HSfB Blog

Many thanks to Andy Nairn for this revision contribution to HSfB for the NEBOSH Diploma Unit A.


  • HAZARD – Something with the potential to cause harm
    • Hazards are often classified as Physical, Chemical or Biological, however there may be more useful classifications which can be applied in varying situations.
  • RISK – Likelihood that a hazard will cause harm and the severity of harm expected
  • DANGER – A unquantified risk
  • SUITABLE AND SUFFICIENT – In relation to the management of health and safety at work regulations 1999 Regulation 3, organisations are expected to carry out a “suitable and sufficient risk assessment”. This term is best defined by the Approved Code of Practice for these regulations, and basically means that all of the significant hazards should be identified, the likelihood of harm being realised is determined and the likely severity of harm that would result identified.
  • The Approved Code of Practice also identifies that where risks are higher, or where processes are complex the depth of the risk assessment should reflect this in its level of detail.
  • For some perceived high risk industries there is a need to use Quantified Risk Assessment to provide sufficient detail of the risks (nuclear industry, other industries where a small error can have catatrophic results, e.g. chemical works, refineries, etc) – Quantified Risk Assessment is studied in detail in element A3.



Grumpy old judge

This presentation highlights the case law NEBOSH Certificate students should be aware of and gives a general understanding of the core principles of health and safety legislation within the UK.

The cases are central to understanding certain legal principles and by being aware of the facts of these cases, you will be able to apply them in your examinations to give full and informed answers. 

This presentation, and many more regarding health and safety law, can be downloaded here - Health and Safety Law Downloads  




Transcript - NEBOSH Certificate Case Law by John Johnston www.healthandsafetytips.co.uk

There is no such thing as a 'stupid' or 'daft' health and safety question!

2. Introduction • This presentation highlights the case law that NEBOSH Certificate students should be aware of • It gives a general understanding of the core principles of health and safety legislation within the UK • The slides also have notes added with further information on the cases • Additional information is provided by SafetyPhoto.co.uk

3. Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932) Duty of Care – Neighbour Principle • Negligence • Whether duty owed to person injured • Duty of manufacturer of article to ultimate consumer • Bottle of ginger beer bought from retailer • Bottle containing dead snail • Purchaser poisoned by drinking contents • Liability of manufacturer to consumer

One of the most important tips that we could recommend for the NEBOSH Certificate is to learn the typical examination 'Action Verbs' which are as follows:

Define - provide a generally recognised or accepted definition

Describe - give a word picture

Explain - give a clear account of, or reasons for

Give - provide without explanation (used normally with the instruction to 'give an example [or examples] of ...')

Identify - select and name

List - provide a list without explanation

Outline - give the most important features of (less depth than either 'explain' or 'describe', but more depth than 'list')

Sketch - provide a simple line drawing using labels to identify specific features

State - a less demanding form of 'define', or where there is no generally recognised definition

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Part 1 relates to HW&W at the workplace
Part 2 relates to EMAS
Part 3 relates to Building Regs
Part 4 contains misc. & general provisions

PRACTICABLE – capable of being carried out or feasible (given current knowledge, finance, information etc.)

REASONABLY PRACTICABLE – must be technically possible, and the risk assessed against the cost. Where cost is disproportionately high, can be deemed not to be reasonably practical.

H&S Inspectorate powers include: Investigation, Advisory, Enforcement (Imp. Not, Pro. Not, Seize/destroy substances/articles, Prosecute)

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