• Health & Safety

    Preparing for The NEBOSH Diploma Exams & Case Law

    The NEBOSH Diploma is about the practical application of ‘background’ theory and knowledge to occupational health and safety (OHS) problems. Geek Now I love a bit of science. The background theory fascinates me and the practical applications can be mind-boggling. Many parts of the NEBOSH Diploma are very much concerned with the practical application of science and engineering to real-world OHS problems. COSHH is about the practical application of biology and chemistry to OHS. So is CAR. LOLER is about the practical application of physics and engineering to OHS. So is PUWER. So is DSEAR. It is also about the practical application of legal principles. And psychology (safety culture and…

  • Construction workers in UAE
    Health & Safety

    Ensuring You Have a Safe and Blessed Ramadan

    The holy month of Ramadan is upon us and is due to run until the first week of June. It is celebrated throughout the world within the Islamic faith and fasting (abstaining from eating and drinking during daylight hours) is a major part of Ramadan. As employers, and as employees, we need to be aware of how this period may affect health and safety, both to the individuals fasting and those around them. Equally, colleagues who are not fasting need to be aware of the effects it can have on others and how they can be supportive during this religious period. For The Employers ·         Increase awareness of dehydration and…

  • Health & Safety

    Still a Bad Daisy – HSE Warns Farmers of Livestock Risks

    A recent HSE e-Bulletin caught my eye the other day (see a web-based version here). One of the headlines was about the HSE campaign to raise awareness of livestock handling risks on farms (see the campaign press release here). The photo that accompanies the headline shows a happy, young farmer with a newly-shorn sheep. Slightly misleading but there you go. I don’t think sheep kill many people each year (though you can catch some interesting zoonotic diseases from them – but that’s another blog). The text of the article talks about cattle. Ahhhh… [No; not as in ‘cute’; as in ‘interesting’] Because it puts me in mind of the blog…

  • Health & Safety

    Health & Safety – Shifting Cultural Norms

    When I was 18 years old I was knocked off my bicycle in a road traffic accident (or road traffic collision to use the modern parlance). I hit the tarmac quite hard; landing head first and sliding along the ground a bit before coming to a stop. As I lay on my side staring at the sky I could taste salty liquid trickling down my throat. When I turned my head a straw-coloured liquid dripped out of my nose to form a little puddle. That’s when I knew I had a fractured skull. When I tell people about this accident they often ask if I was wearing a helmet. And…

  • Danger Asbestos Hazard Yellow sign - Field in the background
    Health & Safety

    Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2019

    Global Asbestos Awareness week, (1st – 7th April), was established to raise awareness surrounding the illnesses and consequential deaths that asbestos causes. Although it has been banned in the U.K. since 1999, there are over 1.5 million buildings in the UK that may contain asbestos (UKATA, 2019). Buildings erected pre-1999 can have dormant asbestos within their foundations, and can be accidentally disturbed during renovations or repairs. Unfortunately, asbestos is still legal in many countries around the world. What is Asbestos? Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals made of microscopic fibres. If you breathe in these fibres, they can damage your lungs (British Lung Foundation, 2019). Asbestos is…

  • Health & Safety

    Mental Health Awareness Within H&S and The Workplace

    Health and Safety Workplace Cultures Naturally Mental Health issues can occur throughout all workplaces and industries. Poor mental health can affect any one of us. However, within the Health and Safety industries, there are some environments where raising concern about these issues is difficult. For example, within the Construction Industry there is a workplace culture which draws on ‘’traditional masculinity’’. This culture can be seen across the Health and Safety industries. For instance, Referenced from The SHP Road to Well-Being eBook: ”Referencing Robin Ely of Harvard Business School: Macho Culture is also endangering the workplace by creating a culture where people felt they “had to prove themselves” rather than assess…

  • Welding with sparks flying
    Health & Safety

    Group 1: Carcinogenic to Humans

    I was diagnosed with cancer a little over five years ago. I know – that’s a bit of an opening line to a blog. But it’s true and I am unrepentant. We are afraid of the word despite the fact that one in two people born in the UK will experience some form of cancer over their lifetime (see here). Fortunately for me the type of cancer that I had, combined with early detection, surgery and chemotherapy have led to a very positive prognosis. I was, and am, lucky. But it has changed my perspective on cancer. When I was a young man cancer was a disease that other people…

  • Health & Safety

    Thinking About a Career in Health and Safety?

    Careering into it As a health and safety tutor I routinely meet people who already work in the field of occupational health and safety (OHS). And one thing that always strikes me is that they are a diverse bunch with a very wide range of ages, educational backgrounds, workplaces and work/ life experiences. From 21 to over normal retirement age. From left school at 16 with diddly-squat to PhDs in biomechanical engineering. From building society office to offshore oil and gas platform. From none at all to 35 years in the chemical engineering and manufacturing industries. And some of them have had life experiences that have made the hairs on…

  • Health & Safety

    New Year’s Resolution; Less Harry Potter, More Gordon Gekko

    It has become something of a tradition in our household to do a Harry Potter marathon (of sorts) over Christmas. i.e watch all eight films over eight consecutive evenings over the festive period. My daughters grew up with Harry. My youngest’s impression of Moaning Myrtle is exceptional (apparently my own “Expecto Patronum!” is quite good too). Spoiler alert Harry kills Voldemort at the end. Good conquers evil. Morality wins the day. The books and the films are so satisfying because the right and proper outcome is achieved. If only it was as simple in the world of occupational health and safety. Most of you will be familiar with the moral…