This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Housing Health and Safety Rating System

Introduction

Due to the hugely complicated method of which a hazard is scored for the purposes of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, we have produced this separate guidance. You may need to read two or three times before fully understanding it!

This guidance uses one example and that is of an average 1930’s 3 bedroomed semi-detached house with a handrail missing from the stairs. Other types of properties have different numbers involved, but the principle detailed below remains the same at all times.

The Inspection

The first thing the inspector must do is identify a hazard from one of the 29 categories which are detailed here. This example uses “Falling on stairs”.

The first thing to note is that each category has average likelihood figures gained from various sources including coroners and the home accident surveillance system. The inspector must take into consideration the figures contained in the statutory guidance.

The second thing to note is that any figures used are based on certain categories of people, sometimes it is aged 60 or over, sometimes under 5 years old. There is no relevance to your current occupiers. The inspector must assume the house is occupied by a certain person relevant to each category. In the case of falls from stairs, the only person taken into account is one aged 60 or over. The average likelihood figures are based on the likelihood of injury / harm over the next 12 months.

Step 1, average likelihood

Using our example property above, the average likelihood of someone 60 years or over falling on stairs is 1 in 226. Therefore on average, of 226 people aged 60 or over during the next twelve months, 1 will fall on the stairs in a 1930’s house. The inspector therefore must look at whether the chance of someone 60 or over is more or less likely than this figure of 1 in 226 to fall on the stairs in question.

According to the HHSRS statutory guidance (para 21.17) the likelihood of someone 60 or over falling on stairs without a handrail (as in our example) is doubled, therefore the inspector should arrive at an average likelihood figure of 1 in 113. (226 / 2).

Step 2, work out what injuries are likely to be caused

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