Housing Health and Safety Rating System
HHSRS The Housing Health and Safety Rating System replaces the fitness standard. HHSRS rates hazards that might be present in housing. In all 29 different hazards are listed and rated. The scores are then banded in bands A-J with A-C being Category 1 hazards. The rest are Category 2 hazards. Local Authorities are under a duty to take action on receiving information relating to a Category 1 hazard.
How does HHSRS work? HHSRS is based on statistical evidence relating to the likelihood and outcome of the occurrence of 29 different hazards.
Overview of Rating Hazards
The HHSRS uses judgments made by the surveyor, based on an inspection of the whole dwelling, to generate a numerical score. The information observed during the inspection or survey should be properly and accurately recorded as this will provide evidence to justify and support the judgments which form the basis of the numerical Hazard Score.
The Rating System assessment procedure requires, for each hazard, two judgments from the surveyor. These are an assessment of:-
- The likelihood, over the next twelve months, of an occurrence that could result in harm to a member of the vulnerable age; and
- The range of potential outcomes from such an occurrence.
Similar hazards, with Differing Outcomes
There is a window with a low internal sill (about 250mm above the floor) and with a loose, easy to open catch to the large side hung opening light. A small child could climb onto the sill and open the window relatively easily, and, once there could fall out through the open window. The likelihood of this occurring over the next twelve months is judged to be around 1in 180.
If that window is in the bedroom of a flat on the ground floor, with grass immediately below, the outcome would be relatively minor – 99% Class lV (bruising) and perhaps1% Class lll (a strain or sprain). This would give a Hazard Score of 7 (Band J).
However, if that same window is in the bedroom of a flat on the 2nd floor, with a paved area below, the outcome would be major – 10% Class l (paralysis or even death), 80% Class ll (serious fractures) and 10% Class lll (a strain or sprain). In this case, with the same likelihood of 1 in 180, the Hazard Score would be 1,016 (Band C).
Although in both cases the likelihood is the same, the Hazard Score reflects the dramatically different outcome.
Using these two judgments, the HHSRS Formula is used to generate the numerical Hazard Score for each of the hazards. The Formula and the use of numbers to represent the surveyor’s judgments provide the means to compare very different hazards. It is this approach which enables hazards which have a slow and insidious effect to be compared with ones where the effect is relatively instantaneous; and enables hazards which may result in physical injury to be compared with ones which could cause illnesses or affect mental health