• Danger Asbestos Hazard Yellow sign - Field in the background
    Health & Safety

    Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2019

    Global Asbestos Awareness week, (1st – 7th April), was established to raise awareness surrounding the illnesses and consequential deaths that asbestos causes. Although it has been banned in the U.K. since 1999, there are over 1.5 million buildings in the UK that may contain asbestos (UKATA, 2019). Buildings erected pre-1999 can have dormant asbestos within their foundations, and can be accidentally disturbed during renovations or repairs. Unfortunately, asbestos is still legal in many countries around the world. What is Asbestos? Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals made of microscopic fibres. If you breathe in these fibres, they can damage your lungs (British Lung Foundation, 2019). Asbestos is…

  • 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.…

  • NEBOSH & Assessments

    NEBOSH Diploma Syllabus Revision News #10

    Element B2 moves on to dealing with hazardous substances in the workplace.  In practice this consolidates much of what used to be in elements B1 with relevant extracts from B2 and B4. The routes of entry and body defences are still there in all their blazing glory.  You’ll notice the previous specific references to the respiratory system defences has been deleted but of course still implied by the catchall “defensive responses”. We now have a much reduced list of specific hazardous substances.  Carbon monoxide is new, isocyanates are making a return.  Nitrogen is new but a slightly odd choice as it isn’t intrinsically a harmful substance (it makes up around…

  • 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…

  • Risk assessment folder
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    System Addict

    What is risk and why do we assess it – subjects that sit at the very heart of the NEBOSH General Certificate, and the health and safety sphere in general. Risk is the likelihood (the ‘chance’, the ‘probability’) that harm will occur – TOGETHER with the consequences (the ‘severity’ or ‘outcome’) of it if it does. But you knew that, right? Risk assessment is done so we don’t break the law, isn’t it? No! Risk assessment is done to keep directors and business-owners out of jail! Well, I guess they are one and the same thing, and these are the main objectives of some. . .

  • Name tag on a blue background
    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…

  • Risk assessment on a table
    News, Updates & Events

    HSE’s Tool for Risk Assessment

    I thought I’d try out HSE’s online risk assessment tool for offices (more tools to follow later). This was one of the recommendations of Lord Young’s review. You can find all of this quite easily on the HSE website. From my perspective, the approach looks a little like a combination of HSE’s well respected “5 steps to risk assessment” guidance, coupled with output from some of their separately issued example risk assessments. The benefit of doing it this way is that it pushes you through it in a consolidated fashion, with the examples readily to hand to help you complete it and some of the common answers already as a…