• Environmental ground
    Environmental

    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…

  • Upward looking picture of trees in a forest
    IEMA

    Permit Me to Explain

    Permit Me to Explain Looking through some IEMA Environmental course assignments recently I noted that one subject that seems to cause a lot of confusion. The question of whether a business needs to have an Environmental Permit? The first thing to understand is that permits only apply to certain activities and installations – the latter are known as Regulated Facilities. Students often think companies have to have an environmental permit for their skips and storage of general waste awaiting collection. However, for most businesses this is not the case. Skips and waste storage would only be included in a permit if the main activity, or installation is covered by a…

  • Stack of books, with blurred background
    NEBOSH & Assessments

    The Importance Of Planning

    The Importance Of Planning “Planning and implementing” are the subjects of Element 4 of the NEBOSH General Certificate and they form steps one (Plan) and two (Do) of the PDCA cycle (steps three and four being Check and Act). But I often get asked exactly what plan and do actually mean. Managing health and safety is generally described as a ‘systematic’ operation, and this is why eyes often begin to glaze over; surely we’ve already done the planning bit by putting together a policy statement and all the supporting bumph. You reckon? What we should have in place is a plan that lets us identify the health and safety requirements,…

  • Man holding a Sudan flag
    News, Updates & Events

    HSE Conference, Sudan

    RRC’s Conference Helps Spread HSE Awareness in Sudan As part of its aim to achieve safer working in Sudan, RRC Training Middle East (RRC ME) held a very successful two-day conference, ‘Enhancing HSE Culture for Sustainable Solutions’, in Khartoum. A high level of audience participation, plus excellent opportunities for networking, were the order of the day at the conference, which was attended by more than 200 delegates from public and private organisations from all over Sudan, representing the many burgeoning industries, including construction, energy, mining and manufacturing. The importance of HSE to Sudan’s government, the increasing need for local training and the damaging effects of accidents on Sudan’s economy were…

  • Man in field next to wind turbines
    Environmental

    Identifying Environmental Aspects and Impacts

    Identifying Environmental Aspects and Impacts – Race to The Finish Seven years ago I competed in my first marathon it was hard – very hard. As everyone always says, in the last six miles of the race you hit a wall, and a very well built and extremely big wall it was, too! Something that feels very much like the last few miles of a marathon and which causes students a lot of pain is assessing environmental aspects and impacts – as  covered in Unit 1, Element 3 of the NEBOSH Diploma in Environmental Management: ‘Control Strategies for Environmental Risk’. Often, when I am delivering courses or marking assignments, I…

  • Back end of cars in traffic
    Environmental

    Fossil Fools?

    Fossil Fools? You may have noticed – and this is confirmed by the AA’s monthly fuel price report – that petrol and diesel prices are down significantly this month (November 2013). Good news? Well, nestling within every silver-lining there’s often a cloud. The recent drop in fuel prices seems to go against the long-term trend and raises questions about where the underlying global price of fossil fuels is going. Element 7 of the NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management raises questions about the rising costs of fossil fuels and identifies that demand is starting to outstrip supply. The script that we have been following in recent years goes something like this:…