Glossary of Safety Terms A - E



Accident: A sudden event that may result in illness or injury.

ACGIH: See American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

ACOEM: See American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Acute (injury or illness): An injury or illness that happens quickly.

ADA: See Americans with Disabilities Act.

Adjuster: Investigator of insurance claims.

AIHA: See American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Alternative work: A new job (with comparable pay) offered by the same employer after you've been injured or made ill on the job such that the doctor says you cannot return to your former job.

AMA: See American Medical Association.

American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM): Provides ongoing training and education to some 6,000 specialized occupational and environmental physicians; publishes Occupational Medical Guidelines.

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH): Publishes standards for exposure to industrial chemicals, among other activities.

American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA): Represents industrial hygiene specialists responsible for sampling and analyzing worker exposures to physical, chemical, biological and radiological hazards; provides ongoing training.

American Medical Association (AMA): Publishes a series of Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI): A privately funded, voluntary membership organization that develops consensus standards for a wide variety of devices and procedures.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.

American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS): Grants credentials to practitioners of industrial security, including assets, personnel and processes; oversees the professional designation, Certified Protection Professional (CPP).

American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE): The United States' oldest occupational health and safety organization representing safety professionals; provides ongoing education and information about regulatory matters.

Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (ASOII): Conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on a national level; some employers are required to participate and others do so voluntarily.

ANSI: See American National Standards Institute.

AOE / COE: Arising Out of Employment / Course of Employment; a term used in the workers' compensation field. Claims are only accepted for compensation or disability if the incident occurred AOE/COE.

Apportionment: A way of figuring out how much permanent disability is due to a worker.

ARM: See Associate in Risk Management.

Associate in Risk Management (ARM): A professional designation offered by the Insurance Institute of America.

ASIS: See American Society of Industrial Security.

ASOII: See Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

ASSE: See American Society of Safety Engineers.

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Biohazard: Any biological organism or product of organisms that presents a risk to human health.

Biological safety: A specialized area with the goal of protecting workers from agents of disease, such as bacteria and viruses, by using containment, decontamination and PPE procedures. Also known as "biosafety."

Bloodborne pathogens: Disease-causing microorganisms present in human blood, including hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other pathogens.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): A preeminent source of injury- and illness-related statistics and publisher of annual surveys taken from employer injury and illness records.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS): A medical condition wherein the median nerve and flexor tendons pass through an anatomic tunnel in the wrist; pain caused by CTS can be helped by the wearing of wrist supports.

CFR: See Code of Federal Regulations.

Chemical Hygiene Plan: A written plan, required of laboratories meeting certain criteria, that establishes safety standards for workers exposed to hazardous chemicals; used to implement control measures, training and other protective measures.

Chronic: Continual or repeated exposure; usually associated with illness.

Claim form: Paperwork used to report a work injury or illness to the employer.

Claimant: A person who makes an insurance claim.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): A collection of regulations decreed under U.S. law.

Code of Safe Practices: Workplace rules on how to perform duties safely and keep the worksite safe; must be specific to the employer's operations and posted at each job site.

Collective bargaining agreement: An agreement negotiated between a labor union and an employer to detail the terms of employment for the workers.

Confined spaces: Workplace areas whose configurations hinder the activities of any employee who must enter, work in and / or exit such spaces.

Construction Safety Orders (CSO): OSHA regulations that are specific to construction operations and hazard controls.

Crisis: A time of turmoil or an event (or series of events) that brings specific focus and attention to an organization.

CSO: See Construction Safety Orders.

CT: See Cumulative Injury.

CTS: See Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Cumulative Injury (CT): An injury caused by repeated events or repeated exposures at work, such as the loss of hearing due to constant loud noise.

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Date of injury: The specific date of injury or illness, or the date of knowledge that the injury was caused by work.

Death benefits: Benefits paid to dependants when a work injury or illness results in death.

Denied claim: An injury case in which the insurance company believes an injury or illness is not covered by workers' compensation.

Department of Labor (DOL): A U.S. cabinet-level department responsible for agencies that oversee safety and health, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Deposition: A formal session in which an attorney asks questions of a party under oath; may be used as evidence at a trial.

Disability: See Permanent Disability (PD).

Disaster: A catastrophic event that overwhelms the capabilities of an organization.

Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII): Oversees training and education for professionals in the area of business continuity, including testing criteria and national tests.

DOL: See Department of Labor.

DRII: See Disaster Recovery Institute International.

Dust: Particles produced when organic or inorganic materials are crushed, abraded or ground; protected against in the workplace by dust masks and respirators.

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EAP: See Employee Assistance Program.

Early Suppression, Fast Response (ESFR): A system for extinguishing a hazard upon or shortly after its inception, such as sprinklers and fire protection systems.

Emergency disaster plan: An organizational plan for swift, efficient and cost-effective responses to medical, fire, care, shelter and communications needs after disasters.

Emergency preparedness: Includes construction design, food and sanitation equipment storage, as well as conducting drills and preparing a disaster plan.

Employee: A person whose work activities are under the control of an individual or entity; minors and undocumented workers are included in the definition.

Employee assistance program (EAP): A program contracted by the employer and staffed by psychologists and other health professionals to which employees under stress or exhibiting behaviors that may create an unsafe work environment can be referred.

Employee exposure records: Information, results or records concerning employee exposures to harmful substances or agents in the workplace, such as inventories of chemicals, material safety data sheets and work area sampling results.

Employee medical records: Documentation of workers' health status by physicians, nurses or other health professionals; includes exams, first aid records, diagnoses and treatments.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Oversees U.S. programs that focus on environmental protection, pollution, remediation and programs such as Superfund sites (brownfields).

EPA: See Environmental Protection Agency.

Ergonomics: The consideration of the variability in human capabilities when selecting, designing or modifying equipment, tools, work tasks, furniture and the work environment in general.

ESFR: See Early Suppression, Fast Response.

Etiology: The origin of a disease, or the study of the causes of disease.

Experience period: The time period to which a company refers when evaluating an insurance policy.

Exposure: The particular risk factor experienced by the worker, with the specific modifying factors of intensity, time characteristics and duration.

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