Explanation of the Glossary

Glossaries are not uncommon in this field.  Examples include: International Atomic Energy AuthorityWorksafelyAir Safety Support InternationalEOHS Terms, to mention probably a few of what may be found in a web search.  In addition, much legislation offers definitions of relevant terms, written particularly to aid the task of litigation.

I have included a glossary of terms in Occupational Risk Control mainly to simplify the task of the reader, as the text uses terms in a specific manner suited to the nature of the theory which is expounded.  The origin of many relevant terms is colloquial use and the origin of many that are not in common use are to be found in the work of those on whose theory this text builds.  In other cases, words in common use have been adopted and given a specific definition suited to the need they satisfy.

One of the significant barriers to this field developing its philosophy in a scientific manner is a lack of agreed terminology.  If risk was a vibrant field of scientific endeavour, its scientists would hold meetings to argue the case for and against theories and to work towards a uniformity of terminology that contributed to their communication without stultifying their efforts.  This would be the foundation for effective research and lead to a growth in understanding.  The field’s glossary would demonstrate clarity and objectivity of a sort that is demonstrably lacking, for example, from the common definition of Hazard as “a potential source of harm”.  Almost anything satisfies this definition, including politicians, twigs on trees and small stones on the road.  The definition does not make it possible to recognise a theory that may be used to identify and classify Hazards.  Consequently, using this definition, a diligent person will create an unbounded and endless list of possible ‘hazards’.

This example is sufficient reason for anyone interested in helping this field to develop more scientific qualities to compare the qualities of candidate definitions with desirable qualities – objectivity, utility and clarity being three.

The Glossary in Occupational Risk Control  is intended to demonstrate these qualities.  Please suggest contributions and changes to it.

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