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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


Mitigation
Arguments put forward by the defendant after a guilty plea, or after being judged guilty, which promote extenuating circumstances or other favourable conditions in an attempt to minimise the penalty imposed.

Mobile Crane
A self propelled crane whose body is supported on a wheeled chassis. The jib is usually capable of rotating 360° and extending substantially to deliver loads in awkward places. Stability is provided by outriggers that should be lowered before a lift is attempted.

Molecule
The smallest portion of a substance that can exist by itself and retain the properties of the substance.

Mond Index
A way of ranking chemical plant hazards similar to the Dow Index. It takes account of circumstances other than processing, such a storage, loading and unloading. Toxicity hazards are also included.

Motivation
A decision-making process through which the individual selects desired outcomes and sets in motion the behaviours appropriate to acquiring them. Motivation has three main components: energising, directing and sustaining.

mppcm
Millions of particles per cubic metre, a numerical measure for dusts and other particulate matter.

Mucociliary Escalator
The lining of the upper airway which consists of microscopic hairs on the lining cells covering mucous membranes. Their activity maintains the movement of fluid over these membranes.

Multi Causality Theory
Modern trend in accident investigation and analysis which accepts the principle that accidents are usually the result of a number of interrelated causes, none of which can be described as the sole cause. The concept leads to a systems approach to accident investigation and prevention rather than the concentration on one specific causal relationship.

Mutagen
A substance which if inhaled, ingested or penetrates the skin may produce a risk of hereditable genetic defects ie a permanent change in the amount or structure of the genetic material which results in a change to the characteristic of the daughter cells.

Mutagenesis
A permanent change in the amount or structure of the genetic material (the ‘genotype`) which results in a change to the characteristics of the daughter cells (the ‘phenotype`).

Mutation
A chemical change in the DNA in the nucleus of a cell. Mutations in sperm or egg cells or their precursors may lead to inherited effects in children. Mutations in body cells may lead to effects in the individual.

Narcosis
A condition of profound insensibility resembling, but not the same as, sleep.

Narcotic
A chemical substance which has the potential to cause the onset of sleep or even narcosis.

Narrow Band Noise
The division of the frequency content of a particular noise into bands of a fixed width.

Near Miss
An accident event which does not realise its potential for injury or damage. See Incident.

NEBOSH
National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health which develops syllabuses at professional and general levels and sets examinations for each in occupational safety, health and environment. See NEBOSH Certificate and NEBOSH Diploma.

NEBOSH Certificate
Vocational qualification aimed at managers and others who carry special or designated responsibilities for health and safety in a workplace.

NEBOSH Diploma
Professional vocational qualification aimed at those pursuing a career in occupational health and safety. It is an accepted entry qualification for IOSH.

Negligence
“The omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided upon those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do� (Blythe v Birmingham Waterworks Co 1856).

Neighbour Principle
“You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who then is my neighbour? Persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question�. (Lord Atkin in Donoghue v Stevenson 1932).

Neighbour Test
See Neighbour Principle.

Neoplasm
A “new growth�. A term associated with the growth of tumours in body tissue. See Cancer.

Neoplastic Disease
See Cancer.

Nephrotic Syndrome
Characterised by massive protein loss and consequent oedema of the face and dependant areas, especially the ankles.

Neutron
An elementary particle with unit atomic mass approximately and no electric charge.

Newtonian Behaviour
The behaviour of large particles in air as they set up turbulence and eddies and are greatly affected by drag. The resistance of the air is proportional to the square of the velocity and the square of the diameter of the particle.

Noise
Subjective description given to unwanted sound.

Noise Assessment
The determination of the noise exposure of a person or a group of persons. A legal requirement under the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 where the noise level is likely to be greater than or equal to the first action level. Or greater than or equal to the peak action level.

Noise Exposure
A measure of the total sound energy to which a person is exposed, dependant upon duration of exposure and sound pressure level.

Noise Rating Curves
A family of curves which are basically a set of octave band spectra, each with its own rating number. The NR rating is the highest NR curve touched. The NR curves were developed in Europe and are internationally standardised and are essentially consistent with the US Equivalent Noise Criteria (NC) curves.

Noise Refuge
See Acoustic Haven.

Noise Survey
A preliminary activity prior to a full noise assessment which looks at noise levels at specified locations in a work area.

Non-destructive Testing
Any form of testing which does not result in permanent damage or deformation to the part being tested. Eg x-ray inspection, gamma radiography, magnetic crack detection and dye penetration.

Non-ionising Radiation
Radiation falling within the upper range of the electromagnetic spectrum which does not have the capacity to cause ionisation eg infra red and ultra violet.

Non-mechanical Hazards
Machinery hazards classified by BS EN 292 including: noise, vibration, electricity, high/low temperatures, radiation and hazardous substances.

Non-pecuniary Damages
General damages for which there is no formal monetary scale of award such as pain and suffering, social isolation etc.

Notifiable Disease
A disease prescribed by the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1998 eg tetanus.

Nuclear Reactor
A device in which nuclear fission can be sustained in a self-supporting chain reaction involving neutrons. In thermal reactors, fission is brought about by thermal neutrons.

Nucleus
The positively charged core of an atom which occupies little of the volume but contains most of the mass.

Nucleus of a Cell
The controlling centre of the basic unit of tissue which contains the DNA.

Nuclide
A species of atom which is characterised by the number of protons and neutrons and, in some cases, by the energy state of the nucleus.

Nuisance
See Public Nuisance, Private Nuisance and Statutory Nuisance.

Nuisance Noise
A noise which is unlikely to cause hearing damage but which is annoying to those in the area.

Obiter Dictum
Remarks made by judges in the summing up of a case which are ‘by the way` and not essential elements of the decision itself. These remarks often become persuasive precedents depending upon the seniority of the judge but they are not part of the ratio decidendi.

Objective Measures
Performance measures which are detached from the observer`s personal judgement eg existence of ‘X` in fact.

Obstructive Airway Disease
See Occupational Asthma

Occupational Asthma
A disorder of breathing characterised by a narrowing of the airways due to swelling of the airway wall. The condition is triggered by occupational exposure to allergens and some chemical substances.

Occupational Exposure Limit
A level of exposure expressed as a WEL which is used to determine the adequacy of control of exposure by inhalation in the workplace. OELs are specified in official guidance EH40.

Occupational Hygiene
The practice of recognition, measurement, evaluation and control of occupational health risks.

Occupational Hygienist
One who practices occupational hygiene.

Octave Band
The division of the frequency range of noise into bands with the upper frequency of each band being twice that of the lower frequency.

Octave Band Centre Frequency
The frequency at the centre of an octave band. Used as a point in the measurement of noise.

OEL
Occupational Exposure Limit.

Off The Job Training
Training which takes the trainee away from the distractions of work activity into a formal classroom environment.

Off-line Processing
The mental simulation of the choices open to us and their possible outcomes which has the disadvantage that we sometimes fail to consider properly all the options, or may not have sufficient information to enable us to make a choice.

Official Journal
Official journal of the European Union in which a directive is published once it has been adopted.

Ohm's Law
The potential difference between the ends of a resistance (or conductor) is directly proportional to the current flowing - assuming constant temperature. This relationship is given by the equation: Voltage = current x resistance.

Oil Acne
Skin infection developing from plugged pores which become infected and produce blackheads and pustules. Dirty work involving mineral oils can lead to its development particularly on forearms and thighs.

On The Job Training
Training which takes place in the workplace at the trainee`s workstation usually whilst engaged in normal duties.

On-line Processing
Moment to moment decision making which requires little analysis of the outcomes but has the disadvantage that an inappropriate choice may be made on the spur of the moment.

Open Face Head
Sampling head which accommodates filters of 25 and 37 mm diameter for sampling general or ‘nuisance` dusts where high concentrations of larger sized particles are expected. Open face with cowl is more likely to be seen sampling for asbestos. The cowl protects the face of the filter and gives even distribution of airflow.

Open System
A system that interacts with and depends upon exchanges with its environment. A flexible and adaptive system.

Operant Conditioning
A learning process observed by Skinner in which appropriate or desired behaviour is rewarded when it is observed thus making it more likely that the behaviour be repeated.

Optical Radiation
Electromagnetic radiation comprising ultraviolet, visible and infrared radiations.

Organisation
The arrangement of human and physical resources based upon the need to control and integrate the activities of individuals and groups.

Over Three Day Injury
A notifiable injury which causes absence from work or the inability to perform normal duties for a period of more than 3 days excluding the day of the injury but including rest days (RIDDOR).

Overhead Travelling Crane
Overhead (or gantry) cranes run on tracks which span the workshop. They are often capable of withstanding high stresses but all of the components must be taken into account when assessing strength. This includes the tracks on which the crane runs and the points at which they are fixed to the building structure.

Oxidising Agent
A chemical substance which promotes a combustion reaction when mixed with a combustible material.

Ozone
A form of oxygen gas which occurs naturally in very small quantities in air. Most of the ozone is in the stratosphere where it forms the ozone layer.

Ozone Detector
A direct reading instrument unique to ozone which works on the principle of chemiluminescence. Air is drawn into a reaction chamber where the ozone (if present) is reacted with ethylene. The product of this is in a high energy state and rapid return to its ground state occurs with the emission of light. This emission is amplified and measured.

Paper Tape Monitor
A direct reading instrument for vapour which involves exposing a roll of chemically treated paper tape to a flow of contaminated air. As the air filters through the tape the paper stains black in the presence of the contaminant. The tape advances until the stain is directly above a light source where a detector picks up the amount of light transmitted through the paper (light varies according to the depth of stain).

Parallel System
A reliability engineering technique in which the capabilities of a critical component are duplicated so that if one fails the other is capable of continued operation, eg dual circuit braking system.

Parasites
Multi-cellular organisms with complex life cycles growing, for example, from egg to larva to adult which depend upon larger organisms for survival.

Particle Motion
The behaviour of dusts and fibres of various sizes in air. See Newtonian Behaviour, Stokes Behaviour and Brownian Motion.

Particulate Radiation
Sub-atomic particles emitted from a radio-active material which cause ionisation in the absorbing medium. See Alpha Radiation and Beta Radiation.

Parts Per Million
Units of measurement for volumetric concentration of airborne contaminant.

Pascal (Pa)
Unit of measurement of sound pressure.

Passive Sampler
A device used to collect air samples without the aid of a pump. Gas is adsorbed or absorbed by the collecting medium at a rate of diffusion across a well defined diffusion path.

Pathogen
An organism which can infect a host and cause disease.

Peak Action Level
A point at or above which an employer must take action to reduce the noise exposure of the workforce by means other than PPE. A peak sound pressure level of 200 pascals (at time of going to print).[2] See also First Action Level and Second Action Level.

Peak Sound Pressure Level
The maximum value reached by the sound pressure at any instant during a measurement.

Pecuniary Damages
General damages for which there is a formal monetary scale of award such as insurance scales for fracture and amputation, loss of future earnings etc.

Peer Group
The group to which an individual belongs.

Peer Group Pressure
The pressure exerted by a group (sometimes coercive) on its members to ensure compliance with the group`s values and norms.

Perceived Risk
The level of risk as valued by non-experts, which is often influenced by subjectivity and personal judgement as to the potential disturbance of things that they value.

Perception
A psychological process by which we make sense of what we are experiencing.

Perceptual Distortion
A type of error created by the altered perception of data because of the way the information is presented.

Perceptual Set
A characteristic filter pattern, which develops through experience, which allows some information to pass through the filter more readily.

Performance Measures
Key outcome indicators based upon an organisations stated objectives in OH&S. See Qualitative Measures, Quantitative Measures, Subjective Measures and Objective Measures.

Performance Monitoring
A process by which an organisation determines its success or failure in managing OH&S. See Proactive Monitoring and Reactive Monitoring.

Permanent Threshold Shift
Permanent irreversible hearing loss occurring after prolonged exposure to high noise levels. See Temporary Threshold Shift.

Permit to Work
A formal authority to operate a planned procedure which is designed to protect personnel working in hazardous areas or activities.

Peroxidation
A slow reaction of a peroxidisable chemical with air to form peroxides which may separate or crystallise to form an explosive or even detonative component.

Person Culture
A style of organisational behaviour described by Charles Handy which strives to meet the needs of individuals. Often associated with government driven services.

Personal Injury
Any disease or impairment of a person`s physical or mental condition (HASAWA s53). See Major Injury and Over Three Day Injury.

Personal Protective Equipment
All equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects a person against one or more risks to their health and safety.

Personal Sampling
The collection of samples of airborne concentrations of substances hazardous to health by attaching a small collector in the breathing zone of the worker under observation.

Personality
A word used to describe that collection of behaviour that makes one person distinguishable from another. A collection of attributes including intelligence, aptitude, attitude, experience, memories, knowledge and skills.

Phagocyte
A cellular defence mechanism which recognises unfamiliar cells, cell debris and particles etc in the human body and digests them in order to render them harmless.

Photo-electric Device
Protective (trip) device utilising a beam or beams of light (usually infrared) between a light source and a photo-sensitive cell. If the beam is broken power to the machine is automatically made safe.