Glossary beginning with A

Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.


Accident search for term

An accident is any unplanned event which causes harm to people or damage to property. Also see Incident.

Acclimatization search for term

Acclimatization refers to the ability of our bodies to adapt to working in a hot environment. The initial benefits of acclimatization can be seen within a few days of increased physical activity, but the longer-term benefits take a few weeks of constant exposure to hot environments. Acclimatization can also be lost within a few days of non-exposure to elevated temperatures and work rates. Given these considerations, outdoor workers often do not work for long enough at high enough temperatures to become acclimatized. Acclimatization also varies among individuals. People who are not physically fit or who have a range of underlying health conditions take longer to acclimatize. 

Accountability search for term

A person may have responsibilities under a sun safety program, but accountability is about whether the person has fulfilled their responsibilities. A person may have authority under a Sun Safety Program to make certain decisions, but accountability is about whether the person has exercised their authority properly. The person who delegates responsibility and authority should hold the delegatee accountable.

Act search for term

The Act step of the Model Sun Safety Program is the sixth and final step. It is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act model for improvement. It reflects the need for ongoing high-level review of the occupational health and safety management system and a commitment to continual improvement.

Action limit search for term

An action limit is a level of exposure which is lower than the occupational exposure limit but represents a level of exposure at which action should be taken to reduce worker exposure. It is generally one-half the occupational exposure limit. See also occupational exposure limit.

Acute search for term

An acute exposure is a short term exposure. An acute health effect is one that appears a short time after exposure (minutes and hours). For example, a sunburn is an acute effect.

Administrative controls search for term

Administrative controls are ’people-centred’ measures that are used to reduce risk in the workplace. For example, selecting the right person for the task, training, coaching and job rotation. In the Hierarchy of Risk Controls, administrative controls are considered after engineering controls have been put in place, and before personal protection (or personal protective equipment) is considered.  The optimal situation is that after engineering and administrative controls are in place, the residual risk will be so low that personal protection will not be necessary.

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) search for term

A professional not-for-profit organization that provides authoritative standards (i.e. Threshold Limit Values or TLVs) for workplace health and safety, including occupational exposure limits for heat stress and UV radiation exposure.

Anemometer search for term

An anemometer is a device used to measure air speed. A dry wind enhances evaporation and therefore assists with cooling the body.

Audit search for term

An audit is a systematic and documented process to obtain and objectively evaluate evidence on whether all of the elements of an occupational health and safety management system/sun safety program have been implemented and to determine how effective the occupational health and safety management system/sun safety program is in protecting workers. 1 Audits are therefore a high-level review of a workplace’s occupational health and safety policies and procedures. They can help a workplace to determine the level and effectiveness of worker participation; compliance with occupational health and safety legislation and other requirements; how well evaluations, actions and reviews have been implemented; and the effectiveness of improvements in policies, practices and procedures. 2

  • 1. CSA Z1000-14 – Occupational health and safety management. CSA Group, 2014.
  • 2. Implementing an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Program. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Hamilton, ON, 2012.
Authority search for term

It is not enough to assign responsibilities. Individuals should also understand what their authority is to make certain decisions under a sun safety program. An individual should be held accountable for both fulfilling their responsibilities and for exercising their authority.

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