NEBOSH IGC1 | Health & Safety Management Systems – Policy

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NEBOSH IGC1 Health & Safety Management Systems - Policy

NEBOSH IGC 1 Examiners Reports | Questions & Answers

Element 2: Health and Safety Management Systems: Policy

Question:

Describe the key features and appropriate content of an effective health and safety policy.

 Question:

  • Outline why it is important for an organization to set health and safety targets.
  • Identify health and safety targets that an organization could set.

Part (a)

  • Importance of setting targets in terms of health and safety performance in order to give evidence of management commitment;
  • To motivate staff by providing them with something tangible to aim for;
  • The important part they can play in facilitating the measurement and review of performance and for benchmarking against other like organizations.

Part (b)

Targets that an organization could set such as:

  • A reduction in the number of accidents and defined incidents;
  • An improvement in the reporting of near-miss incidents or minor accidents and inspection and audit scores;
  • A reduction in actions taken by the enforcement authorities and in the number of civil claims;
  • A reduction in sickness absence and absenteeism;
  • An improvement in the outcome of benchmarking of performance against like organizations;
  • A reduction in insurance costs;
  • An increase in the degree of worker involvement and additionally in the number of workers trained in health and safety.

Question:

Outline the circumstances that may require a health and safety policy to be reviewed.                                   

  • Circumstances that require a health and safety policy to be reviewed such as:
  • Significant changes in the structure of the organization and/or a change of premises;
  • After the introduction of new or changed processes or work methods;
  • Following changes in key personnel;
  • Following changes in legislation;
  • Where audits, risk assessments, monitoring exercises or accident investigations show that the policy is no longer effective or relevant;
  • As a result of consultation with the workforce;
  • Following enforcement action and after a sufficient period of time has elapsed since the previous review to suggest that another one is due.

Question:

  • Outline the purpose of three main sections of an organization’s health and safety policy.
  • Give reasons why the health and safety policy should be signed by the most senior person in an organization, such as Managing Director or Chief Executive Officer.

Part (a)

  • Statement of intent – which both demonstrates management’s commitment to health and safety and sets goals and objectives for the organization,
  • Organisation – the purpose of which is to allocate health and safety responsibilities within the company and to ensure effective delegating and reporting and finally,
  • Arrangements – section which sets out in detail the systems and procedures that show how the policy is to be implemented.

Part (b)

  • Signature of the most senior person in the organization would demonstrate management commitment
  • Give authority to the policy or that the person concerned ultimately had responsibility for health and safety in the organization.

Question:

Outline reasons why an organization should review its health and safety performance.

Reasons such as:

  • To identify substandard health and safety practices and conditions;
  • To identify trends in relation to different types of incident, or incidents in general by analysis of relevant incident data;
  • To compare actual performance with previously set targets;
  • To “benchmark” the organization’s performance against that of similar organizations or an industry norm;
  • To identify whether control measures are in use, to assess their effectiveness and to be able to make decisions on appropriate remedial measures for any deficiencies identified;
  • To identify any new or changed risks;
  • To assess compliance with legal requirements and accepted national/international standards;
  • To be able to provide a Board of Directors or safety committee with relevant information;
  • To boost morale and motivate the workforce;
  • Ultimately because monitoring and review is a vital component of any safety management system
  • It is essential if the system is externally accredited and audited by a specific body.

Question:

  • Outline the purpose of the “Statement of Intent” section of a health and safety policy.                          
  • Identify circumstances that would require a health and safety policy to be reviewed.

 Part (a)

Statement of intent – which both demonstrates management’s commitment to health and safety and sets goals and objectives for the organization,

Part (b)

Circumstances that would require a health and safety policy to be reviewed, such as:

  • Circumstances that require a health and safety policy to be reviewed such as:
  • Significant changes in the structure of the organization and/or a change of premises;
  • After the introduction of new or changed processes or work methods;
  • Following changes in key personnel;
  • Following changes in legislation;
  • Where audits, risk assessments, monitoring exercises or accident investigations show that the policy is no longer effective or relevant;
  • As a result of consultation with the workforce;
  • Following enforcement action and after a sufficient period of time has elapsed since the previous review to suggest that another one is due.

Question:

Outline what an organization may need to consider when setting health and safety objectives.

Organizational factors that may need to be considered such as

  • The size of the organization,

This question related to Element 4 of the syllabus and assessed candidates‟ knowledge of learning outcome 4.1: Explain the importance of planning in the context of health and safety management systems.

Question:

  • Outline the legal requirements whereby an employer must prepare a written health and safety policy.
  • Identify the three main sections of a health and safety policy document and explain the purpose and general content of each section.

Part (a)

An employer must prepare a written health and safety policy when he employs five or more persons.

Part (b)

  • Statement of Intent – which demonstrates management’s commitment to health and safety and sets goals and objectives for the organization),
  • Organisation – the purpose of which is to allocate health and safety responsibilities within the company
  • Arrangements – which sets out in detail the systems and procedures to show how the policy is to be implemented

 Question:

With reference to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999:

  • Outline the information that an employer must provide to his employees.
  • Identify four classes of persons, other than his own employees, to whom an employer must provide health and safety information.

Part (a)

The information on health and safety matters that an employer must provide to his employees under the requirements of regulation 10 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. This includes Information on:

  • The risks identified by risk assessment (and those notified to him by other employers sharing the same workplace);
  • The preventive and protective measures that are in place;
  • The organization’s emergency arrangements;
  • The identity of competent persons nominated to implement the emergency procedures.

Part (b)

Classes of persons who could have been identified include:

  • Other employers’ employees and self-employed workers working on the premises;
  • The employer of those other employees and any employer sharing the same workplace;
  • Temporary staff;
  • Parents of child employees or those on work experience;
  • Any employment business supplying the employer with temporary staff or contract labor.

Question:

Outline the reasons why an organization should monitor and review its health and safety performance.

Reasons such as:

  • To identify substandard health and safety practices and conditions (perhaps by means of workplace inspections);
  • to identify trends in relation to different types of incident, or incidents in general (by analysis of relevant incident data);
  • to compare actual performance with previously set targets; to ‘benchmark’ the organization’s performance against that of similar organizations or an industry norm;
  • to identify whether control measures are in use and to assess their effectiveness;
  • to be able to make decisions on appropriate remedial measures for any deficiencies identified; to set priorities and establish realistic timescales;
  • to assess compliance with legal requirements;
  • to be able to provide a Board of Directors or safety committee with relevant information.
  • An additional reason for monitoring and reviewing health and safety performance is quite simply because there is a legal requirement to do so under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Question:

  • Identify the legal requirements whereby employers must prepare a written statement of their health and safety policy.
  • Outline the various methods for communicating the contents of a health and safety policy to a workforce.

Part (a)

  • Employer’s duty under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act to prepare a health and safety policy and also to the exemption from the requirement for the policy to be in writing for those employing fewer than five employees.

Methods Include:

  • Giving employees their own personal copy of the policy or a summary of it;
  • Displaying the policy on noticeboards;
  • Explaining the content of the policy at team briefings or tool-box talks and during induction or refresher training courses;
  • Referring to the policy in internal newsletters, booklets, emails and intranet communications;
  • Making the policy an agenda item at meetings of the health and safety committee.

Question:

  • Explain the circumstances under which an employer must form a health and safety committee.
  • Give reasons why a health and safety committee may be ineffective.

Part (a)

The employer is required by law to form a health and safety committee when requested in writing by two or more trade union-appointed safety representatives.

Part (b)

A range of reasons include:

  • An uneven balance in management and employee representation;
  • A general lack of commitment by management and/or employee representatives;
  • Poor chairmanship;
  • No published agenda or minutes;
  • The infrequency or cancellation of meetings;
  • The unsuitability of the topics discussed;
  • No health and safety expertise available;
  • No access by the committee to decision-making processes.

Question:

Outline the issues that are typically included in the arrangements section of health and safety.

These included:

  • Systems of work;
  • Health and safety training;
  • Provision of protective equipment;
  • Specific types of hazard (e.g. machinery, hazardous substances, manual handling, fire, etc.);
  • Control of contractors;
  • Safety of visitors;
  • Accident reporting and investigation procedures; first-aid facilities;
  • Emergency procedures;
  • Employee consultation;

 

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