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A

Abnormal Event

An unplanned or unusual event or occurrence.

Absolute

A non negotiable duty imposed by a regulation when it uses the term 'shall' or
'must' without the qualification of 'reasonably practicable'.

Absorption

The entry of a substance into the body through broken or unbroken skin

Accident

An undesired event or series of events causing (or with the potential to cause)
injury, ill-health or damage.

Accident

A systematic investigation of an accident to find out what happened and

Investigation

determine immediate and underlying causes as well as reviewing existing risk


assessments, safety procedures and control measures with a view to
introducing measures to prevent recurrence.

Accident Prevention

Measures taken to prevent accidents from happening. Can be either pro-active,


i.e. implemented before an accident happens, or re-active, i.e. taken in
response to an accident that has already happened.

Accident Rate

A normalisation of the number of accidents taking into account the number of


workers employed and the hours worked. Generally accepted as No. of
Accidents x 100,000/No. of Hours Worked.

Acid

An organic or inorganic compound, usually a liquid with a pH of less than 7.


Acidic materials are corrosive to human tissue.

ACOP

Approved Code of Practice

Action Level

The level above which action should be taken. For example the Noise at Work
Regulations 1989 define two actions levels. The lower level 80dB(A) at which
the employer must provide information and training and make hearing
protection available. The upper exposure action level of 85dB(A) above which
the employer should take reasonably practicable steps to reduce noise and the
wearing of hearing protection becomes mandatory.
In the US the action level commonly refers to the exposure level at which the
OSHA regulations take effect.

Acute Effect

An effect arising from exposure to a hazardous substance which happens


immediately on exposure.

Acute Exposure

Single exposure to a hazardous substance over a short period of time. The


seriousness of this exposure will depend on the toxicity of the substance.

Adaptation

The ability of people to cope with situations that are less than perfect.

Aerosols

Aerosols are tiny liquid and solid particles suspended in the air.

AIB

Asbestos Insulation Board

AIDS

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Air Exchange Rate

The rate at which outdoor air replaces indoor air. Often stated as the number of
changes per hour.

ALARA

As Low As Reasonably Achievable. An approach initially developed in the nuclear


industry to ensure that facilities and practices were designed to keep risks As
Low As Reasonably Achievable.

ALARP

As Low As Reasonably Practicable. An approach initially developed in the nuclear


industry to ensure that facilities and practices were designed to keep risks As
Low As Reasonably Practicable.

Alkali

Chemical compounds that have a pH value of more than 7. Alkali's are also
known as Base or Caustic materials. These materials can be corrosive to human
tissue.

Allergen

Any material which produces an allergic reaction in an individual.

ALU

Asbestos Licensing Unit

Anti-glare Screen

A monitor screen that is treated to reduce glare from light sources. This can be
achieved as part of the manufacturing process or by fitting a separate screen
filter. LCD screens may completely eliminate glare.

Apparent Loudness

Apparent loudness is how loud the noise is perceived by the individual. This is
where the logarithmic nature of the dB scale has greatest impact, in that an
increase of 10dB results in a doubling of the apparent loudness.

Appointed Person

This is a defined role from the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. If
the workplace is a low risk workplace (office, shop, library,etc.) and employs
less than 50 employees there is only a requirement for one Appointed Person.
This person will have undergone a one day training course covering CPR and
very basic first aid. They will also be responsible for maintaining the first aid box
for the organisation.

Approved Code of

Approved Codes of Practice are published by the HSE to cover many regulations.

Practice

Approved Codes of Practice although not law themselves do give guidance on


how to comply with the law and as such have a special legal status, similar to
the Highway Code. If you comply with an Approved Code of Practice it is likely
that you will be doing enough to comply with the law.

As far as reasonably The degree of risk in a particular situation can be balanced against the cost, in
practicable

terms of time, trouble, money and physical difficulty of taking measures to


avoid the risk. If this cost is disproportionate to the risk it would be
unreasonable to expect any employer to incur those costs to avoid the risk.

Asbestos

Asbestos is the name used for a group of natural minerals, which comprises
three main types. Crocidolite (Blue Asbestos), Amosite (Brown Asbestos) and
Chrysotile (White Asbestos). The type of asbestos cannot be identified just by
its colour. Although these fibres have many good properties such as being fire
retardant, the fibres are very very small and once airborne are easily breathed
in and can become stuck in the lungs, causing debilitating and fatal diseases
such as Asbestosis and Lung Cancer.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is the scarring of the lung tissue by asbestos fibres which stops the
lungs from working properly causing a shortness of breath.

Asphyxiant

A material capable of displacing the level of oxygen in the body. This happens
most commonly when the substance displaces air in an enclosed environment.
Some asphyxiants can act directly on the oxygen carrying capability of the
blood, such as Carbon Monoxide, which will be taken up by the body in

preference to oxygen and can lead to unconsciousness and even death. This is a
particular hazard from incomplete combustion in a faulty appliance.
ATEX

Explosion Protection Directive. Derives its name from the original working title
"ATmosphre EXplosible".

Audible Range

Audible range is the range of frequencies which can be detected by the human
ear. For a normal adult this is between 20 & 20,000 Hz. Ultrasound is a sound
whose frequency is too high for hearing. Infrasound is a sound whose frequency
is too low for hearing.

Audiometry

Audiometry is a screening technique used to detect early damage to hearing as


a result of exposure to noise.

Audiometric Testing

See Audiometry.

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B
Background Level

The normal or typical level existing in the environment. Can be used in terms of
radiation or chemicals.

Balance of

The standard of proof required by by the courts in a civil law claim. Also known

Probabilities

as the 'preponderance of evidence' in the US. The standard is met if there is a


greater than 50% chance of the proposition being true. Described by Lord
Denning (Miller Vs Minister of Pensions) as 'more probable than not'.

Barrier Cream

A cream which can be applied to the hands to help protect them from oils,
greases, and other mild irritants. Some creams can also be absorbed by the
skin to help safeguard against contact dermatitis. These should not be
considered as a substitute for proper PPE.

Base

Chemical compounds that have a pH value of more than 7. Bases are also
known as Alkalis or caustic materials. These materials can be corrosive to
human tissue.

Best Practice

A management concept that there is a way that is more effective at delivering


results than others. This is often considered alongside benchmarking, which is
about making comparisons with others and learning the lessons that those
comparisons throw up.

Beyond Reasonable

The standard of proof required by a criminal law case.

Doubt
Biological Agent

A biological agent is an infectious disease or toxin, which has the ability to


adversely affect human health. This may be relatively mild allergic reactions or
serious medical conditions and even death.

Biological Monitoring Biological monitoring is the process of monitoring how much of a chemical has
entered a persons body. This can be done by testing breath, urine or blood.
BLEVE

Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion. A very powerful explosion which

occurs when a vapour, stored as a liquid under pressure within a pressure vessel
is allowed to boil (often as the result of of a failure of the pressure vessel) and
then ignite.
BMA

British Medical Association

Boiling Point

The temperature at which a liquid changes state to a gas (usually measured at


atmospheric pressure).

BSE

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

BSI

British Standards Institute

Business Continuity

An all encompasing term covering both disaster recovery planning and business

Plan

resumption planning.

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C
CA

Competent Authority - A defined term in some regulations such as the Control


of Major Accident Hazard Regulations and The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and
Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations. The competent authority
for COMAH is jointly between the HSE and the Environment Agency in England
and Wales and the HSE and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
(SEPA) in Scotland. The competent authority for The Carriage of Dangerous
Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations is the HSE on
their own.

CCA

Centre for Corporate Accountability. A charity concerned with the promotion of


worker and public safety.

Competent Authority A defined term in some regulations such as the Control of Major Accident
Hazard Regulations and The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of
Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations. The competent authority for
COMAH is jointly between the HSE and the Environment Agency in England and
Wales and the HSE and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in
Scotland. The competent authority for The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and
Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations is the HSE on their own.
Contributory

A common law defence to a claim or action. It applies to a situation where the

Negligence

plaintiff or claimant has, through their own negligence, caused or contributed to


the injury they suffered.

CAD

Chemical Agents Directive

Carcinogen

Chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer.

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the result of the median nerve, running from the

Syndrome

forearm to the hand, being squeezed at the wrist. This can result in burning,
tingling or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and fingers. This may or
may not be caused by the repeated use of vibrating hand tools. See also RSI.

Catalyst

Usually a chemical compound that accelerates a chemical reaction, without


being consumed itself in the chemical reaction.

Caustic

A strongly alkaline material that is either corrosive or irritant to human tissue.

CBI

Confedration of British Industry

CCF

Common Cause Failure

CD

Consultative Document

CDM

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994

CEN

Comite European de Normalisation

Central Nervous

Essentially the Brain and Spinal Cord.

System
CFC's

ChloroFluoroCarbons. Any organic compound composed of Chlorine, Flourine,


Carbon. These are typically refrigerants and aerosol propellants such as Freon.
CFC's have been found to pose a serious environmental threat.

CHIP

Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002.


CHIP is the law that applies to suppliers of dangerous chemicals. It is these
regulations that give rise to Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

Chronic Effect

An effect arising from exposure to a hazardous substance which takes a long


time to take effect. This may take months or even years for the effects to
become evident.

Chronic Exposure

Multiple exposures to a hazardous substance over a long period of time. The


seriousness of this exposure will depend on the toxicity of the substance.

CHSW

The Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996

CITB

Construction Industry Training Board

CMF

Common Mode Failure

CMIOSH

Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

Code of Practice

Rules established by regulatory bodies or trade associations, which are intended


as a guide. Beyond evidence of best practice they do not have any legal
standing. See also Approved Code of Practice.

COMAH

The Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 1999

Combustible Liquid

Mainly a US term (see Flammable Liquid for UK). Defined as any liquid having a
flash point at or above 100F. See also Flash Point.

Common Law

Unwritten law, originally based on the merging of various local customs and
laws as a result of various royal judges who toured the country. Cannot be in
conflict with Statute Law.

Common Mode

A common mode failure results from a single fault (or set of faults). Computer

Failure

systems are vulnerable to common mode failures if they rely on a single source
of power, cooling or I/O.

Competent Person

A Competent Person is defined by the HSE as somebody with the skill,


knowledge, practical experience and training to enable them to assess the risks
arising from the work activity.

Compliance

Compliance normally means ensuring that activities undertaken agree with both
the letter and the spirit of the law.

Confined Space

A Confined Space is a place which is substantially enclosed (though not always


entirely), and where serious injury can occur from hazardous substances or
conditions within the space or nearby (e.g. lack of oxygen).

CONIAC

Construction Industry Advisory Committee

Controls

Actions taken or measures put in place to reduce risks arising from work
activity.

Corrosive

A material that will cause destruction or irreversible damage to living tissue on


contact.

COSHH

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 1988

COSLA

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities

CRT

Cathode Ray Tube

Cryogenic Liquid

A liquefied gas at a very low temperature, such as liquid oxygen, nitrogen or


argon.

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D
dB

A logarithmic measurement commonly used to measure sound.

dB(A)

Sound measured using the "A weighting". Commonly used as the measurement
of environmental or industrial noise.

DDA

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Deefie

A Glasgow term for having received your compensation for noise induced
hearing loss, as in "Have you had your deefie yet?"

Dermatitis

An inflammation of the skin, also called Eczema. It causes red, itchy skin which
may also blister. Often caused by direct contact with a substance which irritates
the skin.

DETR

Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions. Now replaced by the
Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions.

DfEE

Department for Education and Employment. Now replaced by the Department


for Education and Skills.

DfES

Department for Education and Skills

Dilution Ventilation

Dilution Ventilation involves bringing in clean air to dilute the contaminated air
and then exhausting the diluted air to the outside via exhaust fans.

DOH

Department of Health

Domino Theory

A theory on accident causation proposed by Heinrich in the 1920's. Heinrich's


Domino Theory suggests that an accident leading to injury or damage is the
result of a five stage sequence and each stage (domino) represents a linked

cause. Remove any one and the sequence cannot run its course and the
accident will be prevented. The five stages are; 1. Work Situation, 2. Fault of
Person, 3. Unsafe Act, 4. Accident, 5. Injury or Damage.
DSD

Dangerous Substances Directive

DSE

Display Screen Equipment

DSEAR

Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002

DSER

Display Screen Equipment Regulations

DTI

Department of Trade and Industry

DTLT

Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions

Due Diligence

Some health and safety regulations allow a defence of "due diligence". This
allows a person who may be subject to legal proceedings to establish a defence
if they can show that they have taken "all reasonable precautions and exercised
due diligence" to avoid committing an offence. Interestingly this defence is not
available under The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Dust

Solid airborne particles.

Duty of Care

A legal precedent which states that "You must take reasonable care to avoid
acts or omissions which you could reasonably foresee would be likely to injure
your neighbour". Established by Donoghue Vs Stevenson (1932). - It's what put
Paisley on the map!

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E
EA

Environment Agency

EAW

Electricity at Work Regulations

EC

European Community

EEC

European Economic Community

EH40

An HSE publication defining Occupational Exposure Limits in support of the


Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations.

EHO

Environmental Health Officer. A local authority position responsible for enforcing


health and safety legislation at a local level.

EMAS

Employment Medical Advisory Service

Embryotoxin

Also known as fetotoxin. A substance which can harm or kill an unborn baby.

Emergency Plan

A legal requirement for Upper Tier COMAH sites. A written plan detailing the
actions to be taken in the event of an emergency or serious incident.

Encapsulation

A technique used in the manufacture of equipment for use in potentially


explosive atmospheres, where the equipment is encapsulated either in oil or
resin to prevent any potential ignition source from coming in contact with the
explosive atmosphere.

Environment

The natural environment comprises all living and non-living things that occur
naturally on earth. The environment may also include the built environment.
Essentially the environment in which we work and which may affected by our
work activities.

Environment Agency The Uk's public body for protecting and improving the environment in England
and Wales. Joint Competent Authority for the enforcement of COMAH
regulations in England and Wales.
EPA

Environment Protection Agency. The US equivalent of the Environment Agency.


Federally regulates and enforces federal environment protection standards.

Epidemiology

the scientific study of factors affecting the health and illness of populations.

Ergonomic Hazards

Workplace conditions that pose a risk of musculoskeletal injuries. Ergonomic


hazards include repetitive and forceful movements, vibration, temperature
extremes and awkward postures that arise from improper work methods and
improperly designed workstations, tools and equipment.

Ergonomics

The study and knowledge of human abilities and limitations to help design and
build for comfort, efficiency, productivity and safety.

EU

European Union

Evaporation

The process of a material changing state from liquid to gas.

Event Tree

A tree like diagram used to determine alternative potential scenarios arising


from a particular hazardous event. Can also be used quantitively to determine
the probability or frequency of different consequences arising from the
hazardous event.

Explosive

Sudden expansion of a material, usually accompanied by the production of heat


and large changes in pressure.

Explosion Proof

A range of techniques applied to the manufacture of equipment for use in

Protection

potentially explosive atmospheres.

Ex Rated

An item of equipment which has been manufactured for use in a potentially


explosive atmosphere.

Exposure Records

Records of an individual's personal exposure to a harmful substance such as a


hazardous substance or radiation.

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F
Fatality

Death

Fault Tree Analysis

An analysis technique that visually models how logical relationships between


failures, human errors and external events can combine to cause specific
accidents.

FIAT

Acronym standing for Fixed, Interlocked, Automatic & Trip. This represents the
type of guarding that can be applied to a machine and the order in which it

should preferably be applied.


First Aid

The immediate aid provided to a sick or injured person to 1. Preserve Life, 2.


Prevent Further Injury and 3. Promote Recovery. Covered in the workplace by
the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.

Flammability

The ease with which a substance will ignite.

Flammable Gas
Flammable Liquid
Flammable Solid
Flash Point

The lowest temperature at which the vapour of a substance, mixed with air will
'flash' when a flame is applied to the mixture.

FLT

Forklift Truck

FMEA

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. A methodology designed to identify potential


failure modes for a product or process, to assess the risk associated with those
failure modes, to rank the issues in terms of importance and to identify and
carry out corrective actions to address the most serious concerns.

FMECA

Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis. As FMEA but also applying a
Criticality Analysis to the process.

FOD

Field Operations Directorate. The division of the HSE responsible for most
industrial workplaces.

FOI

Freedom of Information Act

Foot Rest

A support on which to rest the feet. Often provided as part of a workstation


assessment to ensure comfort and safety while using Display Screen
Equipment.

FPA

The Fire Protection Association.

Freezing Point

The temperature at which a liquid changes state to a solid (usually measured at


atmospheric pressure).

Fume

Vapours, dusts or gases given of by a substance.

Fume Cupboard

A type of Local Exhaust Ventilation. Typically a cabinet with a moveable front


sash window, made from safety glass. Air is drawn into the cupboard under and
through the opened sash and is exhausted through openings in the rear and top
of the cabinet to a remote point, such as an exhaust stack on the roof of the
building.

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G
Glare

Bright light that interferes with with a person's ability to see. Glare can cause
discomfort and can lead to eyestrain and headaches.

GMC

General Medical Council. The UK's body for regulating doctors and ensuring

good medical practice


GMP

Good Manufacturing Practices. The standard of controls required for the


production of pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals in the US, UK, Europe
and Japan.

Good Practice

A management concept that some ways are more effective at delivering results
than others. This is often considered alongside benchmarking, which is about
making comparisons with others and learning the lessons that those
comparisons throw up.

Guarding

Use of any device or combination of devices which prevents any person gaining
access to a dangerous part of a machine.

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H
H&S Rep

Health & safety Representatives. Safety Reps are appointed by trade unions to
represent their members on health and safety matters.

Hand Arm Vibration

Hand-arm vibration affects the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and joints and is

Syndrome

the result of too much vibration associated with the use of hand held vibrating
power tools. Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome includes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
and Vibration White Finger.

HASAWA

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. This is the primary health and
safety legislation in the UK. It is considered an "umbrella" act under which more
specific regulations exist to cover specific areas of health and safety.

HAV

Hand Arm Vibration

Hazardous Chemical A chemical or substance which can put peoples health at risk. Controlled by the
Control od Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations
HAZCHEM

Abbreviation for Hazardous Chemicals.

HAZOP

Hazard and Operability Study. Often referred to as HAZOPS, Hazard and


Operability Studies. A technique pioneered in the chemical and process
industries to examine potential hazards and operability problems caused by
deviations from the design intent.

HCFC's

HydroChloroFlouroCarbons. Any organic compound composed of Hydrogen,


Chlorine, Flourine, Carbon. These are typically refrigerants such as R22. Like
CFC's, HCFC's have been found to pose a serious environmental threat.

Hazard

An object, situation, or behaviour, that has the potential to cause harm in terms
of injury, ill health, or damage to property or the environment. (See also Risk).

Health and Safety

The Health and Safety Commission is responsible for health and safety

Commission

regulation in the UK. They are supported by the Health and Safety Executive
and Local Authorities who act as the enforcing authorities in support of the
Health and Safety Commission.

Health and Safety

The Health and Safety Executive are the enforcing authority for health and

Executive

safety legislation in the UK.

Health Monitoring

Health Monitoring is about collecting and using information about workers'


health, related to the substances they use.

Health Surveillance

Health Surveillance is about systematically watching out for early signs of workrelated ill health in employees exposed to certain health risks, such as
hazardous substances or excessive noise.

Heat Exhaustion

A serious illness caused by too much heat. It is often brought on by


overexertion or profuse sweating in a hot, humid, poorly ventilated
environment.

Heat Stroke

A life threatening condition. The persons cooling system, which is controlled by


the brain has stopped working and the internal temperature has risen to the
point where brain damage or damage to other internal organs may occur.

Heinrich's Domino

A theory on accident causation proposed by Heinrich in the 1920's. Heinrich's

Theory

Domino Theory suggests that an accident leading to injury or damage is the


result of a five stage sequence and each stage (domino) represents a linked
cause. Remove any one and the sequence cannot run its course and the
accident will be prevented. The five stages are; 1. Work Situation, 2. Fault of
Person, 3. Unsafe Act, 4. Accident, 5. Injury or Damage.

HID

Hazardous Installations Directorate

HR

Human Resources. The new name for Personnel.

HSAC

Health Services Advisory Committee

HSC

The Health and Safety Commission

HSCER

The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996

HSE

The Health and Safety Executive

HSWA

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. This is the primary health and
safety legislation in the UK. It is considered an "umbrella" act under which more
specific regulations exist to cover specific areas of health and safety.

Human Factors

The environmental, organisational and job factors and human and individual
characteristics which influence behavior at work. Careful consideration of human
factors can improve health and safety by reducing accidents and cases of illhealth at work. See also Ergonomics.

Hygiene

The assessment and control of chemical, physical or biological hazards in the


workplace that could cause disease, ill health or discomfort.

Hypersensitive

An immune response that damages the body's own tissues.

Hypothermia

A life threatening condition in which the body temperature drops below the level
required for normal metabolism and body function.

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I
Ignition Source

A flame, spark or hot surface capable of igniting flammable vapours or fumes.

IIRSM

The International Institute of Risk and Safety Management. A professional body


for health and safety pacticioners, created to advance professional standards in
accident prevention and occupational health throughout the world.

Illuminance

The total amount of visible light illuminating (incident upon) a point on a surface
from all directions. Formerly called brightness. Measured in Lumens/square
metre or Lux.

Improvement Notice A notice issued by the Health and Safety Executive that requires steps to be
taken to improve health and safety by a specified date. Improvement notices
are commonly issued following an accident but may be issued following a
routine HSE inspection.
Incident

An unplanned event, which in different circumstances, could have resulted in an


accident, including injury to persons or damage to property.

Incident

A systematic process of gathering and analysing information about an incident

Investigation

for the purpose of identifying causes and making recommendations to prevent


recurrence.

Ingestion

The swallowing of a substance. See also Routes of Entry.

Inhalation

The breathing of a substance in the form of gas, vapour, fume, mist or dust. See
also Routes of Entry.

Inhibitor
Injection

The entry of a substance through a puncture wound.

Injury Frequency

The number of injuries per 100,000 hours worked. The following formula can be

Rate

applied. No. of Injuries x 100,000 Hours/Total No. of Hours Worked.

Injury Severity Rate

A measure of the days lost to injuries during a specific period. The following
formula can be applied. No. of days Lost x 100,000 Hours/Total No. of Hours
Worked.

IoD

Institute of Directors

IOSH

Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

Irritant

A non corrosive substance which can cause inflammation through immediate,


prolonged or repeated contact.

IRRs

Ionising Radiations Regulations

ISO

International Standards Organisation. Responsible for international standards,


such as the quality standards ISO 9001 and the environmental standard ISO
14001.

IT
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Information Technology

J
Job Design

Job Design defines the way people do their job and behave in the work
environment. It also influences the culture of the organisation.

Job Hazard Analysis

A technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they
occur. It focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools and
the work environment. Ideally once uncontrolled hazards have been identified
control measures will be applied to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable
level. The US equivalent of a Risk Assessment.

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K
Key Element

A constuction industry term to describe a structural member whose removal


would cause more than limited collapse ofthe building.

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L
LA

Local Authority

LAA

Local Authority Associations

LEL

Lower Explosive Limit. The level of concentration of an explosive gas below


which an explosion will not occur due to insufficient explosive gas. See also UEL.

LEV

Local Exhaust Ventilation

Local Exhaust

Local Exhaust Ventilation is a form of ventilation which encloses the material,

Ventilation

equipment or process as much as possible and ensures air flow into the
enclosure and away from the worker and workspace.

Lock Out

A specific set of procedures for ensuring that a machine, once shutdown for
maintenance or repair is secured against accidental start-up or movement of
any of its parts for the length of the shut-down. See also Lock Out/Tag Out.

Lock Out/Tag Out

Specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected


energisation or start-up of machinery and equipment or the release of
hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. See also Lock Out.

LOLER

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

LOPA

Layer of Protection Analysis. A risk analysis technique which lies somewhere


between a quantitative risk assessment and a fully blown HAZOP study. It
founded on the basis that plants are protected by several "layers" of protection.

Loss Control

Measures taken to prevent or reduce loss. Loss is considered and any loss

arising from injury, illness property damage, fines etc.


Loss Prevention

A term used in risk management to describe a number of methods used to


reduce the amount of all losses.

Lost Time Accident

Any accident that prevents a worker from performing their normal duties. See
also Reportable Accident.

Lower Tier

Defined in the Control of Major Accident Hazard (COMAH) Regulations 1999 as


any site with storage of flammable liquid in excess of 5,000 tonnes and less
than 50,000 tonnes. Lower tier COMAH sites are required to produce a Major
Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP).

LPG

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

LTA

See Lost Time Accident

Lumbar

The lower region of the back. Between the diaphragm and the pelvis.

Luminance

Measure of luminous intensity. Measured in Candela.

Lux

Unit of measurement for illuminance.

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M
MAFF

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Manual Handling

Transporting or supporting a load, including lighting, putting down, pushing,


pulling, carrying or moving by hand or bodily force.

MAPP

Major Accident Prevention Policy. A requirement for lower tier COMAH sites.

Material Safety Data A Material Safety Data Sheet is a document that contains information on the
Sheet

potential hazards (composition, first aid, fire precautions, spillage precautions,


environmental hazards) and how to work safely with a chemical product.

MEL

Maximum Exposure Limit. Defined in the Control of Substances Hazardous to


Health (COSHH) Regulations and updated in EH40. The MEL sets the maximum
exposure to which an employee can be exposed to a specified hazardous
substance.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is the name given to a cancer of the lining of the lung, which is
often caused by breathing in asbestos fibres.

Method Statement

A document detailing how a particular process will be carried out. Such a


statement is commonly used to describe how construction/installation works can
be carried out safely.

MIOSH

Member of The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

MOD

Ministry of Defence

MSD

Musculoskeletal Disorder

MSDS

Material Safety Data Sheet

Mutagen

A substance which may cause changes in human cells and may be handed down

from generation to generation.


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N
Narcotic

Substances that result in drowsiness or dulling of the senses.

NAW

National Assembly for Wales

Near Miss

A near miss describes an incident which given a slight shift in time or distance
might have resulted in injury, ill-heath or damage. By reporting, investigating
and acting on lessons learned from near misses, accidents should be prevented.

NEBOSH

National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health. An independent


awards body who are responsible for two well known and well respected
qualifications. The NEBOSH General Certificate. An examined qualification,
usually following the equivalent of two weeks of study. Considered the 'de facto'
standard for managers and supervisors and as preparation for the Diploma. The
Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is approximately equivalent to 3rd
year degree level and is the recognised standard for Health and Safety
Professionals in the UK.

Negligence

"Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided


upon by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human
affairs, would do, or do something which a prudent and reasonable man would
not do." Blyth Vs Birmingham Waterworks Co. (1856)

NHS

National Health Service

NII

Nuclear Installations Inspectorate. The division of the Health and Safety


Executive responsible for ensuring safety in the civilian nuclear industry.

Noise Induced

Noise induced hearing loss can be caused by a one-time exposure to a loud

Hearing Loss

sound as well as by repeated exposure to sounds at various loudness levels over


an extended period of time. Noise induced hearing loss is the result of damage
to the tiny hairs in the inner ear which detect and transmit sound to the brain.
Because these tiny hairs are broken or damaged noise induced hearing loss
cannot be cured.

NuSAC

Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee

NVQ

National Vocational Qualification. Work related, competence based


qualifications.

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O
Occupational Health

Occupational health is about the effect your work has on your health and about

making sure that you are fit for the work you do.
Occupational Illness

Any illness an employee suffers because of the hazards they have been exposed
to at work.

OECD

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

OH&S

Occupational Health and Safety

OHSAS 18001

Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Specification. Not yet adopted and
an International Standard. OHSAS 18001 is an assessment specification for
Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, following the same
format and structure as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. It is expected that OHSAS
18001 will be adopted as an international standard at some time in the future.

OHSAS

A private company providing occupational health and safety advice. Formerly


the Occupational Health and Safety Services for the NHS in Fife and Tayside.

OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The US Department of Labor


department responsible for workplace safety in the US.

Oxidising Agent

Strong oxidising agents are often very reactive chemicals and in contact with
combustible materials, such as paper, sawdust of fabric, may for unstable
mixtures which may constitute a risk of fire or explosion.

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P
PAT Testing

Portable Appliance Testing.

Permit to Work

A permit to Work is a formal, written procedure used to control work activities


which are identified as particularly hazardous and where special precautions are
required to control the hazards. Primarily used for non-routine work activities.

Personal Monitoring

A technique used to determine an individual's personal exposure to a hazard,


such as a hazardous substance or noise. This is usually achieved by using a
personal sampling device worn on the person. The monitoring of hazardous
chemicals is done at the mouth. The monitoring of noise is done at the ears.

PHA

Process Hazard Analysis. An approach to hazard analysis which focuses on the


hazards associated with a process. This approach may comprise HAZOP studies
and "what-if" scenarios. A mainly US term, see OSHA.

Planning Supervisor

A defined role within the The Construction (Design and Management)


Regulations 1994.

Poison

A substance that can cause injury, illness or death.

Policy

A statement of intent. See also Health and Safety Policy.

Portable Appliance

An item of electrical equipment fitted with a plug.

ppb

Parts per billion

PPE

Personal Protective Equipment

ppm

Parts per million

Practicable

In health and safety law this term is usually taken as meaning 'that which is
physically possible, in light of current knowledge and invention.'

Preventative

An approach to maintenance for preventing machinery and equipment failure

Maintenance

through scheduled regular maintenance, knowledge of the reliability of the


parts, maintenance service records, and maintaining a spares holding of the
least reliable parts and the parts scheduled for replacement.

Procedure

A step by step description of how to do a task, job or activity properly and


safely.

Prohibition Notice

A notice issued by the Health and Safety Executive that requires specified
activities to cease, usually forthwith. Commonly issued following a serious
accident if the inspector considers there is a likelihood of repetition.

Protective Hand

See Barrier Cream.

Cream
PUWER

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

Pyrophoric

A substance that ignites spontaneously.

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Q
QA

Quality Assurance

QC

Quality Control

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R
Radioactive

A substance which emits radioactivity

RCD

Residual Current Device

Reactivity

The capability of a substance to undergo a chemical reaction with the release of


energy. This could include an increase in pressure or temperature or the
formation of hazardous substances.

Reasonably

The degree of risk in a particular situation can be balanced against the cost, in

Practicable

terms of time, trouble, money and physical difficulty of taking measures to


avoid the risk. If this cost is disproportionate to the risk it would be
unreasonable to expect any employer to incur those costs to avoid the risk.

Regulation

Mandated by the government. Also a legal requirement (below the Health and
Safety at Work etc Act) covering a specific area of health and safety legislation.

Relative Humidity

A measure of the amount of water vapour in the air, relative to what the air can

'hold' at that temperature. Can have a big impact on the comfort level of a
working environment.
Reproductive Toxins

Toxins which may affect male or female reproductive organs and may affect the
ability to have children.

Residual Current

An electrical device that senses a leakage of current to earth and breaks the

Device

electrical supply.

Residual Risk

The remaining risk after treatment or control measures have been put in place.

res ipsa loquitur

Latin for 'The thing speaks for itself'. Legal term meaning to succeed in an
action for negligence, the claimant must show on the balance of probabilities
that the defendant's breach of a duty of care was causative of his (the
claimant's) loss or injury.

RIDDOR

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations


1995

Risk

The chance, high or low, that somebody could be harmed by a hazard in the
workplace, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be.

Risk Assessment

A Risk Assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your work, could


cause harm to people so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough
precautions or should do more to prevent harm.

Risk Management

The practical steps taken to protect people from real harm.

Risk Phrase

The standard phrases defined in EH40 and used in the classification, packaging,
labeling and provision of information on hazardous substances.

Root Cause

The real or underlying cause of an event, as distinguished from the immediate


cause or causes which are usually fairly obvious.

Root Cause Analysis

A systematic analysis of the causes of an accident to try and identify the root
causes.

RoSPA

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

Routes of Entry

The method by which a hazardous substance can enter the body. There are 4
main routes of entry, 1. Inhalation, 2. Injection, 3. Ingestion, 4. Absorption.

RPE

Respiratory Protective Equipment

RSI

Repetitive Strain Injury. The name given to a group of injuries affecting the
muscles, tendons and nerves, primarily in the neck and upper limbs. RSI is
often caused by a combination of overuse and repetition, awkward or static
posture and insufficient recovery time.

RSP

Registered Safety Practitioner

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S
Safe System of Work A method of work designed to eliminate hazards, where possible and to ensure

that the work is performed in a safe manner.


Safety Audit

An audit, as opposed to an inspection, is an independent, objective and


systematic review of safety management arrangements. This should ensure that
policies and procedures are in place to cover the risks present as well as
confirming that these policies and procedures are being implemented and
complied with.

Safety Case

A formal requirement for Upper Tier COMAH sites. A documented set of


evidence that provides a convincing and valid argument that a system or
approach is adequately safe for a given application in a given environment.

Safety Committee

A committee comprising management and worker safety representatives that


reviews health and safety performance and promotes good health and safety
practices with a view to improving health and safety performance.

Safety Culture

The degree to which good working practices and positive attitudes towards
health and safety are embedded within the culture of an organisation.

Safety Inspection

A Safety Inspection, as opposed to a Safety Audit, is an examination of the


actual conditions and working practices within a workplace.

Safety Passport

A scheme used in various industries, but most notably construction, to provide a


framework for safety training to ensure that workers are aware of the risks of
their workplace before being allowed to work in that environment.

Safety Phrase

The standard phrases defined in EH40 and used in the classification, packaging,
labeling and provision of information on hazardous substances.

Sampling

The process of taking small representative samples of a gas, liquid or solid for
the purpose of analysis. Used to confirm Asbestos Containing Materials and in
Environmental Monitoring.

SBS

Sick Building Syndrome. A term used to describe the situation where building
occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked
to the time spent in the building, but no specific illness or cause can be
identified.

Scaff Tag

A proprietary brand of safety equipment for the inspection and management of


safety on scaffolding systems.

Self Assessment

Assessments that are performed by the individual. Usually performed following


some form of training

Sensitisation

The development, over time, of an allergic reaction to a hazardous substance.


See Sensitisation Dermatitis.

Sensitiser

A substance which may cause a person to develop an allergic reaction following


repeated exposure.

SEPA

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Seveso Directive

The Chemical Accidents directive, named after the Seveso accident which
happened in 1976 at a chemical plant in Seveso, Italy and prompted the first
Seveso Directive, which has since been replaced by the Seveso II directive.

SFARP

So Far As Reasonably Practicable.

Short Term Exposure The exposure to a hazardous substance continuously over a short period of
time.
Sick Building

A term used to describe the situation where building occupants experience

Syndrome

acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to the time spent in
the building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.

SIL

Safety Integrity Level. Originally defined in IEC61508, the European standard


for safety in programmable electronic systems, as a measure of the
dependability of of a safety related function. There are usually 4 defined levels
of SIL, SIL 4 being the most dependable and SIL 1 being the least.

Six Pack

The'Six Pack' was the UK Government's response to the EU Framework Directive


and comprised;
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
The Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

SME

Small and Medium Sized Enterprise

So Far As Reasonably The degree of risk in a particular situation can be balanced against the cost, in
Practicable

terms of time, trouble, money and physical difficulty of taking measures to


avoid the risk. If this cost is disproportionate to the risk it would be
unreasonable to expect any employer to incur those costs to avoid the risk.

Solubility

The ability of a given substance to dissolve in a liquid.

Solvent

A fluid which is capable of dissolving a material.

SRSCR

The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977

Statute Law

The formal, written law of a country or state.

Stress

Stress is defined by the HSE as "The adverse reaction people have to excessive
pressure or other types of demand placed on them."

Substitution

An approach promoted in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health


Regulations that promotes substituting a less harmful substance for a harmful
substance.

SVQ

Scottish Vocational Qualification.

Synergistic Effect

Any effect of two chemicals acting together which is greater than the simple
sum of their effects when acting alone.

Synonym

Words with similar or identical meanings.

Systemic

Affecting the whole body.

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T

Task Analysis

Task Analysis is the analysis or breakdown of exactly how a task is performed.


This analysis can then be used to improve the design of tools or processes to
improve the safety of the task.

Teratogen

A harmful substance which may adversely affect an unborn child. See also
Embryotoxin and Fetotoxin.

TGWU

Transport and General Workers Union

Time Weighted

Usually calculated as an 8 hour TWA. An average value of exposure over the

Average

course of an 8 hour shift.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the name given to the condition of noises 'in the ears' and/or 'in the
head' with no external source. Tinnitus noises are described variously as
ringing, whistling, buzzing and humming.

Toolbox Talks

Toolbox talks are short, focused sessions that address one topic such as how to
do a specialised job. They are not a substitute for formal training sessions but
are meant as a reminder or refresher on the safety aspects of one particular
area. They should be performed on a regular basis and should seek to involve
shop floor workers.

Total Loss Approach

A spin out from Total Quality Management (TQM). The traditional approach to
health and safety management focuses specifically on technical and
management factors associated with hazards. A Total Loss Approach
concentrates on developing and implementing control systems and processes to
eliminate the underlying causes of accidents and therefore reduce accidents.

Toxic

A substance that is capable of causing injury or damage to a living organism.

Toxicity

A measure of the degree to which a substance is toxic or poisonous, also


defined as the potential of a substance to cause harm to living things.

Toxin

A substance that is known to be harmful to biological systems

Trem Cards

Transport Emergency Cards. Must be carried, displayed and made accessible in


the vehicle cab when transporting a hazardous substance.

TUC

Trades Union Congress

TWA

Time Weighted Average

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U
UEL

Upper Explosive Limit. The The level of concentration of an explosive gas above
which an explosion will not occur due to insufficient oxygen. See also LEL.

Ultra Violet Light

Electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between that of visible light and XRays.

Ultra Sound

Sound whose frequency is above the Audible Range.

Upper Tier

Defined in the Control of Major Accident Hazard (COMAH) Regulations 1999 as


any site with storage of flammable liquid in excess of 50,000 tonnes. Upper tier

COMAH sites are required to produce a Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP)
as well as a full Safety Report and on-site and off-site Emergency Plans.
UWED

Use of Work Equipment Directive

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V
Vapour

Gaseous form of a material normally encountered in a solid or liquid state.

VDU

Visual Display Unit. Defined in and covered by the Health and Safety (Display
Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.

Ventilation

Defined as the movement of air. In health and safety terms it is usually


considered either as Dilution Ventilation or Local Exhaust Ventilation, both of
which are used to reduce the harmful effects of hazardous substances.

Vibration

Vibration experienced by the body as a result of using vibrating power tools.


Usually classified either as whole body or hand-arm vibration. See also HandArm Vibration Syndrome.

Vibration White

A condition caused by exposure to hand held and other vibrating equipment.

Finger

Excessive vibration can cause the blood vessels in the hand to constrict, which
reduces the blood supply to the fingers causing tingling, numbness and
whiteness. See also White Finger.

Vicarious Liability

An employer can be found to be vicariously liable for negligent acts or omissions


by their employee in the course of their employment whether or not such act or
omission was specifically authorised by the employer. To avoid vicarious liability
an employer must demonstrate that the employee was not negligent in that the
employee was reasonably careful or that the employee was acting in his own
right, rather than on the employer's business.

volenti non fit injuria Latin for 'to a willing person, no injury is done.' This doctrine holds that a
person who knowingly and willingly puts himself in a dangerous situation cannot
sue for any resulting injuries.
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W
WEEE

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. A European


directive intended to prevent the production of waste electrical and electronic
equipment and encourage its reuse, recycling and recovery.

Whistleblower

An employee or former employee who reports misconduct to people or


authorities who have the power to take corective action. Generally the
misconduct is a breach of law, regulation or public interest.

White Finger

A condition caused by exposure to hand held and other vibrating equipment.


Excessive vibration can cause the blood vessels in the hand to constrict, which
reduces the blood supply to the fingers causing tingling, numbness and
whiteness. See also Vibration White Finger.

WHO

World Health Organisation

Workplace Exposure

A limit on the exposure to hazardous substances, established by the HSE in

Limit

EH40. Defined as a Long-term exposure limit (over an 8 hour reference period)


and a Short-term exposure limit (over a 15 minute reference period). generally
measured in ppm or mg/m3.

Workplace Inspection An inspection of the workplace, conducted in an organised and structured


manner, to identify and report existing and potential hazards.
Workstation

A term used in the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations
1992 to refer not only to the Display Screen Equipment but also all associated
equipment, such as desk, chair, lighting etc.

WRMSD

Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorder

WRULD

Work Related Upper Limb Disorder

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X
X-Ray

Electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength in the 10 to 0.01nm. A form of


ionising radiation, which can be dangerous. Usually used for diagnostic
radiography, either in medicine or non destructive testing.

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Y
Young Person

Defined by the The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations as


someone between 16 & 18 years of age. Special provision is made to recognise
their physical and psychological capacity and to protect them from harmful
exposure to toxic and carcinogenic agents, radiation, risks from extreme heat or
cold, excessive noise and vibration.

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Z
Zone 0

Areas in which an explosive mixture is continuously present or is present for

long periods.
Zone 1

Areas in which the explosive mixture is likely to occur under normal working
conditions.

Zone 2

Areas in which an explosive mixture is not likely to occur during normal


working, but if it does, will only exist for a short time.

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Acknowledgements

eHandS would like to thank the following people for their assistance in the
compliation of this glossary;
Graham Lambie, Duncan Macintosh, M. Arif, Shafi, Rob Horton