• People in hard hats on construction site
    Health & Safety

    What Is a Permit to Work?

    Permission to speak, sir? That was it, wasn’t it – Corporal Jones’ usual request whenever he felt he had something important to say to Captain Mainwaring. I’m showing my age again with these ancient references – for the benefit of younger readers, I’m referring to the excellent 1970s BBC comedy Dad’s Army. Anyway, the point is that Jones always sought permission to proceed in circumstances where something important needed to be done – important in those World War II days of the Home Guard because there was some risk associated with getting it wrong.

  • 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…

  • Car driving off with exhaust fumes blowing
    Health & Safety

    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…