Understanding noise exposure terms

Noise exposure terminology – Take a look at our explanatory video below and check below that for our glossary:

Exposure action values (EAV): Levels of noise exposure to noise at which certain actions need to be taken. The values are:

  • Lower exposure action values (LEAV):
  • daily or weekly exposure of 80 dB:
  • peak sound pressure of 135 dB;
  • Upper exposure action values (UEAV):
  • daily or weekly exposure of 85 dB;
  • peak sound pressure of 137 dB.
Exposure action values and noise exposure limit values
Daily or weekly personal average noise exposurePeak sound levelActions
Below lower exposure action valuesLess than 80 dB
Less than 135 dB
Reduce noise levels as far as reasonably practicable.
Lower exposure action values80 dB
or aboveCannot take the effect of hearing protection into account
135 dB
or aboveCannot take the effect of hearing protection into account
Undertake risk assessment. If any employees are identified as being particularly susceptible to noise, health surveillance should be implemented.

Make suitable hearing protection available.

Establish a maintenance programme for equipment supplied to reduce noise risk such as noise limiters and hearing protection.

Provide training.

Upper exposure action values85 dB
or aboveCannot take the effect of hearing protection into account
137 dB
or aboveCannot take the effect of hearing protection into account
Implement the actions required by lower exposure action values (above).

Establish and implement a programme of control measures.

If these measures are not sufficient to reduce exposure below 85 dB then:

  • suitable hearing protection must be worn; and
  • a health surveillance programme implemented.
Exposure limit values87 dB

Allowed to take hearing protection into account
140 dB
Allowed to take hearing protection into account
Must reduce to below limit values.

LAeq: The ‘equivalent’ continuous noise level that would deliver the same noise dose as a varying level over a given period, and is a good way of describing the average level of noise.

LEP,d: Daily personal noise exposure level. It is averaged over an 8-hour period rather than the actual time in the work environment.

LEP,w: Weekly personal noise exposure level. It is averaged over a period of 5 days (40 hours) by measuring the noise exposure on each of 7 days, then dividing the result by 5.
Limit values: See ‘Exposure limit values’.

Noise dose: See ‘Noise exposure’.

Noise exposure: ‘The noise dose’, which can be calculated, takes account of the actual volume of sound and how long it continues. Noise exposure is not the same as sound level, which is the level of noise measured at a particular moment.

Noise limiters: Sometimes known as volume regulatory device (VRD), controls noise exposure from amplified music. Modern noise limiters can be fitted with anti-tamper relays connected to external switches to improve system security.

Noise measurements: Decibels (dB) are used for measuring noise. A-weighting is used to approximate to the frequency response of the human ear. C-weighting is used to measure peak, impact or explosive noise.

Occlusion effect: Occurs when an object (like an unvented earplug) completely fills the outer portion of the ear canal. This changes the way sounds are produced in the ear canal, especially noises produced by the body (for example breathing, swallowing and noise travelling through bone and tissue.) The result is these noises appear louder.

Simple listening checks: An easy way of establishing whether there might be a noise problem. Where it is difficult to hold a normal conversation without shouting or where there is live amplified music (as in a pub, club or pop concert) it is probable that the noise is above the lower exposure action value.

Single number rating (SNR) value: Method of indicating the degree of protection offered by a hearing protector.

Sound restoration: Device in earmuffs that reduces ambient noise levels to allow relayed communication or other signals at a reduced level.

Three-decibel rule: The sound intensity doubles with every three dB increase. Thus sounds at 88 dB are actually twice as intense as they are at 85 dB and 115 dB is 1000 times as intense as 85 dB.

Tinnitus: Buzzing, ringing or tone in the ear. Temporary tinnitus is a warning; a sign that ‘you got away with it that time.’

VRD: Volume regulatory device (see noise limiter).

We carry out all noise assessments requirement using our experienced safety consultants.  If you have a need for noise assessment please call us on 01453 800100.

Posted by Roger Hart

Fire Safety – Assessing the means of escape

Fire risk assessment – assessing the means of escape

The range of workplaces covered by these regulations is huge and so the following information is intended as a guide to get you started on an assessment.  Our advice is to get expert help from one of our experienced safety consultants conducting a fire risk assessment at your premises, please call us on 01453 800100 or contact us for more information on our safety consultancy and fire risk assessment / fire risk audit services.

Please note that in some cases, it may be necessary to provide additional means of escape or to improve the fire protection of existing escape routes. At this point you should consult the fire authority and, where necessary, your local building control officer before carrying out any alterations.  The distances given below should ensure that people are able to escape within the appropriate period of time. You can of course use actual calculated escape times but should do so only after consulting a fire safety consultant with appropriate training and expertise in this field.

Fire risk categories for assessing the means of escape

In general, most workplaces can be categorised as high, normal or low risk. Examples of the type of workplace or areas within workplaces likely to fall within these categories are:


  • Where highly flammable or explosive materials are stored or used (other than in small quantities).
  • Where unsatisfactory structural features are present such as:
  • lack of fire-resisting separation;
  • vertical or horizontal openings through which fire, heat and smoke can spread;
  • long and complex escape routes created by extensive subdivision of large floor areas by partitions, or the distribution of display units in shops or machinery in factories; and
  • large areas of flammable or smoke-producing surfaces on either walls or ceilings.
  • Where permanent or temporary work activities are carried out which have the potential for fires to start and spread such as:
  • workshops in which highly flammable materials are used, e.g. paint spraying;
  • areas where the processes involve the use of naked flame, or produce excessive heat;
  • large kitchens in works canteens and restaurants;
  • refuse and waste disposal areas; and
  • areas where foamed plastics or upholstered furniture are stored.

or, where there is a significant risk to life in case of fire, such as where:

  • sleeping accommodation is provided for staff, the public or other visitors in significant numbers;
  • treatment or care is provided where the occupants have to rely upon the actions of limited numbers of staff for their safe evacuation;
  • there is a high proportion of elderly or infirm people, or people with temporary or permanent physical or mental disabilities, who need assistance to escape;
  • groups of people are working in isolated parts of the premises such as basements, roof spaces, cable ducts and service tunnels etc; and
  • large numbers of people are present relative to the size of the premises (e.g. sales at department stores) or in other circumstances where only a low level of assistance may be available in an emergency (e.g. places of entertainment and sports events).


  • Where any outbreak of fire is likely to remain confined or only spread slowly, allowing people to escape to a place of safety.
  • Where the number of people present is small and the layout of the workplace means they are likely to be able to escape to a place of safety without assistance.
  • Where the workplace has an effective automatic warning system, or an effective automatic fire-extinguishing, -suppression or -containment system, which may reduce the risk classification from high risk.


  • Where there is minimal risk to people’s lives and where the risk of fire occurring is low, or the potential for fire, heat and smoke spreading is negligible.
  • The work you have done on assessing the risks and reducing the risk of fire occurring, together with the knowledge you have gained about the location of people at risk, should generally provide you with the information you need to establish the risk category or categories of your workplace.

General principles for escape routes

Other than in small workplaces, or from some rooms of low or normal fire risk, there should normally be alternative means of escape from all parts of the workplace. Routes which provide means of escape in one direction only (dead-end) should be avoided wherever possible as this could mean that people have to move towards a fire in order to make their escape. Escape routes should be independent of one another and arranged so that people can move away from a fire in order to make their escape and should always lead to a place of safety. Remember that they should also be wide enough for the number of occupants and should not normally reduce in width and be kept clear of obstruction at all times.

Evacuation times and length of escape routes

The aim is, from the time the fire alarm is raised, for everyone to be able to reach a place of relative safety, i.e. a storey exit (see ‘Technical terms relating to means of escape’), within the time available for escape.The time for people to reach a place of relative safety should include the time it takes them to react to a fire warning.

This will depend on a number of factors including:

  • what they are likely to be doing when the alarm is raised, e.g. sleeping, having a meal etc;
  • what they may have had to do before starting to escape, e.g. turn off machinery, help other people etc; and
  • their knowledge of the building and the training they have received about the routine to be followed in the event of fire.
  • Where necessary, you can check these by carrying out a practice drill.

To ensure that the time available for escape is reasonable, the length of the escape route from any occupied part of the workplace to the storey exit should not exceed:

Where more than one route is provided

  • 25 metres – high-fire-risk area;
  • 45 metres – normal-fire-risk area;
  • 60 metres – low-fire-risk area.

Where only a single escape route is provided

  • 12 metres – high-fire-risk area;
  • 18 metres – normal-fire-risk area (except production areas in factories);
  • 25 metres -low-fire-risk area.

Where the route leading to a storey exit starts in a corridor with a dead-end, then continues via a route which has an alternative, the total distance should not exceed that given above for ‘Where more than one route is provided’. However, the distances within the ‘dead-end portion’ should not exceed those given for ‘Where only a single escape route is provided’.

People with disabilities

You may need to make special arrangements for staff with disabilities, which should be developed in consultation with the staff themselves. British Standard 5588: Part 8 gives guidance and provides full information.

Premises providing residential care and/or treatment

The distances shown in the paragraphs above may not be suitable for workplaces providing residential care – you should seek specialist advice from your fire safety consultant in this situation.

Number and width of exits

There should be enough available exits, of adequate width, from every room, storey or building. The adequacy of the escape routes and doors can be assessed on the basis that:

  • a doorway of no less than 750 millimetres in width is suitable for up to 40 people per minute (where doors are likely to be used by wheelchair users the doorway should be at least 800 millimetres wide); and
  • a doorway of no less than 1 metre in width is suitable for up to 80 people per minute.
  • Where more than 80 people per minute are expected to use a door, the minimum doorway width should be increased by 75 millimetres for each additional group of 15 people.

For the purposes of calculating whether the existing exit doorways are suitable for the numbers using them, you should assume that the largest exit door from any part of the workplace may be unavailable for use. This means that the remaining doorways should be capable of providing a satisfactory means of escape for everyone present.

Inner rooms

You should avoid situations where the only escape route for people in an inner room is through one other room (the access room). The exception to this is where the people in the inner room can be quickly made aware of a fire in the outer one and this is not an area of high fire risk. Where there is no automatic fire detection system, it may be reasonable to provide a self-contained smoke alarm which is solely within the access room, as long as it is clearly audible within the inner room.


Corridors should generally be a minimum of 1 metre wide (although wheelchair users will need a width of 1.2 metres and a width of 1.5 metres is preferable). The doors should be aligned with the walls of the rooms so that the floor area is effectively divided into two or more parts. To avoid having to travel long distances in corridors affected by smoke, those corridors which are more than 30 metres long (45 metres in offices and factories) should be subdivided into approximately equal parts by providing, close-fitting, self-closing fire doors.

Where a corridor only leads in one direction, or serves sleeping accommodation, it should be constructed of fire-resisting partitions and self-closing fire doors (this does not apply to toilets).

If you would like assistance with any aspect of fire risk assessment please call one of our expert fire safety consultants on 01453 800100.  We can complete a comprehensive fire risk assessment / fire risk audit for your workplace, just contact us to find out more.

Posted by Roger Hart

Storage of petrol and diesel fuel in the workplace

Important: Please note that we do not provide advice on this issue unless you are a retained client under our Safety~net support scheme. if you’d like to explore the benefits of membership please contact us or request a callback.

Guidance on Storage of petrol

Many businesses store quantities of petrol fuel within the workplace.  They could be for plant and equipment used on site such as lift trucks, or for maintenance needs, strimmers, lawnmowers and the like.  However, you are storing a highly flammable substance and certain precautions are required but what are they?

Since the introduction of DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations), there are no longer any specific controls over the storage of petrol at workplace sites other than at petrol filling stations. However, you will need to follow the requirements of DSEAR as petrol is classified as a ‘dangerous substance.’

Key requirements for the safe storage of petrol

If the petrol is being stored in a place which is also a workroom then no more than 50 litres of highly flammable liquids should be stored – this is a general requirement which applies as much to thinners or any other highly flammable liquids as it does to petrol.

If the storage area is not a workroom, then DSEAR also requires, as far as is reasonably practicable, risks from ‘dangerous substances’ are controlled and to mitigate against the effects of any fire or explosion arising from these dangerous substances. This means conducting a risk assessment and recording its findings then acting on them. Identifying how you can reduce risks to a minimum – look at the storage area to ensure that:

  • It does not have any sources of ignition and none should be bought into the area (compressors, electrical switching)
  • It should be properly ventilated (large vents in doors and on one outside wall would be good practice)
  • It should be secure (padlocked and not able to be accessed except by authorised persons – consider arson risks also)
  • Refilling of equipment should preferably take place in the open air and away from sources of ignition (you could refill on hard standing outside and clear of the building – something your insurers will appreciate as well as the environment)
  • Care is taken to avoid spills and the consequences of a leak or spill is assessed(could a spillage leak to surface water drains – the consequences could be serious for the environment and your business)
  • Containers should be kept closed when not in use.

Storing diesel

There are no specific legal requirements on how to store diesel or the quantity allowed either in workplaces or domestic premises. It is not, from a health and safety point of view, a particularly hazardous substance within the meaning of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 – its vapour flash point is too high. This means that its vapour will not ignite at normal room temperatures.

That said, there are some general issues you’ll need to take into account:

  • no ‘hotwork’ should be performed on the vessel unless it is emptied and purged of any remaining vapour.
  • the drum should be positioned away from any source of direct heat.
  • the drum should be located in an area where there is no risk of collision with vehicles, fork-lift trucks etc. (diesel splashing onto a hot engine will probably ignite).
  • leaks and spills should be contained to the vicinity of the drum and mopped up quickly, to lessen the risk of slipping.
  • refilling and dispensing activities need to take account of manual handling issues etc.

While diesel is not a particularly dangerous substance from a health and safety point of view, it is an environmental hazard, with considerable clean-up costs if it should leak into a drain, watercourse or the soil. You may, therefore, wish to contact the Environment Agency for further information.

More good advice on safe storage of petrol

Cans and drums can provide an adequate means of storing petrol. When considering this method of storage remember to take into account the method by which the petrol will be used or disposed of and whether the use of small containers increases the overall risks and handling problems during their filling and emptying (think about manual handling). Where you need to store larger quantities than 300litres you should consider installing tanks and referring to the more detailed advice in HS(G)51. You should not store more than 50 litres of petrol within a workroom and then only when it is kept in a properly labelled metal cabinet or bin with adequate spillage retention.

Containers should, where reasonably practicable, be stored in the open air at ground level (singularly or in stacks). This enables leaks to be quickly seen and any vapours to be easily dispersed. They should not be stored on the roof of a building. Where the best option of storing containers outside is not reasonably practicable they should be kept in suitable storerooms, preferably separate buildings, specifically designed for the purpose.

Finally, remember that other activities, including filling and emptying containers, must not be carried out in the designated storage area. This is to prevent other activities that are a higher risk causing a fire, which then spreads to involve the larger quantities in storage.

Notes on application

Information should be incorporated into your Risk Assessments, Health and Safety Policy or Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan (CDM Regulations).  If you have questions please post below, more information can also be found from manufacturers safety data sheet (MSDS).  Don’t confuse this with COSHH Risk Assessment but you can refer to section 16 – Storage Requirements.

Contact us on 01453 800100 if you need expert help with health and safety for a fixed cost or use contact us above of the form to request a Call back

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, www.outsource-safety.co.uk


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; http://www.bada-uk.org/defence/removal/indextickremoval.php

  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