We come to the final part of the series of common workplace safety terms for our post today. These terms are not confined to the technical jargon and know – how that you usually encounter in industries like construction, mining and manufacturing. Some of these terms are also words that we hear and use everyday. But here’s one important thing – the difference between knowing and not knowing these terms might mean your own life, or the life of a friend or family member.

Here’s the last set of terms:

11. Contaminant

This is an unwanted material (for example, 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 dusts, fumes, gases or vapors.

10. Construction

The word refers to a combination of engineering, purchasing, erection, installation, assembly, demolition, or fabrication used to create a new facility, or to alter, add to, rehabilitate, dismantle, or remove an existing facility. It also includes any construction and excavation activities conducted as part of environmental remediation efforts.

9. Confined Space

This term just means a space that is large enough and so configured that an employee can enter bodily, has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, tanks, vessels, vaults, pits), and is not designed for continuous occupancy.

8. Competent Person

When you say competent you mean someone qualified by knowledge, training and experience to do a particular job. We further define a competent person as someone who is aware of any actual or potential hazard in the workplace competent person and who has acquired through training, qualification or experience, or a combination of them, the knowledge and skills to carry out a particular task. If we put OSHA in the consideration then a competent person would mean “one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings, or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them” as well as familiar with the Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations.

7. Code of Federal Regulations

This is a collection of the regulations that have been promulgated under United States Law. In more formal terms it is the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Each volume of the CFR is updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis.

6. Cave In

This refers to the separation of a mass of soil or rock material from the side of an excavation, or the loss of soil from under a trench shield or support system, and its sudden movement into the excavation, either by falling or sliding, in sufficient quantity so that it could entrap, bury, or other wise injure and immobilize a person.

5. Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

For our Canadian counterparts, this is a federal government agency based in Hamilton, Ontario, which serves to support the vision of eliminating all Canadian work-related illnesses and injuries.

4. Bobcat

Not the animal exactly, instead it is A piece of load shifting equipment. To operate a bobcat, a certificate of competency for a front-end loader skid steer is required, or one must be in training under direct supervision.

3. Benching / Benching System

This doesn’t pertain to the seat. Instead it means a method of protecting employees from cave-ins by excavating the sides of an excavation to form one or a series of horizontal levels or steps, usually with vertical or near-vertical surfaces between levels.

2. Asphyxiant

We’re sure you’ve heard of asphyxiation, this is related to that word. It does the actual suffocation. It is a vapor or gas that can either reduce the oxygen content in the air or interfere with the body’s ability to use oxygen. Exposure to an asphyxiant can result in unconsciousness or death due to suffocation or lack of oxygen. Asphyxiation is one of the principal potential hazards of working in confined spaces

1. Accident

This is our top word as accidents are the very things we wish to avoid. Accidents are unexpected event or an unintended outcome that results in harm to people and/or damage to or loss of property or process. It should be every workplace’s goal to be as safe as it can be and keep its workers from accidents that may occur.

If you would like to read the first parts of this series, please click Part 1 of “Common Workplace Safety Terms”, Part 2 of “Common Workplace Safety Terms” and Part 3 of “Common Workplace Safety Terms”.

There you have it folks, 50 of the most common workplace safety terms that you encounter and what they mean. We hope you picked up the information you needed with the series. Be safe out there.

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