Z94.13 - Occupational Health & Safety

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C-SCALE. A filtering system that has characteristics which roughly match the response characteristics of the human ear at sound levels above 85 dB. C-scale readings may be referred to as dB(C).

CANCER. Any malignant neoplasm.

CANISTER (AIR-PURIFYING). A container filled with sorbents and catalysts that remove gases and vapors from air drawn through the unit. The canister may also contain an aerosol (particulate) filter to remove solid or liquid particles.

CAPTURE VELOCITY.  The air velocity at any point in front of a ventilation hood or at the hood opening necessary to overcome opposing air currents and capture the contaminated air at that point and cause it to flow into the hood.

CARCINOGEN. Any agent capable of inducing or promoting malignant neoplastic changes in living organisms.

CARCINOMA. A malignant neoplasm arising from epithelial cells.

CARDING. The process of unbinding or untangling wool, cotton,etc.

CARPAL TUNNEL. A narrow tunnel structure at the base of the palm as it joins the wrist through which pass flexor tendons to thumb and fingers, blood vessels, and the median nerve.

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME. Impairment resulting from entrapment or compression of the median nerve at the carpal tunnel.  Involves a complex of symptoms including pain and numbness in the palm and first three digits.  In the workplace it is associated with repetitive or unusual motion in which the median nerve becomes compressed in the carpal tunnel.

CASE. In epidemiology, a person in the population or study group identified as having the particular disease, health disorder, or condition under investigation.

CASE-CONTROL STUDY. A type of epidemiologic study in which persons with a given disease (the cases) and persons without the given disease (the controls) are selected; the proportions of cases and controls with certain background characteristics or exposure to possible risks are then determined and compared.

CASE FATALITY RATE. The number of persons dying of a disease divided by the number of persons who contracted the disease.

CASUAL CONNECTION. An act, agency or force occurring without design or without being foreseen or expected which is a concurrent or contributing factor to the injury, but is not usually the proximate cause thereof.

CASUALTY INSURANCE. Insurance written by companies licensed under the casualty sections of state insurance laws as distinguished from that written under the fire or marine or life insurance sections. This type of coverage is concerned principally with insurance against loss due to accident or other mishap.

CAT. Acronym for computerized axial tomography scan. (See SCAN.)

CATASTROPHE. A loss of extraordinarily large dimensions in terms of injury, illness, death, damage, and destruction.

CAUSAL ASSOCIATION. A statistical association between the occurrence of a factor and a disease or injury, in which available evidence indicates that the statistically associated factor increases the probability of occurrence of the disease or injury and that its removal decreases the probability of occurrence.

CAUSAL FACTORS (OF AN ACCIDENT). A combination of simultaneous or sequential circumstances directly or indirectly contributing to an accident. Modified to identify several kinds of causes such as direct, early, mediate, proximate, distal, etc.

CAVEAT EMPTOR. Latin for let the buyer beware.- The rule of law that the purchaser buys at his own risk concerning quality and condition.

CAVEAT VENDITOR. Latin for  let the seller beware.- The doctrine of law that a seller, if he wishes to absolve himself of future responsibility, must make a specific agreement with the purchaser to that effect.

CERTIFIED SAFETY PROFESSIONAL (CSP). An individual who has been certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals as having achieved professional competence in the safety field.

CHAIN OF CAUSATION. The original force is responsible for every subsequent force which it puts in motion, and for the final result.

CHELATING AGENT. Any compound which will inactivate a metallic ion with the formation of an inner ring structure in the molecule, the metal ion becoming a member of the ring. The original ion, thus chelated, is effectively trapped and unable to exert its usual effect.

CHLORACNE. An acneform eruption attributed to chlorinated hydrocarbon exposures. Principal agents are chlornaphthalenes, chlordiphenyls, and chlordiphenyl oxides.  Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can cause this skin abnormality.

CHRONIC BRONCHITIS. A disorder characterized by excessive mucus secretion in the bronchi manifested by a chronic or recurrent productive cough (arbitrarily for a minimum of three months per year and for at least two successive years) in persons whom other causes of productive cough have been excluded.

CHRONIC VIOLATOR. The chronic or persistent violator is the individual who repeatedly violates established statutes and ordinances as in the case of OSHA regulations, or in the case of company safety rules.

CIRCUMSTANCES (OF AN ACCIDENT). The set of conditions which surround the accident or led to it.

CITATION. Issued by the representative of the Assistant Secretary of Labor, the OSHA Area Director, which alleges conditions which violate specific maritime, construction, or general industry standards.

CLAIM. (1) A broad, comprehensive term whose meanings include, but are not limited to: cause of suit action; judgment; right; a demand for compensation and/or for payment of medical expenses. (2) The amount which a policy holder believes he has coming from an insurance company as the result of some occurrence insured against.

CLAIMANT. One who claims or asserts a right, demand, or claim.

CLUSTER SAMPLING. A procedure in which clusters (e.g., city blocks) rather than individual units are first selected from population and then observations are made on all individual units (e.g., households) in each cluster.

CODES. Rules and standards which have been adopted by a governmental agency as mandatory regulations having the force and effect of law. Also used to describe a body of standards.

COHORT STUDY (PROSPECTIVE). A type of epidemiologic study in which persons initially free from the disease or injury under study are selected and their background characteristics and their exposure to possible risks ascertained; these individuals are then followed through time and the proportions who develop the disease or injury among those with and without certain characteristics and among those exposed and not exposed to the risks are determined and compared.

COHORT STUDY (RETROSPECTIVE). A type of epidemiologic study in which background characteristics and exposure to possible risks at some time in the past are determined in a group of individuals who were at that time free of the disease or injury under study; persons having developed the disease or injury since the time the characteristics or exposures were measured are ascertained, usually through existing records. Comparisons are then made of the proportions having developed the disease or injury among those who did and did not have the characteristics and among those who were and were not exposed to the risk.

COLLISION DIAGRAM. A diagram of an intersection or section of roadway where an accident occurred. The diagram shows the manner of collision, the resting positions of vehicles and other items after the collision occurred by the use of designated symbols.

COMBUSTIBLE GAS METER. Instrument which contains sensitive Wheatstone Bridge. If air containing solvent or combustibles is drawn over one leg of bridge and unbalances it, an appropriate meter indicates change. Signal change is proportional to concentration of contaminant.

COMPARISON (OR CONTROL) GROUP. In a case-control epidemiological study, a group of individuals free of the disease under study who are believed to reflect the characteristics of the population from which the persons with the disease (the cases) were drawn.

COMPENSABLE INJURY. An occupational injury/illness resulting in sufficient disability to require the payment of  compensation as prescribed by law. A work injury/illness for which compensation benefits are payable to the worker or beneficiary under worker compensation laws.

COMPENSATION. Indemnity paid to an employee for disability sustained in an occupational accident.

COMPLIANCE. A measure of the ease with which a hollow viscus (lung, urinary bladder) may be distended.

COMPLY. To act in accordance with regulatory standards (e.g., the Occupational Safety and Health Standards); to follow the rules and regulations published in the Code of Federal Regulations.

CONFIDENCE INTERVAL. A range of values for a variable of interest, e.g., a rate, constructed so that this range has a specified probability of including the true value of the variable.

CONFINED SPACE. A space that by design has limited openings for entry and exit, unfavorable natural ventilation, contains or produces dangerous air contaminants, and is not intended for continuous employee occupancy.  Confined spaces include storage tanks, compartments of ships, process vessels, pits, silos, vats, degreasers, reaction vessels, boilers, ventilation and other exhaust ducts, sewers, tunnels, underground utility vaults, and pipelines.

CONFLAGRATION. A fire extending over a considerable area, and destroying numbers of buildings and/or substantial amounts of property.

CONFOUNDING VARIABLE. A variable that is associated with both the independent and dependent variables which would not otherwise exist.

CONGENITAL ABNORMALITY. Any defect in the size or function of an organism existing at birth. A congenital abnormality is distinguished from an inborn abnormality in that the change may be hereditary or due to some applied stimulus during the total period of gestation; inborn on the other hand always implies a change secondary to a hereditary influence.

CONSENSUS STANDARD. A standard developed according to a consensus agreement or general opinion among representatives of various interested or affected organizations and individuals.

CONSTRAINT. A restriction or a compelling force affecting freedom or action. Forcing into a holding within close bounds. An operational condition which may necessitate work performance in a less than ideal, safe environment (e.g., building construction) and that therefore requires the provision of special safeguards.

CONTACT DERMATITIS (ALLERGIC TYPE). An inflammation of the skin due to contact with a sensitizing material. Certain substances may not cause a dermatitis on first contact, but may so alter the skin that it becomes inflamed after a second contact 5-10 days later. The first contact is said to have sensitized the skin. The second and subsequent contacts give rise to an allergic reaction often with a minimal exposure.

CONTACT DERMATITIS (IRRITANT TYPE). Inflammation from a material which would cause inflammation in the skin of most people if applied in sufficient concentration over a sufficient length of time. Most industrial dermatitis is due to contact with direct irritants.

CONTAINMENT. Restricting the spreading of fire or toxic or hazardous material.

CONTEST. To object to an alleged violation of regulatory standards.  An example would be disputing a violation alleged by an OSHA Area Director, thus placing the dispute before the review commission.

CONTRACTUAL LIABILITY. Liability as set forth by agreements between people as distinguished from liability imposed by law (legal liability).

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE. The act or omission amounting to want of ordinary care on part of complaining party, which concurring with defendants negligence is proximate cause of injury. This is different from assumption of risk, which exists where none of fault for injury rests with plaintiff, but where plaintiff assumes consequences of injury occurring through fault of defendant, third person, or fault of no one.


CONTROL TECHNOLOGY. Engineering measures and techniques designed as a system to eliminate, or reduce to acceptable levels, exposure to harmful agents in the workplace. Includes engineering controls, monitoring, personal protective equipment, and work practices.

CONTUSION. Injury to the body due to a blunt external force from an object, or a fall or bump. Usually accompanied by swelling and black and blue mark due to rupture of veins. Severity may vary from a small bruise to severe underlying damage to bones, vessels and nerves. Severe contusions may be accompanied by lacerations as well.

CORRELATION COEFFICIENT. A measure of the degree of association found between two characteristics in a series of observations on the assumption that the relationship between the two characteristics is adequately described by a straight line. A positive coefficient indicates that as one variable increases in value the other also tends to increase, while a negative coefficient indicates that as one variable increases in value, the other tends to decrease. Its value must be between +1 and -1; either +1 or -1 denotes complete dependence of one characteristic on the other, and 0 denotes no association whatsoever between them.

COST EFFECTIVENESS. In this method, the cost of system changes made to increase safety are compared with either the decreased costs of fewer serious failures, or with the increased effectiveness of the system to perform its task to determine the relative value of these changes.

COVERAGE (INSURANCE). An insured risk or liability. That which is insured, as specified in the insurance policy.

CRASH SAFETY. A system characteristic that allows the system occupants to survive the impact of a crash and to evacuate the system after potentially survivable accidents.

CRASHWORTHINESS. The capacity of a vehicle to act as a protective container and energy absorber during impact conditions.

CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE. Involving or relating to a legal crime due to failure to use a reasonable amount of care when such failure results in injury, illness, or death to another.

CRITICAL FUNCTION. An operation or activity which is essential to the continuing survival of a system. Those functions which have a major impact on system performance and safety.

CRITICAL INCIDENT TECHNIQUE. A set of procedures for collecting direct observations of human behavior in such a way as to facilitate their potential usefulness in solving practical problems and developing broad psychological principles. The critical incident technique outlines procedures for collecting observed incidents having special significance and meeting systematically defined criteria. A randomly selected sample of critical incidents should permit an inference to be made concerning the existence of similar incidents within the population from which the sample was taken.

CRITICAL ORGAN. That organ or tissue for which radiation injury will be of greatest detriment to health and, therefore, the limiting organ for that particular circumstance. Criticality- of an organ may be based on specific radiosensitivity, localized radiation, selective uptake of specific radioisotopes, or the importance of the organ for health.

CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY. A type of epidemiologic study in which the presence or absence of background characteristics or exposure to possible risks and also the presence or absence of the disease under study are measured at one point in time in the individuals being studied. Prevalence rates among those with and without the characteristics or risks are then compared.

CUMULATIVE TRAUMA DISORDER (CTD). A musculoskeletal injury that arises gradually as a result of repeated microtrauma.  CTDs are characterized by injuries to the tendons, nerves, or neurovascular system.  Examples of CTDs include tendinitis, tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, and Raynaud’s phenomenon (white finger disease). 

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