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THE DREADED ‘D’-1 TACKLING YOUR NEBOSH WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT

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Making up nearly half of your report (and worth up to 48 marks), the main body of the NEBOSH Diploma/International Diploma Workplace Assignment is where candidates will largely pass or fail and as such needs to be approached with due diligence. The main body of your report will lead on nicely to your advice or recommendations going forward and should offer the reader a sound ‘platform’ on which to base your assumptions – here you are ‘setting the scene’ on which to draw your conclusions. Candidates should link a health and safety management system model already in existence to their chosen workplace. There needs to be an overview of the model (such as HSG65 or ISO18001) before you start discussing what your organization does. My tip is to include a diagram of the model and explain each stage before considering what your company does to meet the model (or not).

GAP ANALYSIS

Clear systematic description gaps and areas where no gap exists for all areas of management systems. Identification of priorities for improvement linked to a recognized management system. All students must critically review their chosen company’s health and safety management system for gaps. I have seen this done using a red/amber/green traffic light system which identifies visually the gap. For all areas of the management system there must be identification of areas for improvement. Using a traffic light system (red, amber or green) can be helpful too when it comes to drawing conclusions, making recommendations and prioritizing actions. These all appear in the relevant sections of the assignment and should not feature within the main body. I suggest numbering each finding so that it can be easily identified to assist with recommendations and conclusions later.

HAZARD IDENTIFICATION

Full range of hazards identified, relevant to organization, drawn from across the range of categories and includes the likely implications. Prioritized with full justification. Learners need to identify 15 different hazards from across the organization. These should include physical hazards and health and welfare hazards. I would recommend separating the two. If you are going to assess the hazards and compare them, then ensure that you use a key as to how you have arrived at any scoring matrix for the hazards. For example, a 5×5 or 3×3 risk matrix of some sort may be used. It could be useful to consider which work activities are related to which hazards, before discussing the relative risks and possible control measures already in place. You need to demonstrate that you understand risk assessment principles, before comparison, prioritization and consideration of improvements required. Each hazard choice must be justified. A full risk assessment for each hazard however is not required.

RISK IDENTIFICATION

Full risk assessment of chosen hazard following appropriate recognized assessment model. Full consideration of all factors. Having analyzed your chosen company’s risk profile, you will then be in a position to undertake a detailed risk assessment for one health and welfare hazard and one physical hazard. This must be your own work. Tip – if your chosen work activity/subject has a specific law associated with it, then ensure that you use any relevant risk assessment guidance when determining your risk assessment. For example, for national diploma students if the chosen activity involves working at height, then a risk assessment which copies the 5 steps to risk assessment under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 will not be applicable. A working at height risk assessment would be more appropriate. For all students, where a specific law for assessment exists related to the topic, use this to assist rather than a generic approach to assessing risk. The risk assessment should include a review of the current controls and reference to any further controls needed whist using any appropriate legislative hierarchy of control. Remember that risk assessments identify who completed those, dates for review, actions, and other useful data such as who specifically is at risk from what.

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