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NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational

Safety and Health

Unit IGC1

Element 4: Health and Safety

Management Systems - Planning
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this element, you should be able to demonstrate
understanding of the content through the application of knowledge to familiar
and unfamiliar situations. In particular you should be able to:

• Explain the importance of planning in the context of health and safety

management systems

• Explain the principles and practice of risk assessment

• Explain the general principles of control and basic hierarchy of risk

reduction measures

• Identify key sources of health and safety information

• Explain what factors should be considered when developing and

implementing a safe system of work for general activities

• Explain the role and function of a permit-to-work system

Unit IGC1
Element 4.1

• The Importance of Planning

• 3rd Step in ILO-OHS
• Part of PDCA cycle
• Essential in the
management of
health and safety
SMART Objectives
• Specific - clearly defined, precise
• Measurable - towards a target, quantified
• Achievable - it can be done
• Reasonable - within timescale and resources
• Time-bound - deadline, timescale

e.g. review all 48 risk

assessments within a
12 month period
Group Discussion Point
Give an example of an objective which
isn’t SMART

Now give a SMART alternative

Setting Objectives
• Setting objectives requires consideration
– Who is setting objectives?
– Managers? Safety advisors?
• How will objectives be set at each functional
– Cascaded throughout organisation
– Linked to personal targets and appraisals?
• Legal and other requirements
– May link objectives to standards
Setting Objectives
• Requires consideration of:
– Hazards and risks
– Objectives aim to control risks in organisation
– Technological options available
– Adopt new technology
– Financial/operational/business requirements
– Integrate H&S with business objectives
– Views of interested parties
– Employees through consultation
– Other stakeholders
Keeping Up To Date
Essential to be up to date
– Especially with law
Various methods including:
– HSE newsletters -
– EU law-
– Websites -
– Practitioner publications and subscriptions
– Conferences
End of Section Quiz
1. What are SMART objectives
2. How can safety and health
practitioners keep up to date with
legal requirements?
Unit IGC1
Element 4.2

Principles and Practice of Risk Assessment

Legal Requirements

 ILO Convention C155 Article 15

 Imposes a duty to ensure a workplace is
so far as is reasonably practicable
without risk to employees.
Reasonable Practicability
• “reasonable practicability”
– balance of cost vs risk of harm
– Cost is time, effort and money

• Basis of a risk assessment

Hazard and Risk

Hazard - something with

the potential to cause

Risk - the likelihood that a

hazard will cause harm -
likelihood linked with
Whole Group Activity
• In 5 minutes identify as many hazards
as possible present in the training
Hazard Categories
• Physical
– E.g. electricity, noise, vibration, radiation,
• Chemical
– E.g. mercury, solvents, carbon monoxide
• Biological
– E.g. legionella bacteria, hepatitis
• Ergonomic
– E.g. manual handling, repetitive tasks
• Psychological
– E.g. stress, violence
Objectives of Risk Assessment
• Death and personal injury
• Other types of loss
• Breaches of statute law
which might lead to
enforcement action
and/or prosecution
• The direct and indirect
costs that follow on from
Types of Incident

• Accident
• Injury accident
• Damage only accident
• Near-miss
• Dangerous occurrence
• Work related Ill-health
Relationship Between
Incident Types

Hazard Near Miss Injury

•published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the
•Government Licence v1.0
Accident Ratios

Frank Bird Accident Triangle

Risk Assessors

• Competent people
– training, knowledge, experience
• Team approach is beneficial
– workers familiar with tasks
– H&S specialists
– technical specialists
– line managers
– worker safety representatives
Suitable and Sufficient
Risk Assessment
• State the name/competence of assessor
• Identify significant hazards and risks
• Identify persons at risk
– Workers and others e.g. visitors and vulnerable
• Evaluate current controls
• Identify additional controls
• Enable employer to priorities controls
• Appropriate to nature of work
• Proportionate to risks
• State time period valid
The 5 Steps to Risk Assessment
Step 1: Identify the Hazards
Safety Health
Physical injury: Occupational disease or ill-health:
• Slips, trips and falls • Physical
• Falling objects • Chemical
• Collisions • Biological
• Trapping/crushing • Ergonomic
• Machinery • Psychological
• Electricity
• Transport
• Chemicals
• Drowning
• Asphyxiation
• Fire/explosion
• Animals
• Violence
Hazard Identification
• Task Analysis
– analyses job components before
the job starts
• Legislation
– standards, guidance documents
• Manufacturers' Information
– safe use, maintenance, cleaning
• Incident Data
– accidents, near-misses, ill-health
Task Analysis
S elect the task
R ecord the stages of the task
E valuate risks associated with each stage
D evelop the safe working method
I mplement the safe working method
M onitor to ensure effectiveness
Step 2: Identify the People at Risk

• Employees
• Maintenance staff
• Cleaners
• Contractors
• Visitors
• Members of the public
(also trespassers)
Vulnerable Groups

People at Special Risk:

• Young people
• New or expectant mothers
• Disabled workers
• Lone workers
Step 3: Evaluate the Risk
What is risk?
It is a measure of the likelihood of harm
occurring and the severity of that harm. Or
to put it more simply:

Risk = Likelihood × Severity

Step 3: Evaluate the Risk
The Risk Evaluation can be:
● Qualitative (based on
Uses words to
describe likelihood
and severity, e.g. high,
medium, low, etc.

● Semi-Quantitative
Uses words and
numbers to describe
likelihood and
Step 3: Evaluate the Risk
Likelihood Severity

1 = extremely unlikely 1 = very minor

2 = unlikely 2 = first-aid injury

3 = possible 3 = lost time injury

4 = likely 4 = hospital treatment

5 = very probable 5 = disabling injury

Risk Assessment Matrix
Semi-Quantitative Risk Evaluation
Advantages of semi-quantitative risk evaluation:
• Clarity of thinking
• Consistency of approach
• Prioritisation
• Timescale

Risk Rating Action and Timescales

15 and above Unacceptable
9 to 14 Tolerable
5 to 8 Tolerable (must be reduced to
below 5)
4 or below Acceptable
Residual, Acceptable and Tolerable
If risk is unacceptable, more action is
If risk is lower it may be tolerable for a
short period of time
If risk is acceptable the risk is adequately
Guidance and Legal Standards
What does national law require?
• Sometimes there are very
clear regulations and codes of
practice to be met.
• Often there is no set standard
in law – but guidance may be
• Can you think of who might
provide guidance?
Guidance and Legal Standards
• International
• National legislation
• Industry standards
• Guidance from
General Control Hierarchy
• Remove the source of the risk
Eliminate the hazard • The most effective option

• Engineering solutions
Create a safe place • provide physical protection
• Safe working methods
Create a safe person • Relies heavily on safe behaviour
General Control Hierarchy
E R I C Prevents Death (ERIC PD)
E liminate the hazard
R educe or substitute the hazard
I isolate (people from the hazard/ the hazard from
C ontrol exposure (safe conditions, engineering,
P ersonal protective equipment
D iscipline (SSOW, training, supervision, enforcement)
Priorities and Timescales
• High risk = high priority actions

• Low risk = low priority

BUT risk and timescale are not the same:

• Low cost, easy actions should be done
even if low priority
• Medium priority still needs rapid action
Step 4 –Record Significant Findings
• Typical content:
• Activity/area assessed and hazards
• Groups at risk
• Evaluation of risks and adequacy of existing
control measures
• Further precautions needed
• Date and name of
competent person
• Review date
Step 5 - Review
Significant change in:
• Process
• Substances
• Equipment
• Workplace environment
• Personnel
• Law
If it is no longer valid
• Accident
• Near miss
• Ill-health
• Periodically e.g. annually
Group Syndicate Exercise
Lawn Mowing
Using task analysis, prepare a brief risk
assessment suggest control measures to
reduce the risks involved with this activity
Use the 5x5 risk matrix we covered earlier
Alternative Group Syndicate Exercise

•In groups, carry out a risk assessment on

these premises:
• Use Steps 1 to 4
• Use a quantitative scoring system
•Present your findings to the other groups in
20 minutes.
Young Persons
• Under 18 (national law)
• Lack of experience
• Physical and mental maturity
• Poor risk perception
• Influenced by peer group
• Eager
• Control measures:
– prohibit certain high risk activities, e.g. high risk
– restrict work patterns and hours, e.g. no overtime
– train and supervise
Pregnant Workers
• Hazards:
• Certain chemicals, e.g. lead
• Certain biological agents, e.g. rubella virus
• Manual handling
• Temperature extremes
• Whole body vibration
• Ionising radiation
• Night shifts
• Stress
• Violence
Disabled Workers

• Identify:
• Health and fitness criteria
for some jobs
– e.g. eyesight requirements to
drive forklift trucks
• Workers with known
– What are the implications of
their disability?
Lone Workers
•Workers especially
vulnerable and more at
• Of violence
– e.g. prison officer, mental
health nurse
• If they are injured or ill
– e.g. confined space entry
End of Section Quiz
1. Define “hazard” and “risk”
2. Define “accident” “injury accident” and
“near miss”
3. What are the 5 steps to risk assessment?
4. What should a suitable and sufficient risk
assessment contain?
5. Who should be considered in a risk
6. How is risk evaluated?
Unit IGC1
Element 4.3
• General Principles of Control and Basic Hierarchy of Risk Control Measures
General Principles of Prevention
• Avoid risks
• Evaluate risks which cannot be avoided
• Control hazards at source
• Adapt work to suit the individual
• Adapt to technical progress
• Replace dangerous with less/non dangerous
• Coherent/overall prevention policy
• Give priority to collective protective measures
• Give appropriate instructions to employees
Safe Place/Safe Person
• Collective protective measures
Protect the whole workplace and
everyone in it
• Safe place
Design, selection and engineering
of premises, plant, machinery,
equipment, processes and substances
– Technical
• Safe person – Procedural
Competence of workers who – Behavioural
have received adequate information,
instruction and training and follow safe
systems of work
Technical, Procedural and Behavioural
• Controls can be further classified as:
• Technical
– Equipment and engineered solutions
• Procedural
– Safe systems of work, procedures, permits
• Behavioural
– Training, awareness, competence
Hierarchy of Control
• Elimination
• Substitution
• Engineering controls
– isolation, total enclosure
– separation, segregation
– partial enclosure
– safety devices
• Administrative controls
– safe systems of work
– reduced exposure
– reduced time of exposure, dose
– information, instruction, training and supervision
• Personal Protective Equipment
Hierarchy of Control
E liminate the hazard
R educe or substitute the hazard
I solate (people from hazard/ hazard from people)

C ontrol exposure (engineering, procedures)

P ersonal protective equipment
D iscipline (SSOW, training, supervision,

ERIC Prevents Death

Worked Example – Cleaning the
• Current chemical is corrosive (burns)
– Eliminate – don’t clean the oven? Buy a
new oven? Don’t use chemicals?
– Substitute the corrosive chemical for a less
hazardous one?
– Isolate – keep others out of the kitchen
– Procedures – follow instructions on tin
– PPE – wear gloves as per instructions
Group Syndicate Activity
• You are the manager of a large,
commercial bakery. You have recently
discovered that flour dust can be harmful
to the health of your workers.
• Flour is currently added by hand from
sacks. Assume no other controls are
• Using the hierarchy of control, identify
possible controls to reduce the risk of dust
Group Syndicate Activity
• You are the manager of a domestic
window cleaning company.
• You are concerned by the potential for
injuries due to falls from height
• Using the hierarchy of control, identify
possible controls to reduce the risk of
Safety Signs

Prohibition Warning Mandatory

Safe Condition Fire Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992
• Supply suitable PPE:
– appropriate for risk
– ergonomic
– fits
– doesn’t increase overall risk
– complies with standards
• Ensure compatibility of items
• Suitable storage
• Information, instruction and training
• Enforce use of PPE
• Replace or repair damaged or lost items
Whole Group Exercise
Discuss the benefits and limitations of
PPE as a risk control method
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Benefits of PPE Limitations of PPE
• Interim control •Doesn’t remove hazard
• Some situations •Only protects the wearer
only control •Requires good fit
option •Relies on wearer
•Requires training
• Emergency back
•May increase overall risk
• Cheap (short •Incompatibility
term) •Unpopular so often unworn
• Immediate •Fails to danger
protection •No good if wrongly selected
•Expensive long term
End of Section Quiz
1. Outline the general hierarchy of
Unit IGC1
Element 4.4

• Sources of Health and Safety Information

Sources of Information

Sources can be
• Internal
• External
... to the organisation

List all the internal and external sources

you can think of and discuss them
Sources of Information
Internal External
– Accident records • National legislation
– Medical records • Safety data sheets
– Risk assessments • Codes of practice
– Maintenance reports • Guidance notes
– Safety inspections • Operating instructions
– Audit reports • Trade associations
– Safety committee • Safety publications
Source Organisations
International Labour Organisation (UN)

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (USA)
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU)
Health and Safety Executive (UK)
Worksafe (Western Australia)
End of Section Quiz
1. What internal sources of health and
safety information are there within an
2. What external sources of information
are there?
Unit IGC 1
Element 4.5

• Development of Safe Systems of Work

Safe System of Work

Formal Systematic
Recorded Examination of work

Hazards Safe methods

Identified Defined
Roles and Responsibilities
• Role of the Employer
– Ensure SSoW are available for activities that
create significant risk e.g. maintenance
• Competent Persons
– Developed by people who can identify and
control hazards
• Workers
– Involved in development of SSoW
– Gains commitment, helps culture
Group Discussion Point
• Why do you think it may be beneficial
to have written procedures?
Written Procedures
• Written procedures:
– Ensure consistency
– Provides a basis for training
– Establishes a standard (can be checked)
– Provide a written record for incident
investigations/regulatory inspections
• Can be in many forms
– Checklists
– Short notes
– Detailed manuals
Technical, Procedural and Behavioural
• Safe system of work will contain:
– Technical controls
– “things and stuff”
– Equipment provided/engineering controls
– Procedural controls
– Often explain the correct use of technical
– Behavioural controls
– How the workers behave
– Training and supervision
Developing SSoW - PEME
• People – competence, ability
• Equipment – plant, equipment, PPE
• Materials – substances, articles, waste
• Environment – space, lighting, heating
Developing Safe Systems of Work
Worked example – The Steps In
Changing a Wheel
• Step 1 – park the car in a safe location
• Step 2 – remove equipment from boot
• Step 3 – loosen wheel nuts
• Step 4 – jack up car
• Step 5 – remove wheel nuts
• Step 6 – replace wheel and wheel nuts
• Step 6 - lower car, remove jack
• Step 7 – tighten wheel nuts
• Step 8 - replace equipment in boot
Identifying Controls
• For each step:
– First identify the hazards
– Then identify the controls
• So Step 1 (changing wheel) might have:
– Hazards – traffic, risk of violence
– Controls – select location off road if
possible, use hazard lights, if feel area is
unsafe/at night or if vulnerable group, call
recovery service and stay in car.
Group Discussion Activity
• Suggest hazards and controls for each
step of the worked example “changing
a wheel”
Implementing Controls
• Often most difficult stage!

• Consultation and engagement helps

gain buy-in from workers

• Allow concerns to be raised and

addressed during development
Instruction, Training and Monitoring

• Information, Instruction, Training and

Supervision (IITS)!

• May need detailed training in the SSoW

• Must monitor to ensure:

– SSoW is being applied correctly
– SSoW is as safe as was intended!
Optional Group Syndicate Activity

• Using SREDIM, develop a simple safe

system of work for the task allocated to
your group:
– Making a cup of tea
– Making a batch of cement with a cement
– Painting a ceiling (emulsion)
Specific Examples of SSoW
• Confined spaces

• Lone working

Using PEME
• Travelling abroad principles,
what should
be included in
a SSW for
Confined Space
• Enclosed in nature
(ventilation will be
restricted and access/
egress may be difficult)
• One or more foreseeable
specified risks exist
– Fire or explosion
– Loss of consciousness from gas, fumes, vapour, lack
of oxygen
– Drowning
– Asphyxiation from free flowing solid
– Loss of consciousness from temperature
Confined Space Control Measures
• Do not work inside a confined space if possible
• Carry out a risk assessment
• Develop safe system of work
• Emergency arrangements
• Permit-to-work
• Trained personnel
Safe System of Work for Confined
• Supervision • Isolation, lock off of
• Competency electrical/mechanical
• Communication
• Atmospheric
testing/monitoring • Access/egress
• Ventilation • Fire prevention
• Removal of residues • Lighting
• Isolation, lock off of in- • Suitability of individuals
feeds and out-feeds • Emergency/rescue
Lone Workers

“Workers who are separated from their

work colleagues”
• Lack assistance if things go wrong
• Communication with colleagues more difficult,
– out of eyesight
– out of earshot
Group Discussion
• Give as many examples of lone workers
as you can in 1 minute
Lone Working Examples
• Maintenance workers
• Service engineers e.g. gas, appliance
• Garage forecourt attendants
• Trainers / tutors
• Security guards
• Receptionists (sometimes)
• Social workers/carers
• Health visitors/district nurses
• Painters/decorators
• Sales representatives (on the road)
Safe System of Work for Lone Working

• No lone working for high risk activities, e.g. confined

• Remote supervision
• Logging workers’ locations
• Mobile phones or radios
• Lone worker alarm systems
• Procedures for lone workers
• Emergency procedures
• Training for workers
Working and Travelling Abroad
• Not the same as a holiday!
– Brings additional hazards
• Risks when travelling related to
– Security
– Health
• Workers may also be “lone workers”
• Some areas are not recommended for
travel – see local websites e.g FCO at
Working Abroad
Employers have a duty to workers whom
they send to work abroad and should
• Pre- and post-visit briefings
• Insurance
• Health advice and vaccinations
• Financial arrangements
• Security training and advice
• Cultural requirements advice
• Accommodation
• In-country travel
• Emergency arrangements
• 24-hour contacts
Standards for Safe Systems of Work

• Safe Work in Confined Spaces


• Safety in the Global Village

IOSH information sheet (1999)
End of Section Quiz
1. What is a safe system of work?
2. Who is responsible for developing safe
systems of work?
3. What are the advantages of a written
procedure over a verbal one?
4. What are the key steps in carrying out a
task analysis before developing a safe
system of work (SREDIM)
5. What controls might be implemented to
ensure the safety of lone working social
Unit IGC1
Element 4.6
• The Role and Function of a Permit-to-Work System
Permit-to-Work System
A formal, documented safety procedure, forming
part of a safe system of work
Typical applications:
● Hot work (involving naked flames
or creation of ignition sources)
● High voltage electrical systems
● Confined space
● Operational pipelines
● Excavation near buried services
● Complex machinery
● Working at height
Consists of 4 elements:
1. Issue

2. Receipt

3. Clearance/return to service

4. Cancellation

May also be an extension

Permit-to-Work System
• Issue – Pre Job Checks
– Description of work to be carried out
– Description of plant and location
– Assessment of hazards
– Identification of controls
– Additional permits e.g. hot work
– Isolation of services
– Emergency procedures
Permit-to-Work System
• Receipt – handover of permit
– Competent and authorised person issues
permit to workers
– Workers sign to say they accept controls
• Work can now start
• Plant is now under the control of the
Permit-to-Work System
• Clearance – hand back of permit
– Workers sign to say they have left the job
site and equipment can restart.

• Cancellation
– Authorised person accepts plant back and
can remove isolations etc.
• Plant is now returned to the control of
the “site”
Importance of Permit Control
• Poorly implemented
permits are useless
• Piper Alpha disaster was
the failure of a permit to
work system
• People must be trained Government Licence v1.0
in use doc/open-government-licence/):

• Permits never issued

from a desk
• System must be
Hot Work Controls
• Remove flammable materials
• Fire retardant blankets/screens
• Floor swept of debris
• Floors damped down if necessary
• Fire extinguishers at hand
• “Fire watcher” present
• Post work checks to ensure
no smouldering embers
Work on Live Electrical Systems

• Work must be justified

– Not possible to work dead
• Precautions in place
• Workers are competent
Confined Spaces
• Risk assessment by competent person
• Controls implemented (already
• Safe system of work
• Emergency arrangements
Machinery Maintenance
• Work is carefully planned and
– May be several people working
• Hazards are communicated
• Services are isolated and locked off
• Stored energy is released
• Workers are competent
Work at Height
• Avoidance if possible
• Prevention of falls by using
– safe platform with adequate edge
• Minimise distance and consequence of
– PPE and fall arrest devices
• Weather conditions considered
– Wind, ice/snow
End of Section Quiz
1. What types of work require a permit
to work?
2. What are the key features of a permit
to work document?
3. What are the main limitations of a
permit to work system?