Please note this advice is for the practical assessment from the old syllabus qualifications – National/International Certificate Certificate in Construction Health and Safety.
The Practical assessment involves undertaking a safety inspection of a CONSTRUCTION WORKPLACE.
The Practical assessment should be the easiest part of the exam – you are not under exam conditions and can take your time to make sure you get it right first time.
There are 2 parts to the assessment:
- The Observation sheets, and
- The Report to management.
The Observation Sheets are worth 30 marks – this is half of the marks you need to pass. You need to look around your workplace for hazards and note them down.
for 25 – 30 hazards and note them down in Column 1. Don’t duplicate the hazards.
For each hazard you must include a CONSEQUENCE, in other words the
Examples of hazards can be seen below:
Electricity, Ergonomics, Falling Objects, Fire, First Aid, Hazardous substances, Housekeeping, Information, Machinery, Manual handling, Noise, Obstructions/trailing cables, PPE, Signage, Vehicles/routes, Vibration, Welfare/hygiene, Work at Height, Work environment etc. You can include Good Practices but only 1 mark is allowed for good practice so don’t give too many.
For every hazard you must give an IMMEDIATE action with a timescale of 2 days or less, and a LONGER TERM action.
EXAMPLE: You see an overloaded circuit
Immediate action – unplug some of the appliances – timescale within 30 minutes.
Longer term action – fit more sockets – timescale 3 weeks. Avoid the overuse of phrases such as ‘monitor’ and ‘train staff’.
Write the Immediate and Longer term actions in Column 2 and the timescales in Column 3.
Spend time making sure you have included at least 25-30 hazards and that each hazard has a suitable consequence.
Each hazard given needs an immediate control measure and a longer term control measure.
The Report for Management is worth – 70 marks and needs to be organised under the following headings:
Introduction, Executive summary, Main findings, Conclusion and Recommendations
The Introduction worth 5 marks – you need to write a word picture of your organisation – its purpose, number of employees, activities taking place during the inspection and the equipment in use at the time of the inspection.
The Executive summary worth 5 marks – complete this after you have written the rest of the report as it is a Summary of:
- The Conclusion
- The Recommendations
The Executive summary MUST be a summary of the main points of your Conclusion and the Recommendations you are suggesting.
The Main findings worth 30 marks – here you need to write about the significant hazards you have observed, give some details – you should also include actions that the employer take to reduce/remove the hazard and the consequences of a worker getting hurt if the action is not taken.
- Write about, at least, 5 different groups of hazards eg put all fire hazards into one group and electrical hazards into another group and discuss them.
- You should identify possible breaches of legislation and explain how the legislation has been breached.
- Explain the significance of not taking action by explaining legal, moral and financial implications.
- Don’t use the same words as you used in in the Observation sheets to describe the hazards, give more details and explanation.
- Don’t just give the title of the legislation that has been breached but explain how it has been breached. For example if the hazard was using an untested sling for the lifting of heavy objects then the LOLER regulations have been breached because all lifting accessories should be regularly inspected for strength and stability.
The Conclusion is worth 15 marks – Note, 3 or 4 lines won’t give you a mark of 15, you need to ‘discuss’ the main points of the main findings and SUMMARISE them.
You also need to show that you are persuading management to take the actions you suggest and give some consequences of NOT taking action. Spend time on this – 15 marks is a lot to lose!
The Recommendations are worth 15 marks – and MUST:
- Follow on from the Conclusion, if the points are not in your conclusion then they won’t score marks in the Recommendations.
- Give the Resource Implications in terms of Cost or Time. Don’t put – ‘no cost implications as work is carried out by internal staff’, give this cost in terms of hours spent.
- Give a suitable timescale for the Recommendations.
Eva Ainscough Env(NEBOSH) Dip, GradIOSH, CBIFM, M.Phil, M.Ed, BA, RSA(Dip)
RRC Tutor & NEBOSH Practical Assessment Marker