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HSWAC: Heavy Stock of Well-defined Acronyms Continues

By Lauren Smith

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I work in a world of acronyms.

At my workplace almost every team name, department, committee and initiative gets shortened to a brief one- or two-syllable acronym. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the acronyms, but it does save time when writing reports or discussing different initiatives.

One committee I get to sit on as part of my job is HSWAC (pronounced hiss-whack). Although the acronym doesn’t roll easily off the tongue at first, it’s actually a pretty cool committee. It stands for the Health, Safety and Wellness Advisory Committee (not Heavy Stock of Well-defined Acronyms Continues—I made that up).

PIR: Partnerships in Injury Reduction

One of the committee’s primary responsibilities is responding to the feedback we receive from our yearly PIR Audit. PIR is a program my employer takes part in to ensure we’re achieving a certain standard when it comes to safety in our workplace. Each year, auditors conduct interviews with employees to assess our health and safety practices. After the interviews, the auditors determine where there’s room for improvement and provide us with recommendations to enhance our safety practices. After each year’s PIR Audit, the committee reviews the feedback and ensures methods are being taken to satisfy any recommendations.

UIS: United In Safety

Over the years the committee has grown in numbers and now incorporates more open communication between departments. The committee is now composed of employees from all areas of our organization—every department has at least one representative sitting on the committee. We meet once a quarter to provide updates and discuss everything health- and safety-related:

  • We’ll review accidents and incidents that occurred in the past quarter to assess if anything needs to be done to prevent future accidents.
  • Our facilities department will provide an update on any upcoming renovations to help maintain our safe work environment.
  • We’ll discuss upcoming safety initiatives (recently we launched a safety refresher webinar for all employees).
  • We always discuss the PIR Audit action plan to ensure we’re on track.
  • And we always include time for a roundtable discussion where all committee members can bring forth any health and safety questions, concerns or suggestions from their departments.

Safety-Slogan-Wallcharts-97521-baWe try to take every necessary precaution to maintain a healthy and safe workplace for all employees. By applying the safety improvements recommended from our yearly PIR Audits and maintaining open communication about health and safety across our organization, we work together to be proactive and make health and safety a priority in our workplace.


Do you have a health and safety committee at your workplace? What topics have come up in your discussions? What safety initiatives do you have on the go? Comment below or tweet us @HeadsUpAB!

One Response to “HSWAC: Heavy Stock of Well-defined Acronyms Continues”

  1. […] a previous blog post, Lauren mentioned that our workplace is filled with acronyms, and it can be difficult to remember […]

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