Examiner report

8 August 2016

NEBOSH (The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) was formed in 1979 as an independent examining board and awarding body with charitable status. We offer a comprehensive range of globally-recognised, vocationally-related qualifications designed to meet the health, safety, environmental and risk management needs of all places of work in both the private and public sectors. Courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications attract over 25,000 candidates annually and are offered by over 400 course providers in 65 countries around the world.

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Our qualifications are recognised by the relevant professional membership bodies including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM). NEBOSH is an awarding body recognised and regulated by the UK regulatory authorities: ? ? ? ? The Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) in Wales The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) in Scotland

Where appropriate, NEBOSH follows the latest version of the “GCSE, GCE, Principal Learning and Project Code of Practice” published by the regulatory authorities in relation to examination setting and marking (available at the Ofqual website www. ofqual. gov. uk). While not obliged to adhere to this code, NEBOSH regards it as best practice to do so. Candidates’ scripts are marked by a team of Examiners appointed by NEBOSH on the basis of their qualifications and experience.

The standard of the qualification is determined by NEBOSH, which is overseen by the NEBOSH Council comprising nominees from, amongst others, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). Representatives of course providers, from both the public and private sectors, are elected to the NEBOSH Council. This report on the Examination provides information on the performance of candidates which it is hoped will be useful to candidates and tutors in preparation for future examinations.

It is intended to be constructive and informative and to promote better understanding of the syllabus content and the application of assessment criteria. © NEBOSH 2011 Any enquiries about this report publication should be addressed to: NEBOSH Dominus Way Meridian Business Park Leicester LE10 1QW Tel: 0116 263 4700 Fax: 0116 282 4000 Email: [email protected] org. uk 2 EXTERNAL General comments Many candidates are well prepared for this unit assessment and provide comprehensive and relevant answers in response to the demands of the question paper.

This includes the ability to demonstrate understanding of knowledge by applying it to workplace situations. There are always some candidates, however, who appear to be unprepared for the unit assessment and who show both a lack of knowledge of the syllabus content and a lack of understanding of how key concepts should be applied to workplace situations. In order to meet the pass standard for this assessment, acquisition of knowledge and understanding across the syllabus are prerequisites. However, candidates need to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in answering the questions set.

Referral of candidates in this unit is invariably because they are unable to write a full, well-informed answer to one or more of the questions asked. Some candidates find it difficult to relate their learning to the questions and as a result offer responses reliant on recalled knowledge and conjecture and fail to demonstrate a sufficient degree of understanding. Candidates should prepare themselves for this vocational examination by ensuring their understanding, not rote-learning pre-prepared answers.

Common pitfalls It is recognised that many candidates are well prepared for their assessments. However, recurrent issues, as outlined below, continue to prevent some candidates reaching their full potential in the assessment. ? Many candidates fail to apply the basic principles of examination technique and for some candidates this means the difference between a pass and a referral. ? In some instances, candidates do not attempt all the required questions or are failing to provide complete answers.

Candidates are advised to always attempt an answer to a compulsory question, even when the mind goes blank. Applying basic health and safety management principles can generate credit worthy points. ? Some candidates fail to answer the question set and instead provide information that may be relevant to the topic but is irrelevant to the question and cannot therefore be awarded marks. ? Many candidates fail to apply the command words (also known as action verbs, eg describe, outline, etc). Command words are the instructions that guide the candidate on the depth of answer required.

If, for instance, a question asks the candidate to ‘describe’ something, then few marks will be awarded to an answer that is an outline. Similarly the command word ‘identify’ requires more information than a ‘list’. ? Some candidates fail to separate their answers into the different sub-sections of the questions. These candidates could gain marks for the different sections if they clearly indicated which part of the question they were answering (by using the numbering from the question in their answer, for example).

Structuring their answers to address the different parts of the question can also help in logically drawing out the points to be made in response. ? Candidates need to plan their time effectively. Some candidates fail to make good use of their time and give excessive detail in some answers leaving insufficient time to address all of the questions. ? Candidates should also be aware that Examiners cannot award marks if handwriting is illegible. ? Candidates should note that it is not necessary to start a new page in their answer booklet for each section of a question.

In most answers, there seemed to be a general lack of understanding of either practical control measures that should be taken or technical solutions that were available with a consequent reliance on procedural controls such as the provision of breaks and job rotation. 4 EXTERNAL Question 2 During redecoration work temporary access is to be provided for office workers through an external storage area where vehicles are operating. Identify the control measures to reduce the risk of injury to the office workers when using this temporary access. (8) In answer to this question, candidates could have identified control measures such as ensuring the suitability of the floor surface; marking a walkway

which should be adequate in width, well signed and routed so that there is no danger that the office workers might come into contact with stored items or be struck by falling objects; providing well marked crossing points over vehicle routes together with physical barriers where these are considered to be necessary; providing a good standard of lighting; programming the work in the storage area so that traffic movement is restricted during the times that the access route is being used; issuing the office workers with high visibility jackets; ensuring that the vehicle drivers have adequate visibility for example by the erection of mirrors; and ensuring good standards of housekeeping in the storage area with arrangements for providing protection during inclement weather such as for example for the application of grit to prevent slipping. Whilst in general this question was reasonably well answered, some candidates concentrated only on control measures directly connected with the vehicles to the exclusion of those which might have a more direct effect on pedestrians such as walkways and protection from falling materials. Question 3 With reference to the fire triangle, identify the factors that could increase the risk of a fire starting in a motor vehicle repair workshop. (8)

In their answers to this question, candidates were initially expected to refer to the three components of the fire triangle, namely ignition, fuel and oxygen and then to identify the factors in a motor vehicle repair workshop related to these components that could increase the risk of a fire starting. For example, possible ignition sources would include hot work, faults in electrical equipment, hot vehicle parts, and heating and lighting appliances. In this type of workshop, there would be many potential sources of fuel such as petrol, oils and lubricants; paints and solvents together with their empty containers; flammable gases such as acetylene; flammable waste together with the usual collection of newspaper, cardboard and litter.

There would be sufficient air in the workshop to sustain the fire once started particularly if a local exhaust ventilation system was in operation. Some candidates identified factors such as a failure to carry out a fire assessment and a lack of fire training which could not be said to be linked to the fire triangle while others did not concentrate on the scenario described and listed items which might increase the risk of fire in any type of workshop. 5 EXTERNAL Question 4 Water bottles weighing 20kg are currently being stored in a basement and employees are required to carry them to a first floor office and locate them onto a water dispenser.

Outline control measures that could be taken to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries relating to: (a) the task; (4) (b) the load, (2) (c) the environment. (2) An initial control measure that could be taken to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries relating to the load would be to avoid the operation completely by installing a mains fed water supply to the dispenser. If this was not possible, then consideration would have to be given to having the bottles delivered and stored closer to the dispenser or to load them on to a trolley in the basement which might then be brought by lift to the first floor and the bottles lifted by two persons onto the dispenser.

As for the load, control measures could include the purchase of smaller bottles preferably with hand holds and marking the bottles with their weight. In considering the environment, candidates could have referred to the need to ensure there was sufficient space in the store room, that the surface of the floor was sound, that an acceptable standard of lighting was provided and that there was an unobstructed route from the room to the location of the water dispenser. Some candidates did not provide answers specific to the three part of the question but wrote in general terms on how to carry out a manual handling assessment. Others, who possibly misread the question, discussed hazards and risks rather than control measures. Question 5

Outline factors to consider when carrying out an assessment of a display screen equipment (DSE) workstation. (8) In answering this question, reference should have been made to factors such as consideration of the work activity to be performed for example data inputing or touch typing in relation to the layout of the workstation; the height and adjustability of the monitor; the provision of a wrist support for the keyboard; the adjustability and stability of the chair provided for the operator; the size of the desk; the positioning of the pointing devices; the layout of equipment such as the document holder and the printer; the location of the workstation with regard to lighting and glare; environmental.

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