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NEBOSH IGC Past Questions

& Suggested Answers.

Paper IGC1
Management of Health and Safety

Outline the factors that might cause the safety

culture within an organisation to decline. (8)

Factors would include lack of effective communication, such as failing

to have regular meetings of a safety committee or not replacing safety
representatives who may have left.
A blame culture may have developed, maybe caused by key safety
personnel who feel insecure in their authority and fear losing their jobs.
Top management may be concerned with issues other than safety, for
example, expansion of the business or deteriorating sales.
There may have been a deterioration of monitoring methods such as
safety tours.
Accidents will demoralise and may even traumatise workers,
undermining their confidence and motivation.
There may also be a failure to implement corrective actions following
accidents and incident investigations.
If there is high staff turnover, there will be a decline in competence and
difficulty in proper safety induction of new staff.
External influences may have an effect. For example, economic
downturn may lead to fears of job security and workers may break
safety rules in order to speed production.

Outline four advantages and four

disadvantages of using propaganda posters to
communicate health and safety information to
the workforce (8)
ACT Pg 50

The advantages of posters include their

attractiveness with colourful images and
interesting text.
They are flexible to use in terms of size and
They can convey short, powerful verbal or visual
Their presence is a constant reminder of a safety
Disadvantages include their cost, especially since
they need to be changed regularly to maintain
interest and attention.
They are susceptible to damage and defacing.
They may be seen as an easy option to convey
information instead of suitable instruction and
Humour posters may appear to trivialise serious
health and safety issues, whereas shock
may only offend the reader.

Explain the meaning of the term motivation

Other than lack of motivation, outline six
reasons why employees may fail to comply
with safety procedures at work (6)

Motivation is the driving force behind the way that an

individual strives to achieve a goal or objective.
It is based on the satisfying of needs, which range from
basics like food and warmth, to the higher goals such as
ambition to succeed in a job
A number of reasons could be cited, such as:
unrealistic work procedures which make targets impossible
to achieve;
There may be a lack of management commitment, so the
employee feels that nothing they do makes any difference.
Employees may be over-familiar with the job, leading to
There may be negative peer pressure, where the group or
team disapproves of an enthusiastic approach to work.
Workers may suffer fatigue because of long hours or
excessive overtime.
Stress may be caused perhaps by workplace bullying.
Workers may also experience distractions due to pressures
outside work which affect their concentration and morale.

Explain the meaning of the term perception

Outline ways in which employees perception
of hazards might be improved (6)

Perception is the way in which people interpret

information which is presented to them via their
five senses.
Perception may be improved by such things as
improved training, awareness campaigns using
posters, and using opinion surveys to identify
employees misperceptions and consequent wrong
Perception may be improved by using signs and
markings or colour coding to make hazards more
It may be necessary to improve environmental
factors such as lighting, noise and visibility.
The layout of instrumentation should be improved
to make information more logically related to the

Most occupational accidents can be attributed

in part to human error. Outline ways of
reducing the likelihood of human error in the
workplace (8)


Some of the ways of reducing human error would be as

Employers should use skilled, competent and properly
trained employees.
Employee motivation should be improved by the setting of
goals and incentives.
Work should be varied by introducing job rotation.
Fatigue can be reduced by ensuring adequate rest periods.
Instructions and information should be made clear and
relevant to the work involved.
The logic and layout of a process should be designed to
reduce the possibility of slips of action and lapses of
Workplace issues such as noise, heat, cold and lighting
should be improved where possible.
Work processes might be modified to increase automation
of boring repetitive operations.
It is important to include the possibility of human error in a
suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

Identify the factors to be considered to ensure

the health and safety of persons who are
required to work on their own away from the
workplace (8)
ACT Pg 71


Factors must take into account the actual

level of risk to the persons involved and
should include as a basis of assessment:
the type of work to be done and its attendant
hazards and risks,
the equipment to be used and the working
In addition special factors which become
more important for these workers include:
the competence and suitability of the worker,
the methods and frequency of
communication with the home base, and
emergency and first aid arrangements.

Outline duties placed on employees by ILO

Conventions and Recommendations (8)


Employees must take reasonable care for themselves and

others who may be affected by their activities. Also, they
must co-operate with their employer to enable him to
comply with his duties.
Employees shall not intentionally or recklessly interfere with
or abuse anything provided in the interest of health safety
or welfare.
All employees are required to use equipment and ppe in
accordance with the training and instruction they have
They must inform the employer of work situations that they
perceive as an immediate danger, as well as any
shortcomings they recognise in existing health and safety


In relation to employee involvement in health

and safety, explain the difference between
informing and consulting (2)
Outline the health and safety matters on which
employers should consult their employees (6)


(a) Informing implies a one-way process for example,

the employer just gives an employee instructions for
doing a job.
Consulting is a two way process in which the
employer listens to and takes account of the views of
employees or their representatives before making a
(b) The employer must consult his employees on the
following issues: the introduction of new measures
which may affect health and safety; appointment of
competent persons who are assisting the employer in
meeting his duties; new technology which may affect
health and safety; any information required under
other Regulations, such as risk assessments and
emergency procedures.


Outline the practical means by which a

manager could involve employees in the
improvement of health and safety in the
workplace (8)


Practical ways could be:

By involving employees in risk assessments, accident
investigations and the development of safe systems and
By encouraging hazard spotting and the reporting of
By setting up suggestion schemes and implementing
suggestions which would improve health, safety or welfare;
By encouraging personal development with training
By responding quickly to requests for repair of defective
By supporting the work of safety committees and safety
By inviting employees on safety inspections and tours;
And lastly by encouraging experienced employees to look
after new or inexperienced employees.

In relation to risk assessments, explain the

meaning of the term suitable and sufficient (3)
Outline the changes in circumstances that may
require a risk assessment to be reviewed (5)




A suitable and sufficient risk assessment should

identify all significant hazards and risks, enable
priorities to be set, identify suitable workplace
precautions and risk control systems, be appropriate to
the nature of the work, and be valid for a reasonable
period of time.
Review may be required:After changes in work process, method, location or
Before the introduction of new plant or technology;
When new information becomes available on hazards
or risks;
If there are changes in personnel (e.g. young or
When the results of reactive or active monitoring
indicate deficiencies in control measures;
After an accident or near miss;
When there is a change in legislation, codes of practice
or guidance.

State two duties of employees with regard to

the use and care of PPE (2)
Outline the factors that could discourage
employees from wearing PPE (6)




Employees have a duty to use personal protective

equipment (ppe) as instructed by their employer, report
any loss or defect and return ppe after use to the
accommodation provided.
Employees could be discouraged from wearing ppe by
factors such as: peer pressure (nobody else bothers, I
dont want to look stupid); Lack of insistence by
management that ppe is worn every time it is needed;
discomfort, perhaps made worse by hot conditions or
heavy working; incompatibility with other ppe; lack of
awareness of the danger of not wearing ppe; difficulty
in finding or replacing items of ppe.


Outline the factors to consider when carrying

out a fire risk assessment (8)


The factors to consider would be based under the following

The assessment of the probability of a fire breaking out and
its possible magnitude, including possible ignition sources
and the presence and quantity of material that would burn.
Means of detection and raising the alarm, including siting
and testing of detectors call-points and alarms and the
means of contacting the emergency services.
Fire fighting measures, such as siting, suitability and
maintenance of fire fighting equipment, the training and
ability of personnel to use extinguishers and the adequacy
and maintenance of signs and emergency lighting.
Evacuation of the premises, including the number of people
to be evacuated, and particular groups at risk, the
adequacy of escape routes and staff training in evacuation

(a) Draw a flowchart to identify the main

components of the health and safety
management system described in the ILO
OSH-2001 Standard (4)
(b) Outline TWO components of the health and
safety management system identified in
(a). (4)


Policy: an organisation should set clear aims and objectives and

communicate them to the employees
Clearly defined responsibilities and lines of reporting should be
identified. The promotion of health and safety should be a cooperative activity between the management and the workforce.
Competency to work safely and manage safely should be
ensured. Channels of consultation should be set up on matters of
health and safety.
Planning & Implementation: There should be a clear health and
safety plan designed to achieve the goals set out in the Policy
including risk assessments and the design of controls.
Evaluation: Active and reactive methods should be used, such as
safety tours, inspections, sampling and surveys
Action for Improvement to progress towards better health and
safety performance and the effectiveness of the management

Outline the reasons why an organisation

should monitor and review its health and
safety performance (8)


Pg. 234
Among the reasons for monitoring and reviewing health and
safety performance would be as follows.
Monitoring and reviewing may be a legal requirement.
It will identify substandard practices and conditions by means of
audits, inspections and tours, sampling and surveying
It will enable the employer to identify trends in different types of
accidents and incidents.
It will enable comparison of performance with previous years or
initially bench-mark the organisations performance.
It will identify appropriate improvements that could be made.
It will give guidance for budgeting health and safety management.
It will provide information for statutory reporting in the case of
companies quoted on the Stock Markets.

Explain how accident data can be used to

improve health and safety performance within
an organisation (4)
Outline two active monitoring methods that can
be used when assessing an organisations
health and safety performance (4)


a) Accident data can be used to identify trends and

problem areas in order that resources can be
allocated and appropriate remedial actions taken.
They can also be used to enable comparison with
industry standards (bench-marking).
b) Safety inspections are formal workplace tours by a
team including the senior management, safety
adviser and employee representatives, usually using
a prepared checklist.
Safety Tours are informal tours of a supervisors
area of responsibility, a chance to stop and talk to
employees and show commitment.
Safety Sampling takes a representative sample from
a larger population to identify a trend. E.g. speeding
or use of ppe.
Safety Surveys generally focus on a particular safety
aspect in one area, e.g. distribution and type of fire
extinguisher or noise levels, to create a map or plan.

Identify eight measures that can be used to

monitor an organisations health and safety


There are several indicators that an

organisation can use to assess different
Reactive performance measures include
accident and ill-health statistics, incidents of
reported near-misses and dangerous
occurrences, actions taken by the enforcement
authorities, and insurance claims.
Active measurements, on the other hand,
might include the results of inspection, safety
surveys, the quality and extent of risk
assessments, safety audit reports and the
results of health surveillance.

Outline the ways in which the health and

safety culture of an organisation might be
improved (8)


The safety culture could be improved by using variety of

For example the employer could establish a sound health
and safety policy and implement it consistently and
energetically. The management team should set the right
atmosphere by their own commitment to the safety and
health of those who work for them.
Employees should be consulted and involved in health and
safety arrangements, for example by appointing employee
representatives and setting up an effective safety
The employer should provide training and supervision to
ensure that workers understand the risks and controls
associated with their work, and are reminded to observe
safe working practices.
In addition, as far as he is reasonably able, the employer
should provide pleasant and comfortable working
conditions with good welfare facilities.

Explain the meaning of the phrase so far as

is reasonably practicable. (2)
State the duties of employers to fulfil their
duty of care to employees.(6)


The phrase describes a standard of duty. It

allows the employer to balance the cost of a
control measure in terms of the time effort
and money required to implement and
maintain it, against reduction in risks to
health and safety that the measure will
achieve. If the cost grossly outweighs the
improvement in safety the employer is
entitled to reject it.


Duties are:
To provide and maintain safe plant and systems of work
To ensure the safe use, storage, handling and transport
of articles and substances
To provide and maintain a safe workplace including safe
access and egress
To provide information, instruction, training and
supervision for employees
To provide a safe working environment with adequate
welfare facilities
To prepare a policy and revise it as necessary and bring
it to the attention of employees
To consult with appointed safety representatives and
form a safety committee when required to do so.


In relation to a workplace fire risk assessment, outline

the issues that should be taken into account when
assessing the means of escape. (8)


Issues which should be taken into account include

physical aspects of the means of escape. The widths of
travel routes and the travel distance to a place of safety
should be considered. The means of protecting
personnel against smoke should be identified. The
adequacy of safe condition signs and lighting should be
considered, as should be the effectiveness of doors to
protect against fire spread (e.g. by self-closing measures
and resistance to fire).
Other issues to consider would be the number of people
likely to use an escape route. The presence of visitors
should be take into account, who would be unfamiliar
with the workplace, and of persons with impaired
mobility, who may find it difficult to escape unaided.
The suitability and location of fire fighting equipment and
also the adequacy of assembly points should

Outline the advantages and disadvantages of carrying

out a health and safety audit of an organisations
activities by:
An internal auditor
ii. An external auditor


The possible advantages of using an internal auditor

would include familiarity with the workplace, its tasks
and processes, and an awareness of what might be
practicable for the industry.
The auditor would also know the members of the
workforce and be aware of their knowledge and
An internal auditor might not have the necessary
auditing skills or training, and may not be up to date with
relevant legislation and best practice for the
The auditor may be susceptible to pressure from
management and the workforce and also have time
constraints put on him.

An external auditor would be more likely to possess the
necessary skills and professional status. He would not
be inhibited from criticising management or workforce
where necessary.
The auditor, if selected carefully, would be more likely
to know the current standards and legislation relevant
to the organisation. He would be able to view the
organisation with a fresh pair of eyes.
However, he may be disadvantaged because of being
unfamiliar with the workplace and staff, may be treated
with hostility because he is an outsider, and may
suggest unrealistic or expensive improvements.

Identify FOUR active and FOUR reactive means by which an

organisation can monitor its health and safety performance (8)


Active monitoring methods include:

Safety audits, which should involve comprehensive and
independent studies of all aspects of an organisations health and
safety performance, set against stated objectives;
Safety surveys, which focus on a particular activity such as
manual handling, training or employee attitudes;
Safety sampling, where specific areas of occupational health and
safety are targeted.
Safety Tours, involving unscheduled workplace inspections to
check on issues such as housekeeping and the wearing of PPE.
Health surveillance, designed to check the effectiveness of control
measures by measuring for example the hearing of employees.


Reactive monitoring methods include:

The analysis of statistics on accidents, dangerous
occurrences, near misses and cases of occupational illhealth;
The assessment of the cost of these events, such as
damage to property and lost working time;
Reviewing the number and contents of enforcement
Reviewing the costs of civil claims pursued by injured
employees against the organisation.


a) Outline the benefits to an organisation of having a health and

safety committee.
b) Outline the reasons why a health and safety committee might
prove to be ineffective in practice
c) Identify a range of methods that an employer can use to
provide health and safety information directly to individual





Benefits would include:

demonstrates management commitment and in some countries
compliance with a legal requirement to consult with employees.
Facilitates consultation and communication
Provides a record of discussions that have taken place and may help to
enhance a positive safety culture.
Reasons why the committee may be ineffective:
Lack of management commitment frequent absence of managers from
No clear terms of reference for the committees function
No agenda or no minutes produced
An uneven balance between management and worker representation
Weak chairing of the meetings
Meetings cancelled or infrequent
Trivial topics for discussion
No access to health and safety expertise
Methods would include:
Notice boards, team briefings, training sessions, news letters, safety tours,
inclusion of information in wage packets, posters, one-to-one briefing

List the variety of training methods a trainer could use to improve

the effectiveness of a training session (6)


Case studies
Group exercises
Role play
Practical exercises


a) Explain the meaning of the term hierarchy of control. (2)

b) Outline, with examples, the standard hierarchy that should be
applied with respect to controlling health and safety risks in the



A list of measures to control risks, which are applied in the order of

effectiveness or importance.
Eliminate the hazard e.g.
Substitute with something less hazardous e.g.
Isolation e.g. enclosures, barriers or worker segregation
Engineering controls e.g. guarding, l.e.v., reduced voltage systems
Procedures and IITS
Hygiene and Welfare


Outline the factors to be taken into account to ensure an effective

witness interview following a workplace accident (8)


Effective witness interviews will be ensured if the following factors are considered:
Record the details of interviewer, witness, any other persons present, the place, date
and time of the interview
Record all significant facts and comments from the witness
Conduct the interview in private, ensuring no interruptions
Interview only one witness at a time
Reassure the witness that the purpose of the interview is to gather information, not
apportion blame
Set a relaxed open atmosphere to put the witness at ease
Choose a venue for the interview which will not intimidate the witness.
Use a checklist of prepared questions to help the interviewers memory
Use open questions where possible to draw information from the witness
Use plans, drawings records and photographs to help the witness to remember and
describe the events
Summarise the substance of the interview and obtain the witnesss agreement to your
Express your appreciation of the witnesss help.
Invite the witness to contact you with any other information they may have
Tell the witness what the next stage of the investigation will be.

Describe how an inspection report should be structured and

presented in order to make it more effective and to increase
the likelihood of action being taken by management (8)


The writer should bear the reader of the report in mind. Managers will require concise information
with clear findings, priorities (with justification), costings (in terms of time, effort and money)
and action points.
A simple structure for the report would consist of:
Introduction and background
This includes the title page, which should identify the writer and the subject. It should contain a
brief explanation of subject and scope of the report and the reason for its issue.
A summary provides the busy manager with an overview of the main findings and most important
actions recommended.
Main Body
This contains the detailed facts and findings, arranged in a logical readable order. The style should
be in plain English, and the writer should check carefully for any inaccuracy or inconsistency
in the detail of, for example, tables and graphs. Any overlooked errors will discredit the value
of the report.
These should be laid out in consistence with the main body. Recommendations should be
itemised, with clear actions, time frames and allocation of responsibility. Here may be added
the approximate cost of the recommendations. Priority should be given to the most urgent
issues. The reader may be referred to an Appendix for further detail.
The final section should remind the reader of the main points, urging action where required, and
offering further support and help

(a) Outline the strengths of using a checklist to complete a health

and safety inspection of a workplace
(b) Outline how safety inspections may be used to improve safety
performance within an organisation


(a) A checklist identifies the standards of conditions, equipment and behaviour

that should be present in the workplace
Substandard issues can be more easily highlighted
A scoring system can be used to indicate the seriousness of deficiencies
and hence the priority of required action.
The checklist can be tailored to the specific activities and equipment in a
work area.
It ensures that the inspection team do not overlook important factors or
concentrate to narrowly on some issues to the exclusion of more serious
(b) The workplace safety inspection is an active monitoring process which
identifies the safety status and what improvements may be necessary. It is
particularly useful in identifying workplace hazards and whether they are
satisfactorily controlled.
It will have a positive effect on the safety culture of the organisation, when
the management is seen to be committed to it, and the workforce is
consulted and included in the inspection.
Regularly practiced, it will provide a record of improvement or deterioration
which can quickly identified and acted on as necessary