The safety of bottled water in cars

This is a question which has been raised by some clients following a spate of emails circulating on the web.  Read on to find out the opinion of our experienced safety consultants and if you have questions or need more advice please call our safety consultancy on 01453 800100.

Below is a copy of the email (in italics) which started this urban myth;

Email Subject: Drinking Bottled Water Kept in Car

…a friend whose mother recently got diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor told her women should not drink bottled water that has been left in a car. The doctor said that the heat and the plastic of the bottle have certain chemicals that can lead to breast cancer. So please be careful and do not drink that water bottle that has been left in a car and pass this on to all the women in your life.

This information is the kind we need to know and be aware and just might save us!!!!

*The heats causes toxins from the plastic to leak into the water and they have found these toxins in breast tissue. Use a stainless steel canteen or a glass bottle when you can*!

The first alarm bell which rings here and announces this email as something which may not be 100% true is the fact that all materials containing food stuffs must pass stringent tests before being put into use.

However, there is as usual an element of truth, bottles can potentially leach endocrine disruptors into the water which they contain, in this case man made chemicals which have the potential to interfere with the production of reproductive hormones in the body – not cause cancer.

Research on this subject is in its early stages and there may not be a link – more research is needed but it is a potential concern.  Some chemical leaching does take place but these are at levels which are minuscule and do not pose a threat to health.  Tests have shown them to always be within the limits set within the EU and US authorities.  You’re greatest risk is from microbial contamination, particular in the case of still mineral waters which will not have undergone special treatment to reduce these levels.

The bottom line is that single use water bottles are known to be safe and multiple use water bottles are also safe to the best of current knowledge.  Nothing is without risk but you should not be concerned by leaving water bottles in cars but you might not want to drink the warm water anyway – unless you’re very thirsty!


Some concerns have also been raised involving reusable water bottles and the leaching of bisphenol A (BPA).  You may now see a number of baby bottles boasting to be BPA free.  This is potentially a concern but research continues into this to establish the actual level of risk and its true effects on the human body.

Posted by Roger Hart

Choosing a dust mask

Choosing a dust mask

We often have questions regarding which mask should be used and so thought a very quick summary here would be useful.

In general, filtering face masks used for dusts and similar can be categorised into three types all with an FFP number.

  • FFP1 for simple dusts such as nuisance and soft wood dusts
  • FFP2 for more hazardous dusts such as grinding, powder painting or respirable cystalline silica
  • FFP3 for hazardous dusts which also involve some vapours and gases which are hazardous to health (a good example here would be welding fumes)

One of the key failing when we review the use of face masks is how people wear them and you should, since November 2002 in fact, be testing the fit of these items to ensure they are effective – this is known as fit testing.

Many people do not fit masks well and do not even press the metal strip fixed around the nose of the mask to get a good seal – if a mask is to protect you this is essential.  A second common error is keeping the mask at the point of work uncovered – perhaps on a work bench.  This will allow the mask to collect exactly what it should be protecting you from and allow you to inhale it as soon as you use it!  Always keep RPE in a sealed container or bag to prevent this type of contamination.

More information is supplied below on the new APF figures.  These allow you, once occupational hygienists, such as ourselves, have completed an appropriate air sampling survey, to select an item of RPE which will adequately protect you and your staff from harm (see graphic to the right for more information). The APF is an allowance over which the mask will protect you;

For example; the allowable limit for hard and soft wood dusts is currently 5 mg per cubic metre.  In your workplace an occupational hygienist such as one of our safety consultants may measure the dust level at 3 times this amount, 15 mg per m3.  In that case you would need to seek an APF (assigned protection factor) of at least 3.  This would put you in the typical 4-10 or 4-20 range.

One final point concerns the amount of time which a mask will last before requiring replacement, this can be summarised as follows;

  • For particulate (dusts) when breathing become more difficult the mask will be partially blocked and should be replaced
  • For gases and vapours the mask should be replaced when you detect ‘breakthrough’ i.e. when you can detect through smell or taste the item against which you should be protected be that a solvent or other substance.

As a general rule, disposable masks should be disposed of daily and reusable half face respirators should have their filters changed at least monthly.

If you would like to speak to an experienced occupational hygienist about this please contact us on 01453 800100

Posted by Roger Hart

CDM 2015, a quick summary

CDM 2015 regulations

It would be true to say that we rarely experience a change in regulation which causes so much speculation and conversation amongst safety professionals, designers and architects, contractors, clients and everyone else who might be involved in a construction project at some stage but CDM 2015 has done it.

CDM 2015 flowchart

Flowchart of CDM 2015

There is still a lot of confusion amongst the duty holders and so we thought we would attempt (based on the latest guidance documents) to explain how we think the regulations will work from the perspective of each duty holder from client through to contractor but if you prefer a helicopter overview take a look at or download our flowchart below;

(Important Note: this guidance is provided as is and without warranty and is based on some assumptions and draft guidance documents)

  1. Notification of HSE (F10)
    1. 2007 Regs: you are required to notify HSE should your project last more than 30 consecutive days or more than 500 person days
    2. 2015 Regs; you will be required to notify HSE only if you project lasts more than 30 working days and has more than 20 people on site simultaneously or lasts more than 500 person days (add up the numbers on-site each day and the number of days, incidentally 19 persons x 26 days would be 494 person days)
      1. Note: we expect that this will reduce notifiable projects to less than one-third of their current number for larger businesses.  For domestic architects the effect will be almost all projects will come under CDM 2015
      2. The duty to notify technically rests with the client under the revised regulations
  2. Transitional arrangements
    1. The regulations are set to come into force on 6th April 2015, however, for projects for which a CDM Coordinator has already been appointed at that time there is a six month transitional period where the old regulations can still be applied and the CDM Coordinator can remain in role.  If this is the case you should start planning the transition now and be compliant with the new regs before 6th October 2015
  3. Removal of the domestic client exemption
    1. This was a key enabler for the change in the regulations.  The UK did not apply this part of the EU directive fully and was under great pressure from the EU to do so.  The regulations will now apply to all domestic work involving 2 or more contractors.
    2. The client duty to also ensure that the regulations are implemented on domestic projects will pass from the client to the principal contractor.  This may present the largest challenge to smaller contractors or those specialising in domestic works for new builds and extensions which up until now have been exempt.  It is worthy of note that this duty stays with the designer until and unless another Principal Designer is appointed in writing.
    3. These regulations “apply to ALL building projects, whether or not a person is acting in the course or furtherance of a business”
      1. Note: This is significant.  Even small projects will require a safety plan albeit one which HSE expects and allows to be smaller and less detailed than a notifiable project.  In truth, it is likely that these plans will follow a very similar layout to larger project plans in the absence of firm guidance on what should be included to be compliant with the new regulations.  This is an area in which we can help so please contact us if you need to discuss this aspect and if you are an existing client we can supply you with a suitable template plan.
  4. Role of the Principal Designer (replaces the CDM Coordinator Role)
    1. This is now expected to be a person in the design team (architect, structural engineer, services engineer). This will typically be supported by a safety expert such as ourselves working on a framework agreement or support contract as a Principal Design Consultant, for a copy of our framework agreement and cost structure please contact us on 01453 800100 or request a callback.
      1. Role and duties;
        1. • Eliminating or controlling risk throughout the design phase;
          • Ensuring that the Principal Contractor (PC) is kept updated;
          • Ensuring that a Construction Phase Plan (CPP) is prepared;
          • Assisting the Client with the preparation of pre construction information and fulfilling their project / design brief;
          • Make certain that all designers comply with their duties to design out risk where practicable;
          • Preparing the Health and Safety file at project completion.
  5. Role of the Client
    1. A key change is that the client must set a clear brief for the project and this should set out arrangements for how health and safety will be managed.  This may well be seen to include provision for audit arrangements to ensure good safety provision, risk management and welfare arrangements, another area where we can and do provide support.
    2. From the regulations;
      1. A client is required to appoint a principal designer as well as a principal contractor in any project where there is, or it is reasonably foreseeable that there will be, more than one contractor working on the project (regulation 5). Under the 2007 Regulations appointments for similar roles were required for notifiable projects.”
    3. An additional role and interesting requirement placed on clients is to ensure that the Principal Designer and Contractors carry out their roles fully.  How they might be able to fulfil this duty without recourse to a construction safety professional such as ourselves is questionable – we usually supported in house teams even under the 2007 regulations so a new and specific requirement makes this an area which must be addressed fully by clients from 6th April 2015
  6. Role of the Principal Contractor
    1. There are more slight modifications for the role of Principal Contractor and the role is similar to the 2007 regulations for those who previously fell into scope.  The largest change will be the notification and application changes mentioned above which bring far more projects, including domestic, into the scope of the regulations for these larger contractors.
    2. However, the largest impact will be faced by small and medium sized business as ALL projects must now produce a health and safety plan and produce a health and safety file regardless of the projects size
    3. Smaller and repetitive projects
      1. What about small jobs which still involve more than one contractor? How could the regulations apply to maintenance works where only 2 hours are required at site for small works?
        1. Our answer; We don’t yet know how HSE will see this being managed but we can guess.  Under the existing regulations repetitive works could generally be grouped together and it’s possible that HSE will allow an overall arrangement for a maintenance contract rather than insist on repeated documents which could be argued to be unreasonable. We’ll update you when we know more.
  7. Sub-contractors and competency requirements (PQQ’s,SSIP and Approval Schemes in general)
    1. The requirement for competency has been replaced with a requirement of “skills, knowledge and experience” in an apparent effort to reduce this burden
      1. Sum result: We would be amazed if this changes anything.  A form of words which requires you to do much the same thing is very unlikely to have an impact on the current status quo so don’t expect CHAS, SMAS or SafeContractor requirements to be affected.
    2. In support of our opinion above it is worthy of note that the PAS 91 is specifically referenced as a means of assessing  pre qualification, anyone familiar with this document will know how detailed this assessment is.

Guidance and support

It’s likely that some of our guidance above will change as we learn more about the regulations and how HSE will apply them.  It’s also true to say that a greater understanding will come after an unlucky few suffer FFI fines and prosecution for failures in applying the Regs.  We’ll continue to keep you updated and if you want to find out a bit more detail we would recommend the CONIAC guidance which can be found below and the HSE guidance to be found here; Legal (L) Series guidance

Note:  all documents current as of time of last edit but subject to change
Posted by Roger Hart

DSEAR, do you know or don’t you?

DSEAR, the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations – quite a mouthful and something which very few clients have addressed to the extent that they should.

If the above is true then it might come as a further surprise to you to know (or at least be reminded) that these regulations were introduced and came into force in 2002!

Their purpose is to ensure protection against risks from fire, explosion and similar events arising from dangerous substances used or present in the workplace, and also sets a minimum requirement for the protection of your workers from fire and explosion risks linked to any dangerous substances and potentially explosive atmospheres.  Think blasts, fires, burns and suffocation in terms of risks which you are protecting from.

We’ve added some general requirements of the regulations below but you might want to know more from our experts, if you would like to discuss any aspect of DSEAR feel free to call us on 01453 800100 or use the contact links at the bottom of this post.

Key requirements

  1. Assess risks and then decide how best to reduce them;
  2. Put in place suitable procedures/ equipment to deal with the potential for accident and emergencies;
  3. Ensure that you supply your employees with adequate information, instruction, training and supervision;
  4. Classify your areas into zones which must then be marked and suitably protected.

Activities, processes and substances which come under DSEAR

  1. Storage of highly flammable liquids, including petroleum spirit
  2. Storage of flammable goods, such as paints, solvents, reagents
  3. Storage, use and handling of flammable gases, including LPG
  4. Use of flammable gases, such as acetylene, for cutting and welding
  5. Handling and storage of waste dusts from woodworking operations
  6. Handling and storage of flammable wastes including fuel oils
  7. Hot work on tanks or drums that have contained flammable material
  8. Work activities that could release naturally occurring methane
  9. Use of flammable solvents in laboratories
  10. Transport of flammable liquids in containers around the workplace

If you’ve got questions or need support on safety in the industrial, contracting or construction sectors please contact us for sensible and proportionate advice on 01453 800100

Posted by Roger Hart

Why should I outsource safety to consultants?

Why should I outsource safety to consultants?

  • outsource safety will free up your business to focus on its strengths. This will benefit your business by allowing your staff to concentrate on their main tasks and on your future strategy and growth – we will work with your internal health and safety staff to support them and help them improve and develop your health & safety systems;
  • outsource safety will improve your efficiency and customer service. When you choose our health & safety consultants to support your internal safety professionals you are gaining the support of a highly experienced and well-connected organisation able to react quickly and flexibly to your business needs;
  • your business will gain a competitive advantage. Outsourcing your safety will bring flexibility to your business, turning fixed costs into variable costs and freeing up capital. It will also give your business the edge when winning new contracts against your competitors;
  • We have the skills and experience to support internal your safety professionals on more difficult and diverse risk issues.  Areas such as COSHH risk assessments, personal exposure sampling, occupational health assessment and fire require very specific knowledge sets;
  • Areas which might not affect your business day to day still need to be tackled, for example, an extension which comes under the CDM Regulations will require a CDM support but you do not have the skillset required in house.  We have specialists who will work with you and provide a full CDM service

Outsource Safety

It may be tempting to rush into outsourcing, but take the time to meet with one of our health & safety consultants and talk through what you need, we don’t use sales people so the person you meet will be your dedicated contact and retained health & safety consultant.

Consider the following:

  • Concentrate on your core strengths and not those which are secondary to your success.
  • Consider the true costs of handling it in-house. Include hidden costs such as office space, training, company cars, recruitment, holidays and so on.
  • Check the return on investment (ROI) – we can help you to calculate exactly how much you could save whilst getting a better service.
  • Consider the effects of a temporary downturn – you could have high employment costs when you could be only paying for what you actually need.
  • What are the costs of not outsourcing? Will your business suffer because it cannot afford to invest in the expertise or the facilities that we can provide? Perhaps your competitors are already outsourcing these roles.
  • What are the costs of developing new skills sets to cover areas like COSHH risk assessment, CDM Principal Designer duties and Occupational Health requirements?

If you’ve got questions or need support on safety in the industrial, contracting or construction sectors please contact us for sensible and proportionate advice on 01453 800100

Posted by Roger Hart

HSE Fee For Intervention has been served on an individual worker

HSEWith almost 12 months elapsed since the introduction of Fee For Intervention (FFI) we have heard for the first time of an individual being fined under the scheme.

The individual was employed as a scaffolder working on a Carey Housing project.  The HSE Inspector was driving by the site when he noticed the scaffolder working without edge protection, or any other method that might prevent him from failing.

The Inspector spoke directly to the scaffolder and explaining what he had observed regarding the material breach which the scaffolder had made. The result was that the scaffolder was personally issued with an Enforcement Notice and fined £400.

The Project Manager was next to be interviewed and discussions took place with regard to the role of the Principle Contractor under CDM, training requirements, competency, safe systems ofwork (including review of the sub-contractor’s method statements and risk assessments).

Perhaps not surprisingly the Inspector’s opinion was that the method statement submitted needed to be made more site specific. The detail which was omitted was the method of protection the scaffolder would be using — this should not be “generic” or left entirely to the scaffolder to decide upon but specified in writing.

No action taken against Careys, as the Principal Contractor, on this occasion, as the Inspector was, in general, pleased with what he had seen at site. However, the Inspector warned that individuals are being targeted and will continue to receive fines and an Enforcement Notice from the HSE if they break the law.

Examples of material breaches could include but are not limited to; failing to wear PPE, operating plant and equipment without the relevant training, failing to adhere to the method statement and risk assessments (RAMs), or for altering scaffolds if you are not trained.

The lesson?  Use your RAMS as working documents – this is how our documents have always been produced.  If you need help updating your own please call us for a clear and competitive cost.

About: Roger Hart  is Managing Director of Outsource Safety Ltd, a consultancy specialising in ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 Management Systems.  The company employs 10 staff and works for hundreds of retained clients across the UK in all sectors from Defence and Aerospace to Education and Museums with a specialism in the contracting, construction and renewables sectors,


Posted by Roger Hart

Freight company fined £50,000 after fork lift driver hit by falling pallets

A Suffolk-based freight company has been sentenced for a series of safety breaches after a forklift truck toppled and spilled its load onto a worker, breaking his back.

Freight company fined £50,000 after fork lift driver hit by falling pallets


Neil Jennings, 56, of Ipswich, was waiting for his trailer to be loaded in the yard of Eagle Freight Terminal Ltd at its Great Blakenham premises when one of the forklifts doing the loading hit a pothole. The vehicle lurched sideways, shedding its pallets and boxes, one of which hit Mr Jennings.

He suffered multiple fractures to the vertebrae of his upper and middle back and was unable to work for several weeks. Mr Jennings can now only undertake light duties and can no longer carry out everyday tasks without pain and discomfort.

HSE found that the freight yard road surface was pitted with potholes and had been the subject of complaints by the company’s employees over a significant period. There was little management of traffic movements and no instructions provided regarding segregation of workplace transport and pedestrians.

The court was told that two Improvement Notices were served by HSE on Eagle Freight after the incident requiring them to remedy the condition of the yard’s surface and to introduce systems of control which would allow vehicles and pedestrians to circulate safely at the site. Despite two extensions of time to allow the remedial work to be completed, an inspection carried out in September 2012 revealed no work had been completed and neither of the Notices had been complied with.

Ipswich Magistrates’ Court heard that the company had been subject to similar enforcement action by HSE as far back as 2002/3 about the lack of control of workplace transport.

Eagle Freight Terminal Ltd of Lodge Lane, Great Blakenham, Ipswich, was fined a total of £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,501.23 plus £120 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace [Health, Safety and Welfare] Regulations 1992 and for failing to comply with two Improvement Notices.

After the case, HSE Inspector Paul Grover, said:

“This was an entirely preventable injury caused by persistent disregard by Eagle Freight of basic safety measures. The company allowed the yard’s surface to deteriorate so badly that forklift trucks were regularly destabilised when carrying loads.

“There was also no system to allow vehicles and pedestrians to move safely around each other and the forklift truck driver had not been given suitable training which resulted in him using unsafe work practices where the truck was driven with the forks and load lifted.

“The company’s subsequent repeated failure to meet the requirements of the two improvement notices demonstrated their complete disregard for their legal responsibility to keep their employees, and non-employees visiting the site, safe.

“The risks of serious injury and, all too frequently, death, resulting from the failure to control the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians are widely recognised.

“Putting safe working practices in place is often simple and inexpensive and where this doesn’t happen the costs, both financial and personal, can be immense.”

If you need help or advice on fork lift trucks, logistics or warehouse risk management or any aspect of health and safety then please contact us or request a call back – or call and speak directly to a friendly consultant on 01453 800100. You can become a member of our Safety~net support service over the phone and get help right away, whatever your problem.

Posted by Roger Hart

Lyme disease and the risk to landscapers and construction workers

In May 2013 a petition was handed to the Department of Health demanding better diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.  You may be aware of its existence but many are not but it can present an occupational risk which affects a range of professions and trades with up to 3,000 new cases being reported each year in the UK.  Lyme disease has no vaccination and can be very damaging if left untreated severe fatigue, heart problems, nerve damage and headaches.

  1. Architects
  2. Landscapers
  3. Landscape architects
  4. Environmental professionals
  5. Highways specialists
  6. Structural engineers
  7. Ground workers
  8. Arboriculture workers
  9. Forestry workers
  10. Farm workers
  11. plus foragers, hikers, mountain bikers and so on

Lyme disease is spread to humans via ticks with heathland, rough grassland and woodland being the primary sources but you can still catch ticks whilst being in a garden – I removed one from my 4 year old boy just last week!

As we said, a vaccine doesn’t exist but you can reduce your chances of being bitten;

  1. wear long sleeved trousers and shirts – even in warm weather;
  2. If clothes are light in colour ticks can be more easily spotted and removed before they bite;
  3. Give workers information so they can identify ticks, before they’ve fed they can be no bigger than poppy seeds, they don’t fly but they do crawl quickly after jumping onto you from a nearby branch or plant;
  4. Get workers to check themselves after working in known tick zones (even in the harder to reach areas!);
  5. If you are working in a known tick zone then clothes can be treated with permethrin based repellents which can kill ticks on contact.  But, check first with staff and give them a choice allowing them to refer to their GP or pharmacist if required.

Tick removal

To minimize tick exposure, wear rubber boots and tuck pant legs into the boots so ticks have a hard time grabbing on, advise Mississippi State University experts. (Photo courtesy of Jerome Goddard. Used with permission.)

Perhaps the most important element of protecting your self is removing a tick correctly, we’ve summarised this below but you can also see this link for more information and to purchase a specialist tool if your staff are working in high risk areas;

  1. Grasp the tick as close to the  skin as possible and pull upwards with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick as this may leave the mouth parts embedded or cause the tick to regurgitate infective fluids.
  2. Remove any embedded mouth parts with tweezers or a sterilised needle.
  3. Do not squeeze or crush the body of the tick, because its fluids (saliva and gut contents) may contain infective organisms.
  4. Do not handle the tick with bare hands, because infective agents may enter through breaks in the skin, or through mucous membranes (if you touch eyes, nostrils or mouth).
  5. After removing the tick, disinfect the bite site and wash hands with soap and water.
  6. Save the tick for identification in case you become ill within several weeks. Write the date of the bite in pencil on a piece of paper and put it with the tick in a sealed plastic bag and store it in a freezer.
    1. DO NOT use petroleum jelly, any liquid solutions, or freeze / burn the tick, as this will stimulate it to regurgitate its stomach contents, increasing the chance of infection.tick-bite-lyme-disease-risk-assessment

Ensure that your staff are aware of the potential risk and know what to do.  Not all ticks will carry the disease but these simple precautions (and a pair of special tweezers) will protect your staff from harm.

Posted by Roger Hart

Commonly used abbreviations in health and safety and their meaning

Commonly used Health and Safety abbreviations

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. CHAS The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme
  17. CHIP Chemical Hazards Information and Packaging
  18. CO Carbon Monoxide
  19. CO2 Carbon Dioxide
  20. COMAH Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations
  21. COSHH Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations
  22. COSHH RA COSHH Risk Assessment
  23. CPHSP Construction Phase Health & Safety Plan (CDM Regulations / CDM Coordinator)
  24. CNS Central Nervous System
  25. CRT Cathode Ray Tube
  26. CSSA Construction Site Safety Audit
  27. CTS Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  28. CVD Cardiovascular Disease
  29. dB Decibel, see also Noise Consultancy
  30. DDA Disability Discrimination Act
  31. DGSA Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor
  32. DSE Display Screen Equipment, see also Display Screen Equipment Risk Assessment
  33. EA Environmental Agency, see also Environmental Consultancy and ISO14001
  34. EAW Electricity at Work Regulations
  35. EHO Environmental Health Officer
  36. EMAS Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, see also Environmental Consultancy and ISO14001
  37. EMAS Employment Medical Advisory Service
  38. FA Factories Act
  39. FH(G) Food Hygiene (General) Regulations
  40. FLT Fork Lift Truck, see also Skills Training
  41. FPA Fire Precautions Act
  42. FPWR Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations, see also Fire Risk Assessment
  43. GMC General Medical Council
  44. GP General Practitioner
  45. H&S Health & Safety
  46. HASWA Health & Safety at Work Act
  47. HAZCHEM Hazardous Chemical Warning Signs
  48. HR Human Resources
  49. HSC Health & Safety Commission
  50. HSCON Health & Safety Consultant
  51. HSDSER Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations
  52. HSE Health & Safety Executive
  53. HSP Health & Safety Policy
  54. IAQ Indoor Air Quality
  55. ICOH International Commission on Occupational Health
  56. IOD Institute of Directors
  57. IOSH Institution of Occupational Safety & Health
  58. LOLER Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations
  59. LPG Liquid Petroleum Gas
  60. MAPP Major Accident Prevention Policy
  61. MEL Maximum Exposure Limit, see also COSHH Risk Assessment
  62. mg.m3 Milligrams per cubic metre, see also COSHH Risk Assessment
  63. MHOR Manual Handling Operation Regulations
  64. MHSWR Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations
  65. MSD Musculoskeletal Disorder
  66. MSDS Material Data Safety Sheet, see also COSHH Risk Assessment
  67. NAWR Noise at Work Regulations
  68. NEBOSH National Examination Board of Occupational Safety and Health
  69. NHS National Health Service
  70. NIHL Noise Induced Hearing Loss
  71. OHAC Occupational Health Advisory Committee of The Health & Safety Commission
  72. OHSAS18001 BSI Standard for Occupational Health & Safety
  73. OSRPA Offices Shops & Railway Premises Act
  74. PAT Portable Appliance Test
  75. PPE Personal Protective Equipment
  76. PPEWR Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations
  77. ppb Parts Per Billion, see also COSHH Risk Assessment
  78. ppm Parts Per Million, see also COSHH Risk Assessment
  79. PUWER Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations
  80. QA/QC Quality Assurance/Quality Control
  81. RAMS Risk Assessment and Method Statement
  82. RCD Residual Current Device
  83. RIDDOR Reporting of Injuries, Disease & Dangerous Occurrences Regulations
  84. RoSPA Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
  85. RSA Regional Speciality Adviser
  86. RSA Royal Society of Arts (training accreditation)
  87. RSI Repetitive Strain Injury
  88. SBS Sick Building Syndrome, see also Indoor Air Quality
  89. SCon Safety Consultants, see also Health & Safety Consultant
  90. SMAS – Safety Management Advisory Services
  91. SSIP – Safety Schemes in Procurement
  92. TUC Trades Union Congress
  93. Type 2 Survey Asbestos Survey defined under MDHS 100 (types 1 and 3 also defined), see Asbestos Surveys
  94. VDU Visual Display Unit
  95. WEL Workplace Exposure Limit (COSHH Risk Assessment)
  96. WHO World Health Organisation
  97. WHSWR Workplace (Health Safety & Welfare) Regulations
  98. WRULD Work Related Upper Limb Disorder
Posted by Roger Hart

British Standards relating to health and safety

Summary of common British Standards used in Health and Safety


  • BS EN 397: Specification for industrial safety helmets.
  • BS EN 812: Specification for industrial bump caps.


  • BS EN 166: Specification for personal eye protection.
  • BS EN 169: Specification for filters used in eye protection for welding etc (braze-welding, arc gouging and plasma jet cutting)
  • BS EN 170: Specification for Ultra Violet filters.
  • BS EN 171: Specification for infrared filters.
  • BS EN 172: Specification for sun-glare filters.
  • prEN 175: Equipment for eye & face protection during welding/allied processes.
  • BS EN 207: Specification for laser radiation filters.
  • BS EN 379: Specification for filters (switchable or dual luminous) used in welding etc.
  • prEN 1731: Mesh type eye/face protectors against mechanical hazards & heat.


  • BS EN 352-1: Specification for earmuffs.
  • BS EN 352-2: Specification for earplugs.
  • prEN 352-3: Specification for earmuffs attached to safety helmets.
  • prEN 352-4: Specification for level-dependent earmuffs.
  • BS EN 458: Selection, use, care & maintenance of hearing protectors.


  • BS EN 136: Full face masks.
  • BS EN 137: Self-contained open-circuit compressed air.
  • BS EN 138: Fresh air hose & mask/mouthpiece.
  • BS EN 139: Compressed air line & mask/mouthpiece.
  • BS EN 140: Half masks & quarter masks.
  • BS EN 141: Gas filters & combined filters.
  • BS EN 143: Particle filters.
  • BS EN 145: Self-contained closed-circuit breathing.
  • BS EN 146: Powered particle filtering devices (including hoods or helmets).
  • BS EN 147: Powered particle filtering devices (including masks).
  • BS EN 149: Filtering half-masks against particles.
  • BS EN 270: Compressed air line & hood.
  • BS EN 271: Compressed air line or powered air hose & hood (abrasive blasting).
  • BS EN 371: AX gas filters (against low boiling organic compounds).
  • BS EN 372: SX gas & combined filters (against specific compounds).


  • BS EN 374: Protective gloves against chemicals/ microorganisms.
  • prEN 381-7: Protective gloves for chainsaws.
  • BS EN 388: Protective gloves against mechanical risks (abrasion, cutting, etc).
  • BS EN 407: Protective gloves against thermal risk (heat &/or fire).
  • BS EN 420: General requirements for gloves.
  • BS EN 421: Protective gloves against ionising radiation/radioactive contamination.
  • BS EN 511: Protective gloves against cold.
  • BS EN 659: Protective gloves for fire fighters.
  • prEN 1082: Protective gloves against cuts by hand knives.
  • prEN 12477: Protective gloves for welders.


  • BS ENV 342:Protection against cold (more than -5°C).
  • BS ENV 343: Protection against foul weather.
  • BS EN 381: Protection for users of hand-held chainsaws.
  • BS EN 412: Protection aprons against hand knives.
  • BS EN 471: Protection against low-visibility hazards.
  • BS EN 510: Protection against entanglement in moving parts.
  • BS EN 1073-1: Protection against radioactive contamination.
  • BS EN 1149-1: Protection against electrostatic discharge to avoid incendiary.


  • BS EN 469:Protection for fire fighters.
  • BS EN 470-1: Protection clothing for use in welding, grinding and cutting.
  • BS EN 531: Protection clothing for industrial workers exposed to heat (includes molten metal splash in foundries –
  • levels D (Alum) & E (Iron).
  • BS EN 533: Protection against limited flame spread – limited materials.
  • BS EN 1486: Fire-fighting specialised clothing.


  • BS EN 465: Liquid chemicals (spray-tight) Type 4 equipment.
  • BS EN 466: Liquid chemicals (liquid-tight) Type 3 equipment.
  • BS EN 467: Liquid chemicals (partial body e.g.. Apron, sleeves & hoods).
  • prEN 943-1: Liquid and gaseous chemicals Type 1 (gas-tight) + Type 2 (non gas-tight).
  • prEN 1511: Liquid chemicals for limited life/use (liquid-tight) Type 3 equipment.
  • prEN 1512: Liquid chemicals for limited life/use (spray-tight) Type 4 equipment.
  • prEN 1513: Liquid chemicals for limited life/use (partial body).
  • prEN 13034: Liquid chemicals for limited performance/re-usable Type 6.
  • prEN 13982-2: Partial-tight limited life/re-usable Type 5.


  • BS EN 344-1:Requirements & tests methods for safety footwear.
  • BS EN 344-2: Additional requirements for protection against water, cut resistance & metatarsal protection
  • BS EN 345-1: Additional requirements for protection against IMPACT at 200J.
  • BS EN 345-2: Additional requirements for protection against water, cut resistance & metatarsal protection.
  • BS EN 346-1: Additional requirements for protection against IMPACT at 100J.
  • BS EN 346-2: Additional requirements for protection against water, cut resistance & metatarsal protection.
  • BS EN 347-1: Occupational footwear without safety toecaps.
  • BS EN 347-2: Additional requirements for protection against water.
  • BS EN 381: Protection against hand-held chain saws
  • prEN 13287: Slip resistance specifications.

Full Listing

Access equipment BS 6037
Acoustic measurement/machine tools BS 4813
Agricultural machinery: combine and forage harvesters BS EN 632
Agricultural machinery: silage cutters BS EN 703
Airborne noise emission
– earth-moving machinery BS 6812
– hydraulic transmission systems BS 5944
– portable chain saws BS 6916
Ambient air: determination of asbestos fibres – direct-transfer transmission electron microscopy method BS ISO 10312
– industrial safety harnesses BS EN 795
– self-locking, industrial BS EN 353, 355, 360, 362, 365
Arc welding equipment BS 638
Artificial daylight lamps
– colour assessment BS 950
– for sensitometry BS 1380
Artificial lighting BS 8206
Barriers, in and about buildings BS 6180
– fire extinguishing systems BS 5306
– fire extinguishers BS 6535
Carbon steel welded horizontal
– cylindrical storage tanks BS 2594
Carpet cleaners, electric, industrial use BS 5415
Cellulose fibres BS 1771
Chain lever hoists BS 4898
Chain pulley blocks, hand-operated BS 3243
Chain slings
– alloy steel BS 3458
– high tensile steel BS 2902
– steel use and maintenance BS 6968
– welded BS 6304
– adjustable office furniture BS 5459
– office furniture, design/dimensions BS 5940
– office furniture, ergonomic design BS 3044
Chemical protective clothing
– against gases and vapours pr EN 464
– liquid chemicals pr EN 463, 465, 466, 467, 468
Circular saws
– hand-held electric BS 2769
– safeguarding BS 6854
– woodworking BS 411
Cleaning and surface repair of buildings BS 6270
Closed circuit escape breathing apparatus BS 4667
Clothing for protection against intense heat BS EN 366, 367
Concrete cladding BS 8297
Construction equipment
– hoists BS 7212
– suspended safety chairs, cradles BS 2830
Control of noise (construction and open sites) BS 5228
Cranes, safe use BS 5744, 7121
Disabled people, means of escape BS 5588
Drill Rigs BS EN 791
– high efficiency respirators BS 7355, BS EN 143
– particulate emission BS 3405
– particulate emission, high accuracy BS 893
Ear protectors, sound attenuation measurement BS EN 24689–1
– audiometry, calibration, acoustic couplers BS 4668
– audiometry, calibration ears BS 4669
Earthing BS 7430
Earth moving equipment BS 6912
Electrical equipment
– explosive atmospheres BS 4683, 5501, 5345, 6941
– fire hazard testing BS 6458
– guidance to wiring regulations BS 7671
– impedance measurement BS 6161
Electrical resistance materials
– bare fine resistance wires BS 1117
– conductor sizes, low-voltage industrial switchgear and controlgear BS EN 60947–1
– double electrical insulation BS 2754
– earth-leakage circuit-breakers
— AC voltage operated BS 842
— current-operated BS 4293
— portable RCDs BS 7071
– electric shock protection, construction of electrical equipment BS 2754
– enclosures for high-voltage cable terminations, transformers and reactors BS 6435
– fans, industrial BS 848
– industrial electric plugs BS 4343
– industrial machines BS 2771
– marking for low-voltage industrial switchgear/controlgear BS 6272
– metallic BS 115
– resistivity measurement BS 5714
– static electricity BS 5958
– switchgear BS 5486–1, 5227, 7354
– test for resistance per unit length BS 3466
Emergency exits BS 5725
Emergency lighting BS 5266
Environmental management systems BS 7750
Ergonomics of the thermal environment BS ISO 9920
Ergonomic requirements for office work with VDUs BS EN 29241
Eye protection
– equipment for eye, face and neck protection against non-ionising radiation during welding operations BS 1542
– glossary of terms BS EN 165
– specification for sunglaze filters used in personal eye protectors for industrial use BS EN 172
Eye protectors BS EN 166, 167, 168
Fabrics, curtains and drapes BS 5867
Falling-object protective structures BS 6912–7
Falsework, code of practice BS 5975
Filters – specification for infra-red filters used in personal eye protection equipment BS EN 171
– specification for personal eye protection equipment in welding BS EN 169
– specification for ultra-violet filters used in personal eye protection equipment BS EN 170
Fire blankets BS 6575
Fire classification BS EN 2
Fire detection/alarm systems BS 5839
Fire detection/alarm systems – design, installation and servicing of integrated systems BS 7807
Fire door assemblies BS 8214
Fire extinguishers
– disposable aerosol type BS 6165
– media BS 6535
– on premises BS 5306
– portable BS EN 3, BS 7863
– portable, recharging BS 6643
Fire hose reels (water) BS EN 671–1
Fire point determination, petroleum products
– Cleveland open cup method BS EN 22592
– Pensky-Martens apparatus method BS 2000(35)
Fire precautions in design/construction of buildings BS 5588
Fire protection measures, code of practice for operation BS 7273
Fire safety signs BS 5499
Fire terms BS 4422 Pt 4
Fire tests BS 476
Fire tests for furniture BS 5852
Firefighters gloves pr EN 659
First-aid reel/hoses BS 3169
Flameproof industrial clothing BS EN 469, 531
Flammability testing and performance BS 6249
Flammable liquids BS 476
– footwear with midsole protection BS EN 347
– general and industrialised lined or unlined boots BS 6159 Pt 1
– lined industrialised vulcanised rubber boots BS 5145
– lined rubber safety boots BS EN 345, 346
– methods of test for safety BS EN 344
– other than all rubber and plastic moulded compounds BS EN 345, 346
– polyvinyl chloride boots BS 6159
– protective clothing for users of hand-held chain saws pr EN 381
PVC moulded safety footwear BS EN 345, 346
– requirements/test methods for safety protective and occupational footwear for professional use pr EN 344
– specification for safety footwear for professional use pr EN 347
– women’s protective footwear BS EN 346
Freight containers BS 3951
Gaiters and footwear for protection against burns and impact risks in foundries BS 4676
Gas detector tubes BS 5343
Gas fired hot water boilers BS 6798
Gas welding equipment BS EN 731
Glazing BS 6262
Gloves: medical gloves for single use BS EN 455
Gloves: rubber gloves for electrical purposes BS 697
Goggles, industrial/non-industrial use BS EN 166, 167, 168
Grinding machines
– hand-held electric BS 2769
– pneumatic, portable BS 4390
– spindle noses BS 1089
Head protection — fire fighters BS 3864
Headforms for use in testing protective helmets BS EN 960
Hearing protectors BS EN 352
– Part 1 Ear Muffs
– Part 2 Ear Plugs
High visibility warning clothing pr EN 471
Hoisting slings BS 6166
– alloy steel, chain BS 3458
– chain, welded BS 6304
– high tensile, steel chain BS 2902
– textile BS 6668
– wire rope BS 1290
– construction, safe use BS 7212
– electric, passenger/materials BS 4465
– working platforms BS 7171
Hose reels with semi-rigid hose BS EN 671-1
Hose systems with lay-flat hose cloth for fixed fire fighting systems BS EN 671-2
Hot environments
– estimation of heat stress on the working man BS EN 27243
Household and similar electrical appliances BS EN 60335
Industrial gloves BS EN 374, 388, 407, 420
Industrial safety helmets, firemen’s BS 3864
Industrial trucks
– hand-operated stillage trucks, dimensions BS 4337
– pallet trucks, dimensions BS ISO 509
– pedals, construction/layout BS 7178
Insulating material BS 7737, BS 7831, BS 5626, BS EN 26874, BS EN 60383-2, BS 7822, BS 2844, BS 5691
Ionising radiation
– exposure rate calculation BS 4094
– units of measurement BS 5775
Jib cranes
– high pedestal and portal BS 2452
– power-driven, mobile BS 1757
– code of practice BS 5395
– permanent for chimneys, high structures BS 4211
– portable aluminium BS 2037
– portable timber BS 1129
Lamps, artificial daylight, for colour assessment BS 950
Life jackets BS 394, 396
Lifting chains
– alloy, steel BS 3113
– high tensile steel BS 1663
– safe working on lifts BS 7255
Lighting systems: automatic change-over contractors for emergency lighting BS 764
Machine guards
– chain saws BS 6916
– conveyors and elevators BS 5667
– earth-moving equipment BS EN ISO 3457
– woodworking machines BS 6854
Machine tools
– emergency stop equipment, functional aspects BS EN 418
– noise measurement methods BS 4813
– safeguarding BS 5304 Machinery, safety of – drafting and presentation BS EN 414
– ergonomic design principles BS EN 614-1
– hazardous substances emitted by machines BS EN 626
– indication, marking and actuation requirements for visual, auditory and tactile signals BS EN 61310-1
– requirements for marking BS EN 61310-2
– minimum gaps to avoid crushing parts of body BS EN 349
– principles and specifications for machinery manufacturers BS EN 626-1
Machines, vibration BS 4675
Materials handling
– conveyor belts BS 5767
– freight containers BS 3951
Mobile cranes BS 1757
Mobile road construction machinery BS EN 500
Mortising machines, single chain BS 4361
Natural fibre ropes BS EN 698, 701, 1261
– cords, lines, twines BS 6125
Nets, safety BS 3913
– code of practice for use of safety nets, containment nets and sheets on construction sites BS 8093
– airborne, chain saws BS 6916
– airborne, earth-moving equipment BS 6812
– airborne, hydraulic transmission systems BS 5944
– effects on hearing handicap BS 5330
– industrial noise, method for rating BS 4142
– industrial premises, measurement BS 4142
– machine tools, measurement methods BS 4813
– sound exposure meters BS EN 61252
Noise induced hearing loss
– effects of noise exposure BS 5330
– pure tone air conduction threshold audiometry BS 6655
Occupational safety and health management systems BS 8800
Office buildings, fire precautions BS 5588
Office furniture, design/dimensions BS 5940
Office machines
– electrically energised, safety BS EN 60950, BS 7002
– keyboards, control keys BS ISO/IEC 9995 (1–8)
– noise measurement BS 7135
Oil burning equipment BS 799
Oil firing BS 5410
Open bar gratings – specification BS 4592 – Part I
Overhead travelling cranes – power-driven BS 466
– safe use BS 5744
– pictorial marking for handling of goods BS EN 20780
Particulate air pollutants
– in effluent gases, measurement BS 3405
– in effluent gases, measurement, high accuracy BS 893
Passenger hoists
– electric, building sites BS 4465
– vehicular BS 6109
– working platforms, mobile, elevating BS 7171
Patent glazing BS 5516
Pedestrian guardrails (metal) BS 7818
Performance of windows BS 6375
Personal eye protection
– filters for welding and related techniques BS EN 169
– infrared filters BS EN 171
– non-optical test methods pr EN 168
– optical test methods pr EN 167
– specifications pr EN 166
– ultraviolet filters BS EN 170
– vocabulary pr EN 165
Pipelines, identification marking BS 1710, 4800
Pneumatic tools
– portable grinding machines BS 4390
Portable fire extinguishers BS EN 3, BS 7863
Portable tools
– electric, radio interference limits and measurements BS EN 55014
– pneumatic grinding machines BS 4390
Powder fire extinguishers
– disposable, aerosol type BS 6165
– extinguishing powders for BS EN 615
– on premises BS 5306
– portable, recharging BS 6643
Power take-off
– agricultural tractors, front-mounted BS 6818
– agricultural tractors, rear-mounted BS 5861
Powered industrial trucks
– controls, symbols BS 5829
– high-lift rider trucks, overhead guards BS 5933
Pressure vessels BS 5500
Process control – safety of analyser houses BS EN 61285
Protective barriers BS 6180
Protective cabs
– controls for external equipment BS 5731
Protective clothing
– against cold weather pr EN 342
– against foul weather pr EN 343
– against heat and fire BS EN 366
– against heat and flame BS EN 702
– against heat and flame – test method for limited flame spread BS EN 532
– against molten metal splash BS EN 373
– against risk of being caught up in moving parts BS EN 510
– eye, face and neck protection, welding BS 1542
– flameproof BS EN 469, 531
– for firefighters BS EN 469
– for industrial workers exposed to heat BS EN 531
– for use where there is risk of entanglement BS EN 510
– for users of hand-held chain saws BS EN 381
– for welders BS EN 470
– for workers exposed to heat BS EN 531
– gaiters for foundries BS 4676
– general requirements BS EN 340
– mechanical properties BS EN 863
– protection against heat and fire BS EN 366
– protection against intense heat BS EN 366, 367
– protection against liquid chemicals BS EN 369, 466, 467
– welding BS EN 470–1
Protective equipment
– against falls from a height BS EN 341
– against falls from a height – guided fall type arresters BS EN 353
Protective footwear
– antistatic rubber BS 5145, 7193
– firemen’s leather boots BS 2723
– for foundries BS 4676
– lined industrialised rubber boots BS 5145
– polyvinyl chloride boots BS 6159
– women’s BS EN 346
Protective gloves
– against chemicals and micro-organisms BS EN 374
– against cold BS EN 511
– against ionising radiation BS EN 421
– against mechanical risks BS EN 388
– against thermal hazards BS EN 407
– for users of hand-held chain saws BS EN 381
– general requirements BS EN 420
– mechanical test methods BS EN 388
Protective helmets BS EN 397
Quality control BS 5750
Radiation measures
– detectors, nuclear reactors BS 5548
– electroscope, exposure meters BS 3385
– film badges BS 3664
– neutron detectors BS 5552
– personal photographic dosimeters BS 6090
Radiation protection
– area radiation monitors, X-ray and gamma radiation BS 5566
Refrigeration systems BS 4434
Resistance to ignition of upholstered furniture
– for non-domestic seating BS 7176
– full masks for respiratory protective devices BS 7355
– half and quarter face masks for respiratory protective devices BS 7356
– high-efficiency dust respirators BS 7355, BS EN 143
– positive pressure dust hoods and blouses BS EN 143, 146
– positive pressure dust respirators BS 7355, BS EN 143, 147
Respiratory protective devices BS EN 138, 139, 269, 270, 271
Roll-over protective structures
– industrial trucks, stacking with masted tilt forward BS 5778
– pallet stackers/high lift platform trucks BS 5777
– reach and straddle fork trucks BS 4436
Rope pulley blocks
– gin blocks BS 1692
– synthetic fibre BS 4344
– wire, heavy duty BS 4536
Rope slings
– fibre rope slings BS 6668
– wire rope slings BS 1290, 6210
Rubber/plastics injection moulding machines BS 6679
Safety anchorages
– industrial safety harnesses BS EN 795
Safety distances to prevent danger zones being reached by upper limbs BS EN 294
Safety harnesses
– industrial BS EN 354, 355, 358, 361–365
– industrial, manually operated positioning devices BS 6858
Safety helmets BS EN 397
Sampling methods
– airborne radioactive materials BS 5243
– particulate emissions BS 3405
Scaffolds, code of practice BS 5973, 5974
Scalp protectors BS 4033
Shaft construction and descent BS 8008
Sound insulation in buildings BS EN ISO 140
– lightweight portable timber BS 1129
– portable aluminium alloy BS 2037
Stairs, ladders, walkways BS 5395
Steam boilers
– electric boilers BS 1894
– safety valves for BS 6759
– welded steel low pressure boilers BS 855
Step ladders
– portable aluminium alloy BS 2037
– portable timber BS 1129
Storage tanks
– carbon steel welded horizontal cylindrical BS 2594
– vertical steel welded non-refrigerated butt-welded shells BS 2654
Suspended access equipment, permanently installed BS 6037
Suspended safety chairs BS 2830
Suspended scaffolds, temporarily installed BS 5974
Tables, office furniture, ergonomic design BS 3044
Textile floor coverings BS 5287
Textile machinery, safety requirements BS EN ISO 11111
Transportable gas containers
– acetylene containers BS 6071
– periodic inspection, testing and maintenance BS 5430
– welded steel tanks for road transport of liquefiable gases BS 7122
Travelling cranes, power-driven jib BS 357, 5744
Vertical steel welded non-refrigerated storage tanks, manufacture of BS 2654
Vibration measurement
– chain saws BS 6916
– rotating shafts BS ISO 7919–1
Visual display terminals, ergonomics and design BS 7179
Water absorption and translucency of china or porcelain BS 5416
Water services, installation, testing and maintenance BS 6700
Welders, protective clothing BS EN 470–1
Window cleaning BS 8213
Windows, performance of BS 6375
Woodworking machines BS 6854
Woodworking noise BS 7140
Wool and wool blends BS 1771
Working platforms
– mobile, elevating BS 7171
– permanent, suspended access BS 6037
Workplace atmospheres
– performance of procedures for measurement of chemical agents BS EN 482
– size definitions for measurement of airborne particulates BS EN 481
Workwear and career wear BS 5426

Posted by Roger Hart