Security Glossary - W

This glossary has been created to assist security professionals in defining security terms commonly used by the profession and the industry, worldwide. It is a developing list that will be maintained, and where appropriate, modified, and changed over time. Terms borrowed from related fields, such as engineering, investigations, safety, etc. will be included when deemed necessary for the security professional.


The definition's source is cited in brackets [ ] following the definition. View the key to all cited reference sources.

It is NOT our goal to publish this glossary in print since it is intended to be a current online reference (on the ASIS website) to serve the security professional on an ongoing basis.

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​Any legal, licensed, or authorized instrument or device capable of inflicting bodily harm or physical damage or for coercive influencing of behavior used for the protection of the ship in self-defense.

  • Note: Security-related equipment includes protective and communication equipment for use by private maritime security company (PMSC).

[ANSI/ASIS PSC.4-2013]

workplace investigations

​Any investigation taking place in or involving the workplace.
Note 1: May be conducted by those either in the private or public sector.
Note 2: Typically involving the investigation of employee misconduct, workplace policy violations or work rule violations. The matter under investigation may or may not be a violation of the law.
[ANSI/ASIS INV.1-2015]

workplace violence

(1) A spectrum of behaviors – including overt acts of violence, threats, and other conduct – that generates a reasonable concern for safety from violence, where a nexus exists between the behavior and the physical safety of employees and others (such as customers, clients, and business associates) on-site, or off-site when related to the organization.

(2) A broad range of behaviors falling along a spectrum that, due to their nature and/or severity, significantly affect the workplace, generate a concern for personal safety, or result in physical injury or death.
[ASIS GDL WPV 09 2005]

workplace violence prevention and intervention program

​Synonymous with workplace violence program.  A coordinated collection of policies, procedures, and practices adopted by an organization to help prevent workplace violence and to assist the organization in effectively responding to reports of problematic behavior made under the organization’s workplace violence prevention policy.

workplace violence prevention policy

​A written policy adopted by an organization that strictly prohibits violence and threats affecting the workplace, as well as other behavior deemed inappropriate by the organization from a violence-prevention standpoint.   

workplace violence program

​A collection of policies, structures, and practices adopted by an organization to help prevent workplace violence and to assist the organization in effectively managing reported incidents of workplace violence or threats.
[ASIS GDL WPV 09 2005]

workplace violence typology

​(1) A classification system developed by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that categorizes incidents of workplace violence according to the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim or target and the workplace.

(2) A workplace violence classification system that categorizes workplace violence incidents according to the relationship of perpetrator to victim developed by U.S. occupational health and safety agencies.
[ASIS GDL WPV 09 2005]

worst forms of child labor

​The worst forms of child labor comprises: 

a) All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom, and forced or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

b) The use, procuring, or offering of a child for prostitution; for the production of pornography; or for pornographic performances.

c) The use, procuring, or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties.

d) Work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.
[ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012]