Definition of Terms



Occupational Health Management refers to: preventing workers from suffering adverse effects on their health caused by their job, by avoiding or controlling risks through task and worker adaptation.


Occupational Ill-Health refers to: all health problems in the work environment. The term covers health problems workers bring to the workplace as well as health issues caused or aggravated by work.It covers serious and fatal diseases; physical effects on skin, breathing, hearing, mobility and functioning; and psychological effects such as on mental wellbeing.Effects may be immediate and visible but are more often unseen and take a long time to develop.


Health limitations: refers to any health problem/condition that may impact/limit the individualís ability to carry out their usual day to activities at work.


All OH risks/issues refers to: the full spectrum of Occupational Health (OH) risks/issues ranging from traditional OH risks/issues (e.g. respiratory, dermal, noise, HAVS) through to wellbeing risks/issues that can give rise to stress, anxiety, depression and MSDís or positive outcomes such as improved morale, happiness and job satisfaction arising from health promotion. Conditions that are not caused by work can still be work relevant and fall under the umbrella of occupational health because they can impact upon ability to carry out work. This can include degenerative conditions such as e.g. Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsonís.


OH support refers to: either in-house or external OH support that is provided to all staff.This may be through formal services or via line management support. Good quality OH support should cover both proactive and reactive management of all aspects of OH (see previous definition for all OH issues/risks).


Health Surveillance: is a statutory risk based system of ongoing health checks required when workers are exposed to hazardous substances or activities that may cause them harm. It helps employers to regularly monitor and check for early signs of work-related ill health in these employees.


Good health Good business: this short hand statement is used to mean Good health is equal to Good business and vice versa.


Stakeholders refers to: those who have a vested interest or are affected by the OH and wellbeing of a workforce (e.g. employer, leaders, workers, principal contractors, main contractors, sub-contractors, temporary workers, designers, architects, product/equipment manufacturers/suppliers, insurers).


Employees refers to: all individuals employed by the company.This may include directly employed, sub-contracted and temporary workers.


The project lifecycle refers to: all stages of a construction project from outset to completion (e.g. planning, design, build, maintenance and temporary works).


Organisational learning refers to: the effective processing, interpretation of, and response to, information from both inside and outside the organisation. Organisational learning shows commitment to improvement and allows employees to actively participate in the continuous improvement process. 


Formal learning refers to: structured mechanisms for providing information, knowledge and skills in relation to OH issues/risks. This may include a variety of methods e.g. induction courses, toolbox talks, classroom sessions, on-site training sessions etc.


Informal learning refers to: the provision of information, knowledge and skills in relation to OH issues/risks in an informal or ad hoc manner e.g. unplanned discussions about OH, peer to peer discussions and informal coaching/mentoring etc.


Regular refers to: activities that are undertaken at least once every 2 months.