Commonly used abbreviations in health and safety and their meaning

Use the underlined links below to find areas of our site where related services can be offered.  If you have questions please call us on 01453 800100 to speak to an experienced safety consultant.

  1. These are common terms used by health and safety professionals and enforcement agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Health and Safety Commission (HSC)
  2. ACOP Approved Code of Practice
  3. ACM Asbestos Containing Materials
  4. BMA British Medical Association
  5. BOHS British Occupational Hygiene Society
  6. BSI British Standards Institute
  7. BTS British Toxicology Society
  8. C(WP) Construction (Work Place) Regulations
  9. CBI Confederation of British Industry
  10. CDG The Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road Regulations, see also Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor
  11. CDM Construction (Design & Management) Regulations
  12. CDMC CDM Coordinator (see guidance section and construction safety consultancy section)
  13. CE The letters “CE” do not represent any specific words but the mark a declaration by the manufacturer, indicating that the product satisfies all relevant European Directives. Note, however, that the mark only applies to products that fall within the scope of European Directives.
  14. CFC Chlorofluorocarbons
  15. CFM Cubic Feet per Minute Amount of air flowing through a given space in one minute 1 CFM approximately equals 2 litres per second
  16. CHIP Chemical Hazards Information and Packaging
  17. CO Carbon Monoxide
  18. CO2 Carbon Dioxide
  19. COMAH Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations
  20. COSHH Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations
  21. COSHH RA COSHH Risk Assessment
  22. CPHSP Construction Phase Health & Safety Plan (CDM Regulations / CDM Coordinator)
  23. CNS Central Nervous System
  24. CRT Cathode Ray Tube
  25. CSSA Construction Site Safety Audit
  26. CTS Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  27. CVD Cardiovascular Disease
  28. dB Decibel, see also Noise Consultancy
  29. DDA Disability Discrimination Act
  30. DGSA Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor
  31. DSE Display Screen Equipment, see also Display Screen Equipment Risk Assessment
  32. EA Environmental Agency, see also Environmental Consultancy and ISO14000
  33. EAW Electricity at Work Regulations
  34. EHO Environmental Health Officer
  35. EMAS Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, see also Environmental Consultancy and ISO14000
  36. EMAS Employment Medical Advisory Service
  37. FA Factories Act
  38. FH(G) Food Hygiene (General) Regulations
  39. FLT Fork Lift Truck, see also Skills Training
  40. FPA Fire Precautions Act
  41. FPWR Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations, see also Fire Risk Assessment
  42. GMC General Medical Council
  43. GP General Practitioner
  44. H&S Health & Safety
  45. HASWA Health & Safety at Work Act
  46. HAZCHEM Hazardous Chemical Warning Signs
  47. HR Human Resources, see also Employerguard H&S and HR Support
  48. HSC Health & Safety Commission
  49. HSCON Health & Safety Consultant
  50. HSDSER Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations
  51. HSE Health & Safety Executive
  52. HSP Health & Safety Policy
  53. IAQ Indoor Air Quality
  54. ICOH International Commission on Occupational Health
  55. IOD Institute of Directors
  56. IOSH Institution of Occupational Safety & Health
  57. LOLER Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations
  58. LPG Liquid Petroleum Gas
  59. MAPP Major Accident Prevention Policy
  60. MEL Maximum Exposure Limit, see also COSHH Risk Assessment
  61. mg.m3 Milligrams per cubic metre, see also COSHH Risk Assessment
  62. MHOR Manual Handling Operation Regulations
  63. MHSWR Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations
  64. MSD Musculoskeletal Disorder
  65. MSDS Material Data Safety Sheet, see also COSHH Risk Assessment
  66. NAWR Noise at Work Regulations
  67. NEBOSH National Examination Board of Occupational Safety and Health
  68. NHS National Health Service
  69. NIHL Noise Induced Hearing Loss
  70. OHAC Occupational Health Advisory Committee of The Health & Safety Commission
  71. OHSAS18001 BSI Standard for Occupational Health & Safety
  72. OSRPA Offices Shops & Railway Premises Act
  73. PAT Portable Appliance Test
  74. PPE Personal Protective Equipment
  75. PPEWR Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations
  76. ppb Parts Per Billion, see also COSHH Risk Assessment
  77. ppm Parts Per Million, see also COSHH Risk Assessment
  78. PUWER Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations
  79. QA/QC Quality Assurance/Quality Control
  80. RCD Residual Current Device
  81. RIDDOR Reporting of Injuries, Disease & Dangerous Occurrences Regulations
  82. RoSPA Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
  83. RSA Regional Speciality Adviser
  84. RSA Royal Society of Arts (training accreditation)
  85. RSI Repetitive Strain Injury
  86. SBS Sick Building Syndrome, see also Indoor Air Quality
  87. SCon Safety Consultants, see also Health & Safety Consultant
  88. TUC Trades Union Congress
  89. Type 2 Survey Asbestos Survey defined under MDHS 100 (types 1 and 3 also defined), see Asbestos Surveys
  90. VDU Visual Display Unit
  91. WEL Workplace Exposure Limit (COSHH Risk Assessment)
  92. WHO World Health Organisation
  93. WHSWR Workplace (Health Safety & Welfare) Regulations
  94. WRULD Work Related Upper Limb Disorder

Hidden risks within your business – Occupational Health

Most of us would like to feel that we have identified and managed the risks within our business but we often have nagging doubts about having assessed everything.  Most businesses start at the most obvious and work their way down, falls from height, being hit by vehicles, fire and so on.  Once these have been addressed we may well move onto areas in which we feel we have a little less competence, ergonomics and electricity.  Often the last area to receive the attention it deserves is COSHH as many staff feel that a trip back to the chemistry class to learn more about these types of risks is not the most appetising way to spend an afternoon or two!

However, I’m sure that you’re aware that it’s certainly an area which needs attention and one which isn’t as bad as you may have feared once you get hold of the right information (usually supplemented by a helping hand from someone who has been there before).  You may now feel that you’ve started to get on top of these risks but there is an area which continues to befuddle an awful lot of businesses and that’s the area of health surveillance.

Recent research has shown that despite the fall in fatalities and other statistics over the past year to a record low of 151  we are experiencing a rise in occupational health illnesses, take a look at the statistics;

  • Occupational cancers: 15,000 deaths per year
  • Work related lung conditions: 4,000 deaths per year

There is still a tendency to view occupational diseases and illness as being a thing of the past, mainly related to industries such as mining and heavy engineering. The reality is very different. Despite huge advancements in technology and changes in the labour market the editor of International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health has claimed ‘never in history has there been so much occupational disease as exists in the world today’.

So the next question is; what can be done to manage these risks.  Thankfully the answer is often quite simple and you should look at all of some of the following;

  • Hearing tests (audiometry) for workers exposed to high levels of noise (we can provide this service if required)
  • Health surveillance using questionnaires (we can provide these under your Safety~net membership to cover the potential for skin disorders and respiratory problems)
  • Lung function tests for workers using respiratory sensitisers / irritants or exposed to high levels of dusts or similar

Whilst on this subject you should also review your provision of protective equipment and take another look to make sure that it is being used consistently and effectively; check gloves for holes in fingertips by blowing them up and checking for leaks and check masks for fit using fit test equipment and simple observational tests such as looking for signs of dust ingress on the sides of the nose and mouth.

Remember; Issuing our health questionnaires is free, quick and easy.  Just call us to receive a copy and you’ll already be on the way to addressing this risk.

Fire Safety: Government fails to keep its house in order

You may well have read of the recent embarrassment for the government when the very office which is responsible for fire safety failed its own inspection.  The Communities and Local Government building, Eland House, was served with an enforcement notice for a string of failings which were summarised as a lack of understanding of the terms ‘competence’ and ‘responsible persons’ when it came to fire safety in its premises. This came after the 2009 fire at the Fire Service College in Gloucestershire resulting in over £1 million of damage where no fire risk assessment had been completed.

To cap this, the latest news is that another four premises have also failed their inspections with more failures expected to follow suit.  This is four years after the introduction of the Fire Safety Reform Order and begs the question does the government takes its own regulations seriously.  A source of malcontent amongst those of us working outside the public sector is the immunity given to all crown premises and all crown employees when the fines imposed for the private sector can be alarmingly high.  You only need to go back a few months to see the case against retail giant New Look ending with an eye watering £400,000 (reported in our December News Release).

Perhaps it’s time for the public servants to enjoy the same level of accountability as the rest of us, when the bodies responsible for the enforcement of the regulations fail to put their own house in order something needs and to done and as the old adage says “there is no change in behaviour without consequence”.