• Health & Safety,  NEBOSH & Assessments

    The Risks in a Lead Workshop

    Outside of health and safety, I have an interest in old buildings and their conservation. A couple of years ago, on a field visit as part of a course I was doing, I went on a tour of the stained glass conservation workshops at Salisbury Cathedral. Here they repair and refabricate stained glass panels for the historic windows in the cathedral and for other churches in the surrounding area. The coloured glass pieces are held together by lead strips, cast, extruded, cut, bent and soldered together by a small team of craftsmen. As I was reasonably familiar with the health effects of lead from a theoretical and control point of…

  • Health & Safety

    Health and Safety is Common Sense Self-Protection

    I recently came across this on an H&S checklist issued to volunteers at an event and it started me thinking about the phase ‘common sense’, its origins, definition, uses and, of course, its application to health and safety. A search of the HSE website (www.hse.gov.uk) revealed ‘Common Sense Common Safety’ (5). In this, Lord Young opines ‘Above all it means applying common sense not just to compensation but to everyday decisions once again’ and ‘My report highlights the role that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities have in promoting a common sense approach to health and safety’. The Prime Minister of the day, David Cameron, claims that…

  • Upward looking picture of trees in a forest
    Environmental,  Health & Safety,  News

    Tacking Issues of Sustainable Development with ISO 14001

    A rather dry necessity routed in process and procedures?  Something usually put in place because it is required by supply chain partners and clients? Or to get ahead in a procurement process? Or, is ISO 14001 an important piece of the sustainable development jigsaw – addressing environmental sustainability issues, engaging employees and customers, opening up new opportunities and markets and actually something that can be used to stimulate strategic and cultural change? It depends on how it is used and who is using it. I have always argued the second point – and the updated version of the environmental management standard ISO 14001 makes that argument more compelling. Treat it…

  • Diploma,  Health & Safety

    Radio Frequency Radiation – NEBOSH Diploma

    NEBOSH Diploma questions are written to ensure that candidates don’t just have knowledge of a wide range of safety topics, but that they can also demonstrate that they can apply that knowledge. This means that they’ll often face questions about particular scenarios which they haven’t personally come across before. Students are not expected to have learnt about every possible situation or scenario that could arise, but are expected to be able to apply their knowledge to novel situations, working from first principles. They have to apply basic health and safety principles in their answer, giving enough specific detail to show that they have understood the issues associated with that particular…

  • Health & Safety,  News

    Changing a Culture: Shifting Attitudes to Health and Safety in The Middle East

    We often wonder why we have such poor occupational health and safety standards in the Middle East compared to other areas of the world. But if you look around you, you’ll find the answer. Safety is no different to other facets of living in the Middle East – we suffer from a culture that has long been dependent on others to develop and implement systems and technology. Even the water we drink is imported! What appears to matter most to us is how easily we can purchase things that are ready-made, rather than go through the process of creating them ourselves. For example: We have budgets, but we mainly use…

  • Health & Safety

    The Sun Has Arrived and It Is Great For Us, Isn’t It?

    We wait for them during the entire winter and most of spring, but finally they have arrived, those nice, warm sunny days. They get us thinking about holidays and sunbathing; they boost our moral and make us feel happier. This is the time of the year where we start to envy those working outdoors such as construction workers, gardeners and postmen…  We think they’re lucky because they get to enjoy all those benefits the sun brings all day long, but are they? Overexposure, as well as regular and prolonged exposure, to the sun can cause sunburns, skin ageing, eye damage and skin cancer. It may also affect the immune system.…

  • Health & Safety,  News

    Shall We Stay or Shall We Go? The Potential Implications of ‘Brexit’ on H&S Regulation in UK

    Like many, I have felt somewhat battered and bemused by the recent torrent of information and argument about our future, or not, as members of the EU. Trying to make a well-informed decision about whether to stay or leave requires trawling through a huge amount of material and listening carefully to arguments on the economy, immigration, sovereignty and so on. Faced with this bewildering mass of information it’s no wonder that many people seem to be finding it hard to make up their minds. So, I thought to myself, what issue of personal importance can I focus on in an effort to see which way to leap on 23 June? …

  • Diploma,  Health & Safety

    The ART of Assessing Repetitive Tasks

    The HSE’s ART (Assessment of Repetitive Tasks of the upper limb) and MAC (Manual Handling Assessment Charts) are examples of ergonomic assessment tools, which form the basis of Diploma Unit B exam questions. The result is usually a cohort of panicked exam candidates! These tools look complicated at first sight, but like anything we do, the best way to learn what they are all about is to use them. Many of the tools are similar in approach, but this blog concentrates on the ART tool. The ART tool The purpose of the ART tool is to: Help risk assess repetitive tasks involving the upper limbs (arms and hands); and Assess…

  • HSE sign on green background
    Health & Safety

    Finding Health and Safety Guidance and Trusted Information

    When I was studying for my NEBOSH Diploma and as a consultant, I always wanted to find additional information on various Health and Safety topics. However finding good, relevant, reliable and trusted information is not always easy, especially if you are new to the health and safety world. In this article I’m going to share some of the sources I use. It won’t be an exhaustive list, (there’s always more to discover yourself!), but hopefully you’ll find something useful. If you work in The UK, with the UK or if you intend to do so, your main source of guidance is the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (1). Even if…