NEBOSH Diploma Syllabus Revision News #27

As I write this, RRC is just about to release their sample trainer packs.  These comprise samples of powerpoints, textbooks, lesson plans and activities from selected elements.  You get a whole element in each case.  There are six in total – one element from each taught unit of each diploma qualification (national and international). The e-learning examples are not far behind.   That’s like having ice creamandcake.  You can do a lot with that, and I’m sure some will do (but I have never tried to laminate cake and use it as a coaster, but it’s worth a try with ice cream).

In the meantime, we continue our relentless march to completing powerpoints and e-learning for all units.  It’s character-building stuff.

Now we come to element C8.  This takes a foray into the world of electricity.  Not much has changed in terms of content here – it still covers the hazards of electricity (including static electricity), electrical systems (installation, use), safe working in high voltage systems and, finally portable electrical equipment.  Of course electricity has changed rather a lot since the days of Faraday, Maxwell, Tesla and Faraday.  For a start, less things seem to be made from wood and brass.

Electricity was famously used by Baron von Frankenstein in a much misunderstood experiment.  People at the time were intrigued with the body’s electrical pathways (nerves) and the influence of externally applied electrical currents to ‘bring them back to life’.  I say ‘misunderstood’, because, Frankenstein made an honest mistake.  Yes, he was working with live electrical systems (OK, it was lightning), but permit-to-work systems wouldn’t be invented for at least another 70 years.  And, anyway, no-one got injured.  In fact, quite the opposite, one person was brought back to life (OK, it was parts of several people, and, yes, he did go on to kill quite a few angry villagers, but, apart from, that, it was on the whole, a successful foray into pioneering science).

The history of electricity hasn’t run smoothly – but today we are enlightened and rely on it.  Without it, we would be in a much darker place (yes, I know, but bear with me).   That said, mostly, we are dealing with portable electrical appliances – in that, it is probably what most of us handle day to day and, if something goes wrong, are more likely to get an electrical shock from it – simply because we are holding it.  There’s a good deal of mythology in this area.  I suspect, you, along with most businesses, often find yourself being called by organisations telling you the law says you need to have all your portable electrical appliances checked and tested every year – oh, and, they just happen to offer that service.  Well, turns out, that just isn’t true in the UK at least.  Instead, the law says maintain them.  The guidance on that matter basically says some things don’t need testing at all (or very much), just needing a visual check, and some things needed testing every few years.  But portable equipment in very harsh environments (say, a construction site) might need testing and checking much more frequently, like every 6 months or even more frequently.  The sensible approach is that how likely something gets unsafe depends on where it is, what it does and how it gets abused (this also applies to humans).   This is sounding suspiciously like assessing your own risks and coming to a sensible decision.  And surely, that would be anarchy…