Glossary

ADG Code:  the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail.  The ADG Code is prepared by the Federal Office of Road Safety within the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Communications.

biological monitoring:  testing for the presence of a hazardous substance, its metabolites or a biochemical change in a person's body tissue, exhaled air or fluid.

carcinogenic:  capable of causing cancer.

chemical name:  the scientific or technical name of a substance.

code of practice:  a systematic collection of rules, standards and other information relating to the practices and procedures followed in an area.  In general, a code of practice:

  • is designed to provide practical guidance;
  • should be followed, unless there is a better method which achieves the same result;
  • may be used in support of a statute's provisions;  and
  • may be used to support prosecution for non-compliance.

control measures:  ways of preventing or minimising a person's exposure to a hazardous substance.  A hierarchy of controls ranks measures taken to prevent or reduce hazard exposure according to effectiveness.

corrosive:  capable of destroying materials or living tissue (eg skin) on contact.

cytotoxic:  having the property of being destructive to living cells.

designated hazardous substance:  a substance listed in the NOHSC's document entitled "List of Designated Hazardous Substances".

emergency services manifest:  a summary of dangerous goods hazards by major class and location, which enables the emergency services (eg fire services) to deal promptly and safely with incidents involving hazardous materials.

exposed:  a person is exposed to a hazardous substance if the person absorbs, or is likely to absorb the substance by ingestion, or inhalation or through the skin or mucous membrane.

harmful:  capable of causing health problems after larger or long term exposures.

hazard:  the hazard presented by a substance is its potential to cause harm.  It may be able to cause illness or damage or even lead to death.

hazardous substance:  a chemical or other substance that can affect workers' health causing illness or disease;  and any substance for which the supplier, manufacturer or importer must, under the Workplace Health and Safety (Hazardous Substances) Compliance Standard 1995 (Qld) provide a current material safety data sheet.  From 1 September 1997, hazardous substances include those with carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic effects, and cytotoxic drugs.

Hazchem code:  an alpha-numeric code for hazardous chemicals developed in the UK as a means of providing information to first responders to emergency situations.  In Australia the code is set out in the ADG Code.  It gives information on the firefighting medium to be used, personnel protection, risk of violent reaction or explosion, spillage action and on whether evacuation should be considered.

health surveillance:  the monitoring (including biological monitoring or medical examination) of a person in relation to the person's exposure to a hazardous substance.  Surveillance is for the purpose of identifying changes in health status due to exposure.

hierarchy of controls: ranking of  measures taken to prevent or reduce hazard exposure according to effectiveness.  That is from the most effective measures that eliminate hazards to the least satisfactory that achieve only limited protection.

induction:  the process by which new employees are introduced to a workplace and its policies and processes. 

inventory of substances:  a list of all the chemicals used in a particular workplace.  The inventory and register of hazardous substances are linked.

irritant:  capable of irritating or inflaming the skin, eyes or respiratory system, eg causing dermatitis.

manifest: a summary of dangerous goods hazards by major class and location, which enables the emergency services (eg fire services) to deal promptly and safely with incidents involving hazardous materials.

monitoring:  regularly checking (other than by biological monitoring) the person's risk from or level of exposure to a hazardous substance;  and the effectiveness of hazardous substance control measures at the workplace.

MSDS:  material safety data sheet.

mutagenic:  capable of causing damage to genes.

NOHSC:  the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission established under the "National Occupational Health and Safety Commission Act 1985" (Commonwealth).

National Model Regulations for the Control of Workplace Hazardous Substances:  regulations which establish specific requirements for hazardous substances used in the workplace.  They are a non-statutory source of law;  that is the national model regulations are only advisory except where a national or state law adopts them and makes them mandatory.

personal protective equipment (PPE):  equipment or clothing designed to be worn by a person to provide protection from hazards.  For example, gloves, eye protectors, boots, ear muffs, etc.

plant:  includes machinery, equipment, appliances, pressure vessels, implements and tools, personal protective equipment;  and a component of plant, and a fitting, connection, accessory or adjunct to plant.

Poisons Schedule:  a classification of poisonous substances requiring special labelling, storage and use.  Nine schedules have been provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).  The "Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons (SUSPD) is published by the NHMRC and is the basis for state and territory poisons legislation.

product name:  the brand name, code name, trade name or code number given to a hazardous substance by its manufacturer, importer or supplier.

register of hazardous substances:  a list of all hazardous substances used at the workplace.

register of MSDS:  a file containing the current material safety data sheets for each hazardous substance used at the workplace.

risk:  the risk from a substance is the likelihood that it will harm you during its use.

risk assessment:  a systematic examination of a substance to identify the hazards, understand the likelihood and consequences of its use and to review the current or planned approaches to control the risks.

risk phrase:  a phrase stated in the NOHSC's document entitled "National Code of Practice for the Labelling of Workplace Substances" that gives information about the substance's hazards.

safety phrases:  a phrase stated in the NOHSC's document entitled "National Code of Practice for the Labelling of Workplace Substances" that gives information about the safe use of a substance;  or the personal protective equipment for the substance.

sensitising:  capable of causing allergic reaction such as asthma to even minute quantities of the substance.

teratogenic:  capable of causing birth defects.

toxic:  capable of causing death or serious health problems after exposure.

type 1 ingredient:  an ingredient present in the substance in a concentration more than the ingredient's concentration cut-off level stated in the approved criteria and described as:
i. carcinogenic, corrosive, mutagenic, teratogenic, toxic or very toxic;  or
ii. a respiratory or skin sensitiser;  or
iii. a harmful substance capable of causing a person an irreversible adverse health effect after acute exposure.

type 2 ingredient:  an ingredient (other than a type 1 ingredient) present in a substance in a concentration more than the ingredient's concentration cut-off level stated in the approved criteria;  and described in the approved criteria as a harmful substance.

type 3 ingredient:  an ingredient (other than a type 1 or type 2 ingredient) present in a substance.

UN number:  a four-digit substance identification number assigned by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.  A number is assigned to substances with similar hazardous characteristics.

very toxic:  capable of causing death or very serious health problems after relatively small exposures.