• 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…

  • HSE sign on green background
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    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…

  • Man lifting a brick with hard hat on
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    Manual Handling

    HEAVE!! “Go on, put your back into it” is a fairly common phrase, usually uttered as a form of encouragement when someone is struggling to lift a heavy object. But when you think about it, it’s a very strange thing to say, given that putting your back into it is precisely the wrong thing to do.  It’s the kind of encouragement that could lead to some significant injuries, not least the commonly referred-to ‘slipped disc’. Over the years, I’ve delivered many manual-handling training courses and, almost without fail, there is at least one delegate who has suffered a back injury.  Most have no hesitation in emphasising just how painful and…

  • Blazing fire in corridor
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    Power to The People

    Power to The People Don’t worry, I don’t want to start a revolution, but reading the syllabus for Element 1.3 of the NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management (FC1.3) cast my mind back to the late 1970s (giving my age away, now!). When the sitcom Citizen Smith was on our TV screens, and main character ‘Wolfie’ Smith’s catchphrase was ‘Power to the People’. In my experience of delivering Element 1.3 there is often some misunderstanding and confusion in relation to its title – ‘The roles and powers of enforcement agencies and other external agencies in relation to fire safety’. For some students, a sort-of word blindness sets…

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    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…