Glossary

Many words and terms that you will hear on a construction site are explained in the main part of this course. The list below includes some more terms that you might come across.

ACoP. Approved Code of Practice.

Acute. An immediate health effect. For example, burns to the skin from acids or chemicals. Adhesive. A substance used for sticking things together.

Abrasive wheel machine. A machine, such as a bench-mounted grinder or a disc-cutter, which is used for cutting or grinding materials.

Allergy. A damaging reaction of the body caused by contact with a particular substance.

Asbestos. A naturally occurring, heat-resistant substance that was once used extensively in construction work. Breathing in asbestos fibres is harmful to the lungs.

Asthma. An illness that causes difficulty in breathing.

Bacteria. Germs that can cause some illnesses.

Barrier cream. A protective cream applied to your hands before starting work.

Bracing. Scaffold poles that make a scaffold rigid.

Brick-guard. A metal mesh fitted to a scaffold to prevent anything from falling through the gaps between the guard-rails and toe-board.

BS. British Standards.

BSI. British Standards Institution.

Cable ramp. A temporary cover laid over a trailing cable to protect it from damage by people or traffic passing over it.

Carcinogen. Substances that can lead to cancer (cancer-causing agents). For example, asbestos and diesel exhaust fumes.

CCTV. Closed circuit television.

CDM. Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.

Cherry picker. A type of mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) on which a passenger carrying basket is located on the end of an articulating or extending arm.

Chronic. Long-term effects on health. For example, developing asthma from wood dust, or cancer from asbestos exposure.

Consultation. The action or process of formally consulting or discussing (for example, a manager asking you for your input whilst carrying out a risk assessment).

Control measure. Putting measures in place to reduce the risk to an acceptable level (for example, guarding on a machine).

COSHH. Control of substances hazardous to health.

CPCS. Construction Plant Competence Scheme.

Crush injuries. Injuries caused by something crushing a part of the body.

CSCS. Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

Distribution system (electrical). The method that is used to get electrical supplies to where they are needed on site.

Double-handling. Having to move something twice.

EA. Environment Agency.

Edge protection. A framework of scaffold poles or other suitable barrier erected around an open edge to stop anything from falling over the edge.

EMAS. Employment Medical Advisory Service.

Employee. Someone who works for someone else.

Employer. Someone who has people working for him or her.

FRS. Fire and Rescue Service.

HAVS. Hand-arm vibration syndrome.

Hazard. Anything that has the potential to cause harm (ill health, injury or damage).

Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA). The main piece of health and safety law.

HFL. Highly flammable liquids.

HSE. Health and Safety Executive.

HSE inspector. An official who can inspect the site and take action if work is not being carried out safely.

Lanyard. A length of fabric that connects a safety harness with a fixed strong-point.

Ligament. A band of tough body tissue that connects bones or cartilage.

LOLER. Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.

LPG. Liquefied petroleum gas.

Method statement. A step by step description of how to carry out a job safely.

MEWP. Mobile elevating work platform.

NVQ. National Vocational Qualification.

PAT. Portable appliance testing.

Permit to work. A system used for controlling high-risk activities (such as working on live electrical cables) or where activities need extra controls (such as hot works, confined space entry and breaking ground (permits to dig)).

PPE. Personal protective equipment.

PUWER. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.

RCD. Residual current device.

RIDDOR. Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations.

Risk. The likelihood of an event occurring from a hazard.

Risk assessment. A document identifying the hazards, risks and control measures for a particular activity.

RPE. Respiratory protective equipment.

Scissor lift. A type of MEWP with a platform that rises vertically.

Slewing. Part of an item of plant (such as the jib and counter-weight of a crane), rotating about a vertical axis.

Solvent. Chemical used to dissolve or dilute other substances.

Tripping hazard. Items lying around that you might trip over.

Ventilated. Supplied with fresh air.

WBV. Whole-body vibration.

WEL. Workplace exposure limit.

WWT. Working Well Together.