Cert IV OHS Online – Glossary of OHS Terms

When studying the Certificate IV in OHS, you should be developing a glossary of terms as a useful way of ensuring you have the basic occupational health and safety terminology correct.

We strongly recommend that you add to your glossary throughout this unit and the rest of your study.

Some terms relevant to this unit are defined below. Make sure that you are familiar with the Key Legal Terms before going any further.


Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)

A person conducts a business or undertaking:

(a) whether the person conducts the business or undertaking

alone or with others; and

(b) whether or not the business or undertaking is conducted for

profit or gain.

Worker – A person who carries out work in any capacity for a PCBU as:

(a) an worker; or

(b) a contractor or subcontractor; or

(c) an worker of a contractor; or

subcontractor; or

(d) an worker of a labour hire company who has been assigned to

work in the person’s business or undertaking; or

(e) an outworker; or

(f) an apprentice or trainee; or

(g) a student gaining work experience; or

(h) a volunteer; or

(i) a person of a prescribed class.

NOTE: A PCBU can also be a worker if they carry out work in the

business or undertaking

Volunteer – The term ‘volunteer’ is defined to mean a person who acts on a voluntary basis, irrespective of whether the person receives out-of-pocket expenses. Whether an individual is a ‘volunteer’ is a question of fact that will depend on the circumstances of each case. This term is defined here due to its inclusion as a key term in the WHS model legislation.

Workplace – A place where work is carried out for a business or undertaking and includes any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be, while at work, bathroom, lunch room, etc.

Jurisdiction – Geographic area or division of industry or the community in which government has the power and authority to administer and apply certain laws.


Reasonably practicable – What can reasonably be done in the circumstances taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters, including:

1. the likelihood of the relevant hazard or risk occurring;

2. the degree of harm that might result;

3. what the person knows or ought reasonably to know about the hazard or risk and the ways of eliminating or minimising the risk; and

4. the availability and suitability of ways to eliminate or minimise the risk.

After taking into account these matters, only then can the person consider the cost associated with available ways of eliminating or

minimising the risk, including whether the cost is grossly disproportionate to the risk.

Notifiable incident – A ‘notifiable incident’ is an incident involving the death of a person, ‘serious injury or illness’ of a person or a ‘dangerous incident’.

Originating Court – The court where a matter will be heard for the first time.

Appellate court – A higher court to which an appeal may be made from an

originating court.

Tort – Wrongful act of one party causing harm to another. The three branches of the law of tort are trespass, nuisance and negligence.

Hazard Hazard, in relation to a person, means anything that may result in injury to the person or harm to the health of the person.

Risk Risk, in relation to any injury or harm, means the probability of that injury or harm occurring.

Incident An unplanned event which may or may not result in a negative consequence.

Learn More About OHS Resources

LMIT delivers the Certificate IV in OHS and the Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety Completely Online in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.  The Advanced Diploma in OHS is also available via RPL only.

Published by: LMIT

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