Background Screening

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Terminology and Definitions

Person

Any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, cooperative, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity.

Consumer

An individual.

Consumer Report

Any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for


(A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes;
(B) employment purposes; or
(C) any other purpose authorized under section 604 [§ 1681b].
(2) Exclusions.  Except as provided in paragraph (3), the term "consumer report" does not include
(A) subject to section 624, any

(i) report containing information solely as to transactions or experiences between the consumer and the person making the report;
(ii) communication of that information among persons related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control; or
(iii) communication of other information among persons related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if it is clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the consumer that the information may be communicated among such persons and the consumer is given the opportunity, before the time that the information is initially communicated, to direct that such information not be communicated among such persons;

(B) any authorization or approval of a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly by the issuer of a credit card or similar device;
(C) any report in which a person who has been requested by a third party to make a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly to a consumer
conveys his or her decision with respect to such request, if the third party advises the consumer of the name and address of the person to whom the request was made, and such person makes the disclosures to the consumer required under section 615 [§ 1681m]; or
(D) a communication described in subsection (o) or (x).

Investigative Consumer Report

A consumer report or portion thereof in which information on a consumer's character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information.  However, such information shall not include specific factual information on a consumer's credit record obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from a consumer reporting agency when such information was obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from the consumer.

Consumer Reporting Agency

Any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.

File

When used in connection with information on any consumer, means all of the information on that consumer recorded and retained by a consumer reporting agency regardless of how the information is stored.

Employment Purposes

When used in connection with a consumer report means a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.

Medical Information

"Medical information” --
(1) means information or data, whether oral or recorded, in any form or medium, created by or derived from a health care provider or the consumer, that relates to--
(A) the past, present, or future physical, mental, or behavioral health or condition of an individual;
(B) the provision of health care to an individual; or
(C) the payment for the provision of health care to an individual.
(2) does not include the age or gender of a consumer, demographic information about the consumer, including a consumer's residence address or e-mail address, or any other information about a consumer that does not relate to the physical, mental, or behavioral health or condition of a consumer, including the existence or value of any insurance policy.

Overdue Support

Has the meaning given to such term in section 666(e) of title 42 [Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.  § 666(e)].

State or Local Child Support Enforcement Agency

A State or local agency which administers a State or local program for establishing and enforcing child support obligations.

Adverse Action

"Adverse Action”
(A) has the same meaning as in section 701(d)(6) of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; and
(B) means
(i) a denial or cancellation of, an increase in any charge for, or a reduction or other adverse or unfavorable change in the terms of coverage or amount of, any insurance, existing or applied for, in connection with the underwriting of insurance;
(ii) a denial of employment or any other decision for employment purposes that adversely affects any current or prospective employee;
(iii) a denial or cancellation of, an increase in any charge for, or any other adverse or unfavorable change in the terms of, any license or benefit described in section 604(a)(3)(D) [§ 1681b]; and
(iv) an action taken or determination that is
(I) made in connection with an application that was made by, or a transaction that was initiated by, any consumer, or in connection with a review of an account under section 604(a)(3)(F)(ii)[§ 1681b]; and
(II) adverse to the interests of the consumer.
(2) Applicable findings, decisions, commentary, and orders.  For purposes of any determination of whether an action is an adverse action under paragraph (1)(A), all appropriate final findings, decisions, commentary, and orders issued under section 701(d)(6) of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or any court shall apply.

Firm Offer of Credit or Insurance

Any offer of credit or insurance to a consumer that will be honored if the consumer is determined, based on information in a consumer report on the consumer, to meet the specific criteria used to select the consumer for the offer, except that the offer may be further conditioned on one or more of the following:
(1) The consumer being determined, based on information in the consumer's application for the credit or insurance, to meet specific criteria bearing on credit worthiness or insurability, as applicable, that are established
(A) before selection of the consumer for the offer; and
(B) for the purpose of determining whether to extend credit or insurance pursuant to the offer.
(2) Verification
(A) that the consumer continues to meet the specific criteria used to select the consumer for the offer, by using information in a consumer report on the consumer, information in the consumer's application for the credit or insurance, or other information bearing on the credit worthiness or insurability of the consumer; or
(B) of the information in the consumer's application for the credit or insurance, to determine that the consumer meets the specific criteria bearing on credit worthiness or insurability.
(3) The consumer furnishing any collateral that is a requirement for the extension of the credit or insurance that was
(A) established before selection of the consumer for the offer of credit or insurance; and
(B) disclosed to the consumer in the offer of credit or insurance.

Credit or Insurance Transaction that is Not Initiated by the Consumer

"Credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated by the consumer” does not include the use of a consumer report by a person with which the consumer has an account or insurance policy, for purposes of
(1) reviewing the account or insurance policy; or
(2) collecting the account.

State

"State” means any State, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and any territory or possession of the United States.

Consumer Reporting Agency that Compiles and Maintains Files On Consumers on a Nationwide Basis

A consumer reporting agency that regularly engages in the practice of assembling or evaluating, and maintaining, for the purpose
of furnishing consumer reports to third parties bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, each of the following regarding consumers residing nationwide:
(1) Public record information.
(2) Credit account information from persons who furnish that information regularly and in the ordinary course of business.

Active Duty Military Consumer

A consumer in military service who--
(A) is on active duty (as defined in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States Code) or is a reservist performing duty under a call or order to active duty under a provision of law referred to in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, United States Code; and
(B) is assigned to service away from the usual duty station of the consumer.

Fraud Alert or Active Duty Alert

A statement in the file of a consumer that--
(A) notifies all prospective users of a consumer report relating to the consumer that the consumer may be a victim of fraud, including identity theft, or is an active duty military consumer, as applicable; and
(B) is presented in a manner that facilitates a clear and conspicuous view of the statement described in subparagraph (A) by any person requesting such consumer report.

Identity Theft

A fraud committed using the identifying information of another person, subject to such further definition as the Commission may prescribe, by regulation.

Identity Theft Report

"Identity theft report” has the meaning given that term by rule of the Commission, and means, at a minimum, a report--
(A) that alleges an identity theft;
(B) that is a copy of an official, valid report filed by a consumer with an appropriate Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, including the
United States Postal Inspection Service, or such other government agency deemed appropriate by the Commission; and
(C) the filing of which subjects the person filing the report to criminal penalties relating to the filing of false information if, in fact, the information in the report is false.

New Credit Plan

"new credit plan” means a new account under an open end credit plan (as defined in section 103(i) of the Truth in Lending Act) or a new credit transaction not under an open end credit plan.

Debit Card

Any card issued by a financial institution to a consumer for use in initiating an electronic fund transfer from the account of the consumer at such financial institution, for the purpose of transferring money between accounts or obtaining money, property, labor, or services.

Account or Electronic Fund Transfer

"Account” and "Electronic fund transfer” have the same meanings as in section 903 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.

Credit or Creditor

"credit” and "creditor” have the same meanings as in section 702 of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Federal Banking Agency

"Federal banking agency” has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.

Financial Institution

"Financial institution” means a State or National bank, a State or Federal savings and loan association, a mutual savings bank, a State or Federal credit union, or any other person that, directly or indirectly, holds a transaction account (as defined in section 19(b) of the Federal Reserve Act) belonging to a consumer.

Reseller

A consumer reporting agency that--
(1) assembles and merges information contained in the database of another consumer reporting agency or multiple consumer reporting agencies concerning any consumer for purposes of furnishing such information to any third party, to the extent of such activities; and
(2) does not maintain a database of the assembled or merged information from which new consumer reports are produced.

Commission

"Commission” means the Federal Trade Commission.

Nationwide Specialty Consumer Reporting Agency

A consumer reporting agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis relating to--
(1) medical records or payments;
(2) residential or tenant history;
(3) check writing history;
(4) employment history; or
(5) insurance claims.

Self-Regulatory Organization

Includes any self-regulatory organization (as defined in section 3(a)(26) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), any entity established under title I of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, any board of trade designated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and any futures association registered with such Commission.

Classified Information

Information that is protected from unauthorized disclosure under Executive Order No.  12958 or successor orders.

National Security Investigation

Any official inquiry by an agency or department of the United States Government to determine the eligibility of a consumer to receive access or continued access to classified information or to determine whether classified information has been lost or compromised.

Criminal Records Terminology and Definitions

I. General Criminal Terminology

Accomplice

Someone who intentionally helps another person commit a felony by giving advice before the crime or helping to conceal the evidence or the perpetrator.

Adjournment

Postponement of a court session until another time or place.

Adjudication

The judicial decision that ends a criminal proceeding by a judgment, acquittal, conviction, or dismissal of the case.

Adult

An individual who is of 18 years old or greater.

Affidavit

A voluntarily, written statement of fact, confirmed by oath.

Affray

An unpremeditated brawl or disturbance.

Aggravated

Circumstances surrounding the commission of a crime or tort which increase or add to its injurious consequences.

Aggravated Assault

An attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe injury.  This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or injury.  

AKA

The acronym for "Also Known As."

Alcohol Education Program

A pre-trial program for first time offenders charged with driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Alias

False name used in substitution of a legal name on official documents and for official purposes.

Alien

Any individual who is not a U.S. citizen or national.

Alimony

Money a court requires one spouse to pay the other spouse for support before and/or after the divorce is granted.

Amendment

The correction of an error in any process, pleading or proceeding.

Annul

To make void.

Antitrust Acts or Laws

Laws that protect trade and commerce from unlawful practice.

Appeal

A complaint to a superior court to review the decision of a lower court.

Appellant

One who makes a complaint to a superior court to review the decision of a lower court.

Appellate Court

A court having jurisdiction of appeal and review.

Appropriate

To take something from another for one's own use or benefit.

Arbitration

A neutral third party is utilized to resolve a dispute between two parties.  

Archive/Archives

The place where records are stored after a certain specified period of time.  The period of time a record is held at a court of record may differ between courts and states.

ARD

ARD is an acronym for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition.  In essence, ARD is a one-time alternative to a trial, conviction, and possible mandatory jail sentence for the offense of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substance.  

Arraignment

The beginning phase of prosecution when the defendant is brought before the court to hear the charges and enter a plea.

Arrears

Unpaid or past due debt.

Arrest

When a person is taken into custody by a police officer and charged with a crime.

Arrest Record

An official form completed by the police department when a person is arrested.

Bail

The amount of money set by a judge at an initial appearance to ensure the return of the accused at subsequent proceedings.

Bail Forfeiture

When the court keeps the bail deposit because the defendant did not go to court when they were supposed to.

Bench Trial

Trial by judge without jury.

Bond

A certificate of obligation, unsecured or secured with collateral, to pay a specified amount of money within a specified period of time.

Breach

A violation or infraction of a law or obligation.

Burglary Tools

Any type of object designed to assist an individual with committing a burglary.

Capital Case/Crime

Case or crime for which the death penalty may be imposed.

Cause of Action

One or more related charges, combined and made against a defendant for wrongs committed.

CDS

The acronym for Controlled Dangerous Substance.

Charge

An allegation that an individual has committed a specific offense.

Child Support

A parent's legal obligation to contribute to the maintenance of a child as result of custody or divorce action.

Citation

An order issued by a law enforcement officer requiring appearance in court to answer a charge.  Bail is not accepted in lieu of appearance.

Circuit Courts

Courts whose jurisdiction extends over several counties or districts.

City Court

Courts that try persons accused of violating municipal civil or criminal ordinances.

Civil Law

A private party or corporation files the lawsuit against another party or corporation.  The defendant in civil litigation is never incarcerated or executed and only reimburses the plaintiff for losses.

Co-defendant

One of a group of two or more people charged in the same crime.

Common Law

Law generally based upon court decisions or long standing practices, as opposed to law created by acts of legislatures.

Complaint

Formal charge accusing a person of an offense.

Compounding Crime

The receipt by an individual of consideration in exchange for an agreement not to prosecute or inform on someone who they know has committed a crime.

Contempt of Court

An act committed which serves to obstruct the court in its administration or authority.

Continuance

A delay or postponement of a court hearing.

Controlled Substance

A drug whose availability is restricted by law.

Conviction

Guilty verdict in a criminal trial.

Court Clerk

The court clerk offices which receive all court papers and assigns hearing dates.

Count/Charge

A cause of action that may contain multiple counts or charges, each relating to the others but identifying a separate offense.

Court of Limited Jurisdiction

Court that has authority to adjudicate cases of a certain kind or up to a limited amount, usually lesser offenses.

Court of Record

The court where the permanent record of all proceedings is held.

Court Trial

Trial by a judge without jury.

Crimes Against Persons

Offenses where the victim is present and the act is violent, threatening or has the potential of being physically harmful.

Crimes Against Property

Offenses that involve taking something of value by theft or deception or the destruction of property.

Criminal Contempt

An act that obstructs justice or attacks the integrity of the court.

Culpability

The degree of blame or responsibility for a crime.

Damages

Money awarded to a person as compensation for loss or injury.

Dangerous Weapon

An object that is capable, though not designed to cause serious injury or death.

De Novo

A new trial or one that is held for a second time, as if there had been no previous trial or decision.

Deadly Weapon

A weapon designed to cause serious injury or death.

Defendant

A person who has been formally charge with committing a specific crime.

Degree

Classifications assigned to a crime for purposes of determining punishment.  First degree is usually considered most serious than third, and A is more serious than C.  Degrees may be assigned to the actual crime (IE.  murder in the first or second degree) or the class of crimes (IE.  felony or misdemeanor).

Disposed/Disposition

The final settlement in the matter with a finding of guilt (conviction), innocence, or acquittal.

Dissolution

When a legal contract comes to an end.

District Court

Court having jurisdiction over a territorial district.

Diversity of Citizenship

A crime or claim which extends between citizens of different states.  This is one of the grounds that can be used to invoke the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal District Court.

DMV Hold

A hold is placed with the Division of Motor Vehicles for all vehicles owned by the delinquent taxpayer and prevents the issuing of the State registration tags until all local taxes are paid.

Docket Record

A court's official record of proceedings and calendar of upcoming cases.

Due Diligence

A reasonable and expected measure of attention taken for a particular action dependant on the situation.

Due Process of Law

Procedures followed by law enforcement and courts to insure the protection of an individual's rights as assigned by the Constitution.

Electronic Monitoring

A device placed on an offender to monitor their location and activities.

Eviction

The process of legally dispossessing a person from land or rental property.

Expungement

When a record of an offense is expunged, it is sealed or destroyed and will no longer appear on a released criminal history.  Records are usually expunged in juvenile cases or upon satisfactory completion of a court-ordered probation.

Extradition

The surrender of an individual accused or convicted of a crime by one state to another.

Family Law

The body of law dealing with marriage, divorce, adoption, child custody and support, child abuse and neglect, paternity or other domestic issues.

Felonious

Describing an offense that is done with malicious, villainous criminal intent.

Felony

A serious offense carrying a penalty of incarceration from one year to life in a state prison, to the death penalty.

Georgia 1st Offender Act

Upon fulfillment of the terms of probation or upon release from confinement, the defendant is discharged without court adjudication of guilt.  The discharge shall completely exonerate the defendant of any criminal purpose and shall not affect any of their civil rights or liberties, and the defendant shall not be considered to have a criminal conviction.

Grand Jury

A body of persons with the authority to investigate and accuse without trying cases.  Grand juries listen to and review evidence to see if it there is sufficient grounds to bring an individual to trial.

Gross Misdemeanor

A serious misdemeanor.

Habeas Corpus

A proceeding where a prisoner challenged the lawfulness of their imprisonment.

Hate Crime

Any crime involving bodily injury to any person in which the victim is intentionally selected because of the actual or perceived race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability of the victim.

Hung Jury

A hung jury is one in which all jurors cannot reach a consensus required for a verdict.

Illegal Alien

A person who is not a citizen of the country they are in.

Illicit

Prohibited or unlawful.

Incorrigible

One who is incapable of reform.

Indictment

A formal, written accusation made by the grand jury.

Infraction

Violation of local ordinance or state statute usually resulting in a fine or limited period of incarceration.  The fines may usually be paid by mail without the person having to appear in court.  

Injunction

A court order which prohibits a person from doing a specified act for a specified period of time.

Intent

The frame of mind or attitude of the person at the time an act was committed.

Judgment

The final decision of the court regarding a claim or case.

Jurisdiction

The power of a court to question facts, apply law, make decisions and judgments.

Jury Trial

The determination of a case by a jury.

Lesser Included Offense

A less serious offense is committed during the perpetration of a greater crime and the lesser crime contains some of the same elements of the greater crime.  The greater offense cannot be proven unless all of the elements of the lesser crime are proven.  

Magistrate

Public officials including judicial officers who have limited jurisdiction in criminal cases and civil causes.

Misdemeanor

A crime that is less serious than a felony for which the punishment is usually imprisonment for one year or less.

Mistrial

A trial which is terminated or declared invalid.  Reasons for mistrial include misconduct on the part of the jury, defense team or the court, or illness on the part of the judge, jury or defendant.  May be followed by a retrial on the same charges.

Municipal Ordinance

A law or regulation of a city or local government.

No Contest

A plea in which the defendant does not contest the charge.  This has the same effect as a guilty plea except the conviction cannot be used against the defendant in a civil suit.

Nolo Contendre

A No Contest plea in a criminal case has the legal effect of pleading guilty.

Ordinance

A municipal regulation.

Petty Offenses

Minor crimes or penalties which are generally punishable by a small fine or short jail term.

Plaintiff

The party who first initiates litigation.

Plea

The defendant's formal answer to a charge.

Plea Bargain

A plea of guilt to a lesser offense in return for a lighter sentence.

Preliminary Hearing

A criminal hearing to determine is there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the accused.

Premeditation

Consciously deliberated and planned.

Pre-Sentence Investigation

Usually conducted by a probation officer after a plea or verdict of guilt.  Done before sentencing and includes information about the defendant's criminal history and personal background.

Pre-Trial Intervention

An extensive background check to help determine if charges will be pressed.

Probable Cause

Reasonable suspicion that a person has committed a crime.

Prosecution

Attorneys who initiate and maintain a criminal action against the accused.

Remand

To return an individual to custody pending further trial or to return a case from an appellate to a lower court for further proceedings.

Resident Alien

An alien who has temporary or permanent residence in a foreign country.

Restraining Order

An order prohibiting a specified action until such time that a hearing on an application for an injunction can be held.

RICO Act

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Sealed Records

The process of officially restricting a file from general public access and limited access to law enforcement.

Search and Seizure

When authorities suspect that a crime has been committed and seize any relevant evidence to the crime.

Sentence

A judgment of punishment for a criminal act.

Separation

A mutual agreement between a husband and wife to live apart while remaining married.

Serious Misdemeanor

Having a more severe penalty than other misdemeanors.

Sex Offender

An individual who has a past conviction for an offense involving sexually deviant behavior or displayed sexually deviant behavior in the commission of any offense.

Show Cause

An order directing a party to appear in court to explain their actions or non-actions.

Statute

A law enacted by a legislative body that authorizes an administrative agency, such as the FCC, to adopt rules pursuant to the Statute.  Rules are more specific laws that arise from the Statute.

Stay

Postponement.

Summary Offense

Minor crimes, usually motor vehicle code violations, that are initially heard and decided by a district justice.

Tort

A civil offense normally settled by awarding a party damages.

Truncated Files

Destroyed or partially destroyed.  Unable to obtain any more information.

Venue

The geographic area where the case or claim occurred, within which a court with jurisdiction can hear and determine a case.  A change of venue, or the moving of a case from one court to another may be granted for such reasons as when the court does not think the defendant can get a fair trial in that area or for the convenience of the parties in a civil case.

Verdict

The formal, final decision or finding made by a jury or judge.

Violation

An offense for which the only sentence authorized is a fine.

Violation of Probation

Action or inaction that disobeys a condition of probation.

Waiver

To voluntarily submit one's legal right or advantage.

Wanton Reckless

Without regard for the rights of others, indifferent to consequences to health, life or the reputation of another.  Usually done without intent, but an act so unreasonable the perpetrator should know that harm would result.

Warrant

Court order authorizing a law enforcement official to arrest or perform search and seizure.

Warrant Invalidated

A warrant issued on the individual has been ruled invalid.

Weapon Offenses

The unlawful sale, distribution, manufacture, alteration, transport, possession or use of a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Writ

A written court order, or a judicial process.

Youthful Offender

Classification of youths and young adults, generally older then juveniles.  In the 18 to 25 year age group, these individuals are sometimes given special sentencing consideration for the purpose of rehabilitation, sometimes through education and counseling.

Zealous Witness

A witness who is partial to one side and display bias through extreme readiness to volunteer information.

*The terms provided are general and should be used only as a guide for interpretation. Some criminal court jurisdictions may interpret some of the terms contained herein differently. This glossary should not be considered to be all-inclusive nor is it intended to constitute legal advice.

Drug Testing

EBI’s Drug Testing Professionals have compiled a list of commonly used terms and definitions that appear in the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) rule, 49 CFR Part 40, which describes required procedures for conducting workplace drug and alcohol testing for the federally regulated transportation industry. This glossary should not be considered to be all-inclusive nor is it intended to constitute legal advice. It is especially important to consult legal counsel when making employment decisions.

Accession Number

A number assigned to each specimen by the laboratory.  This number stays with the specimen it's entire lifetime.  It is used to identify and track a specimen every step from the time it arrives to the laboratory until the result is reported.   

Adulterated Specimen

A specimen that contains a substance that is not expected to be present in human urine, or contains a substance expected to be present but is at a concentration so high that it is not consistent with human urine.

Affidavit

A form that must be signed by the collector to correct a problem on the original Chain of Custody form.  For example, if the date was missing, incorrect, or the collector's signature was missing.   

Affiliate

Persons are affiliates of one another if, directly or indirectly, one controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party controls or has the power to control both.  Indicators of control include, but are not limited to: interlocking management or ownership; shared interest among family members; shared facilities or equipment; or common use of employees.  Following the issuance of a public interest exclusion, an organization having the same or similar management, ownership, or principal employees as the service agent concerning whom a public interest exclusion is in effect is regarded as an affiliate.  This definition is used in connection with the public interest exclusion procedures of Subpart R of this part.  

Air Blank

In evidential breath testing devices (EBTs) using gas chromatography technology, a reading of the device's internal standard.  In all other EBTs, a reading of ambient air containing no alcohol.   

Alcohol

The intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol or other low molecular weight alcohols, including methyl or isopropyl alcohol.  

Alcohol Concentration

The alcohol in a volume of breath expressed in terms of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a breath test under this part.

Alcohol Concentration Test

A subsequent test using an EBT, following a screening test with a result of 0.02 or greater, that provides quantitative data about the alcohol concentration.  

Alcohol Screening Device

A breath or saliva device, other than an EBT, that is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and placed on a conforming products list (CPL) for such devices.

Alcohol Screening Test

An analytic procedure to determine whether an employee may have a prohibited concentration of alcohol in a breath or saliva specimen.   

Alcohol Testing Site

A place selected by the employer where employees present themselves for the purpose of providing breath or saliva for an alcohol test.  

Alcohol Use

The drinking or swallowing of any beverage, liquid mixture or preparation (including any medication), containing alcohol.  

Blind Specimen or Blind Performance Test Specimen

Blind specimen or blind performance test specimen.  A specimen submitted to a laboratory for quality control testing purposes, with a fictitious identifier, so that the laboratory cannot distinguish it from an employee specimen.

Breath Alcohol Technician

A person who instructs and assists employees in the alcohol testing process and operates an evidential breath testing device.  

Canceled Test

A drug or alcohol test that has a problem identified that cannot be or has not been corrected, or which this part otherwise requires to be cancelled.  A cancelled test is neither a positive nor a negative test.  

Chain of Custody

The procedure used to document the handling of the urine specimen from the time the employee gives the specimen to the collector until the specimen is destroyed.  This procedure uses the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF).  

Clinic

A medical facility that can be used as a collection site.  

Collection Container

A container into which the employee urinates to provide the specimen for a drug test.   

Collection Site

A place selected by the employer where employees present themselves for the purpose of providing a urine specimen for a drug test.  

Collector

A person who instructs and assists employees at a collection site, who receives and makes an initial inspection of the specimen provided by those employees, and who initiates and completes the CCF.  

Confirmation Drug Test

A second analytical procedure performed on a urine specimen to identify and quantify the presence of a specific drug or drug metabolite.   

Confirmation Validity Test

A second test performed on a urine specimen to further support a validity test result.   

Confirmed Drug Test

A confirmation test result received by an MRO from a laboratory.  

Consortium/Third Party Administrator

A service agent that provides or coordinates the provision of a variety of drug and alcohol testing services to employers.  C/TPAs typically perform administrative tasks concerning the operation of the employers' drug and alcohol testing programs.  This term includes, but is not limited to, groups of employers who join together to administer, as a single entity, the DOT drug and alcohol testing programs of its members.  C/TPAs are not "employers” for purposes of this part.

Continuing Education

Training for medical review officers (MROs) and substance abuse professionals (SAPs) who have completed qualification training and are performing MRO or SAP functions, designed to keep MROs and SAPs current on changes and developments in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program.

Designated Employer Representative

An employee authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s) to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties, or cause employees to be removed from these covered duties, and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation processes.  The DER also receives test results and other communications for the employer, consistent with the requirements of this part.  Service agents cannot act as DERs.

Dilute Specimen

A specimen with creatinine and specific gravity values lower than expected for human urine.

DOT

These terms encompass all DOT agencies, including, but not limited to, the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the Office of the Secretary (OST).  These terms include any designee of a DOT agency.  

Drug Metabolites

A chemical that is released from the ingesting process.  This is what is checked for in a drug screen.  Particular substances produce particular metabolites.  

Drugs

The drugs for which tests are required under this part and DOT agency regulations are marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and opiates.  

Employee

Any person who is designated in a DOT agency regulation as subject to drug testing and/or alcohol testing.  The term includes individuals currently performing safety-sensitive functions designated in DOT agency regulations and applicants for employment subject to pre-employment testing.  For purposes of drug testing under this part, the term employee has the same meaning as the term "donor” as found on CCF and related guidance materials produced by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Employer

A person or entity employing one or more employees (including an individual who is self-employed) subject to DOT agency regulations requiring compliance with this part.  The term includes an employer's officers, representatives, and management personnel.  Service agents are not employers for the purposes of this part.  

Error Correction Training

Training provided to BATs, collectors, and screening test technicians (STTs) following an error that resulted in the cancellation of a drug or alcohol test.  Error correction training must be provided in person or by a means that provides real-time observation and interaction between the instructor and trainee.  

Evidential Breath Testing Device

A device approved by NHTSA for the evidential testing of breath at the .02 and .04 alcohol concentrations, placed on NHTSA's Conforming Products List (CPL) for "Evidential Breath Measurement Devices” and identified on the CPL as conforming with the model specifications available from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Program.  

HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services or any designee of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.  

Initial Drug Test

The test used to differentiate a negative specimen from one that requires further testing for drugs or drug metabolites.  

Initial Validity Test

The first test used to determine if a specimen is adulterated, diluted, or substituted.  

Invalid Drug Test

The result of a drug test for a urine specimen that contains an unidentified adulterant or an unidentified interfering substance, has abnormal physical characteristics, or has an endogenous substance at an abnormal concentration that prevents the laboratory from completing or obtaining a valid drug test result.

Laboratory

Any U.S. laboratory certified by HHS under the National Laboratory Certification Program as meeting the minimum standards of Subpart C of the HHS Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs; or, in the case of foreign laboratories, a laboratory approved for participation by DOT under this part.  (The HHS Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs are available on the internet at http://www.health.org/workpl.htm or from the Division of Workplace Programs, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 2-1035, Rockville, MD 20857.) 

Medical Review Officer

A person who is a licensed physician and who is responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results generated by an employer's drug testing program and evaluating medical explanations for certain drug test results.  

Negative Result

A result that indicates that the spcimen did not exceed certain levels of drug metabolites.  The average turn around time for a negative result is 24 hours from the time the laboratory receives the specimen, though this could vary.  

Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance

The office in the Office of the Secretary, DOT, that is responsible for coordinating drug and alcohol testing program matters within the Department and providing information concerning the implementation of this part.   

Positive Result

A result that indicates that the specimen exceeded certain drug or drug metabolite cutoff levels.  It is usually sent to the MRO for review.  

Primary Specimen

In drug testing, the urine specimen bottle that is opened and tested by a first laboratory to determine whether the employee has a drug or drug metabolite in his or her system; and for the purpose of validity testing.  The primary specimen is distinguished from the split specimen, defined in this section.

Qualification Training

The training required in order for a collector, BAT, MRO, SAP, or STT to be qualified to perform their functions in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program.  Qualification training may be provided by any appropriate means (e.g., classroom instruction, internet application, CD–ROM, video).  

Refresher Training

The training required periodically for qualified collectors, BATs, and STTs to review basic requirements and provide instruction concerning changes in technology (e.g., new testing methods that may be authorized) and amendments, interpretations, guidance, and issues concerning this part and DOT agency drug and alcohol testing regulations.  Refresher training can be provided by any appropriate means (e.g., classroom instruction, internet application, CD–ROM, video).  

Safety Sensitive Position

A position in which the normal or periodic job responsibilities of the employee entail, at some point and to some degree, a higher level of concern for the safety, health, and/or welfare of the employee in that position, his or her co-workers, those who use our products or services, those who come onto or in contact with Company property, and the public at large [and for whom the illicit use of drugs and/or misuse of alcohol by the employee in that position could create a greater danger to the safety, health, and/or well-being of those individuals].  1 Drug Free Workplace

Screening Test Technician

A person who instructs and assists employees in the alcohol testing process and operates an ASD.

Secretary

The Secretary of Transportation or the Secretary's designee.  

Security-Sensitive Position

A position in which the normal or periodic job responsibilities of the employee entail, at some point and to some degree, access to cash, securities, bonds, or other negotiable instruments, and/or precious and/or valuable commodities; involve the use of, or access to, firearms and/or other weapons and/or armaments; involve protection of property, valuables, and/or individuals; relate to matters of national security, military, or law enforcement; and/or entail access to assets and/or information vital to, sensitive for, and/or with high proprietary interest to the Company [and for whom the illicit use of drugs and/or misuse of alcohol by the employee in that position could compromise the interests of the Company and/or any individual or entity affiliated to, or in contact with, the Company].  1 Drug Free Workplace

Service Agent

Any person or entity, other than an employee of the employer, who provides services specified under this part to employers and/or employees in connection with DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements.  This includes, but is not limited to, collectors, BATs and STTs, laboratories, MROs, substance abuse professionals, and C/TPAs.  To act as service agents, persons and organizations must meet the qualifications set forth in applicable sections of this part.  Service agents are not employers for purposes of this part.  

Shipping Container

A container that is used for transporting and protecting urine specimen bottles and associated documents from the collection site to the laboratory.  

Specimen Bottle

The bottle that, after being sealed and labeled according to the procedures in this part, is used to hold the urine specimen during transportation to the laboratory.  

Split Specimen

In drug testing, a part of the urine specimen that is sent to a first laboratory and retained unopened, and which is transported to a second laboratory in the event that the employee requests that it be tested following a verified positive test of the primary specimen or a verified adulterated or substituted test result.  

Stand-Down

The practice of temporarily removing an employee from the performance of safety-sensitive functions based only on a report from a laboratory to the MRO of a confirmed positive test for a drug or drug metabolite, an adulterated test, or a substituted test, before the MRO has completed verification of the test result.  

Substance Abuse Professional

A person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.  

Substituted Specimen

A specimen with creatinine and specific gravity values that are so diminished that they are not consistent with human urine.   

Temperature Strip

A strip that is used to determine whether or not the urine is in the 90-100 degree range.  This helps to ensure that tampering has not occurred.  

Verified Test

A drug test result or validity testing result from an HHS-certified laboratory that has undergone review and final determination by the MRO.  

I-9

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) offers a variety of valuable resources for employers, immigrants and organizations. In addition to civic learning materials and naturalization process information, the USCIS provides comprehensive immigration law summaries and a complete glossary of terms with a variety of technical definitions.  The glossary provided below can be utilized as a general reference guide:

Acquired Citizenship

Citizenship that is conferred at birth on children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent. 

Adjustment to Immigrant Status

Procedure that allows certain aliens already in the United States to apply for immigrant status. Aliens admitted to the United States in a nonimmigrant, refugee, or parolee category may have their status changed to that of lawful permanent resident if they are eligible to receive an immigrant visa and one is immediately available. In such cases, the alien is counted as an immigrant as of the date of adjustment, even though the alien may have been in the United States for an extended period of time. Beginning in October 1994, section 245(i) of the INA allowed illegal residents who were eligible for immigrant status to remain in the United States and adjust to permanent resident status by applying at a USCIS office and paying an additional penalty fee. Section 245(i) is no longer available unless the alien is the beneficiary of a petition under section 204 of the Act or of an application for a labor certification under section 212(a)(5)(A), filed on or before April 30, 2001. And, if filed after January 1, 1998, the alien must have been present in the United States on December 21, 2000.

Adoption

The Immigration and Nationality Act provides a definition of an orphan for the purposes of immigration to the United States. A child may be considered an orphan because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents. The child of an unwed mother or surviving parent may be considered an orphan if that parent is unable to care for the child properly and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption. The child of an unwed mother may be considered an orphan, as long as the mother does not marry (which would result in the child’s having a stepfather) and as long as the child’s biological father has not legitimated the child. If the father legitimates the child or the mother marries, the mother is no longer considered a sole parent. The child of a surviving parent may also be an orphan if the surviving parent has not married since the death of the other parent (which would result in the child’s having a stepfather or stepmother). Prospective adoptive parents should be sure that a child fits the definition of ”orphan” before adopting a child from another country, because not all children adopted abroad meet the definition of "orphan,” and therefore may not be eligible to immigrate to the United States.

Advance Parole

May be issued to aliens residing in the United States in other than lawful permanent resident status, who have an unexpected need to travel and return and whose conditions of stay do not otherwise allow for readmission to the United States if they depart. Authorized at an USCIS District office in advance of the alien's arrival.

Alien

Any person not a citizen or national of the United States.

Application Support Centers

USCIS Offices fingerprint applicants for immigration benefits. Some USCIS applications, such as the Application for Naturalization or the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, require the USCIS to conduct a FBI fingerprint background check on the applicant. Most applicants that require a background check will be scheduled to appear at a specific Application Support Center (ASC).

Apprehension

The arrest of a removable alien by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Each apprehension of the same alien in a fiscal year is counted separately.

Asylee

An alien in the United States or at a port of entry who is found to be unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality, or to seek the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. For persons with no nationality, the country of nationality is considered to be the country in which the alien last habitually resided. Asylees are eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status after one year of continuous presence in the United States. These immigrants are limited to 10,000 adjustments per fiscal year.

Beneficiaries

When a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or employer files a petition for an alien to receive immigration benefits from the USCIS. These beneficiary aliens receive a lawful status as a result of their relationship to a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or U.S. employer.

Border Crosser

An alien resident of the United States reentering the country after an absence of less than six months in Canada or Mexico, or a nonresident alien entering the United States across the Canadian border for stays of no more than six months or across the Mexican border for stays of no more than 72 hours.

Business Nonimmigrant

An alien coming temporarily to the United States to engage in commercial transactions which do not involve gainful employment in the United States. For example, someone engaged in international commerce on behalf of a foreign firm, not employed in the U.S. labor market, and who receives no salary from U.S. sources.

Cancellation of Removal

A discretionary benefit adjusting an alien’s status from that of deportable alien to one lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Application for cancellation of removal is made during the course of a hearing before an immigration judge.

Certificate of Citizenship

Identity certificate document that is issued to derivative citizens and to persons who acquired U.S. citizenship.

Conditional Resident

Any alien granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis, for example the spouse of a U.S. citizen or an immigrant investor, who is required to petition for the removal of the set conditions before the second anniversary of the approval of his or her conditional status.

Country of Chargeability

The independent country to which an immigrant entering under the preference system is accredited for purposes of numerical limitations.

Country of Citizenship

The country in which a person is born and has not renounced or lost citizenship, or naturalized and to which that person owes allegiance and by which they are entitled to be protected.

Deferred Inspection Parole

Conferred by an immigration inspector when aliens arrive at a port of entry with documentation. After preliminary examinations, some question remains about their admissibility which can best be answered at their point of destination.

Deportable Alien

An alien in and admitted to the United States that is subject to any grounds of removal specified in the Immigration and Nationality Act. This includes any alien illegally in the United States- regardless of whether the alien entered the country by fraud or misrepresentation, or entered legally but subsequently violated the terms of his or her nonimmigrant classification or status.

Deportation

The formal removal of an alien from the United States when the alien has been found removable for violating the immigration laws. Deportation is ordered by an immigration judge without any punishment being imposed or contemplated. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 consolidated deportation and exclusion procedures. After April 1, 1997, aliens in and admitted to the United States may be subject to removal based on deportability. Now called Removal, this function is managed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Derivative Citizenship

Citizenship conveyed to children through the naturalization of parents or, under certain circumstances, to foreign-born children adopted by U.S. citizen parents.

Diversity

A category of immigrants replacing the earlier categories for nationals of underrepresented countries and countries adversely "affected" by the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965 (P.L. 89-236). The annual limit on diversity immigration is currently 55,000.

Employer Sanctions

The employer sanctions provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prohibits employers from hiring, recruiting, or referring for a fee aliens known to be unauthorized to work in the United States. Violators of the law are subject to a series of civil fines for violations or criminal penalties when there is a pattern or practice of violations.

Exchange Visitor

An alien coming temporarily to the United States as a participant in a program approved by the Secretary of State for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, or receiving training.

Exclusion

Prior to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, exclusion was the term for denial of an alien’s entry into the United States. The decision to exclude an alien was made by an immigration judge after an exclusion hearing. Since April 1997, the process of adjudicating inadmissibility may take place in either an expedited removal process or in removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

Geographic Area of Chargeability

Any one of five regions--Africa, East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Near East and South Asia, and the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe--into which the world is divided for the initial admission of refugees to the United States. Annual consultations between the Executive Branch and the Congress determine the ceiling on the number of refugees who can be admitted to the United States from each area. Since 1987, an unallocated reserve was incorporated into the admission ceilings.

Immigrant

An alien admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Permanent residents are also commonly referred to as immigrants. However, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) broadly defines an immigrant as any alien in the United States, except one legally admitted under specific nonimmigrant categories (INA section 101(a)(15)). An illegal alien who entered the United States without inspection would be strictly defined as an immigrant under the INA but is not a permanent resident alien. Lawful permanent residents are legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States. They may be issued immigrant visas by the Department of State overseas or adjusted to permanent resident status by USCIS.

Immigration Act of 1990

Public Law 101-649 increased the limits on legal immigration to the United States, revised all grounds for exclusion and deportation, authorized temporary protected status to aliens of designated countries, revised and established new nonimmigrant admission categories, revised and extended the Visa Waiver Pilot Program and revised naturalization authority and requirements.

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)

Public Law 99-603 was passed in order to control and deter illegal immigration to the United States. Its major provisions stipulate legalization of undocumented aliens who had been continuously unlawfully present since 1982, legalization of certain agricultural workers, sanctions for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers, and increased enforcement at U.S. borders.

Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

The Act which relates to the immigration, temporary admission, naturalization, and removal of aliens.

Inter-company Trainee

An alien employed for at least one continuous year out of the last three by an international firm or corporation, who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to continue to work for the same employer, or a subsidiary or affiliate, in a capacity that is primarily managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge. This includes the alien’s spouse and minor unmarried children.

Labor Certification

Requirement for U.S. employers seeking to employ certain persons whose immigration to the United States is based on job skills or nonimmigrant temporary workers coming to perform services for which qualified authorized workers are unavailable in the United States. Labor certification is issued by the Secretary of Labor and contains attestations by U.S. employers as to the numbers of U.S. workers available to undertake the employment sought by an applicant, and the effect of the alien’s employment on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. Determination of Labor availability in the United States is made at the time of a visa application and at the location where the applicant wishes to work.

Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

Any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing the in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as "Permanent Resident Alien," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder."

Permanent Resident

Any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as "Permanent Resident Alien", "Lawful Permanent Resident," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder."

Permanent Resident Alien

An alien admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Permanent residents are also commonly referred to as immigrants. However, the INA broadly defines an immigrant as any alien in the United States, except one legally admitted under specific nonimmigrant categories (INA section 101(a)(15)). An illegal alien who entered the United States without inspection would be strictly defined as an immigrant under the INA, but is not a permanent resident alien. Lawful permanent residents are legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States. They may be issued immigrant visas by the Department of State overseas or adjusted to permanent resident status by USCIS.

Special Naturalization Provisions

Provisions covering special classes of persons whom may be naturalized even though they do not meet all the general requirements for naturalization. Such special provisions allow: 1) wives or husbands of U.S. citizens to file for naturalization after three years of lawful permanent residence instead of the prescribed five years; 2) a surviving spouse of a U.S. citizen who served in the armed forces to file their naturalization application in any district instead of where they reside; and 3) children of U.S. citizen parents to be naturalized without meeting certain requirements or taking the oath if too young to understand the meaning. Other classes of persons who may qualify for special consideration are former U.S. citizens, servicemen, seamen, and employees of organizations promoting U.S. interests abroad.

Temporary Worker

An alien coming to the United States to work for a temporary period of time. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the Immigration Act of 1990, as well as other legislation, revised existing classes and created new classes of nonimmigrant admission.

Visa

A U.S. visa allows the bearer to apply for entry to the U.S. in a certain classification such as: student (F), visitor (B), temporary worker (H). A visa does not grant the bearer the right to enter the United States. The Department of State (DOS) is responsible for visa adjudication at U.S. Embassies and Consulates outside of the U.S.. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) immigration inspectors determine admission into, length of stay and conditions of stay in, the U.S. at a port of entry. The information on a nonimmigrant visa only relates to when an individual may apply for entry into the U.S. DHS immigration inspectors will record the terms of admission on the applicant's Arrival/Departure Record (I-94 white or I-94W green) and in their passport. 

Visa Waiver Program

Allows citizens of certain selected countries traveling temporarily to the United States under the nonimmigrant admission classes of visitors for pleasure and visitors for business to enter the United States without obtaining nonimmigrant visas. Admission is for no more than 90 days. The program was instituted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (entries began 7/1/88). Under the Guam Visa Waiver Program, certain visitors from designated countries may visit Guam only for up to 15 days without first having to obtain nonimmigrant visitor visas.

Disclaimer
All information contained herein is provided by Employment Background Investigations solely for the convenience of its clients. EBI is not providing legal advice or counsel and nothing provided on this document should be deemed as legal guidance or advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel to determine their legal responsibilities or if they have questions on any information provided by EBI.

Occupational Health Screening

We have comprised a list of commonly used terms and definitions that appear in the occupational healthcare arena. This glossary should not be considered to be all-inclusive nor is it intended to constitute legal advice. It is especially important to consult legal counsel when making employment decisions.

Acute

An injury or illness that happens quickly.

Acute Exposure

A one time exposure to a hazardous agent.

Asphyxiant

A vapor or gas that reduces oxygen intake to the body.

Biohazard

Infectious agents that present a risk or potential risk to the health of humans or other animals, either directly through infection or indirectly.

Biological Safety Level

The level of the biocontainment precautions required to isolate dangerous biological agents in a facility.

Blood Borne Pathogens

Pathogenic microorganisms present in human blood and can cause disease in humans.  These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Chronic

The medical term meaning "lasting a long time.

Code of Safe Practices

Workplace rules on how to perform duties safely and keep the worksite safe; must be specific to the employer’s operations and posted at each job site.

Confined Space

An area unsuitable for humans where hazardous fumes collect or destroy the oxygen content of the air.

Corrosive

A substance that will burn the eyes or skin on contact.

Cumulative Injury

Injury caused by repeated events or repeated exposures, such as the loss of hearing due to constant loud noise.

Decontamination

Use of physical or chemical means to remove, inactivate, or destroy blood borne pathogens so they are no longer capable of transmitting infectious particles and the surface or item is rendered safe for handling, use, or disposal.

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency leads the nation's environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts.  Its mission is to protect human health and the environment.

Ergonomics

An applied science that studies the interaction between workers and their work environment that focuses on matching the worker to the correct position.

Established Federal Standard

Any operative occupational safety and health standard established by any agency of the United States and presently in effect, or contained in any Act of Congress in force on the date of enactment of this Act.

Etiology

The branch of medical science concerned with the causes and origins of diseases.

Exposure

The particular risk factor experienced by a worker considering the factors of intensity, time characteristics and duration.

Health Hazard

Substances that pose a risk through either acute or chronic toxicity.

Imminent Hazard

Any condition or practice in a workplace that could cause death or serious physical harm immediately or before the hazard can be eliminated.

Incident

An event leading to injury or illness.

Industrial Hygiene

Recognization, evaluation and control of chronic worker exposures to harmful physical or chemical agents or conditions such as noise levels, ventilation rates, airborne contaminants, heat exposure and radiation.

Mine Safety & Health Administration

Federal enforcement agency responsible for the health and safety of the nation's miners.

Modified Work

A change in an employee’s working conditions in order to accommodate work restrictions.

National Consensus Standard

Any occupational safety and health standard or modification thereof which (1), has been adopted and promulgated by a nationally recognized standards-producing organization under procedures whereby it can be determined by the Secretary that persons interested and affected by the scope or provisions of the standard have reached substantial agreement on its adoption, (2) was formulated in a manner which afforded an opportunity for diverse views to be considered and (3) has been designated as such a standard by the Secretary, after consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies.

NIOSH

National Institute For Occupational Safety and Health

Occupational Safety and Health Standard

A standard which requires conditions, or the adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes, reasonably necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employment and places of employment.

OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Personal Protective Equipment

Specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against a hazard.  General work clothes not intended to function as protection against a hazard are not considered to be personal protective equipment.

Universal Precaution

The medical precaution of avoiding contact with patients' bodily fluids by means of the wearing of nonporous articles such as medical gloves, goggles, and face shields.

Willful Violation

Violations committed with “intentional disregard” for the law or “plain indifference” to worker safety, according to OSHA guidelines.