Glossary - WHS


Workers who work under contract, including subcontractors and those who work for contractors and subcontractors.


Designs products, including plant, substances and structures.

Emergency plan

A set of instructions that outlines what to do in an emergency.

Employee assistance program

A program offered by a qualified counsellor, which helps workers with personal problems or work-related problems that may impact their job performance, health and wellbeing.


Includes injuries and illnesses caused by a single exposure or event, or multiple or long-term exposure. Includes physical and psychological harm.


Something, including a person’s behaviour, that has the potential to cause death, injury or illness.

Hazardous chemicals

Solids, liquids or gases that can harm a person’s health.

Health and safety committee

Facilitates consultation on health and safety issues for the whole workplace or for parts of the workplace.

Health and safety representative

A worker who has been elected by a work group to represent them on health and safety issues.

Health and safety system

A method of working that eliminates or reduces the risk of injury.

High risk work licence

Required for certain types of work, such as operating cranes and forklifts.


A disease, or period of sickness, that affects the body or mind.


Someone who brings goods or services into the country for sale.

Injury reporting system

Policies and procedures that ensure incidents are reported.


a person appointed under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to monitor and enforce compliance with NSW WHS laws. They can enter any premises they have reason to believe is a place of work.

Mental health

A state of wellbeing in which every individual copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and contributes to their community.

Near miss

An occurrence that might have led to an injury or illness, danger to someone’s health, and/or damage to property or the environment.

Notifiable incident

Includes the death of a person, a serious injury or illness of a person, or a potentially dangerous incident.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Equipment used to protect someone from hazards in the workplace, such as helmets, boots, gloves, goggles, aprons and sunscreen.


Equipment or tools used at work.

Return to work coordinator

The person responsible for supporting workers as they recover at work from work related illness or injury..

Return to work program

The formal policy that outlines general procedures for handling work-related injuries or illnesses. It represents an employer’s commitment to the health, safety and recovery of workers following an incident. All employers must have one.


The possibility that death, injury or illness might occur when a person is exposed to a hazard. It refers to the likelihood and potential severity of harm arising from exposure to hazards.

Risk assessment

Evaluating the probability and consequence of injury or illness arising.

Risk control

Eliminating or minimising health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable.

Risk management

Involves hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control.

Safe work method statement

A document that details the way a work task or process is to be completed. Outlines the hazards involved and includes a step-by-step guide on how to do the job safely.

Safety data sheet

A document prepared by the manufacturer, importer or supplier of a dangerous good, hazardous substance or other chemicals. Describes its properties and uses, including details about substance identity, chemical and physical properties, first aid treatment, and precautions for storage, use and safe handling.

SIRA - State Insurance Regulatory Authority NSW

The government organisation responsible for the regulatory functions for workers compensation insurance, motor accidents compulsory third party (CTP) insurance, and home building compensation.


The physical, mental and emotional reactions of workers who perceive that their work demands exceed their abilities and/ or their resources (such as time, help/support) to do the work.


Instruction on how to do a job safely.


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


Work health and safety.


An individual who carries out work as an employee, labour hire company worker, apprentice, trainee, outworker, person undertaking a work trial or work experience, or a volunteer.

Workers compensation policy

An insurance policy which provides an employer coverage in the event one or more of their workers suffer a work- related injury or illness.

Workplace bullying

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


A place where work is carried out for a business or undertaking such as a factory, vehicle, aircraft or farm.

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