Health & Safety

A Festive Quiz

Over the last year I have written a few blogs for RRC’s website. Most of these have been aimed squarely at students studying towards a NEBOSH health and safety qualification; though much of the advice in them is relevant to any course of study with a formal exam at the end.

If you want a quick reminder of topics covered they have included:

I’ve also covered ISO 45001 (ISO 45001), the NEBOSH Diploma Unit DNI (Tackling Unit DNI), the new NEBOSH/ HSE Health and Safety Leadership Excellence qualification (Hey! Let’s be careful out there) and a few other random topics.

If you are preparing for an exam over the next few weeks (or the entire month of December and into January because you are a Diploma candidate) then I hope that you might find some of them useful.

As the festive season approaches and 2018 draws to a close I have been asked to write a few lines of a seasonal nature. Oh dear…

The thought of dragging out all of the Christmas health and safety myths about portable appliance testing fairy lights and banning Christmas decorations, etc. filled me with horror. So I’m not going to do that. And anyway it has already been done by everyone else (see the HSE version here).

It did cross my mind to write something sensible about the real risks at Christmas time; something to the effect that the thing most likely to kill you at this time of year is not your office decorations but a road traffic collision, so check the road-worthiness of your vehicle and make some preparations for foreseeable emergencies (pack some decent hi-viz and a torch, etc.). But that’s also been done by others far more qualified than me (see an RAC version here). Plus it seemed a bit bleak.

Finally it occurred to me to make up some terrible “elf and safety” festive jokes. Hey, guess what? …already been done (here’s the proof).

So I have abandoned those avenues in favour of a simple festive quiz. Twelve general knowledge “pub-quiz” questions followed by a hint for each question should you need it and the answers at the end. No peeking now.

  • What takes place at Nakatomi Plaza?
  • What containment level is appropriate for work with the Ebola virus?
  • Which famous literary character says “Bah, humbug!”
  • What is the minimum number of trade union safety reps that are needed to compel an employer to establish a safety committee?
  • How many drummers drumming?
  • What case law outlines the meaning of the phrase ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’?
  • What am I going to do this year to save me from tears?
  • Is all electrical equipment earthed as a means of protection?
  • What makes George Bailey realise he is back in the ‘real’.
  • Why is the diesel pump handle at a filling-station often sticky with diesel but the petrol one always seems clean?
  • On which day did King Wenceslas enjoy his pizza?
  • What are the HSE’s five principles of enforcement?

OK – so lied about the general knowledge pub-quiz questions. Sorry – got to shoehorn health and safety in there somehow.

I didn’t lie about the hints though – here they are. One for each of the question above should you need any help or direction:

  • From a 1989 blockbuster.
  • Diploma, Unit B/ IB, Element 5. The highest containment level.
  • From a book by Charles Dickens.
  • NGC1, Element 3 and Diploma, Unit A, Element 9.
  • From ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.
  • Diploma, Unit A, Element 2.
  • From the Wham! 1984 hit.
  • Look at the label; one square nesting inside another square.
  • From a 1946 Jimmy Stewart film
  • GC2, Element 6 and Diploma, Unit C/ IC, Element 2.
  • Well it was deep and crisp and even! Ha!
  • A really nasty one – Diploma, Unit A, Element 3.

OK – so here are the answers:

  • It’s the address of Nakatomi Tower where almost the entire plot of the film “Die Hard” takes place. Yippee ki yay!
  • The Ebola virus is a hazard group 4 organism and so must only be handled in a containment level 4 facility.
  • Ebenezer Scrooge, from “A Christmas Carol”.
  • Two or more, in writing. From the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations (1977).
  • The drummers are the last characters to be introduced to the list. Incidentally there are 364 presents mentioned in total in that song (= 12! + 11! + 10! +..etc.).
  • Edwards v National Coal Board [1979].
  • …Give (my heart) to someone special. I’ll also be avoiding my mum’s Mexican-fusion inspired ‘chilli-sprouts’.
  • Many items of electrical equipment are earthed. But not all. A lot of plastic-encased and hand-held equipment is Class II or ‘Double Insulated’ instead.
  • George finds Zuzu’s petals in his jacket pocket. From the film “It’s a Wonderful Life”. If you haven’t seen it you really need to stay in more.
  • Diesel has a high flashpoint (>40oC) relative to that of petrol (<-40oC). So petrol is very volatile and evaporates away quickly even at relatively low temperatures whereas diesel is not and takes far longer to evaporate, even at relatively high ambient temperatures. As every cyclist and motorbike rider knows, often to their cost, as diesel on tarmac is slippery as sin.
  • Boxing day. The feast of St. Stephen.
  • Proportionality, targeting, consistency, transparency and accountability. From their enforcement policy statement. See for the full policy statement.

If you got all twelve right without using the hints then you are a general knowledge quiz maestro and a health and safety geek. Well done.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you on the other side.

*Please note that this blog post refers to the old syllabus (before 5th September 2019) for The NEBOSH Certificate examinations. If you require further information on either the old or new syllabus, you can contact us; / 0208 944 3100

Dr Jim Phelpstead BSc, PhD, CMIOSH

RRC Consultant Tutor