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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: 1069

Blue asbestos.

Cross Ventilation
Method of ventilating a building using the wind effect by opening and closing windows.

Crown Court
Trial venue for serious criminal offences presided over by a High Court Judge or a Circuit Judge and a jury. The court hears cases which are triable on indictment

See Safety Culture.

The rate of flow of electrons, the unit of current is the ampere and is equal to the rate of flow 1 coulomb per second. See Direct Current (DC) and Alternating Current (AC).

Air cleaning device which uses a combination of centrifugal and gravitational forces to separate particles out of an air stream. Contaminated air is introduced tangentially so that solids are thrown outwards against the walls of the cyclone and fall to the bottom under gravity. Irrigated and multi versions exist.

Cyclone Head
Sampling head used to separate non-respirable dust from respirable dust. The cyclone system induces air to swirl upwards in the chamber and the lighter, respirable dust is collected on a filter.

Daily Personal Noise Exposure
See LEP,d

Loss outcome of an accident.

Damage Control
A tool of loss control which involves the systematic reporting, investigation and control of those accidents which result in damage to property; with the objective of an overall reduction in the total number of accidents and subsequent costs to the company.

An award of compensation which is related to the amount of harm done. See General Damages and Special Damages.

The use of high mass/low stiffness materials applied to panels, screens, ducts, etc to reduce vibration in regions of resonance or coincidence.

Danger Zone
Any zone in or around machinery in which a person is exposed to a risk to health or safety from contact with a dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock bar.

The inherent power of a thing to do harm, (an injurious consequence implicit in a hazard).

Def: Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 “give rise to dangerâ€? â€` shock, burns, arcing, fire, explosion.

Dangerous Occurrence
A notifiable event (to the relevant enforcement authority) of a type specified in schedule 2 of RIDDOR which could have resulted in a reportable injury even if, in the circumstances, it did not do so, eg collapse of scaffold, failure of lifting equipment.

Dangerous Part(of machinery)
A reasonably foreseeable cause of injury to anybody acting in a way in which a human being may be reasonably expected to act in circumstances which may reasonably be expected to occur.


Decibels (A-weighting).

Decibels (C-weighting).

Technique for determining the reliability of a component or system by testing under service conditions before assembly or production.

Dead Man`s Handle
Out of favour (and not politically correct) term for a hold to operate control.

The process of spontaneous transformation of a radionuclide. The decrease in the activity of a radioactive substance.

Decay Product
A nuclide or radionuclide produced by decay. It may be formed directly from a radionuclide or as a result of a series of successive decays through several radionuclides.

Unit of sound level used in noise exposure measurement.

This is the legislative vehicle by which individual Institutions of the European Union may implement various parts of the treaties for which they are responsible. They are generally of individual application and their requirements are binding in their entirety on the addressee.

Declaration of Conformity
A certificate drawn up by a responsible person which declares that the product complies with the relevant essential health and safety requirements of that particular product`s directive.

Declaration of Incorporation
Where a machine, by definition, is intended to be incorporated into other machinery, the responsible person may draw up a declaration that no CE marking needs to be affixed until the whole machine is safe.

Defence Mechanism
Coping Behaviours.

The accused person defending a claim under civil law or a prosecution under criminal law.

The rapid combustion of a substance or material.

Degreaser's Flush
Bright red flush of face and arms resulting from the combination of exposure to Trichloroethylene vapours and the consumption of alcohol.

Delegated Legislation

Department of Works and Pensions
At the time of writing, responsible for the Government's welfare reform agenda. Its aim is to promote opportunity and independence for all. It delivers support and advice through a modern network of services to people of working age, employers, pensioners, families and children and disabled people.

An inflammatory condition of the skin caused by one or more external irritants. See Primary Irritant and Secondary Irritant.

Designating Order
A statutory instrument by which the Home Secretary may specify the types of premises which may be subject to the conditions of a fire certificate.

One who, under CDM, prepares drawings, design details, specifications and the bill of quantities in relation to the structure.

Detailed Survey
A highly sophisticated sampling2 programme using rigorous sampling protocol and statistical analysis of results which concentrates accurate measurement of TWA exposures of 15 minutes and 8 hour duration and requires the entire period of a person`s exposure to be covered by either one, or several consecutive samples. The process should be repeated on different days and on different shifts to cover the whole range of anticipated exposure conditions.

Detector Tube
See Stain Tube Detector.

A deflagration with a coincident shock wave and flame front travelling through a flammable mixture at supersonic speed.

Dilution Ventilation
Any method by which air is encouraged to flow into and out of a workplace with the objective of reducing the background concentration of airborne contaminants. Such measures may include cross-ventilation and stack effect as well as the more conventional engineering methods. See also Plenum Ventilation.

Direct Costs
Those costs associated with accidental losses which are directly attributable to the event and paid by the employer to the injured person in the form of medical expenses or insurance compensation payments. See also Indirect Costs, Insured Costs and Uninsured Costs.

Direct Current (DC)
Current flowing in one direction and having constant magnitude.

Direct Discrimination
Where on the grounds of sex, marital status or race a person is treated less favourably than a person of the opposite sex, a single person, or a person not of the same racial group would be treated.

Direct Reading Instrument
A self contained device used to measure the concentration of airborne contaminant which gives an instant readout of the level of contamination.

Directing Mind
Concept referred to by Lord Denning as far back as 1957 identifying senior managers as the brains behind corporate decision making. Their (managers`) state of mind is the state of mind of the company.

See European Directive.

A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person`s ability to carry out normal day to day activities (Disability Discrimination Act).

Disability Glare
Direct interference with vision from glare which is brighter than the area brightness in the visual field.

A catastrophic event characterised by the fact that the casualties usually outweigh the facilities for treating them.

Disaster Plan
Contingency model for coping with and ameliorating the effects of a disaster.

Discomfort Glare
A condition which produces annoyance, irritability or distraction and is related to symptoms of visual fatigue such as inflammation and irritation of the eyes and lids, blurred or double vision and headaches, fatigue and giddiness. See Disability Glare.

The less favourable treatment of one individual over another because, of personal prejudices. See Direct Discrimination and Indirect Discrimination.

The termination of a contract of employment by the employer with or without notice. See Summary Dismissal, Constructive Dismissal, Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal.

Displacement (vibration)
The amount of movement displayed by an object when a force is applied and released.

Deoxy-ribonucleic acid, the compound that controls the structure and function of cells and is the material of inheritance.

Domino Theory1
Accident causation model originally postulated by HW Heinrich which states that an injury at work is invariably the result of an accident which is the consequence of an unsafe act or condition generated by the fault of some person. Faults of person are in turn described as the result of genetic and social factors. If these are represented by 5 dominoes standing on end the ‘inevitable` causal chain can be demonstrated. Modern approaches now tend to favour multi causality theory rather then the narrow causal path of the domino theory.

Domino Theory2
Heinrich`s model was updated by Frank Bird who replaced the term unsafe acts and conditions with substandard acts and conditions. ‘Faults of person` was altered to job factors and personal factors and the initiating domino (genetic and social) was given the label ‘management system failures`. Bird also added the attribute of chance to the result by adding categories of damage and near miss accidents at the result end. See Multi Causality Theory.

The product of the concentration of a substance hazardous to health and the duration of exposure to it.

Dose (radiation)
General term for quantity of ionising radiation. See Absorbed Dose, Equivalent Dose, Effective Dose and Collective Effective Dose.

An instrument worn by a person during normal daily work routines which is designed to continuously measure noise exposure.

Dow Index
Procedure applied at design stage ranking fire, explosion and reaction hazards in chemical plant.

Dräger Tube
A proprietary make of stain tube detector.

Ductile Failure
A type of material failure which is almost exclusively due to a single overload in tension or compression. It is characterised by substantial plastic deformation at the point of fracture.

Small solid particles generated (usually) by mechanical attrition. See Respirable Dust, Thoracic Dust and Total Inhalable Dust.

Duty of Care1
Common law duty placed upon all persons to exercise reasonable care that their acts or omissions do not harm their neighbour. See Neighbour Principle.

Duty of Care2
Obligation placed upon the producer of waste and others under s34 of The Environmental Protection Act ‘to take all such measures as are reasonable to prevent the escape of waste and to transfer it only to an authorised person` and ‘to prevent a contravention of s33 and to provide sufficient information to enable the transferee to do likewise`.

Department of Works and Pensions

Ear Muff
Ear protection worn externally normally comprising a retaining band with two cups which enclose the outer ear.

Ear Plug
Ear protection in the form of a plug which is inserted into the entrance to the ear canal.

Ear Protection
Generic term used to cover all forms of hearing protection.

Ear Protection Zone
An area required to be demarcated with suitable signs in which a person is likely to be exposed to noise at or above the second action level or the peak action level.

A protective device by which an electrical circuit is connected to the general mass of earth so as to ensure an immediate discharge of energy reducing danger.

Earth Fault Loop Impedance
This is the impedance of the normal earth fault loop.

The Electricity at Work Regulations.

Activity aimed at developing the knowledge, skills, moral values and understanding required to function effectively in a social environment (see training).

Effective Dose
The quantity obtained by multiplying the equivalent dose to various tissues and organs by a weighting factor appropriate to each and summing the products. Unit: sievert, symbol: Sv. Generally abbreviated to dose.

Effective Temperature Index
Originally intended for predicting comfort rather than heat stress, taking account of the wet bulb temperature, dry bulb temperature and air velocity.

Environmental Health Officer.

Electric Arc
Ultraviolet radiation generated by ‘sparking` which can cause damage similar to severe sunburn and a painful eye condition known as ‘arc-eye`. Molten metal particles from the arc itself can penetrate, burn and lodge in the flesh. These effects are additional to any radiated heat damage caused by the arc.

Electric Burn
Caused by the heating effect of the passage of electric current through body tissues, these occur in and on the skin layers at the point of contact with the electrical conductors which gave rise to the electric shock.

Electric Shock
Electric current may take multiple paths through the body causing muscular contractions, respiratory failure, fibrillation of the heart, cardiac arrest or injury from internal burns. Any of these can be fatal.

Electrical Equipment
Every type of electrical equipment from for example a 400 KV overhead line to a battery-powered hand lamp, and also includes conductors used to distribute electrical energy such as cables, wires and leads and those used in the transmission at high voltage of bulk electrical energy, as in the national grid.

Electrical Explosion
The violent and catastrophic rupture of any electrical equipment such as switchgear, motors and power cables which are liable to explode if they are subjected to excessive currents.

Electrical System
All the constituent parts of a system, eg conductors and electrical equipment in it, this will include all of the electrical equipment connected together and the various electrical energy sources in that system.

Electrochemical Detector
A direct reading instrument for inorganic gases in which a sensitive electrode, separated from the contaminant gas by a permeable membrane, is promoted into a chemical reaction with the electrolyte in which it is immersed. As the chemical reaction takes place a change in the electrical current in the electrochemical cell occurs which is proportional to the gas concentration.

Electromagnetic Field
The region in which electromagnetic radiation from a source exerts an influence on another object with or without there being contact between them.

Electromagnetic Radiation
Oscillating electric and magnetic fields travelling together through space. There are limitless possibilities to the range of frequencies which exist but the main types are listed in the form of a ranking as an electromagnetic spectrum.

Electromagnetic Spectrum
A table of energy in which forms of electromagnetic radiation are ranked according to their wavelengths. eg Gamma rays, X-rays, ultra-violet, visible light, infrared, microwaves, and radio-waves. See Ionising Radiation and Non-Ionising Radiation.

An elementary particle with low mass, 1/1836 that of a proton, and unit negative electric charge. Positively charged electrons, called positrons, also exist. See also Beta Particle.

Electron Capture Detector
In sample analysis, uses a radioactive source to ionise the carrier gas inside a chamber. This induces the gas to produce a steady stream of ions which can be measured as a steady current whose strength depends on the gas component and its concentration.

Electron Volt
Unit of energy employed in radiation physics. Equal to the energy gained by an electron in passing through a potential difference of 1 volt. Symbol: eV. 1 eV = 1.6 × 10-19 joule approximately.

Electrostatic Precipitator
An air cleaning device which utilises the principle of static attraction to remove dust particles from air. Capable of achieving very high degrees of efficiency, irrigated versions exist.

A substance with atoms all of the same atomic number.

Employment Medical Advisory Service.

Emergency Lighting
Battery (usually) powered lighting system which activates upon the failure of the mains electricity supply to illuminate escape or exit routes in occupied buildings.

Emergent Properties
Characteristics of a system which are tangible but cannot be attributed to any one component in particular, see Synergy.

See Electromagnetic field.

Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)
A tripartite body comprising high court judges nominated by the Lord Chancellor and a panel of lay members chosen from employers` and workers` organisations. Cases are heard by a judge and either two or four lay persons, all of whom have equal voting rights. Appeals against an employment tribunal decision can normally only be considered by the EAT if there has been an error of law.

Employment Tribunal
A tripartite body set up by statute to deal with certain minor matters determined by statute. It comprises a legally qualified chairperson and a representative from an employer`s association and one from a worker`s association or union.