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