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Safety Articles

Article # 10100

Glossary of Terms

ANSI: American National Standards Institute. A private, non-profit membership organization that coordinates voluntary standards activities. ANSI assists with standard s-developers and standard s users from the private sector and government to reach agreement on the need for standards and establishes priorities.

Brace: Plastic or metal splint used to immobilize a body part and prevent movement.

Swelling or inflammation of a joints' fluid-filled sacs.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CfS): A nerve disorder caused by injury of the median nerve where it passes through the wrist on its way to the forearm of the hand. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, or pain in the thumb and fingers.

Cortisone: Medicine used to reduce inflammation and pain in the joints and other tissues.

Cumulative Trawna Disorders (CfOs): Term used for injuries that occur over a period because of repeated trauma or exposure to a specific body part, such as the back, head, wrist and forearm. Muscles add joints are stressed, tendons are inflamed, nerves pinched, or the flow of blood is restricted. Common occupational induced disorders in this class include carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis (tennis elbow), tendinitis, tenosynovitis , synovitis, stenosing tenosynovitis of the finger, DeQuervian's Syndrome, and low back pain.

DeQuervain's Syndrome: Chronic inflammation of the tendon and muscles on the side of the wrist and the base of the thumb. Symptoms include pain, tingling, swelling, numbness and discomfort when moving the thumb.

Discs: Gelatinous plate-like protectors that cushion the back's bones.

Medical term for "tendinitis of the elbow." The condition occurs with an inflammation of the connective tissue inside the elbow. Symptoms include forearm and elbow pain. Lateral epicondylitis is often called tennis elbow; medial epicoodylitis is often referred to as golfers elbow. Both terms refer to the elbow motion which has been shown to contribute to the injury.

Ergonomics: Greek term for "the laws of work." The science of adapting workstations, tools, equipment and job techniques to be compatible with the human anatomy to reduce the risk of injury due to occupational stressors.

Ergonomic Hazards: Workplace conditions that pose biomechanica1 stress to the worker. Such hazardous conditions include, but are not limited to, faulty workstation layout, improper work methods, improper tools, excessive tool vibrations, and job design problems that include aspects of work flow, line speed, posture and force required, work rest regimens and repetition rate . These are also referred to as occupational stressors.

Ergonomic Risk Factors: Conditions of a job, process or operation that contribute to the risk of developing CTDs. Examples include repetitiveness of activity, force required, and awkwardness of posture. Jobs, operations, or workstations that have multiple risk factors will have a higher degree of severity of each factor.

Ergonomics Team or Committee: Those responsible for identifying and correcting ergonomic hazards in the workplace, including ergonomic professionals or other qualified persons, such as health care providers, engineers and other support personnel, plant safety and health personnel, managers, supervisors and employees.

Ergonomics or Ergonomics Professional: A person who possesses a recognized degree or professional credentials in ergonomics or a closely allied field, such as human factors engineering who has shown, through knowledge and experience, the ability to identify and recommend effective means of correction for ergonomic hazards in the workplace.

Extension: When used concerning wrist posture, bending the hand upward

Flexion: When used concerning wrist posture, bending the hand downward

Ganglionic Cyst: A tendon sheath disorder commonly occurring in the wrist because of Deouervain's Syndrome. The affected sheath swells and forms a lump under the skin.

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS): HAVS, also known as Raynaud's Syndrome and Vibration White Finger, is a chronic disorder that can develop when the hand is subjected to repeated and prolonged exposure to vibration and impact, resulting in irreversible damage to the blood vessels, nerves and muscles. Symptoms include tingling or numbness in fingers; painful spasms of the hand; blanching of one or more fingers; and eventual loss of sensation and control in the fingers and hands.

Health and Safety Committee: Those responsible for identifying and correcting safety hazards in the workplace, including ergonomic hazards.

Health Care Provider: A physician specializing in occupational medicine, or a registered nurse specializing in occupational health, or other health personnel (such as emergency medical technicians) working under the supervision of a physician or registered nurse.

Herniated or Slipped Disc: Damage of disc(s) in the back or irritation of spinal nerves resulting in pain, numbness or weakness.

Incidence Rates: The number of injuries and/or illnesses or lost workdays per 100 full time workers, calculated as (NIEH) X 200,000. N ~ number of injuries and/or illnesses or lost workdays: EH = total hours worked by all employees during the calendar year, 200,000 = base for 100 full-time equivalent workers (working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year).

Inflammation: Swelling, pain or irritation of body tissue.

Job Rotation: Alternation of workers' jobs or duties to reduce stress from repetitive or physically strenuous jobs.

Joint: A body pad where two bones meet and are connected by ligaments

Ligament: The fibers joining to form a joint.

Log 200 or (200 Log): An OSHA-required form for employers to record and classify occupational injuries and illnesses , and note the extent of each case.

Lost Workdays:
Days away from work or days of restricted activity or both, due to illnesses or injury. The number of days away from work or days of restricted work activity does not include the day of injury or onset of illness or any days in which the employee would not have worked though able to work, such as holidays, days off, etc.

Lost Workdays, Restricted Work Activity:
The number of workdays (consecutive or not) that the employee temporarily was assigned to another job, or the employee worked at a permanent job less than full-time, or the employee worked at a permanently assigned job but with limited job duties.

Median Nerve: Nerve running through the center of hand and supplying the sensation of temperature, touch, and pain to the thumb and first three fingers of the band. (See carpal tunnel syndrome).

Muscle: Body tissue contracting to produce movement or force.

Musculoskeletal System: Transmits feeling and movement from body to brain.

Nerve: Transmits feeling and movement from body to brain

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. NIOSH is the federal institute responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injuries and illnesses. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Occupational Illness: Any abnormal condition or disorder, other than one resulting from an occupational injury caused by exposure to factors associated with employment. It includes acute and chronic illnesses or disease which may be caused by inhalation, absorption, ingestion or direct contact. The broad categories of occupational illnesses are skin diseases and disorders, dust diseases of the lungs, respiratory condition due to toxic agents, poisoning (systemic effects of toxic materials), disorders due to physical agents other than toxic materials, and disorders from repeated trauma.

Occupational Injury: Any injury such as a cut, fracture, sprain, amputation, etc., which results from a work-related event or from a single instantaneous exposure in the work environment.

OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Department of Labor agency responsible for the enforcement of health and safety regulations for workers.

Radial Deviation: When used in describing wrist position, twisting the wrist so the thumb moves toward the wrist.

Raynaud's Syndrome: A progressive color change of the fingers in response to cold, vibration or stress, due to decreased circulation. The digits first turn white, then blue and finally red, often accompanied by tingling or numbness. There are two categories of this syndrome. The first, known as Raynaud's Disease and not accompanied by Unghng or numbness. There are two categories of this syndrome. The first, known as Raynaud's Disease and not accompanied by any other serious malady: the second is called Raynaud's Phenomenon, and occurs when another major illness such as lupus is present. Raynaud's Syndrome also is known as vibration syndrome or white finger.

Risk Factor: Conditions of a job, process or operation that contribute to the risk of developing CTDs. Examples include an activity's repetitiveness, force required and awkwardness of posture. Jobs, operations, or workstations with multiple risk factors have an increased risk of CTDs.

Scialica: Numbness, tingling or pain in the back, legs, and or buttocks caused by herniated or slipped disc

Splint: Plastic or metal brace that stabilizes or immobilizes an injured body part and prevents movement.