NEBOSH IGC 6 October 2021 Solved Paper


In the UK and many other countries, the public can take household waste to local ‘Recycling and Reuse’ centres. Here the waste is sorted, reused or recycled where possible. Otherwise, the waste may be incinerated (for energy recovery) or, as a last resort, disposed of by burial in the ground.

On the outskirts of a small town, there is a relatively small recycling and reuse centre. There is no pedestrian access to the site for the public. Instead, they must arrive by vehicle, such as car or small van, passing through a designated entry gate into a one-way road system. To reach the waste off- loading point, the vehicles queue and travel very slowly along a narrow access road that is enclosed by a boundary fence. There are speed-retarders in the road, set at intervals. At the end of the centre’s left-hand side, the access road turns to the right and takes the vehicles up a ramp onto a raised parking platform. Here, vehicle drivers are directed to stop by a centre worker who guides the drivers to a line of designated parking spaces. The parking spaces back directly onto a line of 12 large skips (also known as open-topped waste containers or dumpsters). These skips sit in an area below the parking platform which is inaccessible to the public. Each skip is about 3.5 metres deep and projects about 1.2 metres above the ground level of the parking platform. The waste must be deposited into these skips by the public.

The skips are clearly labelled with what should be put into them, such as ‘Wood’, ‘Metal’, ‘Large items of household waste’, ‘Garden Waste’, ‘Cardboard’, ‘Chemicals’, etc. The public are encouraged to sort the waste from their vehicles into the respective skips, occasionally with assistance from centre workers. Having emptied their vehicles, the public exit slowly from the end of the row of skips.

Just to the right of the public entrance is a separate entrance for industrial vehicles and recycling and reuse centre workers. This entrance allows access and egress to the lower area of the centre so that full skips can be replaced with empty skips. Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras are strategically located to monitor traffic and vehicle unloading.

The recycling and reuse centre employs six people:

  • a young manager who graduated only a year ago. They are also the nominated health and safety officer, who diligently oversees the day-to-day management of the centre;
  • a very experienced worker who the manager regularly confides in and who has grown to understand the enthusiasm and good intentions of the manager;
  • two other workers around the skip areas;
  • two industrial vehicle drivers.

The manager at the centre works in accordance with the organisation’s health and safety objectives and gives a weekly update at a leadership team management meeting. The manager’s director checks on centre performance, and openly provides support to the young manager and checks on their wellbeing. All workers are aware of the manager’s focus on health and safety objectives, targets, and performance. The health and safety policy and, the manager’s NEBOSH National Diploma parchment, are pinned to a well organised noticeboard in the worker break room, housed within a portable modular building. The numerous risk assessments are labelled within a large binder located on an open bookshelf within the break room. These have been compiled with the help of workers. The manager is aware of their own competency limitations and, as a result, welcomes worker input as this is a useful insight from those who carry out tasks. In that way, workers can give realistic feedback about the workability of operational and administrative procedures, especially if new risks emerge that have not been encountered before.

The manager is regularly seen in and around the recycling and reuse centre and occasionally carries out unannounced workplace inspections. During such inspections, workers are frequently frustrated when the manager randomly asks them questions from a list about specific aspects of the health and safety policy. In addition, workers are reminded yet again about wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) by the observant manager. When challenged, the workers point out that some of the PPE safety signs (which are over 2-metres high) have faded considerably and are hard to read. As a result, the manager uses contractors to remove and replace any faded PPE signs at

the centre. Before this work commences the manager provides induction training for the contractors when they initially arrive.

The recycling and reuse centre workers quietly appreciate the time taken by the manager to speak with them, and the acknowledgment of any constructive complaints and observations about work. As a result, they are motivated to keep the workplace tidy, to the extent that they are upset if a single nail is found on the floor around the public vehicle unloading areas. The manager chairs a monthly health and safety committee meeting with a nominated, trained representative from the industrial vehicle drivers and one from those assisting the public with recycling operations. At the start of each working day the manager holds a health and safety briefing with all workers. One such daily briefing was taking place in the break room early one morning and was overrunning beyond the public opening time of 08:00.

An inexperienced worker had opened the entry gate just before the daily briefing. At 08:00 a member of the public drove into the recycling and reuse centre and parked their vehicle near the ‘Garden

Waste’ skip. Unaided, they tried to invert a garden waste bag containing about 50 litres of waste. Unfortunately, their wrists became entangled in the bag’s carrying handles which then became trapped on the edge of the skip. They were screaming for help as they were caught against the front of the skip with their arms outstretched, desperately trying to avoid being pulled into the skip below by the heavy bag. The screaming alerted workers, who appeared from all directions and freed the member of the public (although none of the workers have ever collectively practised a response to such emergencies). The manager comforted and reassured the member of the public, enquired about their health, and ensured that they were suitably recovered before allowing them to drive away.

The manager immediately closed the centre entry gates and posted a closure notice for half an hour. They arranged a short team briefing with all workers to discuss the near miss and what temporary actions the workers could take to avoid an immediate repeat of the incident. The manager agreed to discuss the incident in more detail with the experienced worker when the centre closed later that day. The experienced worker surprised the manager by saying “This incident has happened before, no- one has ever been hurt, so there is nothing to worry about”. The manager responded assertively by suggesting multiple health and safety management improvements that would help ensure this kind of incident is never repeated.

The enthusiastic manager has suggested a change in the health and safety policy and has emailed the director (see below).


Monday 6th September 2021, 09:30

Good morning.

As reuse and recycling centre manager and, in particular, in my role as health and safety officer, I believe the existing health and safety policy, signed by a previous manager who retired in 2015, will need to be updated.

Health and safety legislation mandates that an organisation must write, implement, communicate and review the health and safety policy. In addition, health and safety standards or guidance are often re- written and replaced.

New managers are promoted while others get transferred to other recycling centres. This naturally results in recruitment of managers and workers who have ideas about different hours and days of working to account for public demand.

We have taken delivery of brand-new skip-moving vehicles that operate around the skips. While these new vehicles are welcome, challenging recycling targets mean that the workforce have changed working practices and processes to meet these targets.

When I speak to the workers, they often complain that many procedures, outlined in the policy, do not reflect what actually happens these days.

In addition to all this the fact that we have previously been served an enforcement order was a reminder that administrative and practical things need addressing.

Thank you. Yours sincerely,

R.E.W Atkins

Task 1: Investigating near misses

1What arguments would the manager use to convince the experienced worker that this near miss incident needs investigating further?(15) 
 Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario. 

Task 2: Temporary actions and long-term administrative control measures

2(a)     Based on the scenario only, what short term actions could be taken to prevent a repeat of the incident? (5)
 (b)     What long term administrative control measures could the manager have suggested, to the experienced worker, so that a repeat of this incident is avoided?    (10)
 Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario. 

Task 3: Learning lessons from incidents

3What specific reasons are there for the recycling and reuse centre to learn lessons from these incidents?  (10)

Task 4: Enforcing administrative risk control measures with safety signs

4The recycling and reuse centre is a workplace but is also open to the general public. In such places, road safety signs and health and safety signs are commonly used to help protect workers and the public. 
 What signs would you expect to see in the publicly accessible areas of the centre that would help reduce risk to workers and the public?  (15)

Task 5: Recycling and reuse centre health and safety culture

5Based on the scenario only 
 (a)        what are the indicators of a positive health and safety culture at the recycling and reuse centre?  (15)
 (b)       what are the indicators of a negative health and safety culture at the recycling and reuse centre?  (5)

Task 6: Information given to contractors before starting work

6The manager meets the contractors the moment they arrive on site to do the safety sign repair work. 
 What health and safety induction information is the manager likely to give to the contractors before they are allowed to start the repair work?  (10)

Task 7: The manager’s reasoning for a health and safety policy review

7Based on the email sent by the manager in the scenario, what is likely to have prompted the policy review?  (15)
About Raja Umer

I have accumulated over four years of experience in the safety industry, which enables me to bring substantial knowledge and expertise to any organization I collaborate with. My previous work involved partnering with diverse businesses, from construction sites to general industries. As a result, I recognize the crucial significance of ensuring safety measures are in place to safeguard workers and customers.

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