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neboshE xaminers’ Report
N EBOSH Internat ional Diploma in
O ccupational Health and Safety
J anuary 2008 examinations

C ONTENTS

Introduction

2

Unit IA – International management of health and safety

3

Unit IB – International control of hazardous agents in the workplace

12

Unit IC – International workplace and work equipment safety

19

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The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health is a registered charity, number 1010444 T(s):exrpts/J/J-0801

DW/DA/REW

Introduction
The results from the second three Unit examinations of the International Diploma resulted in pass rates of 61%, 44% and 50% (Units A, B and C respectively). On a positive note, while Examiners’ Reports inevitably concentrate on some of the weaknesses found in candidates’ answers, every examination produces some excellent scripts from candidates who have obviously put much effort into their studies in order to achieve success. Such effort does not go unrecognised.

2

UNIT IA – International management of health and safety

Section A – all questions compulsory

Question 1

(a)

(b)

In relation to workplace behaviour outline what is meant by the term ‘attitude’.

(2)

Outline how the media can influence attitudes towards health and safety, making reference to suitable examples where appropriate.

(8)

For part (a) of the question, candidates could have referred to the term ‘attitude’ as a predisposition to act in a certain way which may be determined by ancestry, personal experience or training.

There a number of ways in which the media can and have influenced attitudes towards health and safety. They have the facility to undertake a global coverage of events and can reach a wide audience using a variety of methods of delivery such as print, television, videos and the internet. The coverage is often sensationalist and can be influenced on occasions by pressure groups and other bodies such as Greenpeace. The influence exerted by the media may be advantageous or detrimental for the industry or organisation involved particularly those who have high media coverage which can affect the perceptions of customers, clients and other stakeholders. To support their answers, candidates were expected to refer to the media coverage of incidents such as the Perrier incident of 1990, Chernobyl, BP Texas and Piper Alpha.

Question 2

An employee has been seriously injured after being struck by material transported using an overhead crane.
Using the categorisation of human failure published in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ‘Reducing error and influencing behaviour’ (HSG48) guidance, give examples of the human failure that may have contributed to the accident.

(10)

By following the categorisation of human failure contained in HSG48, candidates could have stated that skilled-based behaviour involves a low level, pre-programmed sequence of actions where employees carry out routine operations. Errors (human failure) may arise if a similar routine is incorrectly selected, if there is interruption or inattention causing a stage in the operation to be omitted or repeated or if checks are not carried out to verify that the correct routine has been selected. In the scenario described in the question, errors that may have contributed to the accident include the operation by the crane driver of the wrong switch or control or commencing the lifting operation out of sequence when workers were not prepared.

Rule-based behaviour involves actions based on recognising patterns or situations and then selecting and applying the appropriate rule set. An error would involve the application of the wrong rule for example the driver lifting instead of lowering or the worker crossing the path of the lifting operation. Knowledge-based...
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