– Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program –

Occupational Health and Safety Management

Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations



Some terms listed in this glossary have synonyms. A “see” cross-reference redirects the user to the more commonly used synonym, under which you will find the glossary definition.

A “see also” cross-reference lists a related term or terms that may assist in your understanding of the word or phrase.

See “Incident.”
Accidental Release

An unplanned or accidental

  • discharge, emission, explosion, outgassing or other escape of dangerous goods, or any component or compound evolving from dangerous goods
  • emission of ionizing radiation that exceeds a level established under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act

See also “Imminent Accidental Release,” “Dangerous Goods,” “Dangerous Goods Accident,” “Dangerous Goods Incident,” “Incident.”

See “Task.”
Activity Inventory
See “Task Inventory.”
Administrative Control

A process developed by the Government of Alberta to control hazards not eliminated by engineering controls (i.e., safe work policies, practices and procedures, job scheduling, job rotations, and training).

See also “Hazard Control.”

Administrative Workplace

A workplace where the employees normally undertake office or administrative tasks that may involve public contact, which is typically limited to information exchange and travel to other locations to perform similar tasks.

See also “Workplace.”

Adverse Health Effect
Impairment of or damage to the environment, human health or safety, or property.
Alberta Public Service
APS (abbreviation). See “Government of Alberta.”

An evaluation of an organization’s health and safety management system against an approved standard. Audit results are used to identify strengths and improvement opportunities at a workplace or in a department, and they help with continuous improvement in the implementation of the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program.

Partnerships in Injury Reduction includes the following audit types:

  • Baseline Audit
  • Certification Audit
  • Maintenance Audit
  • Qualification Audit

See also “Partnerships in Injury Reduction.”

An individual certified by Public Service Commission to conduct health and safety audits within the Government of Alberta.
Aviation Accident

An accident resulting directly from the operation of an aircraft, where:

  • a person sustains a serious injury or is killed as a result of:
    • being on board the aircraft
    • coming into contact with any part of the aircraft or its contents
    • being directly exposed to the jet blast or rotor downwash of the aircraft
  • the aircraft sustains damage or failure that adversely affects the structural strength, performance or flight characteristics of the aircraft and that requires major repair or replacement of any affected component part
  • the aircraft is missing or inaccessible

See also “Aviation Incident,” “Incident.”

Aviation Incident

An incident resulting directly from the operation of an airplane having a maximum certificated takeoff weight greater than 5,700 kg or a rotorcraft having a maximum certificated takeoff weight greater than 2,250 kg, where:

  • an engine fails or is shut down as a precautionary measure
  • a transmission gearbox malfunction occurs
  • smoke or fire occurs
  • difficulties in controlling the aircraft are encountered owing to any aircraft system malfunction, whether phenomena, wake turbulence, uncontrolled vibrations or operations outside the flight envelope
  • the aircraft fails to remain within the intended landing or takeoff area, lands with all or part of the landing gear retracted, or drags a wing tip, an engine pod or any other part of the aircraft
  • any crew member whose duties are directly related to the safe operation of the aircraft is unable to perform his or her duties as a result of a physical incapacitation that poses a threat to the safety of any person, property or the environment
  • depressurization occurs that necessitates an emergency descent
  • a fuel shortage occurs that necessitates a diversion or requires approach and landing priority at the destination of the aircraft
  • the aircraft is refueled with the incorrect type of fuel or contaminated fuel
  • a collision, a risk of collision or a loss of separation occurs
  • a crew member declares an emergency or indicates any degree of emergency that requires priority handling by an air traffic control unit or the standing by of emergency response services
  • a slung load is released from the aircraft unintentionally or as a precautionary or emergency measure
  • any dangerous goods are released in or from the aircraft

See also “Aviation Accident,” “Incident.”

Aviation Occurrence
For the purpose of reporting, an Aviation Accident or Aviation Incident. See also “Aviation Accident”, “Aviation Incident.”
Baseline Audit

An evaluation using the standard audit instrument and intended as a preliminary review of the implementation of the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program.

See also “Audit.”

Behavioural Health and Safety Measure

Observable behaviour performed with a health and safety purpose including performing a task in a safe and healthy manner, completing health and safety assignments and training and participating in events to promote or recognize health and safety.

Best Practice

An agreed-upon method for conducting a specified task established and used by industries, trades or groups of peers.

Biological Hazard

An agent (e.g., viruses, bacteria, fungi and moulds, and parasites) that acts in or on the body to produce disease or infection.

See also “Hazard,” “Routes of Entry.”

Business Activity
See “Operation.”
Business Operation
See “Operation.”
Business Unit
An organizational unit (i.e., division, branch, region, area or office) with the purpose of carrying out operations.

The reason why an incident occurred. Identifying the cause is necessary to determine what corrective actions can prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Causes include direct causes and contributing factors.

See also “Contributing Factors,” “Direct Cause.”

Certificate of Achievement for Safety Excellence

CASE (abbreviation). A tool to evaluate the implementation of the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program.

See also “Health and Safety Program.”

Certificate of Recognition

COR (abbreviation). An award presented by Public Service Commission, as the Certifying Partner, to workplaces that successfully pass an audit and maintain their occupational health and safety program to the requirements of the Partnerships in Injury Reduction program.

See also “Partnerships in Injury Reduction.”
Certification Audit

A formal health and safety evaluation conducted by a certified auditor external to the workplace or department that seeks a Certificate of Recognition.

See also “Audit.”
Certifying Partner

Under the Partnerships in Injury Reduction program, Certifying Partners are responsible for assessing the quality of health and safety programs in Alberta. They train and certify auditors and issue Certificates of Recognition to employers. Public Service Commission is the Certifying Partner for the Government of Alberta.

See also “Certificate of Recognition,” “Partnerships in Injury Reduction.”
Chemical Hazard

A chemical substance that can have immediate or long-term health effects and can be inhaled, absorbed, ingested or injected.

See also “Hazard,” “Routes of Entry.”
Close Call
See “Near Miss.”
Code of Ethics
A statement that defines the ethical behaviours expected from a group or individual.
Code of Practice
Practical guidance on the requirements of the regulations or the adopted code applicable to the workplace, and on safe working procedures in respect of the workplace.
Competent Employee
A person who is adequately qualified, suitably trained and has sufficient experience to safely perform work without supervision or with only a minimal degree of supervision.

A part within an element of the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program. For example, the Hazard Management element has three components: Hazard Assessment, Elimination and Control; Ergonomics; and Workplace Violence.

See also “Element,” “Occupational Health and Safety Program.”

A matter of interest.

See also “Health and Safety Concern.”

General agreement on an issue; the agreement of all or most of the people consulted.

Health and Safety Committees in the Government of Alberta operate by consensus. A decision or recommendation may not be an individual’s ideal choice, but each individual agrees to support and defend the choice of the group.

Affected by the presence of a harmful substance on employees or at the workplace in a quantity sufficient to pose a risk to health.

See also “Harmful Substance.”
Continuous Improvement
Always striving to innovate current practices and implement new practices to improve on current conditions.
Contract Manager
An employee who signs a contract or agreement on behalf of the Government of Alberta. When no written contract or agreement exists, the contract manager is the employee who authorizes the arrangement for services to be provided by another employer.
Contracted Employer
An employer hired under agreement to provide services to the Government of Alberta.
Contracted Worker
A contracted employer’s employee.
A person, partnership or group of persons who, through a contract, agreement or ownership, directs the activities of one or more employers involved in work at a workplace.
Contributing Factors

The underlying indicators detailing why an incident occurred. Identifying contributing factors can help determine long-term preventative actions.

See also “Cause,” “Direct Cause.”
Control Measures
See “Hazard Controls.”
Controlled Environment

In relation to a workplace, an environment where the Government of Alberta can control a hazard (e.g., poor indoor lighting).

See also “Environment,” “Uncontrolled Environment.”
Controlled Product

A product indicated in the Hazardous Products Act and classified in the Controlled Products Regulations.

See also “Product.”
See “Hazard Controls.”
Dangerous Good

A product, substance or organism identified and classified in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations.

See also “Accidental Release,” “Dangerous Goods Accident,” “Dangerous Goods Incident,” “Imminent Accidental Release,” “Incident.”
Dangerous Goods Accident

An occurrence associated with and related to the transport of dangerous goods by air that results in fatal or serious injury to a person or in major property damage.

See also “Accidental Release,” “Dangerous Good,” “Dangerous Goods Incident,” “Imminent Accidental Release,” “Incident.”
Dangerous Goods Incident

An occurrence (other than a dangerous goods accident) associated with and related to the transport of dangerous goods by air, not necessarily occurring on board an aircraft, that results in injury to a person, property damage, fire, breakage, spillage, leakage of fluid or radiation, or other evidence that the integrity of the packaging has not been maintained. Any occurrence relating to the transport of dangerous goods that seriously jeopardizes an aircraft or its occupants is also deemed to be a dangerous goods incident.

See also “Accidental Release,” “Dangerous Good,” “Dangerous Goods Accident,” “Dangerous Goods Occurrence,” “Imminent Accidental Release,” “Incident.”
Dangerous Goods Occurrence

For purposes of reporting, an Accidental Release, Imminent Accidental Release, Dangerous Goods Accident or Dangerous Goods Incident.

See also “Accidental Release,” Imminent Accidental Release” “Dangerous Good,” “Dangerous Goods Accident,” “Dangerous Goods Incident.”
Defective Equipment

Equipment that:

  • is in a condition that compromises the health and safety of the employee using or transporting it
  • will not perform the function for which it is intended or was designed
  • is not strong enough for its purpose
  • has obvious defects
Degree of Risk

The chance of injury or loss from a hazard is determined by the following formula:

Frequency of exposure to the hazard
Incident probability (likelihood that exposure will result in loss)
Probable consequence (severity of the resulting loss)

See also “Risk Classification.”

A business unit established by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under the Government Organization Act.

See also “Ministry.”
Direct Cause

The immediate cause of why an incident occurred.

See also “Cause,” “Contributing Factors.”
Direct Supervision
Under the supervision of a competent employee who is personally and visually supervising an employee and is able to communicate readily and clearly with that employee.
The documented principles established by Public Service Commission.
See “Record.”
Documentation Review
Part of a health and safety audit, a documentation review determines if an employer has the required written policies, plans and procedures in place, and if adequate records are being kept.
Due Diligence
The level of judgment, care, prudence, determination and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to show under particular circumstances. Due diligence requires a person to take every reasonably practicable precaution in the circumstances for the protection of the health and safety of employees. It is the level of safety that is expected, provided and practiced by employees, supervisors and managers, as well as others working for the Government of Alberta, to complete work without loss.

A part of the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program. An element may contain parts called components.

See also “Component,” “Occupational Health and Safety Program.”

Actual or potential danger where the loss of human life or property is imminent and where immediate response is required to reduce the risk and the probable consequence of an incident.

See also “Human Emergency,” “Natural Emergency,” “Technological Emergency.”
Emergency Response Plan

A written document for a workplace that includes the following:

  • the identification of potential emergencies
  • procedures for dealing with the identified emergencies
  • the identification of, location of and operational procedures for emergency equipment
  • emergency response training requirements
  • the location and use of emergency facilities
  • the fire protection requirements
  • the alarm and emergency communication requirements
  • the first aid services required
  • procedures for rescue and evacuation
  • the employees designated for rescue and evacuation

Anyone who works for the Government of Alberta and is included in the Public Service Act (e.g., senior managers, managers, supervisors and employees, including wage employees and employees with Contracts of Employment or Fee for Service).

See also “Employer.”

An employer may be any of the following:

  • a person who is self-employed in an occupation
  • a person who employs one or more employees
  • a person designated by the employer as the employer’s representative
  • a director or officer of a corporation who oversees the occupational health and safety of that corporation’s employees

The Government of Alberta is considered a single employer for occupational health and safety purposes. Departments, executive managers, senior managers and managers are designated representatives of the Government of Alberta at their workplaces.

Supervisors and bargaining unit employees may be designated representatives of the Government of Alberta at their workplaces.

Departments and employees may also be employers when representing the department in the performance of their responsibilities.

Engineering Control

This type of control is the preferred method of hazard control because it may eliminate a hazard by modifying the equipment, chemical or process, or by substituting, isolating, enclosing, guarding or ventilating the hazard.

See also “Hazard Controls.”

The surrounding conditions, influences and forces to which an employee is exposed at the workplace.

See also “Controlled Environment,” “Uncontrolled Environment.”
Something that equips employees at a workplace, including tools supplies, machinery and sanitary facilities.
The applied science that studies the interaction between people and the work environment. The focus of ergonomics is to make the job fit the employee.
Environmental Release

For the purpose of reporting, the release of a substance into the environment that may cause, is causing, or has caused an adverse effect.

See also “Adverse Health Effect.”
Excessive Noise
Noise volumes that exceed 85 dBALex and Occupational Exposure Limits in Schedule 3, Table 1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code.
Explosives Incident
An unplanned or uncontrolled explosion.
Exposed Employee

In relation to harmful substances, an employee who may reasonably be expected to work in a restricted area at least 30 workdays in a 12-month period.

See also “Harmful Substance.”
Fall Protection System
A personal fall arrest system, a travel restraint system, a safety net, a control zone or another system approved by an Alberta Labour designated Director of Inspection.

An incident that results in the death of an employee.

See also “Serious Incident.”
Field Work
Work performed away from the employee’s base workplace and is a normal or regular part of the position’s assigned duties.
First Aid
Treatment to sustain life, to prevent a condition from becoming worse and to promote recovery.
First Aid Certificates

Certificates awarded by approved training agencies in accordance with Part 11 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code. There are three certificates:

  • Emergency First Aid Certificate
  • Standard First Aid Certificate
  • Advanced First Aid Certificate
First Aid Incident

An incident that resulted in an injury requiring first aid treatment only. The services of a physician (or licensed medical practitioner) were not required and/or no work time was lost by the injured employee beyond the shift or day of the incident.

See also “First Aid,” “Incident.”
First Aider

A person with a certificate from an approved training agency who gives immediate and temporary care to an injured or ill person at a workplace using available equipment, supplies, facilities or services.

See also “First Aid.”

A required, standardized document completed in accordance with a standard process of the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program (e.g., Supervisor Incident Investigation Report, Hazard Assessment and Control Report). The Government of Alberta uses forms to facilitate the consistent recording of information.

See also “Template.”
Written and documented. A formal process includes using a checklist or form in workplace inspections, audits, incident reporting and investigations, training records, and Health and Safety Committee meeting minutes.
Frequency Rate
See “Injury Frequency Rate.”
There are five functions: Prime Contractor, Contractor, Employer, Supplier and Employee.
Government of Alberta

Includes all departments, agencies, boards and commissions whose employees are appointed and administered under the Public Service Act.

See also “Department,” “Ministry.”

The recommended approach, steps or tasks that describe how to complete or implement a standard within an element or component in the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program.

See also “Standard Process.”
Harmful Substance
A substance that, because of its properties, application or presence, creates or could create a danger, including a chemical or biological hazard, to the health and safety of an employee exposed to it.

A condition or behaviour that has the potential to cause injury or loss. Hazards may be physical, chemical, biological or psychological.

See also “Biological Hazard,” “Chemical Hazard,” “Health Hazard,” “Physical Hazard,” “Psychological Hazard,” “Safety Hazard.”
Hazard Assessment
A process used to identify the health and safety hazards and evaluate the risk associated with job tasks.
Hazard Controls

Measures designed to eliminate or reduce the risk of hazards and to eliminate or control loss.

See also “Engineering Control,” “Administrative Control,” “Personal Protective Equipment.”
Hazard Level
See “Risk Classification.”
Hazardous Act
An action or behaviour taken or failed to be taken that could result in loss.
Hazardous Condition
A physical state of a facility, vehicle, equipment, environment, procedure, training course, etc. that could result in loss.
Hazardous Energy
Electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, nuclear, thermal, gravitational or any other form of energy that could cause injury. The injury could arise from unintended motion, energizing or the start up or release of such stored or residual energy in machinery, equipment, piping, pipelines or process systems.
Hazardous Material
See “Harmful Substance.”
Hazardous Work
See “High Hazard Work,” “Medium Hazard Work,” “Low Hazard Work.”
Health and Safety Concern

An employee’s perception of a hazardous act or condition; a matter of interest in the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program or its implementation or operation.

See also “Concern,” “Health and Safety Issue,” “Health and Safety Program.”
Health and Safety Issue
An employee health and safety concern validated by a Workplace Health and Safety Contact or by a Health and Safety Committee as per Issue Resolution within the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program.
Health and Safety Management System
See “Occupational Health and Safety Program.”
Health and Safety Program
See “Occupational Health and Safety Program.”
Health and Safety System
See “Occupational Health and Safety Program.”
Health Care Facility
A hospital, medical clinic or physician’s office that can dispense emergency medical treatment during the time employees are at a workplace.
Health Hazard

A physical, chemical, biological or psychological hazard that may cause acute or chronic health effects in exposed employees (e.g., noise, dust, heat, ergonomics, etc.).

See also “Hazard,” “Safety Hazard.”
Hearing Protection Device
See “Hearing Protectors.”
Hearing Protectors
Personal protective equipment worn by an employee to reduce his or her exposure to noise volume or frequency (e.g., ear plugs, ear muffs).
High Hazard Work

Work where most of the primary tasks have a high risk classification, and where an employee performs those tasks in an uncontrolled environment.

Examples of high hazard work:

  • field work involving investigation, enforcement or apprehension
  • field work handling wild animals
  • working alone in the field doing monitoring or inspection for compliance purposes
  • working alone at isolated locations using powered equipment
  • counseling unpredictable or troubled people or people with a history of violence in Government of Alberta offices
  • institutional care, custody or control of people
  • food processing
  • biological or chemical laboratory analysis or research
  • construction and trade work performed outside
See also “Hazardous Work.”
High Risk Work
See “High Hazard Work.”
Any thoroughfare, street, road, trail, avenue, parkway, driveway, viaduct, lane, alley, square, bridge, causeway, trestleway or other place or any part of any of them, whether publicly or privately owned, that the public is ordinarily entitled or permitted to use for the passage or parking of vehicles.
Human Emergency

May be accidental or hostile, including chemical spills, leaks, emissions, fires, explosions, transportation incidents (e.g., automobile, airplane, train and boat), riots, acts of terrorism and workplace violence.

See also “Emergency.”
Imminent Accidental Release

An accidental release is imminent for dangerous goods in transport in a large means of containment, if there has been an incident and any of the following conditions exist:

  • There is likely to be a need to remove or transfer all or a portion of the dangerous goods to another large means of containment.
  • There is damage to the means of containment which, if not corrected, could result in an accidental release of the dangerous goods in a quantity or emission level that exceeds those set out in the table to subsection 8.1(1) of Part 8, Accidental Release and Imminent Accidental Release Report Requirements.
  • The large means of containment is lost in navigable waters.

See also “Accidental Release,” “Dangerous Good,” “Dangerous Goods Accident,” “Dangerous Goods Incident,” “Incident.”

Imminent Danger

In relation to any occupation, an imminent danger is either:

  • a danger that is not normal for that occupation
  • a danger under which a person engaged in that occupation would not normally carry out the work

An undesired, unplanned, unexpected event that results in, or has the potential to result in, physical harm to a person or damage to property (with or without loss). Incidents are of the following types:

  • Aviation Accident
  • Aviation Incident
  • Dangerous Goods Accident
  • Dangerous Goods Incident
  • Dangerous Goods Accidental Release
  • Dangerous Goods Imminent Accidental Release
  • Environmental Release
  • First Aid
  • Lost Time
  • Medical Aid
  • Near Miss
  • Personal Property Damage
  • Property Damage
  • Radiation Overexposure
Incident Investigation
The process of systematically gathering and analyzing information to identify the causes of an incident, and of making recommendations to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future.
Injury Frequency Rate

The number of compensable injuries per 100 employees for the year.

Equal to: (number of compensable injuries) x 200,000 hours
total annual hours worked
Injury Severity Rate

The number of work days lost per 100 employees for the year.

Equal to: (number of work days lost) x 200,000 hours
total annual hours worked
A planned, systematic evaluation or examination of an activity or workplace, checking or testing against established standards to identify hazards and to recommend corrective action.
Part of a health and safety audit. An interview is used to gather and verify information about an organization’s health and safety system. Includes either a formal discussion using standard questions or a questionnaire.
Use a mechanical device to restrain, regulate, direct or dissipate hazardous energy.

A total complement of tasks performed by an employee.

See also “Occupation Inventory.”
Job Hazard Analysis
See “Task Hazard Assessment.”
Job Inventory
See “Work Inventory.”
Job Safety Analysis
See “Task Hazard Assessment.”
Provincial or federal government standards in the form of written acts, regulations and codes.
Lost Time

An incident that results in an injury requiring treatment by a physician or licensed medical practitioner, and because of which the injured employee loses work time beyond the shift or day of the injury.

See also “Incident.”
Low Hazard Work

Work where most tasks are performed in controlled environments and most hazards are classified as medium and low risk.

Examples of low hazard work:

  • administrative
  • clerical
  • records management
  • visitor or informational services

See also “Hazardous Work.”

Low Risk Work
See “Low Hazard Work.”
Maintenance Audit

A formal health and safety evaluation conducted to maintain a Certificate of Recognition.

See also “Audit.”

A person accountable for the health and safety of the work performed at a workplace.

See also “Workplace Manager.”
Materials Handling
Lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying, handling or transporting materials.
Medical Aid Incident
An incident that results in an injury requiring treatment by a physician or licensed medical practitioner, and because of which the injured employee loses no work time beyond the shift or day of the incident.
Medium Hazard Work

Work where the primary tasks are performed in controlled environments and have hazards classified as medium and low risk. Medium hazard work may include some tasks with hazards classified as high risk that are performed in uncontrolled environments.

Examples of medium hazard work:

  • material handling
  • the operation of powered mobile equipment
  • equipment repair
  • driving, travel or transportation to external locations for business, conferences or instruction

See also “Hazardous Work.”

Medium Risk Work
See “Medium Hazard Work.”
Comprises departments established by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, as well as agencies, boards and commissions established by a minister to act in an advisory or administrative capacity under the Government Organization Act.
Motor Vehicle

A vehicle propelled by any power other than muscular power, or a moped, but does not include a bicycle, a power bicycle, an aircraft, an implement of husbandry or a motor vehicle that runs only on rails.

A device in, on or by which a person or thing may be transported or drawn, including a combination of vehicles.

Natural Emergency

Severe storms (e.g., thunder, lightning, wind, snow, ice), tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, drought, hurricanes, lightning-caused wild fires, viral outbreaks, epidemics, etc.

See also “Emergency.”
Near Miss
An incident that had the potential to cause personal injury but did not.
Noise Exposed Employee
An employee exposed to noise in excess of the noise exposure limits in Schedule 3, Table 1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code.
Part of a health and safety audit designed to allow an auditor to observe and verify specific conditions and practices at a workplace.
Occupation Inventory

A form listing all occupations and individual jobs performed at a workplace.

See also “Job.”
Occupational Health and Safety Program

A set of interrelated elements that together form the whole administrative and procedural plan for identifying hazards, implementing controls and maintaining their effectiveness. The Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program includes the following elements:

  1. Occupational Health and Safety Management
  2. Hazard Management
  3. Occupational Health and Safety Training
  4. Inspections
  5. Emergency Preparedness
  6. Incident Management
  7. Occupational Health and Safety Program Evaluation
The primary work of a business unit or the nature of work within a department (e.g., construction, safety consulting, planning, auditing, administration, etc.).
Partnerships in Injury Reduction

PIR (abbreviation). A provincial program in Alberta to promote health and safety through partnerships with safety associations, industry groups, educational institutions and labour organizations.

See also “Audit,” “Certificate of Recognition,” “Certifying Partner.”
Personal Property Damage
Loss or damage to an employee’s personal property (e.g., clothing, eye glasses, false teeth, prosthetic device) worn at the time of the incident.
Personal Protective Equipment

PPE (abbreviation). Equipment used or clothing worn by a person (e.g., gloves, safety glasses, fall protection, etc.) for protection from health or safety hazards associated with conditions at a workplace. Personal protective equipment is used when engineering or administrative methods cannot fully control the hazards. Personal protective equipment does not directly control the hazard, but it reduces the employee’s exposure to the hazard when maintained and used correctly. Often referred to as “the last line of defense.”

See also “Hazard Controls.”
Physical Hazard

A hazard arising from slipping, tripping, being struck by or against, falling, pinch points, being caught in, under or between, lifting, pushing, pulling, ergonomic conditions (bodily reaction injuries), heat, cold, vibration, noise, ionizing radiation (x-rays, gamma rays, beta rays, beta particles), non-ionizing radiation (microwaves, radio waves, infra-red, lasers, ultra-violet), etc.

See also “Hazard.”
The documented principles and standards established by departments.
Powered Mobile Equipment
A self-propelled machine or combination of machines, including a prime mover or motor vehicle, designed to manipulate or move material or to provide a powered aerial device for employees.
Prime Contractor
The contractor, employer or other person who enters into an agreement with the owner of the workplace to be the prime contractor. The owner of the workplace is the prime contractor if no agreement is in force. Every workplace must have a prime contractor if two or more employers are involved in work at the workplace.

In addition to restricted, controlled and prohibited products, products also include pesticides, cosmetics, foods or drugs, hazardous waste, wood, wood products and manufactured articles.

See also “Restricted Product,” “Controlled Product,” “Prohibited Product.”

A person who is adequately qualified, is suitably trained, has sufficient experience in occupational hygiene and is eligible for membership in one of the following:

  • American Board of Industrial Hygiene
  • Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienist
  • Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologist
Prohibited Product

A product not advertised or permitted for sale in Canada under the Hazardous Products Act.

See also “Product.”
Property Damage
Loss or damage to any owned or leased Government of Alberta property as a result of an incident.
Psychological Hazard

Stress, anxiety, depression and other behavioural health conditions.

See also “Hazard.”
Qualification Audit

A formal health and safety evaluation conducted by an auditor candidate who is pursuing auditor certification.

See also “Audit.”
Radiation Incident
An incident that has the potential to cause overexposure of a person to radiation.
Radiation Overexposure
The exposure of a person, other than a patient undergoing medical examination or treatment, to radiation in excess of the maximum exposure limit of that form of radiation.
Employer records retained on file include completed forms, checklists, reports, memos and minutes. Records create a history of events and activities used in the operation and maintenance of a health and safety program.
Any legislated requirements.
One’s duty to do what is assigned, expected and understood.
Restricted Area
An area of a workplace where a reasonable chance exists that the airborne concentration of asbestos, silica, coal dust or lead exceeds or may exceed the occupational exposure limit.
Restricted Product

A consumer product indicated in the Hazardous Products Act and classified in the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations.

See also “Product.”
See “Degree of Risk.”
Risk Classification

The degree of risk is converted to a high, medium or low risk classification, which indicates the priority for implementing hazard control measures or evaluating existing controls.

See also “Degree of Risk.”
Root Cause
See “Cause.”
Routes of Entry
The ingestion, inhalation, injection or absorption of a chemical or biological hazard.
Safe Job Procedure
See “Safe Work Procedure.”
Safe Operating Procedure
See “Safe Work Procedure.”
Safe Work Practice
A written guideline that helps in the safe performance of a task that may not always be done in a specific way.
Safe Work Procedure

Written, step-by-step instruction required to safely perform a task from beginning to end, including the use of tools and operation of equipment.

See also “Code of Practice.”
A guard, shield, guardrail, fence, gate, barrier, toe board, protective enclosure, safety net, handrail or other device deigned to protect employees operating equipment or machinery. Does not include personal protective equipment.
Safety Hazard

A substance, process, action or condition that may immediately endanger employees (e.g., chemical burns, shear points, slips and falls, etc.).

See also “Hazard,” “Health Hazard.”
Serious Incident

An incident that results in:

  • fatality
  • an injury or accident requiring an employee’s admission to a hospital for more than two days
  • an unplanned or uncontrolled explosion, fire or flood that causes or has the potential to cause a serious injury
  • the collapse or upset of a crane, derrick or hoist
  • the collapse or failure of any component of a building or structure necessary for the structural integrity of that building or structure
Severity Rate
See “Injury Severity Rate.”
Site Familiarization
A brief, escorted tour or discussion to allow an auditor to become familiar with a workplace and any areas requiring special caution.

The requirements and responsibilities outlined for implementation of the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program.

See also “Guideline,” “Standard Process.”
Standard Operating Procedure
See “Safe Work Procedure.”
Standard Process
The required approach, steps or tasks that describe how to complete or implement a component or element within the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program.
Anyone with the authority to direct the activities of another person.
A person who rents, leases, erects, installs or provides any tools, appliances or equipment, or who sells or otherwise provides any designated substance or hazardous material to be used by an employee in respect of any occupation, project or workplace. In respect to a controlled product, the supplier is a manufacturer, processor or packager of the controlled product or a person who, in the course of business, imports or sells controlled products.
A segment of work that requires a set of specific actions for completion.
Task Analysis
See “Task Hazard Assessment.”
Task Hazard Assessment
A systematic breakdown of a task within a job into the step by step actions followed to complete the task, for the purpose of identifying all the hazards within the steps.
Task Inventory
A form on which all the tasks performed in an occupation or an individual job are listed.
Team Audit

Where more than one auditor participates in an audit.

See also “Audit.”
Technological Emergency

May be human caused but technology related, including communication failures, utility or power outages, engineering design or material failures related to structures or equipment (e.g., structural collapse), and biological, chemical and pollution incidents.

See also “Emergency.”

Using information technologies (such as telecommunications and computers) for work purposes to replace travel requirements.


See “Telecommuting”.


A document with recommended content and format that may be completed as is or modified by managers to meet their needs in accordance with a guideline of the Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program (e.g., inspection checklists, emergency response plans, etc.).

See also “Form.”
Travel Status

An employee is away from their place of residence and their work location on approved travel for government business purposes; or when an employee is travelling for government business that necessitates overnight accommodation away from their place of residence.

Uncontrolled Environment

In relation to a workplace, an environment where the Government of Alberta can’t directly control a hazard (e.g., weather conditions).

See also “Controlled Environment,” “Environment.”
Unsafe Act
See “Hazardous Act.”
Unsafe Condition
See “Hazardous Condition.”
A device in, on or by which a person or thing may be transported or drawn, including a combination of vehicles.
Threatened, attempted or actual conduct of a person that causes or is likely to cause physical harm.
Any person present at a workplace who does not regularly work at that workplace.
Tasks performed by an employee for the Government of Alberta.
A person engaged in an occupation.
Work Area
A place at a workplace where an employee is, or may be, during work or during a work break.
Work Inventory
A comprehensive list of tasks produced from a systematic review of all jobs or work carried out at a workplace.
Work Location
Any point within the metropolitan area or within 25 km of their central place of work or place of residence.

A general location where employees or an employee works, such as a building, facility, business unit (i.e., branch, area or region) or work site within a business unit.

See also "Administrative Workplace," "Business Unit," "Work site."
Workplace Manager

The most senior manager at a workplace or a designated manager assigned a specific health and safety responsibility for the workplace.

See also “Manager.”
Work site
A location where an employee is, or is likely to be, engaged in any occupation. A work site includes any vehicle or mobile equipment used by an employee in an occupation.

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Alberta Association of Safety Partnerships
Alberta Construction Safety Association
Alberta Forest Products Association
Alberta Hotel Safety Association
Alberta Motor Transport Association
Alberta Municipalities Health and Safety Association
Alberta Safety Council
American Congress of Government Industrial Hygienists
American National Standards Institute
Alberta Public Service; Government of Alberta
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
Alberta Society of Safety Engineers
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees
British Standards Institute
Canadian Agriculture Safety Association
Certificate of Achievement in Safety Excellence
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Canadian General Standards Board
Certificate of Recognition
Canadian Standards Institute
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety


Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Society of Safety Engineering
Employee and Family Assistance Program
Emergency Response Plan
Employee Support and Recovery Assistance Program
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Government of Alberta
Industrial Accident Prevention Association
International Standards Organization
Joint Workplace Health and Safety Committee
Manufacturers’ Health and Safety Association
Material Safety Data Sheet
National Institute of Health and Safety
National Fire Protection Association
Occupational Exposure Limit
Occupational Health and Safety
Occupational Safety and Health Association
Personal Protective Equipment
Quality Assurance
Society of Automotive Engineers
Safety Data Sheet
Supervisor’s Incident Investigation Report
Safe Operating Procedure; Standard Operating Procedure
Public Service Commission
Safe Work Practice
Transportation of Dangers Goods
Textile Rental Industry Association
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Underwriters’ Laboratory
Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada
Workers’ Compensation Board
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (1998 or 2015)

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Last Review / Update: 2017-01-20