NEBOSH IGC 9 June 2021 Solved Paper


You have recently taken on the role of team leader at a small removals company. The company carries out both local and nationwide work, for private and commercial clients. They operate from two sites – a small warehouse and compound (where the 7 removal vehicles of varying size are kept) and a smaller office site (with 3 office workers) that is 2-miles away from the warehouse.

You carry out the role of health and safety advisor for both sites. In addition to this, you are responsible for the day-to-day management of your team. The team consists of 7 drivers and 8 porters (who assist the drivers to move items of furniture). You deliver a short induction training session to new workers, that involves a tour of both sites, health and safety information (including first-aid and emergency arrangements), and information on relevant policies and procedures. You, and one other person, are the only trained first-aiders. You carry out the role of first-aider for the warehouse site and the other first-aider is based at the office site. Fully stocked first-aid boxes are located at each site and the contents are replenished as required. Both you and the other first-aider have completed a ‘first aid at work’ course and attended a one-day first-aid refresher course as required.

To assist with the movement of vehicles, a safe system of work is in place that stipulates that drivers must use a banksman when maneuvering. Next to the compound is the warehouse, used for the temporary storage of customers’ furniture and other possessions. Although small, the warehouse is well laid out with clearly marked pedestrian walkways, forklift truck routes, and strong, three-story-high racking. There is a large roller-shutter door giving clear, wide access to the warehouse. Drivers and porters take pride in cleanliness and tidiness when carrying out work in the warehouse.

The company is very busy. All the vehicles are in use every day, the warehouse is at full capacity, and there is pressure to complete jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible. The manager, who operates from the office site, visits clients and assesses their removal requirements, evaluating any potential problems or issues to help ensure the correct allocation of resources and equipment. The manager also visits the warehouse site each day to carry out an inspection, check on capacity levels, and to speak directly with workers. The manager feels it is important to speak personally to each worker regularly and to be kept up-to-date with any problems. The manager is also responsible for the regular internal audit of management processes.

Although most of the drivers have been employed for many years, there has recently been a high level of turnover for porters, who protested at working conditions but were never taken seriously. Many of the existing porters are young and inexperienced, and several job positions remain vacant. There has also been an increase in levels of short-term sickness absence for both drivers and porters, which is consistent with reports of increased musculoskeletal disorders being diagnosed.

As the size of removal activities varies considerably (ranging from a few small items, to the contents of large houses, to office relocations) the number of people involved with each job also varies; this could involve just a single driver or several vehicles and multiple porters. As both drivers and porters are required to carry furniture and other large items, manual handling training is carried out annually by an external training company. Each vehicle is equipped with a tail-lift (a powered lifting and lowering platform at the rear of the vehicle) and carries equipment to assist with removal activities (for example, sack-barrows and platform trolleys).

You have just returned from two weeks’ annual leave. During your regular weekly meeting with the manager, they inform you that a porter has been hurt while you were on leave. While moving a piano at a client’s house, the porter sustained a fractured ankle and has just been discharged from a stay in hospital following surgery. The porter will be off work for several months. It is probable that there will be enforcement action because of this accident. The manager tells you that they believe the young, inexperienced porter was “messing around” as there are records describing the porter’s involvement in previous near-miss incidents. You are asked to carry out an investigation into the accident and provide a report to help ensure that lessons can be learned, and similar accidents can be avoided in the future. This will be the second accident in the last 3 months. The earlier accident was where a driver

broke their wrist assisting a young porter with a heavy item of furniture, which resulted in an improvement notice being issued. The injured driver also pursued a civil claim.

You speak to the relevant driver about the latest accident, and they maintain the young porter was acting responsibly at the time.  The driver explained that access to the client’s house was limited, with a long, graveled driveway that was too narrow for the large removal vehicle to negotiate. As a result, items needed to be carried a significant distance along the drive to where the removal vehicle was parked. Due to the graveled driveway, the workers were unable to use a trolley to move the large piano, and as a result, it was a long and difficult job to carry it to the removal vehicle. The driver felt that the job needed to be done differently, including more workers being allocated to this task.

However, when they had phoned the office to express their concerns, the manager told them to do their best, as no one else was available to help at that time. As a result, the workers felt pressured to continue with the task. They had managed to get the piano to the end of the drive when the porter collapsed in pain. The driver used their personal mobile phone to call for an ambulance and the porter was admitted to the hospital. On informing the office of the accident, a second work crew was redirected to the house to complete the removal.

The driver is quite angry about the accident. They tell you that they see frequent examples of where management seems more concerned about getting the job done than they are with workers’ health and safety. The driver has previously complained about not enough people being allocated to large or difficult jobs. They do not think that management fully appreciates the difficulties workers experience. They also believe that management has never actually carried out removal and they do not consult sufficiently with workers about jobs.

As part of your investigation, you analyze both the generic risk assessment and the safe system of work for removals on domestic premises. You notice that both documents were produced five years ago. You advise the manager that these documents need reviewing as a matter of urgency. The manager asks for your assistance in reviewing these documents.

You also take the opportunity to bring to the manager’s attention the importance of prioritizing health and safety. You highlight the worrying trend of increased lost time of workers, an increase in recent accidents, and the fact that subsequent investigations incur greater cost to the company, especially as another civil claim is expected due to the latest accident.

Task 1: Investigating causes of the accident

1Based on the scenario only, what management failures could have contributed to this accident?  (10)

Task 2: Reporting the accident

2(a)     Why must this most recent accident be reported by the employer to the competent authority? (5)
 (b)     How would you notify this most recent accident as the employer?(5)

Task 3: Suitability of the generic risk assessment

3Based on the scenario only, comment on the company’s approach to assessing health and safety risks.  (10)

Task 4: Improving organisational health and safety culture

4What appear to be the positive indicators of health and safety culture at the removals company?(20) 
 Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario. 

Task 5: Discussing moral reasons for managing health and safety

5Comment on the company’s health and safety morals.(10)
 Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario.

Task 6: Role and responsibility of the manager

6Within the health and safety management system, the role of manager has specific health and safety responsibilities for assessing removal requirements. 
 What could be done to help ensure the manager is more effective in carrying out their health and safety role and responsibilities?  (10)
 Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario. 

Task 7: Reviewing first-aid arrangements

7You are asked to review first-aid arrangements at the removals company. 
 (a)     What would you consider in your review to determine if first-aid provision is realistic and proportionate at the warehouse?  (15)
 Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario. You do not need to itemise specific first- aid equipment. 
 (b)     What additional considerations would be in your review to determine if first-aid provision is realistic and proportionate for drivers and porters involved in remote removal activities?    (5)
 Note: You do not need to itemise specific first-aid equipment. 

Task 8: Reactive monitoring information that gives cause for concern

8Based on the scenario only, comment on results of reactive monitoring at the company that should be a cause for concern.  (10)
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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