• 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…

  • Builders working on site
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    Risk Assessment – The Safe Person or Safe Place Dilemma

    Controls, Costs and Counting Beans In a previous contribution on risk assessment I discussed the concept of ‘systematic’ and how it is a good idea to take everything into account, even though it may not be of great risk. The good thing about doing it that way, of course, is that it proves you have at least considered the hazard and its risk, even though it has turned out (at time of assessment) to be insignificant. How many of you think a risk assessment is an exercise to kill trees, chew them up and mix with water, flatten them into paper, write on them and file them away to gather…

  • Car driving off with exhaust fumes blowing
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    The Need For Speed

    Top Gun – what a film! Yes, I know it was a bit corny, but it was also enjoyable, with some memorable moments. If you don’t believe me, watch it again (or for the first time, for that matter). What was that line – something like ‘I have the need, the need for speed’?  I think it was Iceman but no doubt I’ve got it wrong and someone will be able to correct me. Speed thrills – it’s why so many people are fans of Formula 1, or other motor sports – and most of us like that thrill at times, though the speed needed to achieve it differs from…

  • Man in plaid shirt using friction bow to start a fire in the forest
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    Friction Resistance on The NEBOSH Diploma

    “Resistance is futile” is the catchy battle cry of the Borg Collective – an alien cyborg race bent on galactic domination. While they have some redeeming qualities (the Borg Queen is strangely attractive) they do have an attitude to resistance that is not shared by their invaded planetary systems.­­­­­­­ Friction – as covered in Element 1 of Unit C, NEBOSH Diploma – is all about resistance. Most parents of young children and teenagers will be very familiar with resistance.  Sometimes it delivers pain, sometimes pleasure. Sometimes it is inconvenient, but it can be a wonderful thing. 

  • Students standing against a wall, in black and white
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    It is Not What You’re Asked, it’s The Way That You’re Asked it

    It is Not What You’re Asked, it’s The Way That You’re Asked it When did you last sit an exam? For many of us it was years ago – perhaps at school, or university. How did you get on? What did you think of the questions? Too technical? Too long? Wanted too much detail? You thought you knew the subject pretty well, but were stumped by some of the things being asked? It’s pretty scary even remembering it, isn’t it? And you may experience it all over again when you face your NEBOSH General Certificate exams. It doesn’t really matter where we are exposed (there’s a good health and safety…

  • Environmental ground
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    Buying a ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – Or Another ‘Tragedy’?

    Buying a ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – or another ‘Tragedy’? I’ve never been a fan of the idea of environmental “offsetting”. The concept is most frequently applied to greenhouse gas emissions – with which NEBOSH Environmental Certificate students who have studied Element 1 will be familiar – where an organisation (or individual) seeks to compensate for the carbon emissions they cause (usually through using energy) by paying for improvements elsewhere. Carbon offsetting has become institutionalised through regulated schemes such as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and there is also a host of commercial ‘carbon offsets’ that are available for purchase from specialist companies. Carbon offsets are usually sold as tonnes of…

  • Lady doing a yoga pose next to a river, in the forest
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    You Should be Dancing – Yeah!

    You Should be Dancing – Yeah! While watching an episode of the BBC programme ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ recently I began to reflect on the health and well-being of the participants in this physically demanding show. I was undertaking this reflection while sipping from a small glass of red wine and considering which chocolate from my ‘winter wonderland’ selection would go best with a Merlot. One of the celebrity contestants on the series had recently fainted during rehearsals as a result of exhaustion, one of the professional dancers had failed to make the series owing to a foot injury sustained while practising, and one of the judges was due to have…

  • HSE sign on green background
    Health & Safety

    A Case of Management-ITIS

    A Case of Management-ITIS Years ago, there was a TV advert in the UK for a telephone company, in which a morose young lad was telling his gran over the phone that he hadn’t passed any of his exams – “except sociology”. On hearing this, granny exclaims: “You got an ‘ology?!” and almost bursts with pride. I am reminded of this every time I introduce to the students I teach the health and safety ‘term’ ITIS. It stands for (sorry for shuffling the original order): Information, Training, Instruction and Supervision. So, not “an ITIS” – just ITIS. ITIS pops up in many locations in our wander through health and safety…

  • 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…