Site Information and assistance

A Glossary of common and complex terms and their definitions.
abrasive blasting

Propelling a stream of abrasive material at high speed against a surface using compressed air, liquid, steam, centrifugal wheels or paddles to clean, abrade, etch or otherwise change the original appearance or condition of the surface.

ABS

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Absenteeism

The practice of absenting oneself from duties, studies, employment, etc., often for inadequate reasons.

AC

Australian Chamber

ACD

Asbestos-contaminated dust or debris

ACM

Asbestos containing material

ACTU

Australian Council of Trade Unions

Acute toxicity category

A chemical'€s acute toxicity category is based on the amount of chemical needed to cause adverse effects from ingestion, skin absorption or inhalation of the chemical

ADG

Australian Dangerous Goods

ADG Code

Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail; also referred to as the Australian Dangerous Goods Code

administrative control

A method of work, a process or a procedure designed to minimise risk, but does not include an engineering control, or the use of personal protective equipment.

AFA

Individual Flexibility Agreements

AFER

Australian Forum of Explosives Regulators

Age

The age of the employee at the time of death. Age is defined at the difference in years between the date of birth and the date of death.

AgVet

Agricultural and veterinary

AgVet Chemicals

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals

AIG

Australian Industry Group

airborne contaminant

A contaminant in the form of a fume, mist, gas, vapour or dust, and includes micro-organisms.

AMA

American Medical Association Guides

AMR

Australian Mesothelioma Registry

AMSA

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

ANAO

Australian National Audit Office

AND

Australian Network on Disability

ANZSIC

Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification

APEC

Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation

APOSHO

Asia-Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organization

APS

Australian Public Service

APSC

Australian Public Service Commission

APVMA

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

ARC

Australian Research Council

ASEAN-OSHNET

ASEAN Occupational Safety and Health Network

Australian Strategy

Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022

Average

The sum of all observations divided by the number of observations.

AWES

Australian Work Exposures Study

AWES-2

Extended Australian Work Exposures Study

BCA

Building Code of Australia

BCM

business continuity management

Bystander

A person injured or killed as a result of someone else’s work activity, while not engaged in a work activity of their own.

Carcinogen

A substance or mixture that causes or is suspected of causing cancer

CASA

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

CCIM

Conference of Chief Inspectors of Mines

CEO

Chief Executive Officer

COAG

Council of Australian Governments

Code of Practice

model Code of Practice — Codes of practice are practical guides to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the WHS Act and the WHS Regulations in a jurisdiction. To have legal effect in a jurisdiction a model Code of Practice must be approved as a code of practice in that jurisdiction. To determine if a model Code of Practice has been approved in a particular jurisdiction, check with the relevant WHS regulator. Under a WHS Act in a jurisdiction, approved codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings. Courts may regard an approved code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates.

ComPARE Project

Compensation Policy and Return to Work Effectiveness Project

Consulation RIS

Consultation Regulation Impact Statement

CPM

Comparative Performance Monitoring

Danger

(under the GHS) is a signal words on a label or safety data sheet that is used to indicate the relative level of severity of a hazard; Danger is used for more severe or significant hazards.

dB

Decibel — The unit for measuring sound levels.

DG

Dangerous goods

Direct costs

Direct costs include items such as workers’ compensation premiums paid by employers or payments to injured or incapacitated workers from workers’ compensation jurisdictions.

DRIS

Decision Regulation Impact Statement

Duty Holder

A duty holder refers to any person who owes a work health and safety duty under the WHS Act including a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), designer, manufacturer, importer, supplier, installer of products or plant used at work (upstream duty holders), an officer and workers. More than one person can concurrently have the same duty in which case the duty is shared. Duties cannot be transferred.

EA

Enterprise Agreement (Safe Work Australia Enterprise Agreement 2015–18)

ECF

Employee Consultation Forum

ESD

ecologically sustainable development

EU-OSHA

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

FAQ

Frequently asked question

FAQs

frequently asked questions

Flammability category

A chemical’s flammability category is based on how easily under normal conditions that the chemical will ignite.

FMC

Fatality Media Collection

FOI

Freedom of information

FOI Act

Freedom of Information act 1982

FOPS

Falling objects protective structure

Frequency rate

The number of claims expressed as a rate per hour worked. For serious claims, this is typically per million hours worked.

G20

Group of Twenty

G20 countries

The Group of Twenty is the premier international forum for cooperation on global economic governance. The members of the G20 are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.

GDP

Gross domestic product — The total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year

GHS

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

GSP

Gross state product — The sum of all value added by industries within the state during one year. Serves as a counterpart to the gross domestic product (GDP)

GST

Goods and Services Tax

Hazard

A situation or thing that has the potential to harm a person.

HCIS

Hazardous Chemical Information System

Hierarchy of Control

The hierarchy of risk control shows ways of controlling risks, ranked from the highest level of protection and reliability to the lowest.

HRW

High risk work

HSC

Health and safety committee — A consultative body established under the model WHS Act. The committee's functions include facilitating co-operation between workers and the person conducting a business or undertaking to ensure worker's health and safety at work, and assisting to develop work health and safety standards, rules and procedures for the workplace.

HSR

Health and safety representative — A worker who has been elected by a work group under the model WHS Act to represent them on health and safety issues.

HSRs

Health and safety representatives

HWCA

Heads of Workers’ Compensation Authorities

HWSA

Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities

IAGDP

Indigenous Australian Government Development Program

IALI

International Association of Labour Inspection

IAP

International Advisory Panel

Iatrogenic injuries

The worker died due to medical intervention

ICD

Irritant contact dermatitis

ICOH

International Commission on Occupational Health

ICOH

International Commission on Occupational Health

IEA

International Ergonomics Association

IGA

Intergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety

ILO

International Labour Organization

Indirect costs

Indirect costs include items such as lost productivity, loss of current and future earnings, lost potential output and the cost of providing social welfare programs for injured or incapacitated workers.

IPF

Integrated planning framework

IPS

Information Publication Scheme

ISSA

International Social Security Association

JFM survey

Job Family Model survey

Jurisdiction

The territory over which authority is exercised

KPI

Key performance indicator

LDB

low density asbestos fibre board

LTI

Lost time injury — A lost-time injury is defined as an occurrence that resulted in a fatality, permanent disability or time lost from work of one day/shift or more.

LTIFR

Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate — Lost-time injury frequency rates refer to the number of lost-time injuries within a given accounting period, relative to the total number of hours worked in that period. LTIFR is a proxy measurement for safety performance.

MAPS

Motivations, Attitudes, Perceptions and Skills project

Mean

The sum of all observations divided by the number of observations.

Median

The middle value in a distribution when all values are ordered from lowest to highest. The median divides a distribution in half, which means 50% of observations will be higher than the median and 50% will be lower. If there is an odd number of observations, the median value is the middle value.

Members

Safe Work Australia Members

METs

Metabolic equivalent of task

MHF

Major hazard facility

MO

Marine Order

model WHS Act

model Work Health and Safety Act - —The model WHS Act forms the basis of the WHS Acts that have been implemented in most jurisdictions across Australia. The main object of the Act is to provide for a balanced and nationally consistent framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces.

model WHS laws

model Work Health and Safety laws —- The model WHS laws consist of the model WHS Act, model WHS Regulations and model Codes of Practice.

model WHS Regulations

model Work Health and Safety Regulations -— The model WHS Regulations set out detailed requirements to support the duties in the model WHS Act.

MonCOEH

Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health

MoU

Memorandum of understanding

MSD

Musculoskeletal disorder

MSDs

Musculoskeletal disorders

MTIFRs

Medically treated injury frequency rates

MUA

Maritime Union of Australia

Musculoskeletal

Relating to muscles and to the skeleton

MWCNTs

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes

NAIs

National assessment instruments

National Standard

National Standards draw together best practice from Australian state and territory OHD authorities into a framework that will promote, for the first time, a nationally uniform approach to the management of OHS. [superseded by model WHS laws, regs and codes]

NCIS

National Coronial Information System

NCOP

National Code of Practice — National codes of practice declared by the National Commission under s.38(1) of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission Act 1985 (Cwlth) are documents prepared for the purpose of advising employers and workers of acceptable preventive action for averting occupational deaths, injuries and diseases in relation to workplace hazards. It should be noted that National Commission documents are instruments of an advisory character, except where a law, other than the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission Act, or an instrument made under such a law, makes them mandatory. The application of any National Commission document in any particular State or Territory is the prerogative of that State or Territory. {superseded by model WHS laws, regs and codes}

NDS

National Data Set for Compensation-based Statistics

NFC

Notifiable Fatality Collection

NHEWS

National Hazard Exposure Worker Surveillance survey

NHRMC

National Health and Medical Research Council

NICNAS

National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme

NMSF

National Mine Safety Framework

NOHARMS

National occupational hazard and risk management surveillance

NOHSC

National Occupational Health and Safety Commission

NOPSEMA

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority

Notifiable

An incident that is required, under the model WHS Act, to be notified to regulators. Only the most serious safety incidents are intended to be notifiable and they trigger requirements to preserve the incident site pending further direction from the regulator. These include the death of a person, a ‘serious injury or illness’ or a ‘dangerous incident’. Safe Work Australia receives information from jurisdictions on all notifiable fatalities and publishes monthly and annual summaries of this information.

NRSPP

National Road Safety Partnership Program

OCU

Occupational contact urticaria

OECD

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

Officer

An officer within the meaning of section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) other than each partner within a partnership. Broadly, an officer is a person who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the organisation's activities. Each partner within a partnership is not an officer but a PCBU in their own right. Under the model WHS Act, an officer must exercise due diligence to ensure compliance by the PCBU with its health and safety obligations.

OHS

Occupational Health and Safety

OSDs

Occupational skin diseases

OSH

Occupational Safety and Health

PATH

Personality and total health

PBS

Portfolio Budget Statements

PCBU

Person conducting a business or undertaking — The model WHS Act places the primary duty of care on the PCBU. The term PCBU is an umbrella concept used to capture all types of working arrangements or structures. A PCBU can be a: company; unincorporated body or association; sole trader or self-employed person. Individuals who are in a partnership that is conducting a business will individually and collectively be a PCBU.

Person with management or control of a workplace

The person with management or control of a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace, the means of entering and exiting the workplace and anything arising from the workplace are without risks to the health and safety of any person.

PGPA

Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

Plant

Includes any machinery, equipment, appliance, container, implement or tool, and any component or anything fitted or connected to these things.

Policy

A definite course of action adopted as expedient or from other considerations

PPE

Personal protective equipment

Presenteeism

The practice of continuing to go to work, especially when not working at a fully productive rate due to illness, stress, exhaustion caused by working beyond one's set hours, etc., often in an attempt to show commitment to one's employment.

RCCBs

Residual-current circuit breakers

RCDs

Residual-current devices

RERG

Research and Evaluation Reference Group

RIS

Regulation Impact Statement

Risk

The possibility that harm (death, injury or illness) might occur when exposed to a hazard.

Risk control

Taking action to eliminate health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable, and if that is not possible, minimising the risks so far as is reasonably practicable. Eliminating a hazard will also eliminate any risks associated with that hazard.

ROPS

Rollover protective structure

RTO

Registered training organisation

RTW

Return to Work

SDS

Safety Data Sheet

Seacare

Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority

sedentary

Being still or not moving often enough.

Serious claims

An accepted workers' compensation claim for an incapacity that results in a total absence from work for one working week or more. It includes claims that receive common-law payments. Claims that arise from a journey to or from work, or during a recess period, are not compensable in all jurisdictions and are excluded, as are compensated fatalities.

SIG-Explosives members

Strategic issues group - Explosives members

SIG-WHS members

Strategic issues group - Work health and safety members

SIG-Workers' Compensation members

Strategic issues group - Workers' compensation members

SMEs

Business Index - Small and Medium Enterprises'

SMS

Safety Management System

SRCC

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

SSC

Shared Services Centre

Structure

Anything that is constructed, whether fixed or moveable, temporary or permanent, and includes buildings, masts, towers, framework, pipelines, transport infrastructure and underground words (shafts or tunnels). Also includes any component or part of a structure.

Substance

Any natural or artificial substance whether in the form of a solid, liquid, gas or vapour.

Supply

Supply and re-supply of a thing provided by way of sale, exchange, lease, hire or hire-purchase arrangement, whether as principal or agent.

SWA

Safe Work Australia — A tripartite body made up of the Chair, Safe Work Australia Members and the Chief Executive Officer

SWCNTs

Single-walled carbon nanotubes

SWMS

Safe Work Method Statement

TARS

Transport and Road Safety

Term

For import

TGA

Therapeutic Goods Administration

The Agency

The Safe Work Australia Agency

the Chair

Safe Work Australia Chair

the corporate plan

Safe Work Australia Corporate Plan 2015-2019

the Government

Australian Government

the operational plan

Safe Work Australia Operational Plan 2015-2016

TIF

Traumatic Injury Fatalities

TOOCS

Type of Occurrence Classification System — A suite of four classifications to code the way an injury occurred, comprising:
- the Nature of injury/disease classification
- the Bodily location of injury/disease classification- the Mechanism of incident classification, and
- the Agency of injury/disease classification.
Version 3.1 is used for coding the data presented in this report. Fatalities are only coded by Mechanism and Agency.

TRIFRs

Total recordable injury frequency rates

UN

United Nations

UNSCEGHS

UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

UNSCETDG

The UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods

UNSW

University of New South Wales

UoC

Units of competency

V a.c.

Volts alternating current

V d.c.

Volts direct current

VET

Vocational Education and Training

Volunteer

A person who acts on a voluntary basis regardless of whether they receive out of pocket expenses.

Volunteer association

A group of volunteers working together for one or more community purposes where none of the volunteers, whether alone or jointly with any other volunteers, employs any person to carry out work for the volunteer association.

VSS

Virtual Seminar Series

Warning

(under the GHS) is a signal word on a label or safety data sheet that is used to indicate the relative level of severity of a hazard; Warning is used for less severe or significant hazards.

WC

Workers' compensation

WHO

World Health Organization

WHS

Work health and safety

WHS Duties

WHS laws require organisations that employ paid workers ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the physical and mental health and safety of workers, including volunteers.

WHS Regulator

Manages compliance and enforcement of WHS laws; has enforcement and arbitration powers.

WHSC

Work Health and Safety Committee

WHSQ

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

WIN

WorkHealth Improvement Networks

Work group

A group of workers represented by a HSR who in many cases share similar work conditions, for example all the electricians in a factory, all people on night shift, all people who work in the loading bay of a retail storage facility.

Worker

Any person who carries out work for a PCBU, including work as an employee, contractor, subcontractor, self-employed person, outworker, apprentice or trainee, work experience student, employee of a labour hire company placed with a 'host employer' and volunteers.

Worker fatality

Fatalities that resulting from an injury sustained in the course of a work activity

Workplace

Any place where work is carried out for a business or undertaking and includes any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be, while at work. This may include offices, factories, shops, construction sites, vehicles, ships, aircraft or other mobile structures on land or water.

Workplace bullying

The repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.

WRMC

Workplace Relations Ministers' Council

This site is undergoing constant refinement. If you have noticed something that needs attention or have ideas for the site please let us know.