Housing Health and Safety Rating System: The 29 Hazards

    The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) assesses 29 housing hazards and the effect that each may have on the health and safety of current or future occupants of the property. The HHSRS provides a way that hazards can be assessed and the best way of dealing with them identified. If a hazard is a serious and immediate risk to a person's health and safety, this is known as a Category 1 hazard.  If a hazard is less serious or less urgent, this is known as a Category 2 hazard.

    If you have concerns about the condition of your home you should contact your landlord, where you are a tenant, or contact the Health and Housing Team at Stafford Borough Council for advice and support. Where hazards are found we will work with the landlord or owner of the property to remove or reduce the hazards.

    Number Hazard Health Effects
    1 Damp and mould growth
    Health threats due to dust mites, mould or fungal including mental and social wellbeing health threats associated with damp, humid and mouldy conditions
    Allergies, asthma, effects of toxins from mould and fungal infections
    2 Excess cold
    Threats to health from cold indoor temperatures.  A healthy indoor temperature is 18oC to 21oC
    Respiratory conditions: flu, pneumonia and bronchitis Cardiovascular conditions: heart attacks and strokes
    3 Excess heat
    Threats due to high indoor temperatures
    Dehydration, trauma, stroke, cardiovascular and respiratory
    4 Asbestos and MMF
    Exposure to asbestos fibres and Manufactured Mineral Fibres (MMF)
    Asbestos: Damage to lungs
    MMF: Damage to skin, eyes and lungs
    5 Biocides
    Threats to health from chemicals used to treat timber and mould growth
    Risk from breathing in, skin contact and swallowing of the chemical
    6 Carbon Monoxide and fuel combustion products
    Excess levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and smoke
    Dizziness, nausea, headaches, disorientation, unconsciousness and breathing problems
    7 Lead
    Threats to health from lead ingestion from paint, water pipes, soil and fumes from leaded petrol
    Lead poisoning causing nervous disorders, mental health and blood production issues
    8 Radiation
    Health threats from radon gas and its daughters, primarily airborne but also radon dissolved in water
    Lung cancer caused by exposure, which increases amount and length of exposure
    9 Uncombusted fuel gas
    Threat from fuel gas escaping into the atmosphere within a property
    10 Volatile organic compounds
    Threat to health from a diverse group of organic chemicals including formaldehyde that are gaseous at room temperature and can be found in a wide variety of materials in the home
    Allergies, irritation to the eyes, nose and skin, headaches, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness
    11 Crowding and space
    Hazards associated with lack of space for living, sleeping and normal household or family life
    Psychological distress and mental disorders, increased risk of hygiene issues, accidents and personal space and privacy compromised
    12 Entry by intruders
    Problems keeping a property secure against unauthorised entry and maintaining defensible space
    Fear of burglary occurring, stress and anguish caused by burglary and injuries caused by the intruder
    13 Lighting
    Threats to physical and mental health associated with inadequate natural or artificial light, including the psychological effects associated with the view from the property through glazing
    Depression and psychological effects due to lack of natural light.  Eye strain from glare and inadequate light
    14 Noise
    Threats to physical and mental health due to exposure to noise within the property or within its curtilage
    Psychological and physiological changes resulting from lack of sleep, poor concentration, headaches and anxiety
    15 Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse
    Health hazards due to poor design, layout and construction making it hard to keep clean and hygienic, attracting pests and inadequate and unhygienic provision for storing household waste
    Stomach and intestinal disease, infection, asthma, allergies, disease from rats and physical hazards
    16 Food safety
    Threats of infection from poor provision and facilities to store, prepare and cook food
    Stomach and intestinal disease, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach upset and dehydration
    17 Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
    Threats of infections and threat to mental health associated with personal hygiene, including personal and clothes washing facilities, sanitation and drainage
    Stomach and intestinal disease, skin infections and depression
    18 Water supply
    Threats to health from contamination by bacteria, parasites, viruses and chemical pollutants due to the quality of water supply for drinking household use such as cooking, washing and sanitation
    Dehydration, fatigue, headaches, dry skin, bladder infections and legionnaires disease
    19 Falls associated with baths
    Falls associated with a bath, shower or similar facility
    Physical injuries: cuts, lacerations, swellings and bruising.
    20 Falls on the level surfaces
    Falls on any level surface such as floor, yards and paths, including falls associated with trip steps, thresholds or ramps where the change in level is less than 300mm
    Physical injuries: bruising, fractures, head, brain and spinal injuries
    21 Falls associated with stairs and steps
    Falls associated with stairs and ramps where the change in level is greater than 300mm.  It includes internal stairs or ramps within a property, external steps or ramps associated with the property, access to the property and to shared facilities or means of escape from fire and falls over stairs, ramp or step guarding
    Physical injuries: bruising, fractures, head, brain and spinal injuries
    22 Falls between levels
    Falls from one level to another, inside or outside a dwelling where the difference is more than 300mm.  Including falls from balconies, landings or out of windows
    Physical injuries
    23 Electrical hazards
    Hazards from electric shock and electricity burns
    Electric shock and burns
    24 Fire
    Threats to health from exposure to uncontrolled fire and associated smoke.  It includes injuries from clothing catching fire, a common injuring when trying to put a fire out.
    Burns, being overcome by smoke or death
    25 Flames, hot surfaces and materials
    Burns or injuries caused by contact with a hot flame or fire, hot objects and non-water based liquids.  Scalds caused by contact with hot liquids and vapours.
    Burns, scalds, permanent scarring and death.
    26 Collision and entrapment
    Risks of physical injuries from trapping body parts in architectural features such as trapping fingers in doors and windows and colliding with objects such as windows, doors and low ceilings
    Physical injuries such as cuts and bruising to the body
    27 Explosions
    Threats from the blast of an explosion, from debris generated by the blast and from partial or total collapse of a building as a result of the explosion
    Physical injuries, crushing, bruising, puncture, fractures, head, brain and spinal injuries.
    28 Ergonomics
    Threats of physical strain associated with functional space and other features at the dwelling
    Strain and sprain injuries
    29 Structural collapse and falling elements
    The threat of the dwelling collapsing or part of the fabric being displaced or falling due to inadequate fixing or disrepair or as a result of adverse weather conditions.
    Physical injuries

    A to Z of Services