Safety Acronyms

Health and Safety Acronyms (HSA’s)

image_thumb2 (1)As we all know, acronyms are shorter forms of words or phrases that are useful when you need to repeat the same word or phrase a number of times throughout the same piece of writing. Or maybe to make you look smarter or more important when they are printed on your name on your business card? They have become common place in the world of social media but can be misinterpreted eg the Mother who recently texted her son to say “Your Aunty just died, LOL” – she thought LOL meant “Lots Of Love”.

Apart from in the IT industry, the safety world seems to have more three-letter acronyms (TLA’s) than any other. I hear new ones every day, they roll easily off the tongue and those in the game spit them out assuming we all know what they mean. But, most of us are too proud to admit our ignorance and slink off to google it on the iphone. As a lad we took great delight in making up our own derogatory meanings for any acronym we didn’t understand. Then there was our under performing Safety Health Improvement Team (took ages for the boss to wake up to that one). I’ve taken to always asking what a TLA means – its amazing how many people using them don’t even know!

I couldn’t find any web page or resource devoted to Safety Acronyms so I decided to start one and hope it helps – PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTRIBUTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.

More Safety Jargon, Safety Acronym and Safety Talk Articles and Resources which may cause you to rethink your discourse:


  • Weasel Words in Safety – by George Robotham
  • They’re Only Words….Aren’t They? – by Rob Sams
  • Jargon Killed the Astronauts – by Phil LaDuke
  • WHS Harmonisation Jargon – by The Safety Nerd
  • OHS and WHS ACRONYMS – Our list of safety acronyms and their meaning (well some of them)
  • The Crazy Words of Health and Safety – by Mark Taylor
  • The Workers Compensation Discourse – by James Ellis
  • How Can I Get The Boss To Listen – by Sheri Suckling
  • Your Safety Talk Matters – by Rob Long
  • Jargon-less Safety Talk

    Here are a few Safety Acronyms to get the ball rolling and hopefully the list will grow over time:

    1. AART – Apply Advanced Resuscitation Techniques
    2. AFARP – As far as reasonably practical
    3. ALARA – As Low As Reasonably Achievable
    4. ALARP – As Low As Reasonably Practicable
    5. ASSE – American Society of Safety Engineers
    6. BBS – Behavioural Based Safety
    7. COP – Code of Practice
    8. CBT – Competency Based Training
    9. CIAED – Course In Automated External Defibrillation
    10. DGHS – Dangerous Goods and Hazardous Substances
    11. DIFR – Disabling Injury Frequency Rate
    12. DoL – Department of Labour NZ
    13. EHSR – Elected Health and Safety Representative
    14. ELCB – Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker
    15. EMP – Emergency Management Plan
    16. ERT – Emergency Response Team
    17. FAI – First Aid Incident
    18. FIFR – Fatal Injury Frequency Rate
    19. HAZOP – Hazard and Operability
    20. HFA – Hazard Factor Assessment
    21. HIRA – Hazard Identification Risk Assessment
    22. HSE – Health & Safety Executive UK
    23. HSR – Health and Safety Representative
    24. HSSE – Health, Safety, Security & Environment
    25. ISHR – Industry Safety & Health Representative
    26. JSA – Job Safety Analysis (risk assessment before starting work)
    27. JSEA – as for JSA but includes Environmental risks
    28. L2RA – Level Two Risk Assessment
    29. LOTO – lock out tag out
    30. LTFR – Lost Time Frequency Rate
    31. LTI – Lost Time Injury
    32. MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheet
    33. MTI – Medically Treated Incident
    34. NLTPHRW – National Licence To Perform High Risk Work
    35. NMI – Near Miss Incident
    36. NSCA – National Safety Council of Australia
    37. NSFW – Not Safe For Work
    38. OFA – Occupational First Aid
    39. OHS – Occupational Health and Safety
    40. OHSC– Occupational Health and Safety Committee
    41. OSHA – Occupational Safety & Health Administration
    42. OHSMS – Occupational Health and Safety Management System
    43. PCBU – Person conducting a business or undertaking
    44. PHMP – Principal Hazard Management Plan – defined term in Qld coal mining legislation. A Principal Hazard is one capable of causing multiple fatalities. No coal mine in Qld can start without a PHMP for all PHs relevant to its operations.
    45. PHP – Personal Hearing Protection
    46. POCL – Pre Operation Check List
    47. PPE – Personal Protective Equipment
    48. PTW – Permit to Work
    49. RA – Risk Assessment
    50. RACE – Rescue, Activate alarm, Confine the fire, Evacuate/Extinguish
    51. RCA – Root Cause Analysis
    52. RCD – Residual Current Device
    53. SFA – Senior First Aid
    54. SHE – Safety Health and Environment
    55. SHIT – Special High Intensity Training, Safety & Health Improvement Team
    56. SHMP – Safety & Health Management Plan (action plan to implement the SHMS)
    57. SHMS – Safety & Health Management System
    58. SIA – Safety Institute of Australia
    59. SIFR – Serious Injury Frequency Rate
    60. SINA – Safety Is No Accident
    61. SIT – Safety Improvement Team
    62. SMP – Safety management Plan
    63. SOP – Standard Operating Procedure (defined in Queensland mining legislation)
    64. SSOP Safe Standard Operating Procedure
    65. SSHR – Site Safety & Health Representative
    66. SWI – Safe (or Standard) Work Instruction – short summary of the SOP, usually one page, listing risks and risk controls.
    67. SWL – Safe Working Load
    68. SWMS – safe work method statement
    69. SWP – Safe Work Procedures, Safe Work Platform
    70. TRI – Total Recordable Injuries, Total Reportable Injuries
    71. TRIFR – Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate
    72. VRDs – Voltage Reduction Devices
    73. W@H – Work at Heights
    74. WAH – Work at Heights
    75. WHS – Workplace Health and Safety
    76. WHSO – Workplace Health and Safety Officer
    77. WICS – Work In Confined Space
    78. WMS – Work Method Statement
  • Yusry Danie


    • Last Minute Risk Assessment
      Pre Activity Safety Review

  • Re: Safety Acronym

    We use many acronyms at Vestas; the one Safety Acronym we use, at Cape Scott, is the Safety AHA. The AHA stands for All Hazards Assessment.
    We here at the Cape Scott Wind Farm hope the Safety AHA becomes a valuable tool for your team; that you have many Safety AHA moments.
    Kind regards

  • PhoeniX

    CCP is Clinical Care & Prevention

    but I have not come across MCCP before, suggest you check the context of use and direct your enquiry to the author or user of the acronym

    • If you Google it there are dozens of possibilities and that is the danger of using acronyms and jargon:

      Metro Crisis Coordination Plan
      Mid Chained Chlorinated Paraffin
      Mud Client Compression Protocol



    Kindly send me the meaning of acronym called MCCP.

  • PhoeniX

    HSE Health, Safety & Environment
    HSSE Health, Safety, Security & Environment

    SOP Standard Operating Procedure
    SSOP Safe Standard Operating Procedure

  • Sanjay Sharma

    RCA – Root Cause Analysis

  • Wynand

    Important one: SDS Safety data sheet – new name for MSDS.
    MoC or MOC Management of change,

    Confusing ones: CO gas in petrochemicals = carbon monoxide, CO gas in (some?) steel industry = coke oven gas,
    PEP report also means Process economic program, post exposure prophylaxis, (250 more possibilities!)

    Golden rule: always define the acronym.

    I once, as a very young scientist, attended a meeting WAY above my pay grade. At some stage, I hestantly asked what a certain term meant. After about 20 minutes of discussion, the group of managers agreed they are not sure themselves, agreed to look at the definition again and thanked me for asking. I was never scared again to ask if I did not know.

  • Lucinda

    Just got one problem – Here OSHA is Occupational safety and health act – As in legislation, and NO we are NOT harmonised!

  • EMP emergency management plan
    TLA three letter acronyms
    HSC health and safety committee

    • Riskex

      Thanks Julie – why dont you send me a few articles about your business and what you do? Happy to promote local small businesses and safety professionals

  • Please add PEP talk

    • Riskex

      I didny know that was an acronym – help me out

  • Alurin

    STEP – Safety Tops Every Performance…..

  • Dave B

    It is interesting to see all the acronyms there. Just lately it seems that the Safety Officer role now embraces Quality and Environment (not a good idea, imho) which now adds to the list. QSE, HQE, HSEQ, and so on.
    The W (welfare) seems to have disappeared altogether from the phrase, however that would be covered under the health banner. Trying to get my head around these really does give me special high intensity training.

    • Riskex

      I know -its out of control. I was talking to someone about their computerised safety system that they call SHE. All the guys call it “SHE who must be obeyed”

    • Riskex

      I once had a cop out role that encompassed all that and more – I was called People and Processes Manager – responsible and accountable for everything with authority for nothing

  • braithy

    SWP – Safe Work Procedure
    SWP – Stable (or Safe) Work Platform

    Both acronyms were used at the same workplace in a previous working life. When it came up in an OHS Committee meeting that we were non compliant with our SWP’s and they needed a complete overhaul (and the OHS coordinator was meaning procedures) – it turned into a heated debate with a maintenance staff member questioning the OHS Coord’s expertise on SWP’s and how would he know whether they needed an overhaul, and the maintenance dept had spent considerable time on … yes “reviewing” their SWP’s over time and they were fine. Yes… HE meant SWP’s as in platform! After about 20 minutes when slings, harnesses started entering the conversation, did the committee twig they were talking about two different SWP’s. Smiles all around at the end, but was quite a show… wish I taped it… would use it for training purposes!!

    • Riskex

      That’s a classic! Thanks for sharing braithy 🙂

  • Terry Mills

    WAH – Work at Heights
    W@H – Work at Heights
    WICS – Work In Confined Space
    NLTPHRW -National Licence To Perform High Risk Work
    OFA – Occupational First Aid
    SFA – Senior First Aid
    CIAED – Course In Automated External Defibrillation
    AART -Apply Advanced Resuscitation Techniques
    LTFR – Lost Time Frequency Rate
    TRI – Total Recordable Injuries
    POCL – Pre Operation Check List
    MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheet

    • Riskex

      Thanks Terry – I think we have created a Monster!

  • john staples

    HSR Health and Safety Representative
    EHSR Elected Health and Safety Representative
    AFARP As far as ressonable practicale
    PCBU Person conducting a business or undertaking

    • Riskex

      Thanks John – no wonder some people think that safety people speak a different language!

  • HIRA – Hazard Identification Risk Assessment
    HFA – Hazard Factor Assessment
    L2RA – Level Two Risk Assessment
    PTW – Permit to Work

    • Riskex

      Thanks Tracey!

  • Daniel McConville

    OHSMS – Occupational Health and Safety Management System
    OHSC– Occupational Health and Safety Committee
    MTI – Medically Treated Incident
    NMI – Near Miss Incident
    FAI – First Aid incident

    • Riskex

      Thanks daniel – there are a few there i hadnt seen before

  • Sando

    SWL – Safe Working Load
    VRDs – Voltage Reduction Devices

    • Riskex

      Thanks heaps Sando