NEBOSH IGC 1 | Foundation In Health and Safety Questions & Answers

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NEBOSH IGC 1 Examiners Reports | Questions & Answers

Element 1: Foundation In Health and Safety


An organization has an increase in the number of manual handling accidents and associated ill health.

Identify sources of information that may be available to help reduce the risks to the workers.

Sources of Information That May Be Available to an Organization in Their Quest to Reduce the Number of Manual Handling Accidents to Members of Their Workforce Include

  • International Agencies Such as The ILO;
  • National Enforcement Agencies Such as The Health and Safety Executive in The United Kingdom;
  • Employers Organizations and Trade Unions;
  • National and International Standards Making Bodies Such as ISO;
  • Information from Manufacturers and Also from Other Organizations Carrying Out Work of a Similar Nature;
  • Professional Health and Safety Bodies Such as IOSH in The United Kingdom;
  • Occupational Health Services;
  • Risk Assessments and Accident and Ill-Health Statistics and Consultation with The Workers Themselves Who from Their Experience Could Be in A Position to Offer Information On Procedures That Could Be Followed to Reduce the Risks.

“Many candidates did not read this question with sufficient care and described the assessment process for manual handling activities rather than identifying relevant sources of information. Those who did realize what was required tended to concentrate only on sources immediately available within the organization.”


Outline the meaning of the following terms:

  • Health
  • Safety
  • Welfare
  • Environmental Protection

Health – The term ‘health’ can be defined as a state of wellbeing in both a physiological and psychological sense. In occupational terms, it would include not suffering for example from fatigue, stress or noise-induced deafness.

Safety’ –  It can be defined as the absence of danger or physical harm to persons, extending in the workplace to things such as equipment, materials, and structures.

Welfare – The term ‘welfare’ relates to the provision of workplace facilities that maintain the basic wellbeing and comfort of the worker such as eating, washing and toilet facilities which enable them to fulfill their bodily functions.

Environmental protection’ – It may be defined as a measure used to prevent harm to the environment of the world. It prevents harm to air, water, land and natural resources providing protection to flora, fauna and human beings and their inter-relationships.

“This question was poorly answered and few candidates seemed to have an understanding this terminology. Many were unable to distinguish between health and safety and struggled to give the meaning of ‘environmental protection’ often confusing it with the ‘in-house’ work environment.”


Explain the moral social and economic reasons for monitoring and promoting good standards of health and safety in the workplace

Examiners observed that candidates’ knowledge of these parts of the syllabus as being somewhat superficial and did not enable them to provide the breadth and depth of answers needed to gain good marks.


  • Explain the reason for maintaining and promoting good standards of health and safety in the workplace.
  • Identify the source of information that an organization may use to help maintain and promote good standards of health and safety in the workplace.
  • Outline possible reasons why good standards of health and safety in the workplace may not be achieved.

Part (a)

  • The moral argument centered on the need to provide a reasonable standard of care and to reduce the injuries, pain, and suffering caused to workers by accidents and ill- health
  • While the legal reasons centered on compliance with the law and ILO and other international standards to avoid criminal penalties and to comply with the employer’s common law duty to take reasonable care of workers.
  • Social reasons were concerned with the need to provide a safe place of work, safe plant and equipment, safe systems of work, competent workers and a high standard of training and supervision. The economic benefits would include a more highly motivated workforce resulting in an improvement in the rate of production and product quality;
  • The avoidance of costs associated with accident investigations;
  • The avoidance of costs associated with accidents such as the hiring or training of replacement staff and the possible repair of plant and equipment;
  • Securing more favorable terms for insurance and maintaining the image and reputation of the organization with its various stakeholders.
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Part (b)

Sources of information that an organization may use to help maintain and promote good standards of health and safety include:

  • legislation including directives and regulations;
  • ILO codes of practice, conventions,
  • Guidelines and recommendations together with those produced nationally;
  • Information produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work;
  • International standards such as those from ISO and BSI;
  • Guidance produced by the various enforcement agencies;
  • Manufacturers’ data;
  • Information produced by trade associations, trade unions, and professional bodies;
  • Accident and ill-health data and information emanating from completed risk assessments, inspections, and audits.

Part (c)

Reasons, why good standards of health and safety may not be achieved in the workplace, include:

  • A lack of management commitment;
  • Poor morale among the workforce and a lack of motivation;
  • Frequent changes in the organization;
  • A lack of resources possibly due to a harsh economic climate;
  • Conflicting demands with priority being given to production targets and meeting deadlines;
  • Poor communication and consultation with the workforce;
  • A failure to provide adequate training leading to a lack of awareness amongst workers;
  • A failure to complete risk assessments and to produce safe systems of work and method statements;

“Answers to this question were generally to a good standard though, for part (a), some candidates explained how rather than why good standards could be maintained and promoted while for part (c), others outlined the consequences of having poor standards rather than the reasons why good standards may not be achieved.”


A machine has leaked hot liquid into a work area.  No-one has been injured.

Outline reasons why it is important for an organization to investigate “near miss” incidents.

  • The investigation of ‘near-miss’ incidents and the identification of their underlying causes might allow the preventive action to be taken before something more serious occurs.
  • It also gives the right message that all failures are taken seriously by the employer and not just those that lead to injury.
  • It is generally accepted that ‘near- misses’ far outnumber incidents resulting in injury and can, therefore, produce more data from which a greater understanding of the deficiencies in existing management systems such as risk assessments and safe systems of work can be identified and rectified.

“This question was not well answered. There were only a few references made to Bird’s or Heinrich’s triangle and the general indication was that most candidates had little understanding of the topic.”


  • Outline the main health and safety responsibilities of employers.
  • Identify actions an enforcement authority might take if it finds that an employer is not meeting its responsibilities.

Part (a)

The main health and safety responsibilities of an employer are

  • To provide and maintain safe plant and equipment, to carry out risk assessments and to introduce safe systems of work;
  • To ensure the safe use, storage, handling and transport of articles and substances;
  • To provide and maintain a safe workplace, including access and egress;
  • To provide a safe working environment with adequate welfare facilities including first aid,
  • To provide information, instruction, training, and supervision of workers.
  • To cooperate with and consult with workers;
  • To secure competent health and safety advice and to cooperate with other employers at the workplace.
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“This part of the question was generally well answered though some candidates continue to provide a list instead of the additional detail required by an ‘outline ‘question.”

Part (b)

Possible actions which the enforcement authority can take, such as

  • Giving advice or warning either verbally or in writing;
  • Requiring that an improvement is made within a given period of time;
  • Requiring the cessation of work until improvements in health and safety are made;
  • Taking formal legal proceedings such as prosecution.

“Good answers to this part of the question were not common.”


Identify possible costs to an organization following an accident in the workplace.


Identify possible costs to an organization resulting from inadequate health and safety standards.

Possible costs such as those associated with

  • Lost production, staff absence, sick pay,
  • Temporary replacement with the need for additional training,
  • Repair of damaged plant and equipment,
  • Damage to products, investigation and remedial action,
  • Administration incurred, an increase in insurance premiums,
  • Fines and compensation awarded,
  • Court and other legal representation.
  • Intangible costs arising from a loss of business image
  • The detrimental effect on worker morale resulting in reduced productivity.


Outline how national governments can contribute towards good standards of health and safety within their territories.


Explain the role of national governments and international bodies in formulating a framework for the regulation of health and safety.

  • National governments‟ role in respect of establishing laws and setting up the means for those laws to be enforced.
  • National governments‟ roles such as the promotion of worker and trade union rights and requiring good standards when the state is the client for contracts.

“In the case of this question, it is likely that failure to provide sufficient points related to a lack of understanding of the topic of the question rather than poor examination technique.”


Identify the powers given to health and safety enforcement officers appointed under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The powers include:

  • The right to enter premises, if necessary by enlisting the assistance of a police officer;
  • To carry out examinations and investigations;
  • To direct that premises or equipment be left undisturbed for the purpose of investigations;
  • To take measurements and photographs;
  • To inspect and/or take copies of documents and records;
  • To take samples;
  • To require a person to answer questions and sign a declaration to the truth of his/her answers;
  • To take possession of articles and substances;
  • To issue enforcement notices;
  • To instigate to conduct proceedings in a magistrates’ court.


  • Outline the purpose of employer’s liability insurance.
  • Outline SIX costs of a workplace accident that might be uninsured.

Part (a)

The purpose of employer’s liability insurance is

  • To satisfy a legal requirement for employers to carry such insurance so that an employee who is harmed due to the fault of his/her employer is assured of receiving compensation that the employer might otherwise have insufficient resources to pay.
  • This type of insurance is exerting significant pressure on employers to improve their standards of health and safety.

Part (b)

Costs of a workplace accident that might be uninsured are:

  • Production delays, damaged goods, and equipment;
  • Accident investigation;
  • Loss of expertise or experience;
  • Hiring and training replacement staff;
  • Loss of goodwill and reputation;
  • Clean up operations;
  • Possible fines and associated legal fees.
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Outline four key differences between civil law and criminal law.

  • Different objectives of the two systems (one to provide a remedy and the other to punish),
  • The burden of proof required (a balance of probabilities as opposed to beyond all reasonable doubt),
  • The parties generally involved (two individuals rather than the state and an individual) and the different court structures involved.


  • Define the term ‘negligence’.
  • Outline the general defenses available to an employer in a case of alleged negligence brought by an employee.

Part (a)

Negligence – It may be defined as a civil wrong (tort) involving unreasonably careless conduct (or a breach of the common law duty of care), resulting in a loss, damage or injury.

Part (b)

General defenses available to an employer in a case of alleged negligence brought by an employee is that:

  • There was no duty owed to the employee since the case referred to something which did not take place during the course of employment;
  • Such a duty was owed, there was no breach in that what happened was not foreseeable and in the event, everything reasonable had been done;
  • The loss, damage or injury was either non-existent or not caused by any breach & that the claimant voluntarily accepted the risk or that the case was out of time.


  • Define the term “negligence”.
  • Outline the three standard conditions that must be met for an employee to prove a case of negligence against an employer.

Part (a)

Negligence – It may be defined as a civil wrong (tort) involving unreasonably careless conduct (or a breach of the common law duty of care), resulting in a loss, damage or injury.

Part (b)

Standard conditions for an employee to prove a case of alleged negligence is:

  • Firstly, that a duty of care was owed by the employer (i.e. that the employee was acting in the course of his/her employment);
  • Secondly, that the employer acted in breach of that duty;
  • Thirdly, that the breach led directly to the loss, damage or injury.


Explain, giving an example in EACH case, the circumstances under which a health and safety inspector may serve:

  • An improvement notice
  • A prohibition notice
  • Improvement Notice – To serve an improvement notice, an inspector must be of the opinion that there is a breach of relevant statutory provisions, or that there has been a breach that is likely to be continued or repeated.
    A relevant example would be a floor that has been poorly maintained in contravention of the requirements of the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
  • Prohibition Notice – For a prohibition notice to be served, an inspector must be of the opinion that there is, or is likely to be, a risk of serious personal injury.
    A relevant example would be a scaffold that has been poorly constructed and is therefore in an unsafe condition.


Outline the main components of a health and safety management system.

  • Policy – It is a clear statement of intent setting out the main health and safety aims and objectives of the company.
  • Organisation – for health and safety should ensure the allocation of responsibility to appropriate members of staff, with the emphasis on achieving competency, control, communication, and consultation;
  • Planning and implementing – should involve risk assessment, the setting of standards and the introduction of appropriate control measures to achieve the required standards;
  • Measuring performance – should be carried out by active and reactive monitoring methods;
  • Review and audit – should be carried out to check whether what was planned was actually taking place, to consider options for improvement and to set new targets where necessary.