EHS, HSE, OHS, SHEQ – Which should I use?

(5 minute read)

Across the globe, different acronyms are used to describe the same thing in many industries. For any size of organization, it can be difficult to determine which acronym is best to use. Below, we have summarized the Google search popularity for each acronym and which is best for you to use based on your geographic location. The acronyms we examined are:


















What is the Google Trends tool?

Google Trends is a simple but powerful tool that provides users with access to search term frequency within a specific timeframe. It also allows you to filter the results according to geography, category and type of search for increased relevancy.

For this research, we specifically examined search terms, changed the geographic profile to worldwide, changed the timeframe to the last five years and further refined the data to the category of occupational health and safety. This allowed us to see a worldwide view on the use of the search terms, while also restricting the data to the most relevant results.

Worldwide Findings

When examining the data from a worldwide perspective, the most popular search term is EHS with an interest over time that is 20 points higher than HSE. However, just because this is the most popular term from a worldwide perspective does not mean that it is necessarily the correct acronym for your organization. It is important for businesses to examine their strategic objectives and determine where the correct acronym will complement their activities based on their targeted geographies. EHS might be suited for larger companies who are growing on a global scale but OHS might be better for those looking to expand within Canada or Australia.

Review the information below to help determine which acronym may be best to complement your organization’s business objectives or conduct your own search at

Interest Over Time Comparison

Google defines its interest over time numbers as being representative of search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.

EHS = 59 interest over time

HSE = 39 interest over time

OHS = 15 interest over time

SHEQ = 3 interest over time

Data was pulled on November 15, 2018 using Google Trends.

Geographic View into the Trends

Below are screenshots from the research conducted in Google Trends. If your country is missing from the data set below you can click here to be brought to the full research results.

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