Safety Terms Every Broker Should Know

insurance broker learning safety definitions

Talking safety can look like an alphabet soup of acronyms. You know about OSHA, but there’s a whole library of safety terms and jargon that industry professionals use. 

When meeting with your workers compensation clients, you’re likely to hear a few unfamiliar words thrown around relating to safety, risk, and compliance. We compiled a list of common terms and definitions you may need to know, but remember: the most important terms you need to understand relate to your clients’ specific business environments and safety guidelines.

Alternatives Assessment to Air Sample

Alternatives Assessment – An established process of identifying, comparing, and choosing safer alternatives, particularly with hazardous chemicals. 

Air Sample – An air quality test used to determine the presence of hazardous contaminants in the environment. 


Backovers – When an employee becomes injured by equipment (forklift, tractor, etc.), moving in reverse.

CIH to Corrective Actions

Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) – A certified individual who met specific requirements and has the knowledge and skillset in various health and hazard-related matters (air sampling & instrumentation, toxicology, community exposure).   

Common Mode Failure (CMF) – A systems failure, caused for one or more factors in a work environment. 

Compliance Directives – OSHA’s own policy statements and procedural guidelines on a single safety-related issue. They typically include implementation guidelines and responsibilities. 

Certified Safety Professional (CSP) – A certification that can be obtained by professionals who perform at least 50% of their professional duties in safety. It is administered through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. 

Confined Space Permit System – The method and checklist for determining the safety of a confined space. It’s a precautionary step to ensure an entryway is safe before an individual begins a task.  

Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS) – A person who has completed required training focused on insurance and risk management in the construction industry. 

Corrective Actions – An organization’s efforts to adjust behavior and work environment after an incident occurs. 

Error Rate Prediction to ELF

Error Rate Prediction – Analyzing the probability of a human error occurring during a task. 

ELF (Extremely low-frequency) Radiation – Extremely low-frequency field radiation is emitted by power lines, electrical wiring, and other electrical components.  

Facility Response Plan to Fall Rescue Plan

Facility Response Plan (FRP) – An EPA-required plan that demonstrates a facility’s preparedness to respond to a worst-case oil discharge.

Fall Protection – protective measures taken by employers to prevent falls, the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and fatalities.

Fall Protection Plan (FPP) – a safety plan for workers working at elevation.

Fall Rescue Plan – a process or procedure for safely retrieving a person who has fallen and is suspended in a safety harness or on a lanyard. Learn more about fall protection and rescue plans.


Hazard Analysis (HAZAN) – Process of assessing and defining the risk associated with a task or job. 

Hazard Identification (HAZID) – Process of identifying all hazards in a workplace. 

Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) – A hazard and operability study is conducted to identify potential issues in a current work process that may present risks to people.  

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) – A specific set of standards that applies to employers and employees who are exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous materials, including hazardous waste. This group includes anyone involved in: 

  • Clean-up operations 
  • Clean up at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976. 
  • Operations involving treatment, disposal, and storage of hazardous materials covered by the Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations 
  • Voluntary clean-up operations recognized by federal, state, and local governments as uncontrollable hazardous waste sites 
  • Emergency response to operations for releases of, or substantial threat for the release of, hazardous substances 

Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) – An assessment and analysis of how an organization’s systems impact its people and safety as jobs are performed. It looks at how a company can do safety differently. 

Industrial Hygiene to Ingress

Industrial Hygiene – The science of enhancing health and protection measure for people at work and in the community.

Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) – The presence of an atmospheric concentration of toxic, corrosive, or asphyxiant substances that pose an immediate risk to life. It may cause severe health consequences or restrict a person’s ability to escape the dangerous atmosphere. 

Ingress and Egress – Ingress is the ability and right to enter a property free of obstruction. Egress is the ability and right to exit a property free of obstruction. 


Job Safety Analysis (JSA) – A step-by-step analysis of the hazards and safety considerations associated with a particular job. It also provides employees/workers with a guide on how to avoid hazards. 

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) – Similar to a JSA but occurs on a less frequent basis. JHA views the job through the worker’s lens; the task, the tools, and the environment. Allows a position to be designed around potential hazards, which reduces the likelihood of an incident. 


Lock – A device that prevents the use of a particular piece of equipment without the removal of the lockout tool.

Lockout/Tagout –  Also known as LOTO or Lock-Tag-Try. The physical restraint of all hazardous energy sources that supply power to a piece of equipment, machinery or system.

OSHA 300, 300A, 301

OSHA 300 – Log of work-related illnesses and injuries

OSHA 300A – Summary of work-related injuries and illnesses

OSHA 301 – Incident report for each recordable injury or illness recorded on the OSHA 300 log

OSHA’s process and forms for recording workplace incidents and illnesses. Some illnesses and injuries are recordable but not reportable to OSHA.

Personal Monitoring to Process Safety Management

Personal monitoring – The means of measuring a worker’s exposure to a potential hazard. 

Permissible Exposure Limits – A regulatory limit on the amount of a substance in the air. 

Process Safety Management – OSHA’s standards for managing hazardous chemicals in the workplace. 

Quantified Risk Assessment

Quantified Risk Assessment (QRA) –  A method for calculating the potential for risks during a particular project within a set of parameters. 

Risk-Based Inspection

Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) – Assessment methodology based on the probability of failure using qualitative and quantitative metrics. 


Safety Data Sheet (SDS) – Information documents on the properties of chemicals, the health hazards, and precautions for use, storage, and transportation.  

Safety-I – Process that defines good safety practices as the absence of incidents or a relatively low number of work-related accidents. 

Safety-II – A counter-process to Safety-I, Safety-II views positive actions and disciplines which reduce incidents as being a key metric in whether an environment is safe or not. 

Six Sigma Quality – Quality management method to help businesses improve their processes, products, and services, by eliminating defects. 

SLAM (Stop, Look, Analyze, Manage) – Risk assessment method for the mining industry to help workers identify and analyze risks and carry out their tasks safely. 

Tolerance of Risk

Tolerance of Risk (TOR) – An organization or employee’s risk acceptance during a task. It’s a key metric for understanding how to improve safety in the workplace. 

Safety Terms to Maximize Your Impact

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it provides a basis of terms you’re likely to hear when working with a client’s safety administrator. Each industry has a slightly different lexicon, so if you’re a specialist, it’s beneficial to brush up on the terms your clients use the most.

At Foresight, we strive to keep safety top-of-mind in everything we do. We wrap proprietary risk management technology into every workers compensation policy to drive down incidents and save on their premiums.

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