NEBOSH IGC 4 August 2021 SCENARIO
You are the manager at a car tyre fitting organisation that has been operating for 2 years. You are also responsible for overseeing all health and safety matters. This includes ensuring legal compliance, which in turn partly avoids enforcement action and any associated criminal or civil proceedings against the organization. You want to avoid any corresponding punitive measures from courts such as fines, especially as the media publicize court decisions.
You are regularly seen in the tyre fitting workshop, talking informally to trained workers about health and safety. You have a lot of experience in tyre fitting and temporarily cover for other workers when they are absent due to occasional sickness or annual leave. You do not expect others to do work that you are not prepared to do yourself. Your workers trust and respect you for this and you trust and respect them too. Although the workshop needs to be profitable, the way things are done is ‘safety first’ and this is reflected in the behaviour of the workforce.
You have worked extremely hard in managing risks beyond legal and accredited standard requirements. Because of this you were instrumental in achieving certification of the organisation’s health and safety management system. You are proud to have received zero non-conformities when externally audited. Suitable risk assessments and associated safe systems of work are understood by the workforce (all developed with input from the workers). Workers receive adequate health and safety information and inductions. You use the latest technology and equipment for tyre fitting. Your approach is to achieve zero lost time accidents each year, which you believe is a realistic goal. You frequently carry out workplace inspections and foster a culture of incident reporting and investigation that identifies root causes to prevent repeat incidents.
The workshop is open to the public from 09:00 – 17:00 from Monday to Saturday. It has a single tyre fitting bay where there is room for two cars to be worked on at any given time. Cars can be driven in to, and out of, the workshop through an open roller shutter door at the rear of the building. There is also pedestrian access from the workshop to the front office. The cars are driven onto a four-post vehicle lift, from where they can be inspected and maintained. There is a car park at the front and rear of the workshop for waiting vehicles. Cars are collected from either car park by either you (as manager) or by one of the five tyre fitters employed by the organisation.
The front pedestrian entrance to the building leads onto a short corridor, the walls of which are mounted with framed documents including a health and safety management system certificate, the health and safety policy, and public liability insurance. The corridor leads straight ahead into the workshop via a fire door, or to a customer waiting room (to the left) accessed through another door. The waiting room contains a small counter, behind which is an office, where the manager or one of the tyre fitters can take customer orders.
A customer is in the waiting room awaiting a report from the tyre fitter about the condition of their tyres. The tyre fitter returns and reports that the rear tyre has a slow puncture, but also explains that there is some uneven wear on the inside and outside of the two front tyres. The extent of the wear means that they are below the legal limit and need replacing. The tyre fitter invites the customer into the workshop to view the wear. They take the customer to the car, which is still raised up on the four- post vehicle lift.
While underneath the vehicle, pointing out the uneven tyre wear, the tyre fitter trips over a pneumatic impact wrench (used to remove car wheel nuts) that was lying on the floor, and strikes their head hard against one of the posts of the four-post lift. They fall onto the floor unconscious, with blood trickling from a head wound and the customer frantically gestures to other tyre fitters for help. One of the tyre fitters, who is also a trained first-aider, has seen the accident and immediately instructs a fellow tyre fitter to telephone the emergency services. The first-aider removes the impact wrench trip hazard and anything else they think is dangerous. They apply first aid, place the injured worker in the recovery position and then closely monitor them. You are alerted to the accident and go to check that the first-aider can remain with the unconscious worker until help arrives. You then calmly escort the customer to the waiting room. The customer is a little shaken and upset so you make them a cup of coffee and sit with them in the waiting room.
The ambulance arrives and the injured worker is taken to the local hospital. You continue to comfort the customer and instruct the other tyre fitters to stop work and leave everything in the workshop as it is for the time being. When the customer finishes the cup of coffee, and as soon as they appear to be more composed, you move them to the relative privacy of the office area. You ask the customer what happened and record what they say using the voice recorder on your mobile phone (having requested permission to do so). You then ask the first-aider to sit with the customer while you re-visit the accident scene. You record your observations (again using the voice recorder on your mobile phone) and take some photographs at the accident scene. You then return to the office, inform the customer that the work on their car will be completed as soon as possible, and ask the first-aider for their recollection of events associated with the accident.
Later, you telephone the next of kin and you are informed that the worker is in intensive care, having been diagnosed with a fractured skull and a possible brain haemorrhage. You notify the enforcement authority of the accident, submitting an online report form. Over the coming days you complete the accident investigation and communicate the findings to the workers.
The injured tyre fitter spends the next 6 weeks in hospital. They eventually return to work after a total of 60 lost working days. You are aware of the rising trend of personal accident compensation claims and associated payments, services for which are widely advertised in the media. About the same time, you receive a visit from a labour inspector. You welcome the inspector, remarking that any advice on improving health and safety would be constructively received; although secretly you are afraid of receiving an enforcement order and being prosecuted.
The inspector discusses health and safety with the workers who demonstrate familiarity with the health and safety policy, risk assessments and emergency procedures. The inspector also examines your accident report book, health and safety policy, risk assessments, safe systems of work, training records, any complaints from workers, and emergency procedures. They also discuss the on-line incident report you submitted at the time of the accident. At the end of their visit, the inspector offers advice to install wall-mounted holders for impact wrenches and say they will be in touch soon. As promised, they telephone you and discuss their investigation findings; they follow this up by emailing you a full report.
Task 1: Actions of a labour inspector
|1||It is common for the labour inspectorate to ask labour inspectors to visit a workplace following notification of a workplace injury.|
|(a) What are the functions of labour inspection?||(5)|
|(b) What are the actions the labour inspector could take following the visit?||(5)|
Task 2: Effective health and safety policy arrangements
|2||The inspector checked if the organisation’s general policy statement for health and safety was adequate. The policy statement reads as follows|
|To the best of our ability, we commit to:|
|Preventing accidents, injury and ill health.|
|Investigating accidents and near misses.|
|Providing safe and healthy working conditions.|
|Providing safe plant and equipment for office and mobile workers.|
|Ensuring safe handling and use of substances.|
|Setting and reviewing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time- bound (SMART) health and safety objectives.|
|Meeting legal requirements.|
|Identifying health and safety hazards and risks in the workplace.|
|Providing adequate training.|
|Providing health and safety information to workers.|
|Based on the scenario only, to what extent has this policy been implemented?||(15)|
Task 3: Demonstrating management commitment
|3||Management commitment is an important part of health and safety culture.|
|Based on the scenario only, how does the manager demonstrate commitment?||(20)|
Task 4: Determining organisational factors positively influencing behaviour at work
|4||Based on the scenario only, what organisational factors appear to be present that would positively influence health and safety behaviour?||(10)|
Task 5: Accident investigation
|5||(a) Why was it important to secure the scene of the accident?||(6)|
|Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario.|
|(b) Based on the scenario only, how did the manager effectively secure the scene?||(2)|
|(c) Based on the scenario only, what immediate actions did the manager take to gather information for the investigation?||(7)|
Task 6: Reactive and active monitoring
|6||Health and safety performance monitoring includes reactive and active monitoring measures.|
|(a) Based on the scenario only, what reactive (lagging) monitoring measures could be readily available for use by the tyre fitting organisation?||(5)|
|(b) Based on the scenario only, what active (leading) monitoring measures could be readily available for use by the tyre fitting organisation?||(5)|
Task 7: Emergency procedures in practice
|7||(a) Based on the scenario only, comment on what worked well with the management of the emergency.||(5)|
|(b) In the event of the manager being off work, what arrangements would enable another worker to manage a similar emergency?||(5)|
Task 8: The legal reasons for health and safety management
|8||What appear to be the legal reasons for the way health and safety is managed at the workshop?||(10)|