We’ve already tackled the 1st and 2nd parts of our 4-part series: Common Workplace Safety Terms. Today we continue with our reading up on the most common safety terms we hear in our workplace. You may be surprised as some terms are used and spoken everyday by ordinary people. Workplace safety comes after awareness and education, so let’s educate ourselves so that we can be safer whether we are in the workplace or at home.

Here’s part 3 of the series:

24. Contaminant

This refers to unwanted material (whether radioactive, biological or chemical) that is likely to harm the quality of the working environment. The most common workplace contaminants are chemicals that may be present in the form of dust, fumes, gases or vapors.

23. Controls

The word can refer to:

  1. the steps taken to eliminate or reduce hazards or exposure to them. Hazards can be controlled at the source, along the path and at the personal level
  2. Measures designed to eliminate or reduce hazards or hazardous exposures.
  3. Examples include: engineering controls, administrative controls, personal protective equipment. Hazards can be controlled at the source, along the path to the worker, or at the worker.

22. Corrosive

This is a chemical that causes visible destruction of, or irreversible alterations in, living tissue by chemical action at the site of contact. For example, a chemical is considered to be corrosive if, when tested on the intact skin of albino rabbits by the method described by the U.S. Department of Transportation in appendix A to 49 CFR part 173, it destroys or changes irreversibly the structure of the tissue at the site of contact following an exposure period of four hours. This term shall not refer to action on inanimate surfaces.

21. Danger Zone

It is an area or location where the probability of injury is high (for example, in the vicinity of saw blades) and can also refer to any place in or about a machine or piece of equipment where an employee may be struck by or caught between moving parts, caught between moving and stationary objects or parts of the machine, caught between the material and a moving part of the machine, burned by hot surfaces or exposed to electric shock. Some examples of danger zones are nip and shear points, shear lines, drive mechanisms, and areas underneath counterweights.

20. Dogman

This is a construction worker who works with cranes, often traveling up and down with the load or on the crane hook.

19. Duty of care

It is a principle of common law that requires each person or organization to take care not to cause harm to other persons

18. Elevating Work Platform

A telescopic device used to raise a platform above ground level so work can be undertaken.

17. Elimination

The most effective risk control measure. It involves the removal of the risk, eg. changing work practices.

16. Emergency

This is an event that will produce or exacerbate injury to people and / or damage to property unless immediate intervention occurs. An emergency plan then means a set of detailed procedures for responding to an emergency, such as a fire or explosion, a chemical spill, or an uncontrolled release of energy. An emergency plan is necessary to keep order, and minimize the effects of the disaster.

15. Ergonomics

Refers to the design of equipment, machinery and workstations to suit people, occupational ergonomics is the design of the workplace and its processes to best match the anatomical, physiological and psychological capabilities of people.

14. Excavation

Technically an excavation is any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in an earth surface, formed by earth removal. You will also encounter the term TRENCH (Trench excavation), when reading up on the topic. Trench means a narrow excavation (in relation to its length) made below the surface of the ground. In general, the depth is greater than the width, but the width of a trench (measured at the bottom) is not greater than 15 feet (4.6 m). If forms or other structures are installed or constructed in an excavation so as to reduce the dimension measured from the forms or structure to the side of the excavation to 15 feet (4.6 m) or less (measured at the bottom of the excavation), the excavation is also considered to be a trench.

13. Explosive

A substance, mixture or compound that is capable of producing an explosion.

12. Harm

Now this is a word that everybody knows. It can include diseases, injury, suffering, disability and even death.

It seems like a lot of words and technical jargon but it pays to know these words. We’ll post the final part of this series before the end of the week. For the next few days, be safe out there.

Continue Reading Part 4 of Common Workplace Safety Terms

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