Index of terms

Terms and Definitions


The process of eliminating or minimising risks and managing the potential for harm, injury, ill-health or damage to property or the environment.

DHA Contract Manager

The person or role detailed in the Executed Agreement.

DHA reportable incident

Incident where immediate hospitalisation or medical treatment is required, or where an incident had the potential to occur and cause serious injury/illness. It is a legislated requirement that serious incidents are notified to a regulator.

Duty holder

Any person who has a Work Health and Safety duty under the WHS Act, including a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), designer, manufacturer, importer, supplier, installer of products or plant used at work (upstream duty holders), an officer and workers. More than one person can concurrently have the same duty in which case the duty is shared. Duties cannot be transferred


Something which has the potential to cause injury or ill-health.

Health and Safety Committee (HSC)

A group established under the WHS Act that facilitates cooperation between a PCBU and workers to provide a safe place of work. The committee must have at least 50 percent of members who have not been nominated by the PCBU that is workers or Health and Safety Representatives.

Health and Safety Representative (HSR)

A worker who has been elected by a work group under the WHS Act to represent them on health and safety issues.


Individual event or occurrence that either caused injury or illness.


A subset of incidents where the occurrence did not actually cause injury, illness or damage but it had the potential to. These incidents occur more frequently than incidents causing injury and we can learn from these to prevent actual harm.

Notifiable incident

A notifiable incident is broadly a workplace fatality, serious injury and/or a dangerous incident. A notifiable incident must be notified to a regulator immediately and by the fastest means possible, and the incident site be preserved.


Broadly, an officer is a person who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the organisation’s activities. This does not include an elected member of a municipal council acting in that capacity or a Minister of a State, Territory or the Commonwealth.

Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)

A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking alone or with others, whether or not for profit or gain. A PCBU can be a sole trader (for example a self-employed person), each partner within a partnership, company, unincorporated association or Government Department of public authority (including a Municipal Council).

Person With Management or Control (PWMC)

A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking to the extent that the business or undertaking involves the management or control, in whole or in part, of the workplace.


Plant includes any machinery, equipment, appliance, container, implement or tool, and any component or anything fitted or connected to these things.


The possibility/chance for injury or harm from a hazard/event, considering the potential consequences and the likelihood of these consequences.

Risk assessment

A documented measurement of risk that:

  • identifies the consequences that could occur if a specific event occurred
  • quantifies the likelihood of that injury, harm or damage occurring from the event
  • details the control measures to be implemented based on the level of risk identified, and
  • evaluates the acceptability of the residual risk.

Root cause

The most basic cause(s) identified as contributing to an incident.

Safe Work Method Statement

A statement that documents a process for identifying and controlling health and safety hazards and risks relating to a particular work activity or task.


Anything that is constructed, whether fixed or moveable, temporary or permanent and includes buildings, masts, towers, framework, pipelines, transport infrastructure and underground works (shafts or tunnels). Includes any component or part of a structure.


Any natural or artificial substance in the form of a solid, liquid, gas or vapour.


The supply and re-supply of a thing provided by way of sale, exchange, lease, hire or hire-purchase arrangement, whether as principal or agent.


Any person who carries out work for a PCBU, including work as an employee, contractor, subcontractor, self-employed person, outworker, apprentice or trainee, work experience student, employee of a labour hire company placed with a ‘host employer’ and volunteers.


Any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be, while work is carried out for a business or undertaking. This may include offices, factories, shops, construction sites, vehicles, ships, aircraft or other mobile structures on land or water such as offshore units and platforms (that are not already covered under the Commonwealth’s offshore WHS laws).