Health and Safety Jargon

Understanding health and safety jargon

Health and Safety Jargon

Your Quick Guide to Health and Safety Jargon

The easiest way to make something seem complicated is to give it a name that would confuse most people.  Health and Safety is full of acronyms and jargon.

This post will help you understand what is being asked of you.

Here’s some of the most common used health and safety jargon acronyms

Understanding health and safety jargon

RAMSRisk Assessment and Method Statement – Click the link to read how to write your own risk assessments and method statements.

PQQ – Pre-Qualification Questionnaire.  This is the questionnaire that clients ask you to complete.

SSIP – Safety Systems in Procurement.  This is the standard that safety accreditations such as SMAS, CHAS, Constructionline and Safecontractor are part of.  It standardises the information you are asked for so that a client can accept your certification to that scheme instead of asking for their own PQQ (Pre-Qualification Questionnaire) to be completed.

CAS – Common Assessment Standard.  The latest health and safety accreditation.

CoSHH – The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheet.  Suppliers must provide this information- by law with chemicals that you purchase for use in the workplace.  They can range from 2 pages to 20 pages and include information such as first aid requirements, fire fighting instructions and the environmental impact of the product.  It is needed to produce a CoSHH Assessment.

PPE – Personal Protective Equipment

FFPFace Fitted Protection

RIDDORthe Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations

LOLERLifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations

PUWER – Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations

CDM – The Construction Design and Management Regulations

PAT – Portable Appliance Testing (often referred to as PAT Test – so Portable Appliance Test Testing – (A really stupid example of health and safety jargon, I know!)

FLT – Fork Lift Truck

MEWP – Mobile Elevated Work Platform

SWP – Safe Working Load

HSE – The Health and Safety Executive

PHE Public Health England

COVID – Coronavirus Disease (CoronaVirusDisease)

DSE – Display Screen Equipment (laptops, computers, tablets, smartphones etc)

SMSTS – Site Manager Safety Training Scheme.  Also known as the 5 day course.  It is a qualification all site managers should hold which is awareded by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board)

SSTS – Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme.  This is the qualification below SMSTS.  Again, delivered by the CITB.

TBT – Toolbox talk. A short briefing to be delivered to staff to educate them on a single topic.

Here’s some of the most common used health and safety terms

Health and Safety Competent Person – A person holding a qualification in Health and Safety who is able to advise you.

Competent Person – A person who holds a qualification that enables them to do a certain task.  For example, a fork lift driver holding a fork lift licence.

Statutory Inspection – An inspection which is required to be undertaken at set intervals and is detailed in law.  For example, a scaffold structure needs to be inspected every 7 days.

Thorough Examination – This is another requirement detailed in law.  It is an inspection undertaken by an assessor, usually provided by your insurance company.  It’s like an MoT test for plant, really.  It needs to be done to show that the plant or machine still meets it’s specification, for example, it can safely lift it’s SWL (Safe Working Load).

Reasonably Practicable – It is the term used in risk assessment and is a legal test of whether sufficient time, effort and money has been spent on reducing the risk to the person.  For example, it is not reasonably practicable to hire a fork lift to lift tools up to a platform but it is reasonably practicable to hire a fork lift to lift materials up to a platform as the benefit (ie no manual handling injury) outweighs the cost)

I hope this post has helped you understand the jargon which is commonly used.  If I’ve missed off one that you are confused about.  Please leave me a comment below.

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