NEBOSH Fast Track Learners – part 4

NEBOSH Fast Track Learners – part 4

I am genuinely excited about the power and respect you will experience when you finish reading this revision blog. Arguably the most powerful tools that any manager, anywhere and at any time, can use will be introduced to you. If you are reading this blog for the first time, you need to go back to the first post in this series called Upgrade your NEBOSH to a distinction.

Take the Grenfell tower tragedy. Imagine you could go back one month prior to the event. Appoint a Health and Safety advisor with an in-depth knowledge of risk and the three safety tools detailed below and we would avoid the tragedy; saving lives and human devastation.

The three tools required teach the fundamental drivers of the antecedents and cultural practises that control risk taking behaviour. In other words, you can develop a crystal ball mentality to disaster prevention. The three tools are:

  1. Risk Assessment
  2. The Principles of Prevention
  3. Arrangements for Health and Safety

This is best illustrated with the famous Swiss cheese model from Professor James Reason, the accepted authority on accident investigation.

Our inherent human nature has us seeking simple answers when tragedy strikes. In the case of Grenfell – it’s easiest to find causes and direct blame at the actual site of the incident such as cladding and sprinklers. A progressive approach will take the Swiss cheese model to heart and adopt a more holistic approach to accidental prevention and investigation. They will recognise that cultural, organisational and human factors design are all needed to provide adequate defensive layers for inevitable human errors.

So why are we not picking up latent failures when we risk assess? Because if we got better at risk assessing, in respect of high rise flat risk control, then questions would have been asked about:

  • Cladding fire testing
  • Sprinklers
  • Refuge points
  • Fire protection engineering
  • ‘Stay put’ policy
  • Fire service access

While the above covers unsafe acts and some pre-conditions for unsafe acts it fails to cover underlying latent failure such as: financial constraints, lethargy, fatigue, unconscious incompetence, time pressure, poor awareness and lack of emergency planning forethought and practise.

If we apply the three health and safety power tools you could stop Grenfell and Piper Alpha, Kings Cross, Bradford City and all the rest. They are three of the most powerful management tools ever. The big secret to making them work, however, is to apply the three absolute legislative duties in both the letter and spirit of the law from whence they came.

In my last blog post you learned the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 by heart. Now we are deconstructing critical parts of it to consolidate your growing expertise. The Principles of Prevention is our first target. Download your free cheat sheet from the Resources tab of our NEBOSH course page by clicking here.

Now answer this: Imagine you have been chosen to be part of a Government hit squad to troubleshoot safety in high rise flats. Tip-offs received have revealed that Grenfell number 2 could occur unless action is taken immediately. You have been chosen and you walk into your first big committee meeting as the highly paid and respected risk management expert. Eyes are fixed on you – ears are pricked up, expectant. You can churn out the Principles of Prevention at will and you decide to use them.  How would you do this? Feedback to my Linkedin

If you have followed my blog so far, you will be experiencing a sense of empowerment about your growing knowledge and expertise. You should be able to quote HASAWA sections 2-8, the Management Regulations 1999 and The Principles of Prevention. You’re one step ahead on your Nebosh exam and you should hit perfect marks on these subjects.

The best is yet to come – in the next series of blog posts you will learn how to construct excellent answers to exam questions. You will be given a memory technique specific to week 2 of Nebosh. More learning outcomes will be hammered down to move you from being worried about an exam to feeling like a racehorse champing at the bit ready to charge into the exam room. In addition you will learn a set of golden rules for answering NEBOSH exam questions.

To unlock these brilliant techniques book on our NEBOSH course immediately. Call us on 0845 468 0821.

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