• Environmental,  Health & Safety

    Bad Daisy! Risks Associated with Cattle

    I was sitting in a neighbour’s kitchen recently with a group of folks who were talking about beating the bounds. This is an old tradition that goes back to medieval times where people walk around a parish boundary. The organiser was narrating the route and talking about possible hazards along the way and what he wanted done about them. When he got to one particular section he mentioned that he was worried about cows being in the field. He did not want dogs in with the cattle so proposed that the walkers with dogs should take an alternative route (which does not follow the boundary) to avoid agitating the cattle.…

  • NEBOSH & Assessments

    You Make Your Own Luck

    There is a well-known saying “The harder I practice, the luckier I get”. This saying has been attributed to various golfers in the 1960s but its real origins are lost in the mists of time. The reason why the saying persists is because of the universal truth that it contains. If you put the hard work in you are more likely to get the result that you want. And what is true for golf is true for NEBOSH Certificate exams. If you want to do well in the exams then you have to put the hard work in before-hand. You have to revise and prepare. At the risk of repeating…

  • Certificate,  Diploma,  Health & Safety

    Pure as The Driven Snow – The Risks from Flour

    In my mid-twenties I worked as a production supervisor in a bakery near Sheffield. The production line I was responsible for produced tea cakes, white baps and hot cross buns for Marks and Spencer (other retailers of perfectly fine ‘morning goods’ are available). We made a lot of hot cross buns. And by a lot I mean we produced all of the hot cross buns for every M&S store in the UK. The bakery products were all made using white flour. I like flour because I like the things that you can make with it. I like bread, I like cakes and I really like biscuits (except custard creams but…

  • Health & Safety

    The Skin We live in Part II (The Re-exposure)

    The Skin We Live in Part II (The Re-exposure) In my last blog I depressed myself (and possibly you, as well) with tales of industrial poisoning on a small and large scale. And I confessed to the strange habit of putting an organic solvent on my skin just to see what it would do (taste funny, among other things. Those of you who have met me now have yet another reason to explain why I am the way I am).

  • NEBOSH & Assessments

    The Skin We Live in

    The Skin We Live in Many years ago, in a laboratory far, far away, I used to work as a research scientist. One of the chemicals used in the laboratory was Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO). You could do a neat trick with DMSO, as I discovered. At the suggestion of one of the post-docs in the lab (yes, that’s you Paddy!) I put a small drop of liquid on my fingertip and then watched it intently. The drop of liquid disappeared, as if by magic.

  • Guy writing on a note pad
    News

    RIDDOR – A Missed Opportunity?

    RIDDOR – A Missed opportunity? From 1 October 2013 the new Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations came into force. The alleged reason for the change from RIDDOR 1995 (as amended) to RIDDOR 2013 is to simplify the reporting requirements in line with the recommendations of the Young report (2010) and the Lofstedt review (2011). To sketch out a bit of background here – the Young report made two recommendations regarding RIDDOR. The first was implemented by the 2012 amendment to change over-3-day injures to over-7-day injuries. The second was to “re-examine the operation of RIDDOR to determine whether this is the best approach to providing an accurate…

  • Name tag on a blue background
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    What’s In a Name?

    What’s In a name? “’What’s in a name?’, as the great John Fatpimple said.” Thank you Ronnie Barker – sorry I couldn’t resist it. The old ones are the best. I think I may have written previously about my embarrassment at having to confess to people that I work in health and safety and the fact that when I did other jobs personal introduction were so much easier. It’s the name isn’t it. Health and Safety. With the capitals. or ‘elf and safety as the tabloid press would prefer us to think of it. The very name grates on people. It’s like a red flag to a bull (incidentally cattle…

  • Diploma hat sitting on a table
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    Pig Weighing

    Pig Weighing So the farmer wants to sell his pig at market for the best price. He wants the pig to be as heavy as possible. So he weighs the pig to see how heavy it is. Next day he weighs the pig again. He writes each weight down in a notebook. He creates a database on his iPad (very 21st century farmer this one). He plots a graph of weight against time and toys with line graphs and bar charts to find the jazziest way to present the data. He weighs the pig each and every day to track its progress. Only thing is, if you want a pig…

  • black and white image, of lady with frequency coming out of ear
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    Hawkwind – Thirty Years and Counting

    Hawkwind – Thirty Years and Counting I went to see Hawkwind when I was a teenager. The “Choose Your Masques” tour. Some of you will remember Hawkwind. They were notoriously loud in concert. Lemmy of Motorhead fame used to be their bass player; but that was way before I went to see them. I was half way up the stalls in the Southampton Gaumont. It was so loud that my guts vibrated in harmony with the band. That’s not a pleasant feeling. When we came out after the concert my head felt as if it had been stuffed with cotton wool. I had very loud mosquitoes buzzing in each ear…