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J. Gilbertson - Health and safety glossary
Category: Agriculture and Industry > Health and Safety Sound
Date & country: 12/11/2007, UK
Words: 694

Absorption (noise)
The use of a material or structure to absorb noise energy and prevent its reflection.

Absorptive Silencers
Used to reduce noise from gas exhausts and gas jets by providing an absorbing medium at the exit of the jet. They attenuate more at higher frequencies.

Magnitude of vibration measured in ms-2 based upon an average acceleration level (Root Mean Square) measured by an Accelerometer.

Approved Code of Practice.

Acoustic Haven
An enclosure or cabin possessing noise attenuation characteristics where a worker can obtain relief from the need to constantly wear hearing protection devices.

Act of Parliament
Statutory code voted in by both Houses of Parliament which implements Government policy on social behaviour.

Activated Charcoal Tube
See Adsorption Tube.

Active Monitoring
Activity directed towards checking compliance with an organisation`s OH&S management system.

Adsorption Tube
Atmospheric monitoring device comprising a small glass tube filled with charcoal adsorbent material. Air is drawn through the tube by means of a pump and any contaminant present is then adsorbed onto the charcoal. The charcoal is subsequently removed and analysed to determine the nature of contaminant and/or concentration.

A suspension of any solid particles or liquid droplets in air.

Agent of Change
See Change Agent.

Air Cleaning Device
A component of a ventilation system which removes contaminants from outgoing or incoming air.

As low as reasonably achievable â€` an expression used in risk reduction which defines a stricter standard than ALARP by requiring a test of technical feasibility and current knowledge to be taken into consideration.

As low as reasonably practicable â€` an expression used in risk reduction to define a standard or point at which (the cost of) additional risk reduction measures would be grossly disproportionate to the benefits achieved.

Alpha Particle
A particle emitted by a radionuclide consisting of two protons plus two neutrons.

Alpha Radiation
A form of particulate radiation which causes ionisation. It is made up of swiftly moving nuclei of positively charged helium atoms. Because of their limited powers of penetration alpha particles present their main risk from contamination inside the body when alpha emitters are inhaled or ingested.

Alternating current (AC)
Electrical current which varies in direction and magnitude having the characteristics of a sine wave oscillation.

Alternative Means of Escape
An additional exit route provided where initial travel distance in a room exceeds the specified minimum.

Alveoli (plural)
The minute air sacs of the lungs where respiration occurs (Alveolus singular).

Inflammation of the alveoli of the lungs caused by an allergic reaction. See Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis.

Brown asbestos.

Instrument used for measurement of air speed. See Hot Wire Anemometer and Rotating Vane Anemometer.

A sometimes fatal zoonose which affects the skin or lung. It is transmitted through the inhalation of spores or contact with the skin. The bacteria which occurs primarily in animals can survive outside the host in the ground for many years. Occupations most at risk are those treating animal skins and hides.

The scientific measurement of the human body.

A substance foreign to the body which causes the production of antibodies. See Lymphocyte.

Assigned Protection Factor.

Appointed Person1
A person who is not a first aider but is appointed and trained by an employer to carry out duties involved in the management of a first aid emergency.

Approved Code of Practice
A device introduced by s16 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by which the Health and Safety Commission may approve industrial standards and working practices which meet the requirements of a particular set of Regulations. ACoPs give advice on how to comply with the law and have special legal status in so far as they may be used in evidence to support a prosecution (or a defence) for breaches of Regulations.

The ability to deal with aspects of the environment. An innate ability to perform a particular behaviour.

Arc Eye
An extremely painful conjunctivitis including photophobia (unwillingness to look at light) follows a few hours after exposure to ultra-violet radiation used in welding. The condition usually involves the cornea as well as conjunctiva (keratoconjunctivitis).

Area Sampling
The collection of samples of airborne concentrations of substances hazardous to health by placing a sampling device at selected points in a workplace which may produce a representative sample of the contamination which exits.

Silver-blue skin discolouration caused by long-term exposure to silver salts.

Argyris (Chris)
Management guru whose main relevance is his work into the effects of organisational control on the growth trends of a healthy personality.

Article 100a
See Article 95.

Article 118a
See Article 137.

Article 137
Article of the Single European Act aimed at harmonising the standards of safety of people at the workplace.

Article 95
Article of the Single European Act aimed at removing the barriers to trade for new machinery and equipment.

Potently toxic material known to cause cancer in humans and fibrotic disease. See asbestosis.

A prescribed disease which occurs predominantly in the deep lung producing fibrotic nodules which gradually conglomerate reducing lung function and causing breathing difficulties. Also notifiable under RIDDOR (see Mesothelioma).

A prescribed disease caused by exposure to the Aspergillus fungus commonly associated with asthma-like symptoms. It can occasionally grow in the eye or heart valves with serious consequences. Occupations at risk include farming and horticulture.

A substance which has the properties to suffocate a living being. See Simple Asphyxiant and Chemical Asphyxiant.

Assigned Protection Factor
The level of respiratory protection that can realistically be expected to be achieved in the workplace by 95% of adequately trained and supervised wearers using a properly functioning and correctly fitted respiratory protective device.

See Occupational Asthma.

The smallest portion of an element that can combine chemically with other atoms.

Atomic Absorption Spectrometry
An analytical technique which involves the absorption of light energy by an atomic vapour. The wavelength at which absorption occurs is characteristic of the element; and the degree of absorption is a function of the concentration of atoms in the vapour.

Atomic Number
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom which determines its chemical properties.

Attention Mechanism
Component of human functioning which allows us to select particular information from the vast amount detectable by the senses.

The noise reduction achieved by control measures in dB.

Attenuation Data
Information provided by a supplier of hearing protection devices about the attenuation properties of their products.

A technique used for assessing the degree of hearing loss in a person.

See Safety Audit.

Authorised Person
A senior manager or authority in a company whose responsibility is to issue a permit to work. See also Responsible Person.

The ability to get things done because one`s orders are seen to be legitimate or justified â€` legitimate power.

Autoignition Temperature
The lowest temperature at which a substance will ignite spontaneously (ie without the presence of a source of ignition).

Ballistic Over-learning
The over-learning of an activity to the point at which it can be delegated to a sub-controlling part of the brain.

Base Plate
A small flat metal plate fitted to the bottom end of a scaffold standard which increases the surface in contact with the ground.

Basic Cause
The element of failure or loss of control prior to the existence of the immediate cause of an accident. See Root Causes.

Bathtub Curve
Graphical representation of the expected failure rates of a component. So called because of its similarity to a bathtub.

Best Available Technique Not Entailing Excessive Cost.

See Activity.

A planned process by which an organisation compares its health and safety processes with other organisations with the objectives of reducing accidents and ill-health; improving legal compliance; and cutting compliance costs.

Benchmark Guidance Value
A biological monitoring guidance value set at around the 90th percentile of available validated data. The data is obtained from those industries which employ good working practices. It is a level which can be achieved by the majority of industry by employing good working practices.

Beta Radiation
A form of particulate radiation which causes ionisation. It involves electrons travelling at very high speed. Beta particles have moderate penetrating powers in soft tissue (about 1cm) causing superficial damage.

Beta-ray Absorption Instrument
A direct reading instrument for particulates which passes Beta particles from Carbon-14 source through dust collected on a plate. The absorption of Beta radiation is a function of the mass collected and a direct mass readout is given.

Biological Hazard
See Biological Agent.

Bird (Frank)
Guru of modern accident causation and prevention theory. Noted for his update of the domino theory and work on accident ratios.

Birdcage Scaffold
An independent scaffold constructed so as to provide its own support and structural integrity.

Best Practicable Environmental Option.

Breach of Statutory Duty
A criminal offence â€` but one for which an injured person may make a civil claim if they have suffered injury as a result of the breach (unless specifically excluded in the statute itself).

Break Even Analysis
The analysis of the point in time when an investment will be repaid by the benefits estimated in a cost benefit analysis.

Breathing Apparatus
A respiratory protective device which provides air from an uncontaminated source which enables it to be used in oxygen deficient environments.

Breathing Zone
A notional hemisphere close to a person`s nose and mouth in which the sampling head of a personal atmospheric monitoring device is positioned in order to provide a representative sample of exposure.

The ability of an explosive substance to release energy at a rate which cannot be absorbed by the movement of an object and which causes shattering of objects in the path of the shock wave.

Brittle Failure
A fast fracture in a (generally) brittle material which occurs with little or no warning.

Brownian Motion
The movement in air of particles of less than 0.1 µm which behave like molecules and move randomly in air.

A term used to describe the unstable compressive collapse of structural members eg scaffolding.


Capacitance (electron)
The ability of a system to store electrical energy which is released back into the system in the opposite direction to the flow of current. See Impedance.

Capture Velocity
The air velocity required to capture an airborne contaminant at its point of origin and cause it to flow into an LEV hood.

Carboxy haemoglobin
Haemoglobin which has been converted by exposure to carbon monoxide gas and turns the blood a bright crimson colour which indicates carbon monoxide poisoning by the cherry red appearance of the victim`s face.

A substance with a known propensity to cause cancer.

Case Law
Authoritative references of previous judicial decisions and interpretations which assist in the subsequent and consistent adjudication of cases. See Judicial Precedent.

Construction Design and Management Regulations.

CDM Coordinator
A competent person appointed by the client under CDM whose role is to ensure the competence of designers and contractors before they are appointed. One of the main duties of the CDM Coordinator is to ensure that a Health and Safety Plan for the project is prepared before construction work starts.

CE Marking
A label or mark applied to a piece of equipment or a product to signify that it conforms to a specified European Directive(s). (CE = Conformité Européen).

Committee for European Normalisation.

Chartered Safety Practitioner
A safety professional who is a member of IOSH and has demonstrated sufficient competence through education and experience to be included as a chartered member.

Chemical Analogy
A method for determining the hazards of a chemical substance for which no empirical data is available. Such a substance may be presumed to have similar hazards and risks to other chemicals of similar composition or constitution.

Chemical Asphyxiant
A chemical substance which causes suffocation by diffusing across the lung/blood barrier and interfering with the respiration process. Examples are carbon monoxide which combines with haemoglobin in preference to oxygen and prevents further oxygen take up in the blood by forming carboxy haemoglobin; and hydrogen cyanide which interferes with enzyme reactions preventing cellular respiration. See also Simple Asphyxiants.

Chemical Hazard
See Chemical Agent.

Unpleasant skin condition resulting from the effects of some polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons on sebaceous glands producing blackheads and cysts on the face and neck.

Chrome Holes
See Skin Ulceration.

White asbestos.

Microscopic hairs on the lining cells covering mucous membranes. See Mucociliary Escalator.

Ciliary Escalator
See Mucociliary Escalator.

Circuit Load
The current flowing when an electrical circuit is operating normally on load.

Civil Law
A branch of law conferring rights on individuals and allowing redress against the wrong doer.

Civil Liability
Liability in civil law for harm or wrong done to an individual.

Term introduced by the Woolf Report (1999) to describe a person pursuing a claim under civil law. Replaces the word plaintiff.

A person claiming state benefit under the industrial injuries benefit scheme eg disability benefit for a prescribed disease.