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Safety; What Does It Really Mean?

We have been writing a lot about Health and Safety, but we have not really spend time to dissect What Is Safety individually.

So, in this article we are going to do that from the next paragraph. We are going to give different variations on what Safety is all about.


This could mean one or more of the following:

  • It could mean a state of being safe; freedom from risk of injury, danger, or loss.
  • The state after being able to avert, eliminate or replace a probable cause of injury, danger, or loss.
  • It could be said to be a concept that includes all measures and practices taken to prevent accident, preserve the life, health, and bodily integrity of individuals.
  • It can also refer to the control of recognized hazards in order to achieve an acceptable level of risk.
  • It can also be seen as an outcome of doing many things (Safe actions), or not doing some things (Unsafe actions); it is not a an explicit process.

This is why we talk about it in different areas, like:

  • Fire Safety
  • Home
  • Road
  • Industry
  • Child
  • Hospital
  • Patient
  • Electrical
  • Behaviour, etc.

In one of our article on HSEWatch, we talked about,  “55 Important Safety Rules You Must Apply To Stay Safe“.

Some of which include:

  1. Report all workplace injuries and illnesses immediately
  2. Avoid unsafe acts
  3. Report all Unsafe Conditions to your Supervisor
  4. Use only safe equipment to work
  5. Use the right tool for the right job
  6. Do not play with work equipment
  7. Use equipment when qualified
  8. Use safe work clothing. Avoid using loose clothing, bangles, rings, etc, when working with a rotating wheel.
  9. Make sure you off your engine (Generator or car) before refueling them.
  10. Ensure that you have a workable fire extinguishers in your home and train occupants on how to use them.
  11. Clean up every spill immediately; Remember – A spill, a slip, a hospital trip.
  12. Eat safe food – Do not eat indiscriminately; eat balanced diet.
  13. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  14. Get good sleep
  15. Never push yourself beyond your limit
  16. Adopt safe manual lifting technique
  17. Use your personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary.
  18. Arcing kills – Work only in a safe clearance from a high tension line
  19. Assume that all power lines are energized until ascertained otherwise by a competent person.

Read full article to see other safety rules you must never ignore.

Variations  Of Safety

Aside from the English meaning of the word, it often times do not stand alone. In the Occupational Health and Safety professions is used together with other parameters in an acronym; anywhere you see letter “S”, it represents Safety. Where the letter “S” is double, the second “S” represents security.

Here are the acronyms:

  • HSE
  • OHS
  • EHS
  • SHE
  • QHSE
  • HSEQ
  • HSSE
  • QHSSE, etc.

In the OHS professions, the acronym could also represent a designation of a person who is saddled with the responsibility of implementing and enforcing it.

You can get more insight in these article:

What Is Health, Safety and Environment (HSE)

Environmental Health And Safety: What Is It And Why Does It Matter?

OHS Meaning – What is Occupational Health And Safety (OHS)?

Enforcing Safety is a law and it is within the field of public health that studies trends in illnesses and injuries in the worker population and proposes and implements strategies and regulations to prevent them. Its scope is broad, encompassing a wide variety of disciplines, from toxicology and epidemiology to ergonomics and violence prevention. This is why we have specialties within the profession, like occupational hygienist, environmental protection officer, Emergency Responders, Fire warden, etc.

In conclusion, I will say that Safety could be an act or a state (state of mind or state of environment).

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