Lockout Tagout Basics : Machinery Tags (When Absence Means Trouble)

Better Safety with Machine Guards: Basics and Proper Use

13 Safety Tips on Handling Loads with Forklifts

Heavy Equipment Safety: Basic Safety Tips in Bulldozer Operations

PPE and How It Can Save Your Life – Part 1

   

1 thought on “Common Workplace Safety Terms – Part 1

  1. Worklaw Health & Safety – Inexpensive OHS Consultant Fees says:

    Rightly said! Agencies like NIOSH , NOHSC and OSHA are definitely working in risk management but the owners of a workplace must themselves take this problem seriously and handle with care.

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