It is important to understand certain OHS terms. Developing a glossary of terms is a useful way of ensuring you have the basic terminology correct. It is strongly recommended that you develop your own glossary and add to it 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 Glossary of terms before going any further.
Consultation A process of seeking information or the informed opinions from one or more people prior to decision-making. Should particularly include those who may affect the outcomes or be affected by the decisions made but may also include specialist sources. Consultation does not necessarily mean reaching agreement.
OHS management system
That part of the overall management system which includes organisational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the OHS policy, and so managing the OHS risks associated with the business of the organisation.
Shared values (what is important) and beliefs (how things work) that interact with an organisation’s structures and control systems to produce behavioural norms (the way we do things around here) (Reason, 1997).
Where an organisation has a preoccupation with failure and recognises that failures, no matter how minor, provide the opportunity to learn about potential disasters. The organisation treats every failure as a symptom of something wrong with the system that requires analysis and action to correct the system fault.
System A concept where there is a recognisable whole consisting of a number of parts or components which interact in an organised way.
Systematic Logical, ordered, methodical. In the context of managing OHS it is based on a continuous improvement process that includes policy and commitment, planning, implementation, measurement and evaluation, and review and improvement.
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