Our independent guides cover key areas of health, safety and environmental legislation and duties.

Workplace guides

What is Cryptosporidium?

Cryptosporidium (plural Cryptosporidia) is a genus of microscopic parasite which inhabit the intestines of animals and infected people. First discovered in the early 20th Century, it is responsible for causing an intestinal illness called cryptosporidiosis. Both the parasite and the disease are also being more commonly referred to now, especially in the US, as “Crypto”.

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Do all workplaces need a defibrillator?

There are currently no laws enforcing the provision of defibrillators in the workplace, however the HSE state that your First Aid Needs Assessment may identify a defibrillator as a need. IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health), the British Heart Foundation and the Resuscitation Council UK do however recommend that they are available to save lives.

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Display screen equipment (DSE) risk assessment - why is it important?

The use of display screen equipment (DSE) means using devices or equipment that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen. These are extensively used in the office environment. As part of any good safety management system, it is necessary for risk assessments to be conducted on the use of display screen equipment, to make sure of compliance with legislation and to reduce any risks which may arise from the use of DSE to the user.

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What is important to know about drinking water quality: Coliforms?

Coliform bacteria are a large group of various species of bacteria. They include faecal coliforms, which are found in abundance in the intestines of warm-blooded animals, and also non-faecal organisms, which can be found in water, soil and on vegetation. In general, coliforms are not normally the cause of serious illness, but because of their origin and ease to culture they are used to indicate that other more harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, may be present.

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What do I need to know about, drinking water quality: Escherichia coli (E.coli)?

E.coli is a bacterium which is a common inhabitant of the gut of warm-blooded animals, including humans. There are many different types of E.coli and, although many live harmlessly in the gut, some will cause disease. As it originates from animal or human faeces, its presence in drinking water is an indication of direct faecal contamination and may indicate the presence of more harmful bacteria which may be present in faeces.

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What is important to know about drinking water quality: Pseudomonas aeruginosa?

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterial species which is particularly good at forming biofilms. Its growth in drinking water can cause problems with colour, taste, odour and turbidity if found in high numbers. Once established, biofilms can be difficult to eradicate from manmade water systems, because they need a biodispersant (a chemical to breakdown the biofilm) and/or physical removal prior to disinfection.

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