NEBOSH IG1 Revision Notes

If you want to enhance your knowledge and expertise in health and safety management, you’re in the right place. Our concise and comprehensive revision notes have been carefully curated to help you excel in the NEBOSH International General Certificate (IGC1) examination.

Whether you’re a student looking to pass the NEBOSH IGC1 exam with flying colors or a professional aiming to advance your career in health and safety, our revision notes offer a valuable resource for your preparation journey. With a focus on clarity, key concepts, and essential topics, we aim to simplify the learning process and equip you with the essential information required to succeed in this internationally recognized qualification.

Element 1:- Health and Safety Foundations

Accident Definition: – An unwanted, unplanned event which results in a loss of some kindIncident/Near miss: – An unwanted, unplanned event that had the potential to result in a loss

Hazard: – Something with the potential to cause harm

Risk: – The likelihood that harm will occur and the severity of the harm

Why manage health and safety

Moral, Legal, Financial

  • Reduced accidents
  • Reduced loss through damage to equipment
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Reduced insurance premiums
  • Improved morale
  • Improved company reputation
  • Reduced fines,
  • Reduced compensation claims
  • Increased likelihood of securing business

Law: – Civil and Criminal


Civil: – to compensate an injured party for loss as a consequence of an accident or ill health

Criminal: – To punish and deter individuals/Organisations from behaving in a way that society has decide is unacceptable

Fault Liability

  • There was a duty of care owed to the injured party.
  • The duty of care was breached (Negligence)
  • The breach cause the injury or loss

Employer to provide

  • Safe place of work and safe access and egress
  • Safe systems of work
  • Safe plant and equipment
  • Information, Instruction, Training and supervision
  • Safe and competent fellow workers

Hidden costs of accidents

  • Lost Time
  • Extra wages, overtime payments, temporary workers
  • Sick pay
  • Fines
  • Legal costs
  • Claims
  • Damage to equipment
  • Repairs to plant and equipment
  • Production delays
  • Loss of contracts
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Loss of business reputation

Variation of Legislation between countries caused by:-

  • Different legal systems
  • Different standards of legislation and enforcement
  • Different penalties for breaches
  • Religious and cultural issues
  • Knowledge of enforcement bodies
  • Funding of enforcement staff
  • Degree of monitoring/reporting to enforcement authorities
  • Political pressure

Sources of Information


  • Risk assessments
  • Policies
  • Inspection reports
  • Medical records
  • Health and safety committees
  • Plant registers
  • Safety advisors


  • Government bodies
  • National safety organisations
  • Suppliers and manufacturers
  • International standards
  • Consultants and specialists
  • Insurance companies

Successful Management Systems (HSG 65)

  • Policy:- Health and safety aims of the organisation, health and safety objectives and management commitment
  • Organising:- Competence, commitment and control, Co-operation, Communication
  • Planning and Implementation:- Identify hazards, assess risks, and decide how risks can be eliminated or controlled. Sets standards against which performance can be measured.
  • Measuring performance:- Be used as a means of determining the extent to which health and safety policy and objectives are being implemented and should be both reactive and proactive.
  • Reviewing:- Analysing data gathered through monitoring to see whether performance is adequate
  • Audit:- Systematic critical examination of each stage of an organisations management systems and procedures

OHSAS 18001: 1999

1) Health and safety policy

2) Planning

3) Implementation and operation

Control, Competence, Co-operation, Communication

4) Checking and corrective action

5) Management review.

Element 2:- Setting Policy for Health and Safety

What is a health and Safety policy:- A business plan for safety to prevent or reduce loss in an organisation.

Objectives of policy:- to protect people from injury and ill-health, comply with legal requirements and avoid prosecution and manage health and safety on a cost effective basis.

3 Elements of policy

  • Statement of intent:- A statement establishing the importance of health and safety in the organisation and providing targets and objectives for improvement
  • Organisation:- The roles and responsibilities of everyone in the organisation
  • Arrangements:- The arrangements for effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring of the organisations health and safety

Contents of Arrangements Section

  • Risk assessments
  • Fire policy
  • Evacuation procedures
  • Safe systems of work
  • Permits to work
  • First aid policy
  • Display screen policy
  • Manual handling policy
  • Hazardous chemicals policy
  • Fork truck policy



  • Identifies key performance indicators
  • Ensures monitoring procedures are effective
  • Feeds in to the continuous improvement cycle
  • Identify normal practice amongst similar business
  • Avoid making mistakes by learning from others
  • Generate management focus
  • Gains confidence of the stakeholders

Challenges of benchmarking

  • Selecting a company with similar activities
  • Assuring accuracy of data
  • Using common definitions
  • Accessing data
  • Gaining commitment

Management issues to benchmark

  • Health and safety policy
  • Staff roles and responsibility
  • Plans and strategies which can be measured
  • Risk assessments
  • Type of training
  • Monitoring, Proactive and reactive

Review of Policy

  • Accidents
  • Incidents
  • New equipment
  • New staff
  • New technology
  • New premises
  • Changes in legislation
  • Accident investigation
  • Enforcement action
  • Prosecution
  • Compensation claims
  • Periodic review

Ineffective policies

  • No management commitment
  • No objectives set to implement policy
  • Health and safety not given priority
  • Resources not provided to implement action
  • Aims and intentions not understood by personnel
  • Too much emphasis on employee responsibilities
  • No measurement that objectives are being met
  • Management unaware of their health and safety role
  • No management training

Element 3:- Organising for Health and Safety

Duties of Employers

  • A safe place of work
  • Safe work equipment and substances
  • Information, Instruction, Training and Supervision
  • Welfare provisions
  • Emergency procedures
  • Consultation with employees
  • Do not charge employees for health and safety measures

Duties of Employees

  • Do not endanger themselves and others
  • Co-operate with their employer
  • Consult with Employer
  • Report dangerous situations to Employer

Duties of Designers, Manufacturers and Suppliers

  • Ensure equipment is safe and without risks when being used
  • Ensure substances are safe and without risks when being used
  • Carry out any necessary tests
  • Provide information
  • Take reasonable steps to provide further information if new serious risks appear

Responsibilities of Safety Advisors

  • Be properly trained and qualified
  • Maintain adequate information systems
  • Be able to interpret the law applying to their organisation
  • Establish and maintain procedures for reporting, investigating, recording  and analysing accidents and incidents
  • Be able to present their advice effectively

Relationships outside the organisation

  • The enforcing authority
  • Fire/rescue service
  • Insurance companies
  • Contractors
  • External consultants
  • Engineers
  • Equipment manufacturers and suppliers
  • Clients and customers
  • The police
  • Members of the public
  • The media

Client’s duties to when work being done by Contractors

  • To consider the risks to their own employees from the work
  • The risks to the Contractors employees from the Clients activities
  • Risks to the public and others from the work

Contractor’s duties

  • To consider the risks to their own employees from the work
  • The risks to the client’s employees from their activities
  • Risks to the public and others from the work
  • To follow clients rules and procedures

Management of Contractors

  • Select a suitable contractor
  • Planning the job
  • Controlling contractors on site
  • Checking contractors work
  • Review contractors performance

Selecting a suitable Contractor

  • Experience of the type of work and industry
  • Suitable references
  • Enforcement record
  • Safety management such as Policy, risk assessments etc.
  • Accident and ill-health data
  • Membership of trade/professional bodies
  • Competence and training of employees
  • Arrangements for selection of sub-contractors
  • Arrangement for ongoing liaison with clients

Element 4:- Promoting a Positive Health and Safety Culture

Benefits of a positive culture

  • Increased levels of compliance with rules and procedure
  • Increased staff morale
  • Reduced staff complaints
  • Reduced staff turnover
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Reduced sickness and accident rates

Negative culture

  • Job insecurity
  • Reorganisation
  • Poor example set by management
  • Poor management decision making
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Poor working conditions

Internal influences on Health and safety

  • Competence
  • Commitment and control
  • Co-operation
  • Communication
  • Production/service demands

External Influences on Health and Safety

  • Society expectations
  • Political priorities
  • Legislation and enforcement
  • National or International agencies
  • Pressure groups
  • Insurance Companies
  • Workers unions
  • Stakeholders
  • Economic conditions

To improve culture

  • Senior management commitment
  • Ownership of health and safety at every level
  • Effective communication and consultation
  • Training for all levels of employee
  • Shared perception of risks
  • Standards of acceptable behaviour
  • Learning from experience through monitoring and review
  • Balance between health and safety and production

Personal factors that might place an individual at greater risk of harm while at work

  • Poor attitude
  • Low motivation
  • Physical capabilities
  • Poor perception of risk
  • Drugs or alcohol problems
  • Age related factors
  • Medical problems
  • Levels of training and experience

Attitude:- The tendency to respond in a particular way in a given situation

Factors that affect attitude

  • Background
  • Personality
  • Experience
  • Training
  • Competence
  • Peer group pressure
  • Management actions
  • Culture of the organisation

Perception: – The way that people interpret and make sense of presented information

Factors which may affect perception

  • The nature of the hazards
  • Previous experience
  • Over familiarity
  • Feeling of being in control
  • Level of training
  • Peer group pressure
  • Confidence in others ability
  • Personal characteristics

Motivation: – Motivation is the driving force behind the way a person acts in order to achieve a goal

What motivates people?

  • Reward
  • Fulfilment
  • Job satisfaction
  • Recognition
  • Peer approval
  • Threat of Discipline

Why person may fail to comply with safety procedures

  • Lack of motivation
  • Unrealistic working procedures
  • Lack of management commitment
  • Over familiarisation
  • Repetitive work leading to boredom
  • Peer group pressure
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Fatigue and stress
  • Lack of information, training and consultation
  • Job insecurity

Human Error causes

  • Slips
  • Lapses of attention
  • Mistakes
  • Violations

Reducing human error

  • Skilled competent workers
  • Well motivated employees
  • Clear roles and lines of responsibility
  • Adequate levels of supervision
  • Clear information and instructions
  • Drug and alcohol prevention policies
  • Good environmental conditions e.g. lighting, noise etc.
  • Avoiding monotonous work
  • Breaks to avoid fatigue

Promoting Safe behaviour

  • Discipline
  • Reward
  • Informing
  • Facilitate safe behaviour
  • Train


Sufficient Knowledge, Training, experience and any other qualities to carry out their functions


  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Training
  • Recognition of limitations

Checks to assess competence

  • Qualifications
  • Level of training
  • Membership of professional/trade organisations
  • Undertaking written or practical assessments
  • Seeking references or recommendations

When is training needed?

  • On recruitment (Induction)
  • On the job training
  • Transfer
  • New equipment
  • New technology
  • New systems of work or system changes

Induction Training programme content

  • Health and safety policy
  • Culture of organisation
  • Fire precautions
  • Emergency procedure
  • What accidents to be reported
  • How to report accidents
  • Hazards of the workplace
  • Drink and drugs policy
  • First aid precautions
  • Welfare provisions

Additional Training

  • New processes
  • New equipment
  • Accidents/incidents
  • Enforcement action
  • New legislation
  • Result of risk assessment
  • Newly promoted
  • Refresher training

Levels of supervision

  • Person’s skills and qualifications
  • Experience of the work involved
  • Age
  • Person’s attitude and aptitude
  • Nature and complexity of the task
  • Employee’s communication skills
  • Any special needs they may have

Barriers to communication

The person e.g.

  • Sensory impairment
  • Learning difficulties
  • Inexperience
  • Lack of motivation

The deliverer e.g.

  • Too much jargon, language or dialect
  • Ambiguity of the message
  • Too complex message
  • Lack of feedback

The place e.g.

  • High noise levels
  • Interference from PPE
  • Distractions

Methods of communication

  • Team briefings
  • Safety committee meetings
  • Health and safety representatives
  • Memoranda
  • Tool box talks
  • Newsletters
  • Standards/codes of practice
  • Work instructions
  • Posters
  • Notices
  • Electronic notice boards
  • Safety policy
  • Induction and other training

Written Communication

Written record


Can be referred to

Can convey complex ideas

Provide analysis

Many people in different locations

Can clarify or confirm oral

Forms basis of contracts

May not be read


To complex and jargon

Time to produce and expensive

Tends to be formal and distant

Does not provide feedback

Difficulty to modify

Does not allow for exchange of views


Oral communication



Close physical proximity

Allows for interchange

Provides instant feedback

May be more effective

Allows for contribution

No written record


Difficult to control

May reduce the quality of decision making through lack of time


Factors to consider in presentation of health and safety talk

  • The purpose of the talk
  • The audience
  • The training style
  • Number of trainees
  • The time available
  • The skills required by trainer
  • Training aid required
  • The suitability of the training facilities.



  • Low cost
  • Flexible
  • Brief
  • Used to enforce written instructions
  • Constant reminder


  • Need to be changed on regular basis
  • May become soiled
  • May be defaced
  • Can become out of date
  • May be seen as trivializing matters
  • May alienate people
  • Provide no feedback

Safety Representatives rights (ILO Convention) C155

  • Have access to all parts of the workplace
  • To be able to communicate with workers
  • Protection from dismissal
  • Protection from other prejudicial measures
  • To contribute to the decision making process
  • Free to contact enforcement agencies
  • Contribute to negotiations in health and safety matters
  • Given appropriate training
  • Given reasonable time to exercise their health and safety functions

Safety Committees Agenda

  • Study of accident/incident statistics
  • Examination of audit reports
  • Reports from enforcing authorities
  • Reports from workers representatives
  • Assist in the development of policies/procedures
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of training
  • Monitoring safety communications
  • Provide link with the enforcing authority

Effective Safety Committees

  • Right number of members
  • Right mix of members
  • Adequate authority
  • Right knowledge and expertise
  • Good communications
  • Suitable level of formality
  • Input from outside specialists
  • Limited individual input
  • Identified and agreed priorities
  • No trivia

Ineffective Committee opposite of above

Element 5:- Health and Safety Risk Assessment

Hazard: – Something with the potential to cause harm

Risk: – Likelihood that harm will occur and the severity of the harm

Suitable and Sufficient

  • Be proportionate to the level of risk
  • Ensure that all aspects of work activity are covered
  • Take account of the way the work is organised
  • Identify the significant hazards and risks
  • Evaluate the risks
  • Identify control measures
  • Enable priorities to be set
  • Residual risk low

Competence of Risk Assessor

  • Experience and training in risk assessment techniques
  • Knowledge of process or activity
  • Technical knowledge of the plant or equipment
  • Good communication and report writing skills
  • Ability to interpret legislation and guidance
  • Possess right attitude
  • Knows limitations

5 Steps to Risk Assessment

  • Identify the hazards
  • Decide who might be harmed and how
  • Evaluate the risks and the existing precautions
  • Record the findings
  • Review the assessment and revise if necessary

Identifying hazards

  • Task observation
  • Accident, ill-health or near miss data
  • Workplace inspections
  • Job safety analysis
  • Legal standards

Hierarchy of Control

  • Eliminate
  • Reduce
  • Isolate
  • Control
  • PPE
  • Discipline

When assessment should be reviewed

  • After an accident/incident
  • New equipment
  • Changes to equipment, plant, process
  • Changes in personnel
  • Changes in legislation
  • Result of monitoring or audit
  • Action by enforcing authority
  • New information becomes available

Why young persons at risk

  • Lack of experience and/or training
  • Body not fully developed
  • More likely to take risks
  • Respond to peer group pressure
  • Be over enthusiastic

Risks to Young Workers

  • Their physical condition
  • The workplace
  • Physical, Biological and chemical hazards
  • The work equipment
  • The organisation of work and processes
  • Health and safety training

Risks to New and expectant mothers

  • Ergonomic
  • Manual handling
  • Extremes of temperature
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Radiation
  • Chemical agents
  • Biological hazards
  • Working conditions

Risks to disabled workers

  • Reduced mobility for access and egress
  • Ability to access welfare facilities
  • Reduced sensory ability e.g. speech, hearing or eyesight
  • Reduced ability to lift, carry or move objects
  • Ergonomic hazards

Element 6:- Principles of Control in Health and Safety

General Principles of Prevention

  • Avoid the risk e.g. eliminate the hazard or task
  • Evaluate risks which cannot be avoided
  • Combat risks at source
  • Adapt the work to the individual
  • Adapt to technical progress
  • Replace the dangerous by the less dangerous
  • Develop a coherent prevention policy
  • Give collective measures priority over individual measure

General Hierarchy of Control

  • Eliminate
  • Reduce
  • Isolate
  • Control
  • PPE
  • Discipline

Benefits of PPE

  • Often low cost
  • Can be used as short term measure
  • Portable for worker away from base
  • Disposable PPE reduces risk of infection

Why PPE used as last resort

  • Does not eliminate the hazard
  • Does not reduce the hazard
  • Only protects the wearer
  • Always fail to danger
  • May introduce new hazards
  • Relies on worker to use it
  • May not be worn correctly
  • It may be uncomfortable
  • Worn for only part of task of shift
  • Wrong size
  • Used when damaged
  • Not properly maintained
  • Management may not enforce wearing

Selection of PPE

  • What are the hazards?
  • Type of equipment
  • Made to suitable standards
  • Comfort
  • Compatibility
  • Storage
  • Training
  • Cost

Factors affecting the wearing of PPE

  • Fit
  • Health of worker
  • Period of use
  • Comfort
  • Maintenance
  • Training
  • Interference
  • Management commitment
  • Peer pressure

Main types of PPE

  • Head protection
  • Eye protection
  • Foot protection
  • Hand and arm protection
  • Body protection
  • Respiratory protection

Safety Signs

  • Prohibition (Circular, Red, white background)
  • Warning (Triangular, Yellow black edging)
  • Mandatory (Circular, Blue white symbols)
  • Safe Condition (Green, White symbols)

Safe Systems of Work: – A step by step procedure for carrying out a task safely, identifying the hazards, assessing the risks and the precautions needed to eliminate or reduce the risks.

Factors/Developing safe systems of work

1) Select the task to be studied

2) Identify the hazards

3) Develop the safe system looking at:-


4) Implement system

5) Monitor the system

Permit to Work: – Is a formal written procedure requiring written confirmation that certain actions have been carried out to eliminate or control risks before a specific high risk activity is carried out

Where Permits needed

  • Confined spaces
  • Electricity
  • Hot work
  • Cold work

Operation of Permit to Work

  • Identify the task (Where and when)
  • Identify the hazards
  • List the precautions to eliminate or reduce the hazards
  • Additional precautions
  • Time limits
  • Issue by competent person
  • Receipt by person in charge of work
  • Completion
  • Cancellation

Confined Space: – Is any space where there is a specified risk of serious injury from hazardous substances or conditions within the space

What are the specified hazards in a confined space?

  • Fire or explosion
  • Loss of consciousness due to increased body temperature
  • Loss of consciousness due to asphyxiation
  • Drowning
  • Asphyxiation due to free flowing solids

Confined space examples: – Cellars, Excavations, Sewers, Silos, Tanks, Vats

Avoiding entry

  • Modify confined space so entry not required
  • Have work done from outside

Precautions for working in a confined space

  • Permit to work
  • Competent staff
  • Appoint a supervisor
  • Isolate
  • Ensure suitable size of entry
  • Gas purging
  • Ventilation
  • Regular testing of the atmosphere
  • Special tools and lighting
  • PPE
  • Communications
  • Limit working time
  • Emergency procedures

Lone Worker Hazards to be considered

  • Work location
  • Type of work
  • The equipment
  • Manual handling
  • Sex of the worker
  • Emergency facilities
  • Lack of Training
  • Lack of Supervision
  • Limited communication

Precautions for lone workers

  • Information on hazards
  • Training to deal with hazards
  • Regular contact
  • Supervisors regularly visiting
  • Automatic warning devices
  • Check the worker has returned home
  • PPE
  • Emergency action if worker becomes ill

First-Aid: – aim is to preserve life, prevent deterioration and promote recovery

Assessment for first-aid requirements

  • The nature of the work and the size of the organisation
  • Past history and accident type
  • The nature and distribution of the workforce
  • Remoteness of site from emergency medical services
  • The needs of travelling, remote or lone workers
  • Employees working on shared sites
  • Absence of first aiders due to holidays etc.
  • Compliance with legal requirements

Element 7:- Investigation, Recording and Reporting

Of Health and Safety Incidents

Reasons to investigate accidents

  • Prevent future accidents by identifying and eliminating the causes
  • Demonstrate concern about people’s health and safety
  • Improve worker morale
  • Identify weaknesses in management time
  • Prevent business loses
  • Collate accident and ill-health data and identify trends
  • Defend criminal cases
  • Defend claims for compensation

Accident: – An unplanned, unwanted event which results in a loss

Incident (Near Miss):- An unplanned, unwanted event that has the potential to result in loss

Why consider near misses

Near misses indicate that the potential for serious accidents is present and by reacting to the near misses they will prevent them.

Domino Theory:- It has been suggested that the events leading up to an accident are like a row of dominos and by removing dominos the accident will not occur.

Actions following Accident


  • Treatment for injured personnel
  • Make the area safe
  • Initiate emergency plan
  • Contact emergency services
  • Preserve scene for investigation
  • May have to notify enforcing authority


  • Identify witnesses
  • Report details to senior management
  • Report details to insurance company

Longer Term

  • Decide the depth of the investigation and select team
  • Gather evidence at the scene
  • Interview witnesses
  • Examine documents
  • Appoint specialists if necessary

Composition of Investigation team

  • Supervisors and line managers from department where accident occurred
  • A senior manager from another department
  • Health and Safety professionals
  • Specialists e.g. Engineers
  • Representative of workers
  • Employee experienced in the work activity.

Reasons why records should be kept

  • To prevent a recurrence
  • Monitoring purposes
  • Legal reasons
  • Occupational ill-health may take years to occur
  • Civil claims

Reporting of accidents

  • Report to enforcing authority
  • Injuries involving lost time
  • Dangerous occurrences
  • Occupational diseases

Information in Report

  • Who is injured person?
  • Where the accident happened
  • When it happened
  • What happened?
  • Why it happened
  • Documentation
  • Evidence
  • Recommendations

Element 8:- Monitoring, Review and Audit of Health and Safety Performance


Active Monitoring


Takes key performance indicators and compares them externally with similar organisations or industry standards

Workplace Inspections

A formal, structured examination possibly by a team of people of the working environment that identify hazards that are not controlled

Limitations of inspections

  • Some hazards are not visible
  • Some hazards not always present
  • Unsafe practices not seen

Types of inspections

  • General workplace inspections
  • Statutory inspections
  • Compliance inspections

People who carry out inspections

  • Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Health and Safety advisors
  • Employee safety representatives
  • Enforcement agencies

Inspection Checklist

  • Condition of processes and plant
  • Contractors
  • Electrical
  • Environmental conditions
  • Fire protection
  • First aid
  • Hand held tools
  • Hazardous substances
  • Housekeeping/cleanliness
  • Lifting equipment
  • Manual handling
  • Machinery guarding
  • Noise etc.

Safety Sampling

A random exercise in which assigned observers walk in allotted timescale noting incidence of health and safety defects on pre-prepared sheets

Safety Tours

An unscheduled examination of a workplace to look for acceptable standards. A tour can be carried out by a Manager and demonstrates commitment to safety


A thorough examination of the performance of the health and safety management systems, procedures.

Audits look at Management systems, Procedures, Training, documentation such as safe systems, Permits to work, Interview selected employees as well as examining the workplace.

Reactive Monitoring

  • Accidents
  • Incidents
  • Ill-health statistics
  • Near misses
  • Dangerous occurrences
  • Complaints by workforce
  • Enforcement action
  • Prosecutions
  • Civil claims