• NEBOSH & Assessments

    “Hey! Let’s be Careful Out There”

    As a health and safety tutor I have to introduce myself to rooms full of students all the time. I always start by telling them that I used to work as a production supervisor in an industrial bakery near Sheffield making tea cakes, white baps and hot cross buns for Marks and Spencer’s. And then I confess that as a production supervisor I had no particular interest in health and safety. I knew that it was one of my responsibilities, because it said so in my job description, and I did do some health and safety related activities routinely; such as safety inspections. But I was not particularly interested in…

  • NEBOSH & Assessments

    The Five Capitals – a Model for Sustainable Development

    In this post I thought I would consider sustainable development and the operation of a model to describe how its components fit together. As many of you will probably be aware the ‘stock’ definition of sustainable development is as follows ‘Sustainable development is development that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. This is a definition that was developed by Gro Harlem Brundtland in 1987 in the publication ‘Our Common Future’, and although 1987 is a fair way back, it still holds true today. Essentially this definition looks at ‘needs’ as consisting of three factors that need to be…

  • Guy writing on a note pad
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    Doctor’s Handwriting

    I have notoriously bad handwriting. Students regularly ask me to decipher my handwriting for them. As a consequence I write on flip charts and white boards as little as possible. I am not alone in this. Some of you have bad handwriting too. In our teched-up age most of us don’t write much or at all. Unfortunately the NEBOSH exams are old-skool in that they require you to write answers by hand over a two or three-hour period of time. NEBOSH Examiners’ Reports regularly make comments about the fact that examiners can’t mark what they can’t read. To be fair, examiners see a lot of bad handwriting and they are…

  • NEBOSH & Assessments

    Accountability and Commitment Within Environmental Leadership

    Key Elements of Effective Environmental Leadership In this post I thought we could have a look at what makes an effective environmental leader. Whether you are a leader or you aspire to be one or want to assess your current environmental leader hopefully this post will be useful to you! Strong environmental leadership involves the development of the organisations mission, values and vision. It involves two key themes, these are accountability and commitment. As an environmental leader you are the person who is accountable, such that the buck stops with you. Accountability therefore means that you are ultimately responsible for environmental management within the scope of your area of management,…

  • Health & Safety,  News

    ISO 45001

    “Plan; Do; Check; Act; Check it out; What; what; what; What’s it all about?” (With apologies to the Beasty Boys)   In mid-March the new occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) ISO45001 was launched by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This replaces OHSAS 18001 to become the globally recognised OHSMS standard. ISO45001 adopts a management approach based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) management cycle, mirroring the approach taken by the HSE in their guidance HSG65. In brief this management cycle can be summarised as: Plan:  determine and assess OH&S risks and opportunities, establish OH&S objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the OH&S policy; Do:  implement…

  • Diploma hat sitting on a table
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    Preparing For The NEBOSH Environmental Diploma Exam

    Preparing well for the NEBOSH Diploma in Environmental Management exam is essential if you want to do well, so in this post we are going to look at things that you can do to increase the chances of success in the exam and improve your confidence. The exam that you must complete is 3 hours in total and you have a choice of 5 questions out of a total of eight. The pass mark for the exam is 45%. Essentially doing the best you can in an exam is about two key factors: Having a good knowledge of the subject, and Being able to apply your knowledge to an exam…

  • NEBOSH & Assessments

    Just Read The Instructions

    In a recent blog (You Make Your Own Luck) I wrote about one key issue for NEBOSH exam success, namely revising for the exams, and made a few points about self-help on what topics to revise and revision techniques. The blog proved very timely for my 15 year old daughter who had an unfortunate experience in her school science tests before Easter (let’s just say that the little rascal didn’t cover herself in glory). When the next physics test loomed large my wife, always the prime mover in these things (it can’t be me – I’m too much of a gunboat diplomat), spent a while taking my daughter through the…

  • NEBOSH & Assessments

    A Marker’s Perspective

    A marker’s view of NEBOSH GC3 To maximise your marks, check this list of Do’s and Don’ts. Observation sheets – Worth 30 marks. Do’s Don’ts Observe 25 – 30 hazards and write them down giving some explanation of the hazard. To maximise your marks find 30 hazards Don’t make these up, write down the hazards you see. A common mistake is to only give 15 – 20 hazards. Don’t include mention of legal breaches in the observation sheets. Ensure every hazard has a consequence that is properly explained – explain the consequence usually in terms of an injury or ill health. For the consequence don’t just say fire risk or…

  • 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.…