Posted On: December 14, 2022

Safety Acronyms and Abbreviations: What Does EHS Stand For? 

In health and safety, you will notice acronyms and abbreviations are used quite often. Shortening these phrases and words to a few letters makes them easier to memorize. But the great variety of safety acronyms currently in use makes it challenging to remember all of them. 

It is commonly known that the OSHA acronym stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. However, what about the SAE acronym or the STEL acronym? If you’re confused with the jargon, here are some of the commonly used safety acronyms and their meanings. 

What does EHS stand for? 

The EHS acronym stands for Environmental Health and Safety.

So, what is environmental health and safety? The definition of EHS is laws, rules, regulations, professions, programs, and workplace initiatives to safeguard the environment, the public, and employees' health and safety from workplace hazards. EHS is also called health, safety, and environment (HSE).

What does OSHA stand for?  

OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Congress established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to guarantee employees safe and healthy working conditions by setting and enforcing standards and providing outreach, education, and assistance.

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What does QHSE stand for? 

QHSE stands for Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment. 

Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment (QHSE) enables organizations to operate within the standards, policy, strategy, and legal framework to establish a secure working environment. The QHSE management system can enhance the quality of procedures and products, reduce environmental impact to support sustainability, and protect worker health and safety. Incremental improvement, communication, and decreasing occupational risks are top priorities of QHSE. 

What does SDS stand for in OSHA? 

SDS stands for Safety data sheet. 

Chemical manufacturers, distributors, and importers are required by the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to issue Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), also known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), to describe the dangers associated with hazardous chemical products.

What does GHS stand for in safety? 

GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System (GHS).

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals is a global effort to create uniform standards for categorizing chemicals according to their potential hazards to human health, physical, and the environment. Pictograms, hazard statements, and the signal words "Danger" and "Warning" are all used to effectively communicate hazard information on product labels and safety data sheets (SDSs).

By delivering improved and regulated information on chemical hazards to chemical users and handlers, emergency first responders, and the public, GHS aims to protect human health and the environment better.

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What does STEL stand for?  

STEL stands for a short-term exposure limit. 

A short-term exposure limit (STEL) is the time-weighted average concentration of a substance, usually over 15 minutes, regarded as not harmful to health. 

What does SAE stand for?  

SAE stands for Society of Automotive Engineers. 

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is a global association and the industry leader in networking and training mobility professionals to provide safe, clean, and accessible mobility solutions. Over 128,000 engineers and other technical professionals from the aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicle industries make up SAE. 

What does BBP stand for? 

BBP stands for bloodborne pathogens.

Bloodborne pathogens (BBP) are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause human illnesses. These pathogens include but are not limited to, hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries put employees at risk of bloodborne pathogens. 

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What does IDLH stand for? 

IDLH stands for Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines the condition as an incident "that poses a threat of exposure to airborne contaminants when that exposure is likely to cause death or immediate or delayed permanent adverse health effects or prevent escape from such an environment."

What does MSDS stand for? 

MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheet. 

An MSDS, formerly known as SDS, contains information about a potentially hazardous substance in a specific workplace.

What does APP stand for? 

APP stands for Accident Prevention Plan. 

The Accident Prevention Plan (APP) addresses the requirements for ensuring first aid treatment for workers. Every department should establish a plan to guarantee that their workers have access to quick and effective first aid. 

What does AHA stand for? 

AHA stands for Activity Hazard Analysis. 

In a U.S. military setting, an activity hazard analysis (AHA) is a formal evaluation of the possible hazards that could arise during a work task—typically construction. 

What does PPE stand for? 

PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn to reduce exposure to hazards that can result in severe illnesses and occupational injuries. Contact with chemical, radioactive, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other occupational hazards may cause these injuries and illnesses. Personal protective equipment includes items like gloves, safety goggles, shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, coveralls, vests, and body suits.

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What does SSHO stand for? 

SSHO stands for Site Safety Health Official.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Safety and Health Requirements Manual (EM 385-1-1) defines a Site Safety Health Officer (SSHO) as the "superintendent or another qualified/competent person who is responsible for on-site safety and health," and most construction projects require for a full-time SSHO to be present.

Don’t see the safety word you were looking for? A glossary of 100+ OSHA workplace safety words and definitions can be found on our website.

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