Glossary beginning with R

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


Radiant exposure search for term

Radiant exposure, also referred to as dose or exposure dose, is the sum over time of irradiance. It represents the amount of radiation a worker has been exposed to over a period of time (for example, a work day). Its unit of measurement is the Joule per square meter (J/m2).

Radiant heat search for term

Radiant heat describes the heat (from infrared radiation) coming from sources other than the sun which may contribute to the worker’s overall heat load. For example, a worker next to hot tar or asphalt will experience more than just heat from the sun. Also see Globe Temperature.

Radiant temperature search for term

Radiant temperature is the temperature resulting from a body absorbing radiant energy.

Reflective surfaces search for term

Reflective surfaces can reflect sunlight and increase a worker’s exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Snow, water, ice and hard shiny smooth surfaces are examples of reflective surfaces.

Regulation search for term

Regulations are made under the authority of an Act (a statute, referred to here as their parent Act). They are not passed by a legislature, they are usually passed by a cabinet. They are almost always more detailed than their parent Act. They provide the content for regulation-dependent duties in the Act. Specific legal requirements for protection against heat stress and ultraviolet radiation will almost always be found in the regulations. Regulations are not guidelines, they are just as much law’ as the parent Act

Residual risk search for term

Residual risk is “the risk remaining after a hierarchy of risk controls has been implemented”.1

Responsibilities search for term

Responsibilities refer to obligations or duties which each worker has, particularly as described in occupational health and safety legislation.

Return to work search for term

Return to work is process of safely returning employees to the workplace in a timely way, following an incident/health condition. The workplace will need to make an assessment of each individual’s situation, based on medical recommendations. If an employee is not able to directly return to their previous job, another suitable job or arrangements for a graduated return to work can be investigated.

Risk search for term

Risk is a function of the severity of harm (which can also be considered in terms of hazard) and the likelihood of the occurrence of that harm (which can also be considered in terms of exposure). Risk can be expressed either quantitatively (such as a probability) or qualitatively (as a ranking, such as low, medium or high). Refer to CCOHS – Hazard and Risk.

Risk analysis search for term

Risk analysis is a “process for comprehending the nature of hazards and determining the level of risk”.1 It is a basis for risk evaluation and decisions about risk control. Information can include current and historical data, theoretical analysis, informed opinions, and the concerns of stakeholders. It includes risk estimation.1 For a sun safety risk assessment, risk analysis involves an assessment of the levels of sun exposure which different workers/job tasks have, and an assessment of the level of risk posed to workers from this exposure. The risks assessed relate to the adverse health effects from exposure, such as sunburn, photokeratitis, skin cancer, and heat-induced conditions.

Risk assessment search for term

Risk assessment is the overall process of hazard identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation.1 Risk assessment can be done at an OHSMS level, but it can also be done on a very informal basis. A good example is a safety talk, where a supervisor, with worker involvement, assesses the risk of sun exposure for that particular day, and consider any variations in controls.

Risk control search for term

Risk control refers to “actions implementing risk evaluation decisions”.1 It can involve monitoring, re-evaluating, and looking into compliance with decisions.1 Also see control and control measures.

Risk criteria search for term

Risk criteria are “the terms of reference against which the significance of risk is evaluated”.1 They are based on organizational objectives and external and internal contextual factors. Risk criteria can be derived from standards, legal requirements, and policies. For a sun safety risk assessment, relevant exposure standards are the ACGIH TLV’s for ultraviolet radiation and heat stress, and the UV Index.

Risk estimation search for term

Risk estimation is “a process used to assign values to the likelihood and consequences of a risk”.1 It can consider costs, benefits, the concerns of stakeholders, and other variables, as appropriate for risk evaluation.

Risk evaluation search for term

Risk evaluation is “the process of comparing an estimated risk against given risk criteria to determine the significance of the risk”.1 See also risk estimation.

Risk reduction search for term

Risk reduction refers to “actions (use of preventive and protective measures) taken to lessen the likelihood of harm, the severity of harm, or both”.1

Rules search for term

Rules are ‘do’s and don’ts’ associated with work. They are not guidelines and they are usually phrased more simply than procedures. They can be based both on occupational health and safety regulations or go beyond regulations in their specificity. They may be formal and written or they may be ’rules of the moment’ decided by a supervisor given the work circumstances. They usually imply discipline or other supervisory response when not followed.

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