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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


Genes
The biological units of heredity. They are arranged along the length of chromosomes.

Genotoxic
A chemical that damages chromosomal structures.

Glanders
A prescribed disease of the zoonose variety which is hosted by horses, donkeys, mules and camels. It is rare in the UK, transmitted to humans via infected animal feed and water. Occupations at risk include animal workers and laboratory technicians.

Glare
See Disability Glare and Discomfort Glare.

Goal Setting Legislation
Acts and regulations whose objectives are to require the duty holders to establish controls that are relevant to their operating circumstances rather than prescribe wide ranging, all-encompassing requirements.

Grab Sample
Monitoring technique for airborne containments which gives a ‘point of time` measure of the level of contamination at a selected place.

Gravimetric
Term used to express concentrations (by weight/volume) of all materials in measures of milligrams of substances per cubic metre of air (mgm-3).

Gray
See Absorbed Dose.

Green Paper
A statement of the Government`s intention to pursue a course of action, used in consultation processes to gauge public opinion.

Group
A number of people cooperating in the pursuit of common goals see Formal Group, Informal Group, Primary Group, Secondary Group, Peer Group and Reference Group.

Guard Rail
A protective rail fixed to a working platform whose purpose is to prevent persons falling.

Guidance Notes
Official series of publications issued by the Health and Safety Executive which illustrate best practice for a variety of occupational issues.

Habituation
The gradual acclimatisation or familiarisation with a phenomenon or set of circumstances to the point at which it goes unnoticed.

Half-life
The time taken for the activity of a radionuclide to lose half of its value by decay.

Halo Effect
The influencing effect of appearance or conditions on a person`s judgement such as dress, speech, cleanliness, tidiness. Halo can be positive or negative and is reinforced by stereotypes.

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
Collective description for injuries to workers whose hands are regularly exposed to high vibration, such as “dead finger�, “dead hand�, and “vibration white finger� (VWF).

Handy (Charles)
Management guru of more recent times noted for witty and perceptive analysis of organisational behaviours (read his books). See Role Culture.

Hard System
A system comprised of mainly inanimate things with well structured components and definable attributes not dependant upon interpretation by an observer.

Harmful
A designation given to a substance which presents a risk of ill-health.

HASAWA
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HAVS
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

Hazard Analysis
A systematic exploration and recording of the propensity for injury in the hazards associated with an activity.

Hazard Indexing
A technique pioneered by the chemical industries which ranks hazards and their severity. Eg Dow Index and Mond Index.

Hazard1
An exposed danger, a condition or practice (behaviour) which has the potential to do harm. See Major Hazard.

Hazard2
The potential to cause harm, damage, production losses or increased liability (HSG65).

Health and Safety Commission
A tripartite body set up under the provisions of section 10 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It comprises a chairperson appointed by the Secretary of State and between six and nine members as follows: three from employer organisations, three from employee organisations and three from Local Authorities and other such bodies. It has the function of formulating policy.

Health and Safety Executive
A body appointed by the HSC to implement policy. It is an enforcement authority possessing regulatory powers in the field of occupational safety and health. Jurisdiction of its inspectors is mainly in the industrial and high risk sectors of employment but includes educational establishments, fairgrounds and domestic gas.

Health and Safety File
Under CDM a file containing design information relating to health and safety and information which may be needed by anyone carrying out construction or cleaning work on the structure.

Health and Safety Plan
A pre-construction plan prepared by the client and planning coordinator which includes a description of the project, proposed timings of the project, details of risks to persons during the project, information that any contractor may need to enable demonstrations of competence and information which contractors will need to comply with their duties.

Health Guidance Value
A biological monitoring guidance value set at a level at which there is no indication from the scientific evidence available that the substance is likely to be injurious to health. It is set where a clear relationship can be established between biological concentrations and health effects.

Health Surveillance
Aspect of worker monitoring when exposed to specified substances under CoSHH with the objective of detecting adverse changes in health at as early a stage as possible and to assist in evaluating the effectiveness of control measures. Requirements for health surveillance also exist in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. See also Medical Surveillance.

Hearing Protection
See Ear Protection.

Heat Stress
A consequence of the body`s thermoregulatory system breaking down resulting in a rapid increase in the core temperature to 41oC or above.

Heat Stress Indices
Tables which combine the environmental variables into a single value which quantitatively describes the amount of stress that a thermal environment places on an individual.

Heinrich (Herbert W)
Said to be the father of occupational safety and health, original author of ‘Industrial Accident Prevention` published in 1931. Early proponent of the ‘iceberg` theory for accident costs and the domino theory of accident causation.

Helminth
A worm like parasite which can enter the human host through contaminated or abraded skin. The only relevant prescribed disease in the UK is Ankylostomiasis which is caused by the nematode worm.

HEPA
High Efficiency Particulate Absorber.

Hepatitis B
A prescribed disease caused by a virus which produces inflammation of the liver. The virus is particularly resilient and resists common antiseptics and even boiling water, and can live in the environment for weeks. Occupations at risk are predominantly health care workers, teachers, police and customs officers who may be exposed to human body fluids.

Hepatoma
Liver tumour. See Angiosarcoma.

Hepatotoxic
Toxic to the liver.

Herzberg (Frederick)
Management guru of the 1950`s whose main motivation theory recognised the differences between factors which satisfy and those which dissatisfy. His theory is known as the motivation/hygiene theory.

HFL
Highly Flammable Liquid.

Hierarchy of Needs
Motivation model offered by Maslow based upon five levels: 1. Food, warmth and shelter 2. Safety and security 3. Social needs and affiliation 4. Ego needs and self esteem 5. Self actualisation

High Court
Trial venue for civil cases involving large claims (usually in excess of £50,000).

High Explosive
Explosive material possessing a high rate of decomposition which produces a pressure/flame front at high velocities, known as detonation.

High Pressure (electrical)
Pressure in a system (UK) normally above 650 volts, but not exceeding 3000 volts, where the electrical energy is used or supplied.

Highly Flammable Liquid
A (liquid) substance which has a flash point of less than 32°C.

HIV
Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

Hoist
A hoist is an appliance whose rotational movement is restricted by guides or rails. It can only move in the vertical plane.

Hold to Operate Control
Protective device which requires the operator`s presence and action on the controls to allow the machine or equipment to operate. Releasing the controls causes the equipment to stop.

Holism
School of thought which suggests that activities or systems should be studied as a whole because they show emergent properties which cannot be predicted by the study of the behaviour of individual components.

Holistic Approach
See Holism.

Hook
A device used to secure a load to a crane.

Hot Wire Anemometer
Instrument for measuring air velocity comprising a very fine heated wire attached to the end of a probe. As air passes over the wire the wire cools and the rate of heat dissipation is directly proportional to the velocity of air passing over the wire.

House of Lords
The highest court in the land and the final (UK) Court of Appeal in both civil and criminal proceedings. A quorum of three judges is necessary but some major issues are decided by the whole House.

HSC
Health and Safety Commission.

HSE
Health and Safety Executive.

HSG48
HSE guidance publication entitled ‘Reducing Error and Influencing Behaviour` useful for its insight into the effects of human behaviour on an organisation`s management system, and vice versa. Read it.

HSG65
Successful Health and Safety Management: HSE publication detailing essential features of a safety management system. Read it.

Human Error
An action or decision which was not intended, which involved a deviation from an accepted standard, and which led to an undesirable outcome. See also Errors.

Human Error Probability
The probability that an error will occur during the performance of a particular job or task within a defined period of time (HSG48). See also THERP.

Human Factors1
Expression generally used to describe the outcome of human psychological processing influenced heavily by experience, knowledge, perceptual set and motivation.

Human Factors2
From the HSE – “human factors refer to environmental, organisational and job factors, and human and individual characteristics which influence behaviour at work in a way which can affect health and safety�. The main elements are now contemporised in HSG48 Reducing Error and Influencing Behaviour.

Human Failures
A hierarchy of human failures postulated by the HSE in HSG48 which includes errors and violations.

Human Relations
School of management which proposed that people work better in groups where they have some degree of participation and control over their work. Relations within the group are more important than mechanistic controls applied by the employer.

Human Reliability
The propensity for a human being to perform a particular task to a specified level of performance. The probability that a task will be successfully completed within a required minimum time (HSG48). See THERP.

Human Reliability Analyses
A collection of techniques, based upon probabilistic risk assessment, for predicting human error. See THERP.

Humidifier Fever
An allergy causing alveolitis resulting from exposure to bacteria and fungal spores which grow in water and are recirculated through humidifying systems. Workers in air conditioned offices are more likely to be affected.

Hybrid Offence
A criminal offence triable at either Magistrates Court (summarily) or Crown Court (on indictment) at the discretion of the prosecution or sometimes at the request of the defendant.

Hygiene
See Occupational Hygiene.

Hygiene Standard
Generic expression for limits of exposure to airborne substances. See Occupational Exposure Limits.

Hygienist
See Occupational Hygienist.

Hypoxia
A low blood tension of oxygen caused by a low inspired concentration of oxygen.

Iceberg Theory1
That insured costs of accidents represent only a small part of the total costs to a company and are thus the tip of the iceberg.

Iceberg Theory2
That major injury and lost time accidents represent only a fraction of the total number of accidents occurring in a company and are thus the tip of the iceberg.

ILO
International Labour Organisation.

Immediate Cause
The identifiable unsafe act or unsafe condition which existed immediately prior to the occurrence of an accident. See also Root Cause and Basic Cause.

Impedance
Is the opposition to flow of electrical current made up of resistance (a property of the material at specified temperature), capacitance and inductance.

Implied Term
A condition of a contract of employment that is implied rather than expressly included. Implied terms may be by statute (Working Time Regulations) or by common law (duty of care).

Improvement Notice1
Statutory notice which may be issued by an Inspector from the HSE or an EHO on discovery of a breach of one of the relevant statutory requirements. A time limit of at least 21 days must be given in which to comply or appeal to an employment tribunal.

Improvement Notice2
Statutory notice which may be issued by the fire authority on premises exempt from the requirement to hold a fire certificate on discovery of inadequate means of escape or fire fighting. A time limit of at least 21 days must be allowed in which to comply or appeal to an employment tribunal.

Impulse Noise
Any type of single or repeated noise of short duration, eg a hammer or power press.

Incendive
Having enough energy to ignite a flammable mixture.

Incidence Rate (IR)
Statistic used to illustrate the number of accidents (of a specified type) per 1000 employees (or other constant*) IR = Total number of Accidents x 1000 Number of employed persons *Note that the multiplier may vary for different organisations, agencies and countries. Use caution when making comparisons.

Incident
All undesired circumstances and “near misses� which could cause accidents (HSG65).

Independent Tied Scaffold
A scaffold whose structural support is provided by standards, braces and transforms and is tied to the building using scaffold ties. The working platform rests on transforms.

Indictable Offence
Serious criminal offence for which higher penalties or longer terms of imprisonment may be applied (see s33 HASAWA).

Indirect Costs
Those costs associated with accidental losses which are not easily observed or directly associated with the accident. These include the cost of lost time by others involved in the event, investigation costs, loss of goodwill or corporate image, hiring or training of new staff etc. See also Direct Costs, Insured Costs and Uninsured Costs.

Indirect Discrimination
Where a provision, condition, criterion or practice which would apply equally to all persons would be detrimental to a larger proportion of people afforded protection under the legislation, eg placing conditions that would debar considerably more of a complainants group than the ordinary population.

Individual
See Personality.

Individual Differences
Human factors which give rise to propensity for a particular attitude or behaviour in an individual such as age, experience, maturity and personality.

Individual Risk
Term used when determining the tolerability of risk to define the risk to a member of the public living within a defined radius of a hazardous industrial installation. See Societal Risk.

Inductance
The property of an electrical circuit (alternating current) to impede the flow of current through the creation of an electro-magnetic field in the opposite direction of flow.

Industrial Tribunal
See Employment Tribunal. Title changed by the Employment Rights (Dispute Resolution) Act.

Inerting
A process of rendering a substance or atmosphere incapable of combustion.

Informal Group
Pattern of human interaction governed by personal needs rather than organisational requirements.

Informal Organisation
See Informal Structure.

Informal Structure
(of an organisation). The actual day to day relationships which develop to meet individual needs and satisfactions, in order to enable organisational and personal goals to be realised.

Infrared Gas Analyser
A direct reading instrument for gases which measures the amount of absorption of gas and compares it with a reference cell. Because different gases absorb infra-red at different wavelengths it is possible using this method to selectively analyse several gases even when present in the same.

Infrared Radiation
Invisible electromagnetic radiation of wavelength in the region of 760nm to 1nm. It occurs between the red end of the visible spectrum and the shortest microwaves. Its harmful effects on the human being include burning of the skin, increase in pigmentation and the induction of cataracts.