A

Acetate

Scratch-resistant material used for faceshields/goggles that protects against chemical splash and light impact.

Action Level

Exposure level (concentration of the material in air) at which certain OSHA regulations to protect employees take effect (CFR 1910.1001-1047). e.g., workplace air analysis, employee training, medical monitoring and record keeping. Exposure at or above the action level is termed occupational exposure.

Acute Exposure

A single exposure to a hazardous agent.

ADA

Americans with Disabilities Act. A civil rights law preventing discrimination against people with disabilities. This act can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR Part 1191).

Administrative Controls

A category of hazard control that uses administrative/ management involvement in order to minimize employee exposure to the hazard. Some examples are: job enrichment, job rotation, work/rest schedules, work rates, periods of adjustment.

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)

An organization of industrial hygiene professionals that develops occupational health and safety programs. ACGIH develops and publishes recommended occupational exposure limits for hundreds of chemical substances and physical agents.

ANSI (American National Standards Institute)

Private organization that provides consensus standards that many manufacturers need to comply with (some OSHA regulations require that products and procedures conform to specific ANSI standards).

APR (Air Purifying Respirator)

This is a respirator that uses either a filter or an adsorbent media (charcoal cartridge) to keep contaminated atmospheres from entering the lungs.

Arc Rating

The maximum incident energy resistance demonstrated by a material (or a layered system of materials) prior to break open, or at the onset of a second-degree skin burn. Arc rating is normally expressed in cal/cm2.

Asphyxiant

A vapour or gas that can either reduce the oxygen content in the air or interfere with the body’s ability to use oxygen. Exposure to an asphyxiant can result in unconsciousness or death due to being unable to breathe.

ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)

Technical organization which develops standards on characteristics and performance of materials, products, systems, and services.

ATPV (Arc Thermal Performance Value)

Expressed in cal/cm2. Also called “Arc Rating”.

Attenuation

Reduction, expressed in decibels, of the sound intensity at a first location as compared with sound intensity at a second location. We use this term to help identify how much protection that a given hearing protection device is giving.

Audiometric Testing

Tests that are conducted to determine the hearing ability of a person. These tests may be used to establish an employee’s baseline hearing, to identify any subsequent hearing loss, and to monitor the effectiveness of noise controls.

B

Barrier Cream

A cream designed to protect the hands and other parts of the skin from exposure to harmful agents. Barrier cream is also known as protective hand cream.

Biohazard

Infectious agents presenting a potential risk to a person’s well-being.

Biological Agent

Any living organism (for example, virus or bacteria) that affects the body, a part of the body, or any of its functions. The effects may be beneficial or harmful.

Biological Monitoring

The use of medical tests to determine whether a person has been or is being exposed to a substance.

Boiling Point

The temperature at which a liquid changes to a vapor.

Bonding

The use of low-resistance material to connect two or more conductive objects that would likely undergo a build-up of static electricity. Bonding prevents the unwanted release of electrical energy, such as sparks. e.g., transferring of one flammable liquid from one container to another can release electrical energy if it is not bonded.

Breathing Zone

The area surrounding the worker’s head. The make-up of air in this area is thought to be representative of the air that is actually breathed in by the worker.

Bloodborne Pathogen

Virus or infection, such as Hepatitis B or HIV, that is present in blood and can be transmitted through blood or bodily secretions.

Body Harness

Distributes the arresting forces over the thighs, shoulders, and pelvis, and can be attached to a lanyard, lifeline, or deceleration device.

Bonding

Interconnecting of two objects with clamps and bare wire. Helps prevent static sparks that could ignite flammable materials.

Bound Seam

Clean-finished chainstitch binding, which encapsulates raw edges of fabric (primarily on suits). For intermediate levels of protection.

Breakthrough Time

Time from initial chemical contact to detection.

Butyl

Synthetic rubber which provides the highest permeation resistance to gases and water vapors. Does not offer the physical strength of natural rubber.

C

Carabiner

Self-closing, self-locking steel connector used to attach to an anchorage point.

Carcinogen

A chemical, physical or biological agent that can cause cancer in humans or animals.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A common affliction caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. Asssociated with tingling, pain or numbness in the thumb and first three fingers.

CBRN

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear.

CFM

Cubic Feet per Minute.

CFR

Code of Federal Regulations. A codification of rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government. The code is divided into 50 Titles representing the broad areas subject to federal regulations.

Chemical Agent

A chemical substance that affects the body, a part of the body, or any of its functions. The effects may be beneficial or harmful.

Chronic Exposure

Repeated exposure to a hazardous agent.

Combustible Liquid

Burns at a flash point between 100°F and 200°F.

Confined Space

A space in which a hazardous gas, vapor, dust or fume may collect or in which oxygen may be used up because of the construction of the space, its location, contents, or the work activity carried out in it. It is an area which is not designed for continuous human occupancy and has limited opening for entry, exits or ventilation.

Contaminant

An unwanted material (for example, radioactive, biological or chemical) that is likely to harm the quality of the working environment. The most common workplace contaminants are chemicals that may be present in the form of dusts, fumes, gases or vapors.

Controls

Measures designed to eliminate or reduce hazards or hazardous exposures. Examples include: engineering controls, administrative controls, personal protective equipment. Hazards can be controlled at the source, along the path to the worker, or at the worker.

Corrosive

A substance that will burn the skin or eyes on contact.

CSA

Canadian Standards Association. This group is very similar to ANSI.

D

dB (Decibel)

Unit that expresses the relative intensity of sounds on a scale of 0 (least perceptible) to 130 (pain level).

DC (Direct Current)

Electric current that travels in one direction. Usually supplied by batteries or a transformer that changes a current from AC to DC.

Degradation

Change in physical properties due to erosion from chemicals.

Dermatitis

Inflammation of the skin. Symptoms of dermatitis may include: redness, blisters, and cracks in the skin.

Dexterity

The ability to feel through gloves.

Dielectric

Material that doesn’t conduct or transfer a direct electric current.

Direct Venting

Series of holes on a goggle that allows direct air flow to the space behind the lenses. Shouldn’t be use for splash because these vents will allow fluid through.

DOT

Department of Transportation.

Dust

Fine particles of a solid that can remain suspended in air. The particle size of a dust is larger than that of a fume. Dusts are produced by mechanical action, such as grinding. Some dusts may be harmful to an employee’s health.

E

EH

Electrical Hazard.

Electric Arc

Electrical conduction through a gas in an applied electric field.

Electrolytes

Essential salts and minerals contained in bodily fluids.

Emergency Plan

Detailed procedures for responding to an emergency, such as a fire or explosion, a chemical spill, or an uncontrolled release of energy. An emergency plan is necessary to keep order, and minimize the effects of the disaster.

Engineering Controls

A category of hazard control (for employee exposure) that uses physical/engineering methods to eliminate or minimize the hazard. Examples of engineering controls include: ventilation, isolation, elimination, enclosure, substitution and design of the workplace or equipment. This is the preferred method of protecting employees before resorting to personal protective equipment.

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)

Federal agency with environmental protection, regulatory, and enforcement authority.

Ergonomics

An applied science that studies the interaction between people and the work environment. It focuses on matching the job to the worker.

Evaporation

The process by which a liquid, without reaching its boiling point, changes into a vapor and mixes with the air.

Explosive

A substance, mixture or compound that is capable of producing an explosion.

Exposure Level

Level or concentration of a physical or chemical hazard to which a person is exposed (most common for respiratory and noise hazards).

Exposure Records

The records kept by an employer, or company doctor or nurse of an employee’s exposure to a hazardous material or physical agent in the workplace. These records show the time, level and length of exposure for each substance or agent involved.

F

FDA (Food and Drug Administration)

Responsible for ensuring that foods, drugs, biological products, medical devices, and cosmetics are safe, and accurately and informatively represented.

Filter Holder

Base plate that a prefilter would be placed on. Needed when not using a cartridge in conjunction with the prefilter. If using a cartridge then the cartridge will act as the “holder”.

Filter Retainer

Top piece that holds the prefilter onto a cartridge or filter holder.

Fit Test

Required by OSHA. Must be satisfactorily completed before a respirator is worn in a contaminated area. See also Qualitative or Quantitative Fit Test.

Flame Arrester

Screen found inside the spout of a safety can to prevent fire flashback to the can contents.

Flame Resistant

Made or treated to resist burning. Fabric self-extinguishes when the source of ignition is removed.

Flammable Liquid

A liquid with a flash point below 100°F, excluding gases.

Flash Point

The lowest temperature at which a liquid will give off enough vapors to form a mixture that will burn if ignited. The lower the flash point, the higher the risk of fire.

Flock Lined

Shredded fiber, usually cotton, applied to the inside surface of a glove. Helps absorb perspiration and aids in donning and doffing.

FM (Factory Mutual)

Nationally recognized testing laboratory and approved service recognized by OSHA.

Fog

Suspended droplets of a liquid that are produced by condensation or by the breaking up of a liquid.

Fume

Solid particles of extremely small size, created when solid materials vaporize under high heat and then cool. Produced from operations such as welding, smelting, and pouring molten metal.