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WHS Terminology - Definitions and Explanations

WHS Terminology - Definitions and Explanations

WHS Terminology - Definitions and Explanations

The following article features definitions and explanations of a range of WHS terminology and Industry-specific Language. Looking for a specific definition? To navigate the page, we recommend using keyboard command 'Ctrl+F' (Microsoft) or 'Command+F' (Mac) to search for the specific definition you are after.


Accident - An incident that was unintended or unexpected. May or may not have resulted in the injury or harm of one or more persons.


Australian Standard - Documents outlining specific requirements associated with particular areas in Workplace Health and Safety in Australia (AS) or Australian and New Zealand (AS/NZS).


Compliance - The act of meeting requirements of applicable Laws and Regulations - e.g. legislation, regulations, Australian standards, industry standards, guidelines, codes of conduct, code of ethics and organisational policies.​


Employee - An individual who works for/ is employed by a PCBU. Term may be ongoing, fixed term or casual and/or full-time or part-time, and the employee must receive a salary or wage.


Fatigue - Extreme tiredness/exhaustion, mental and/or physical. Generally results from overwork and lack of sleep etc.


HSR - Health and Safety Representative.


PCBU - 'Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking'. This acronym is used widely in the WHS industry to describe all various forms of modern businesses (For example, a: public company, private company, sole trader, Government department or School/University etc.). A PCBU has a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their workers. For more information, click here.


Pedestrian - A person who is walking, as opposed to using a vehicle.


SWMS - Safe Work Method Statements.


WES - Workplace Exposure Standards.


WHS - 'Workplace Health and Safety'. Generally used in relation to the Australian WHS Industry or associated Laws and regulations.


Worker - An individual who performs a specific type of work, to achieve a specific objective, by an employer or PCBU.