NEBOSH IGC 1 Examiners Reports | Questions & Answers
Element 4: Health and Safety Management Systems: Planning
- Give two reasons why visitors to a workplace might be at greater risk of injury than workers.
- Identify precautions that could be taken to reduce the risk of injury to visitors to a workplace.
- Their unfamiliarity with the processes carried out at the workplace, the hazards they present and their associated risks and the fact that they had not been issued with any personal protective equipment;
- Their lack of knowledge of the site layout and the fact that pedestrian routes might be inadequate and unsigned;
- Their unfamiliarity with the emergency procedures;
- Their vulnerability particularly if they were disabled, very young or had language problems; and
- Their numbers particularly in large shopping centers or at sports events.
Precautions to reduce the risk of injury to visitors include:
- Visitor identification, for example, by the issue of badges with a routine for signing in and out;
- Prior notification to those members of staff to be involved in the visit;
- The provision of information to the visitors in suitable languages on hazards and emergency procedures;
- An explanation of specific site rules, for example, restricted areas and the wearing of personal protective equipment;
- The clear marking of pedestrian routes; and
- The need for visitors to be escorted by a member of management or supervisory staff.
Outline the immediate AND longer-term actions that should be taken following an accident at work that has caused serious injury to a worker.
Actions such as
- Isolating the scene of the accident and making the area safe;
- Administering first aid treatment and contacting the emergency services;
- Informing the next of kin and offering counseling and support;
- Notifying the regulatory authority if appropriate and also the insurers;
- Collecting initial evidence such as photographs and sketches and the names of witnesses;
- Setting up the accident investigation team, investigating the accident, determining its root and underlying causes and preparing a report of the investigation;
- Making and implementing recommendations to prevent a recurrence of the accident and ensuring feedback is provided to the workforce;
- Collecting evidence to be used in any possible litigation following the accident and managing the provision of information to the media.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should only be considered after other control measures have been found to be ineffective or not practicable.
Give reasons why PPE should be considered only after other control measures.
There are numerous reasons why personal protective equipment (PPE) should be considered only after other possibilities have been exhausted.
- Importantly, in accordance with legal requirements and those of international and national standards, the hierarchy of controls should be applied before PPE is used as a last resort if only because the latter does not remove the hazard.
- Additionally, PPE may not provide adequate protection because of such factors as poor selection, poor fit because of facial features such as beards, incompatibility with other types of PPE, contamination, and misuse or non-use by workers.
- Again, PPE is likely to be uncomfortable and relies for its effectiveness on a conscious action by the user which raises issues such as training and supervision and
- there are cost factors involved in its use such as those arising from its initial supply and its subsequent maintenance, cleaning and eventual replacement.
- In certain circumstances, its use can actually create additional risks, for instance, impaired vision with warning sounds masked by the use of hearing protection.
- Identify possible consequences to workers injured in an accident at work.
- Identify possible costs to an organization resulting from an accident at work.
- Outline the actions, management may take to prevent similar accidents.
Possible consequences to a worker injured in a workplace accident include
pain and suffering and even disability or death with its resultant impact on family life;
loss of earnings and future earning capacity following time off work and even loss of current employment;
medical expenses and
loss of confidence and motivation giving rise to social and psychological problems.
Possible costs to an organization resulting from an accident at work include
- Costs associated with lost production and damage to products;
- The need to pay the injured worker during their absence and to fund a temporary replacement with the need for additional training;
- Repair of damaged plant and equipment and the cost of clean-up;
- Investigation and remedial action and the additional administration incurred;
- An increase in insurance premiums;
- Fines and compensation awarded, and court and other legal representation costs; and
- Intangible costs arising from a loss of business image and the detrimental effect on worker morale resulting in reduced productivity.
In order to prevent similar accidents, management could take actions such as:
- Carrying out a comprehensive investigation and communicating its findings to the workforce;
- Reviewing the health and safety policy together with existing risk assessments and control measures;
- Introducing a programme of regular inspections and monitoring, a more effective standard of supervision and disciplinary action for non-conformance with set procedures;
- Consulting on a regular basis with the workers and
- Introducing a programme of refresher training not only on the operation of plant and equipment but also on general health and safety awareness.
- Identify the key stages of a workplace risk assessment.
- Outline three reasons for reviewing a risk assessment.
The key stages of a workplace risk assessment involve
- The identification of the hazards associated with the activities and tasks performed at the workplace and
- the classes and numbers of persons who might be harmed;
- Evaluating the likelihood and probable severity of the harm that might be caused;
- Assessing the adequacy of existing control measures and
- Deciding whether additional measures were required;
- Recording the significant findings of the assessment and carrying out a review at a later date and revising the findings when necessary.
Reasons for reviewing a risk assessment include:
- Changes in the processes, work methods or materials used;
- Moving to new premises or the introduction of new or the modification of existing plant;
- The availability of new information on hazards and risks;
- The availability of new or improved control measures or techniques;
- Following changes in legislation;
- As a result of changes in personnel, for example, the employment of young or disabled persons;
- As a result of investigation reports on accidents and cases of ill-health or monitoring exercises such as audit or the workplace inspection;
- Following action by the enforcement authority and finally after the passage of time.
- Identify work activities that may present a particular risk to pregnant women at work and Give an example of each type of activity.
- Outline actions that an employer may take when a risk to a new or expectant mother cannot be avoided.
Work activities such as
- Manual handling of loads such as in packing goods;
- Tasks involving long periods of standing or sitting as experienced by shop assistants;
- Work involving exposure to biological agents or chemical substances that might affect the unborn child or pregnant/nursing mother such as lead glazing;
- Work in hyperbaric atmospheres, for example, underwater diving
- Tasks involving exposure to ionizing radiation which would affect radiographers;
- Tasks involving regular exposure to shocks and low-frequency vibration or excessive movement such as driving;
- Unusually stressful work such as tasks involving exposure to heat or noise;
- Contact with the public where there might be a risk of violence or verbal abuse;
- Ergonomic issues such as in assembly work; and
- Work at height for example from a ladder.
Actions such as
- Modifying the working conditions or hours of work of the workers,
- Offering them suitable alternative work or suspending them from work for as long as necessary on full pay.
Identify EIGHT sources of information that might usefully be consulted when developing a safe system of
Sources of information such as
- Legislation and official guidance;
- Information from manufacturers;
- National and international standards such as from the ILO and industry standards or trade association guidance;
- Results of risk assessments and job safety analyses;
- Results of monitoring exercises such as audits and inspections;
- Accident statistics and health/medical surveillance records;
- The results of consultation with the workforce; and
- Company policy, standards and maintenance records.
- Give the meaning of the term ‘hazard and give an example of a workplace hazard.
- Give the meaning of the term ‘risk’ and give an example of a workplace risk.
- Outline the key stages of the risk assessment.
- Outline the criteria which must be met for the assessment to be ‘suitable and sufficient’.
Hazard – is something with the potential to cause harm or loss and for
Risk – the probability/likelihood that the potential would be realised and its possible consequence and severity in terms of injury, damage or harm.
The key stages of a workplace risk assessment such as
- Identifying the hazards associated with the activities and tasks performed at the workplace;
- Identifying who might be harmed including operators, maintenance staff, cleaners and visitors and groups especially at risk including young workers and the disabled;
- Evaluating the likelihood and probable severity of the harm that might be caused,
- assessing the adequacy of existing control measures and deciding whether additional controls should be introduced;
- Recording the significant findings of the assessment and carrying out a review at a later date and revising the findings when necessary.
A risk assessment, to be deemed suitable and sufficient, should indicate
- The competence of the assessor together with any specialist advice that has been sought;
- It Should identify all significant hazards and risks arising from or connected with the activity to be carried out;
- Identify all the persons at risk including workers, other workers and members of the public with reference to those who might be particularly at risk;
- Evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of existing control measures and identify other protective measures that may be required;
- Enable priorities to be set;
- Record the significant findings of the assessment; and
- Identify the period of time for which it is likely to remain valid.
- Give the meaning of the term ‘hierarchy of control’.
- Outline, with an example, the general hierarchy that should be applied with respect to controlling health and safety risks in the workplace.
Hierarchy of control – a list of measures designed to control risks which are considered in order of importance, effectiveness or priority or measures designed to control risk that normally begins with an extreme measure of control and end with personal protective equipment as a last resort.
The possibility of eliminating the risks either by designing them out or changing the process.
- The next step would be the reduction of the risks by, for example, the substitution of hazardous substances with others which were less hazardous.
- If reduction was not possible, then isolation would have to be considered, using enclosures, barriers or worker segregation.
- The application of engineering controls such as guarding, the provision of local exhaust ventilation systems, the use of reduced voltage systems or residual current devices.
- Management controls such as safe systems of work, training, job rotation and supervision with the final control measure being the provision of personal protective equipment such as ear defenders or respiratory protective equipment.
An organization is introducing a new work activity that requires a safe system of work.
- Outline why it is important to involve workers in the development of a safe system of work.
- Outline the reasons why it is important for safe systems of work to have written procedures.
It is important to involve workers in the development of a safe system of work because of
- Their knowledge of the particular working environment involved and what will work in practice.
- Additionally, their involvement will establish their ownership of the system and will encourage them to use and follow it once it has been finalized and introduced.
- Finally, their involvement will emphasize management’s commitment to health and safety and help to raise its profile within the organization.
Once a safe system of work is developed, it is imperative that a clear method of communicating its procedures to the workforce is used and this would be better achieved in writing rather than orally.
- The procedures may contain complex information that will need to be consulted on more than one occasion to ensure the correct sequence of operations is followed.
- Additionally, different people will need to be aware of the procedures and it is preferable to have them written down rather than pass them on by word of mouth, a method that may not always guarantee consistency in their presentation.
- A written document will also be needed for audit purposes and could be used as evidence in defending an enforcement action or a civil claim.
- Finally, the use of written procedures may well be a requirement of the organization’s quality assurance procedures.
A fire has occurred at a workplace and a worker has been badly injured.
- Outline the procedure for investigating the accident.
- Outline why the investigation report needs to be submitted to senior management.
- In addition to senior managers, identify who else may need to know the outcomes of the investigation.
Procedure for investigating the accident include:
Reasons such as
responsibility sits at that senior manager level and that they may need to take disciplinary action
- Workers and trade unions,
- Victim’s family,
An organization is to introduce a new manufacturing process. It is important that all significant risks are assessed and properly managed.
- Give the meaning of the term ‘risk’ and give a workplace example of a risk.
- Outline what the organization needs to consider when deciding who should carry out risk assessments.
Risk – the likelihood of harm to occur and the severity of that harm is called risk. For example, a person working at height and there is a risk that he can fall from height & can be injured etc.
- In relation to risk assessments carried out under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, explain the meaning of the term `suitable and sufficient’.
- Outline the changes in circumstances that may require a risk assessment to be reviewed.
The meaning of the term ‘suitable and sufficient’:
An assessment should identify all significant hazards and risks, enable priorities to be set, allow the identification of the protective measures required, be appropriate to the nature of the work and be valid over a reasonable period of time.
Circumstances, such as
- Changes in the process, work methods or materials (type or quantity),
- The introduction of new plant or technology,
- New information becoming available,
- A change in legislation, changes in personnel (eg the employment of young or disabled persons), and
- When the results of monitoring (accidents, ill-health and/or the working environment) are not as expected.
- Explain, using an example, the meaning of the term Risk.
- Outline the content of a training course for staff who are required to assist in carrying out risk assessments.
Risk – the probability/likelihood that the potential would be realized and its possible consequence and severity in terms of injury, damage or harm.
The content of a training course for staff who are to assist in carrying Out risk assessments are:
- The legal requirements with respect to risk assessment;
- The process of identifying hazards and evaluating risks;
- The identification and selection of appropriate control measures;
- The awareness of the individual’s own limitations and the occasions when specialist assistance might be required;
- Accessing sources of information such as ACOPs and in-house information including accident records & Report-writing skills;
- The interpretation of regulations and standards; and the means available for disseminating the outcomes of the assessment.
With reference to the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996:
- Explain the difference between consulting and informing.
- Outline the health and safety matters on which employers must consult their employees.
Informing – as a one-way process (e.g. providing information on hazards, risks and control measures) and
Consulting – as a two-way process in which the employer listens to, and takes account of, the views of employees before a decision is taken.
The matters on which an employer must consult under these Regulations include;
- The introduction of any measure at the workplace that may substantially affect employees’ health and safety;
- The arrangements for appointing and/or nominating competent persons;
- The planning and organization of health and safety training;
- The health and safety implications of introducing new technology; and
- The information that the employer is required to provide under other Regulations, such as that relating to risk assessments, preventive measures arid emergency procedures.
- Hence, employers are obliged not only to provide information but they must also consult their employees on the appropriateness of the information before it is given.
- Identify two specific work activities for which a permit-to-work might be needed.
- Outline the key elements of a permit-to-work system.
two situations where a permit-to-work system might be:
- Work in confined spaces, work in flammable atmospheres,
- Work on electrical equipment, hot work, and
- Maintenance work on dangerous process plant or production machinery.
The elements of a permit system,
- The first of which would be a description and assessment of the task to be performed (including the plant involved and the possible hazards). This will determine the need for, and nature of, other key elements — namely, the isolation of sources of energy and inlets,
- the additional precautions required (eg atmospheric monitoring, personal protective equipment, emergency equipment) and the duration of the permit.
- An essential element of a permit-to-work system is, of course, the operation of the permit itself. By means of signatures, the permit should be issued by an authorized person and accepted by the competent person responsible for the work.
- On completion of the work, the competent person would need to indicate on the permit that the area had been made safe in order for the permit to be canceled by the authorized person, after which isolations could be removed.
- Explain the meaning of the term ‘dangerous occurrence’ and give two specific examples of dangerous occurrences that require notification under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995.
- Identify the reasons why employees may fail to report accidents at work.
- Outline the key points that should be covered in a training session for employees on the reporting of accidents and incidents.
Dangerous occurrence – is a specified event that has not resulted in a reportable injury but had the potential to do so. Examples, the collapse of scaffolding and the collapse, overturning or failure of a load-bearing part of equipment such as a lift, hoist, crane, cradle or fork-lift truck. There are some occurrences that are reportable only when specified criteria apply and recognition of this fact was necessary to obtain the available marks. Thus, a reference to ‘fire’ was not sufficient unless coupled with the fact that it must cause suspension of normal work for over 24 hours.
Reasons such as:
- The employee is unaware of the reporting procedure or no procedure in place;
- An unwillingness to give up time or a lack of perception of the importance of accident reporting (perhaps due to lack of training);
- The possibility of retribution and the fear of being disciplined;
- An actual or perceived lack of management response when accidents are reported;
- To preserve the individual’s, the department’s or the organization’s safety record (particularly if this forms part of a bonus or incentive scheme);
- An aversion to first-aid or medical treatment;
- A dislike of or inability to fill in forms; and
- Peer pressure from fellow employees, possibly as part of a general safety culture problem.
Key points that should be covered in training session include:
- The classification of accidents and incidents (e.g. major, minor, first-aid, near-miss, etc.
- the reasons for reporting (e.g. to meet legal obligations; to enable an investigation to be carried out that might help to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents; to meet insurance requirements; to review risk assessments, and to compile statistics in order to identify trends)
- Internal reporting procedures (e.g. the accidents and incidents that need to be reported; the method of reporting, including such issues as the person to report to, examples of internal report forms, location of the accident book, etc.; how to complete report forms; and the name of the person responsible for notifying the enforcing authority)
- Follow-up action (e.g. the use that the organization might make of the reports; stressing a ‘no-blame’ culture; and the possibility of an external investigation by an enforcement agency or an insurance company).
An employer has agreed to accept a young person on a work experience placement for one week.
Outline the factors that the employer should consider prior to the placement.
- Individual factors such as age and maturity;
- Physical and psychological capability and special needs;
- Risks from the job/environment, such as chemicals, radiation, machinery or noise;
- The completion of a young person’s risk assessment;
- Arrangements for instruction and training before the young person starts work; and
- The level of supervision to be provided including the appointment of a specific mentor.
- Identify the particular requirements of regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 in relation to an employer’s duty to carry out risk assessments.
- Outline the factors that should be considered when selecting individuals to assist in carrying out risk assessments in the workplace.
The particular requirements are:
- That assessment should be suitable and sufficient;
- That they should be reviewed if no longer valid or there have been significant changes;
- That the significant findings of an assessment should be recorded if there are 5 or more employees and that particular assessments were required in the case of young persons or fire.
factors which should include:
- The individuals’ past experience and training in hazard identification and in carrying out risk assessments,
- Their experience of the process or the activity carried out in the workplace and
- Their knowledge of the plant and equipment involved,
- Their ability to understand and interpret regulations and standards,
- Their communication skills and their attitude and commitment to the task.
A factory manager intends to introduce a new work process for which a risk assessment is required under regulation 3 of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulation 1999.
- Outline the factors that should be considered when carrying out the risk assessment.
- Explain the criteria that must be met for the assessment to be deemed ‘suitable and sufficient’.
- Identify the various circumstances that may require review of the risk assessment at a later date.
The factors that should be considered when carrying out a risk assessment such as
- The activities being undertaken, the hazards involved,
- The likelihood and severity of the harm that might be caused,
- The number of employees exposed and the frequency of their exposure,
- The competence of the persons carrying out the activities,
- An evaluation of existing control measures and
- The competence of the person carrying out the assessment.
For a risk assessment to be deemed suitable and sufficient,
- It should identify the significant risks arising out of the work activity,
- It should identify and priorities the measures that need to be taken to comply with the relevant statutory provisions,
- It should be appropriate to the nature of the work and,
- Finally, it should be such that it remains valid for a reasonable period of time.
Such circumstances as:
- Changes to work processes or methods;
- Introduction of a new plant;
- Changes in the scale of production;
- The availability of new information concerning hazardous substances or processes;
- Accidents or occurrences of ill-health;
- Results of monitoring, including inspections, audits, and health surveillance; changes in legislation;
- Changes affecting personnel (to take particular account of disablement, pregnancy, and youth); and
- Routinely after the passage of a reasonable interval of time.
Identify the factor to be considered to ensure the health and safety of persons who are required to work on their own away from the workplace.
Factors that would contribute to the potential risk, such as
- The work to be done,
- The equipment to be used and the control measures in place at the work location,
- The competence and suitability of the persons involved,
- Methods of communication with the home base and
- Emergency / first-aid procedures), achieved high marks.
A glasswork produces covers for streetlights and industrial lighting. The process involves molten glass being blown by hand and shaped in mouls.
- Identify four health effects that may be caused by working in the hot conditions of a glass factory.
- Describe measures that could be taken in order to minimize the health effects of working in such hot environment.
- Outline the factors relating to the task and load that may affect the risk of injury to an employee engaged in stacking the finished products onto racking.
Health effects include:
- Heat stress, heat cataracts
- Exhaustion and respiratory distress.
The control measures that could be taken to minimize the health effects of working in a hot environment. These might include:
- The gradual acclimatization of new personnel to the environment;
- The provision and consumption of adequate amounts of fluid;
- The provision of regular breaks away from the work;
- Ensuring adequate ventilation;
- The provision of screens to protect against radiant heat; and the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment
The factors relating to the task and load that might affect the risk of injury to an employee engaged in the manual handling activity, such as:
- Holding or manipulating loads at a distance from the trunk;
- The need to twist the body;
- Excessive pushing or pulling of the load or excessive carrying distances;
- Unsatisfactory posture caused perhaps by space restriction;
- Excessive lifting distances (e.g. from the floor and/or on to high racking);
- Frequent or prolonged physical effort coupled with insufficient rest or recovery periods.