HSfB Blog


The word 'Asbestos' comes from the ancient Greek meaning 'unquenchable' or 'inextinguishable' and has been in use for well over 4000 years. Its name is given to a number of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals which is mined in various locations around the world. It was widely used in fire resistant and insulating materials as well as automotive parts. Due to its incredible characteristics such as strength, incombustibility, and resistance to high temperature heat to name a few, as well as being cheap and readily available, it was regarded as an architects' dream come true.

"Go out there and catch somebody doing something right, then say thank you!"


Image of two construction workers shaking hands 

Regardless of where an organisation's health and safety culture sits in space and time, whether it is a mature and positive culture, or one being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, nobody can deny that behavioural safety programmes have their place.

I'm fortunate enough to be in a job role where I have the opportunity to positively influence people's behaviours and attitudes just by the power of a conversation. I'm no expert, but I thought I'd share some of my own experiences and tips on having a positive and effective behavioural based conversation. 


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


FLT250x232Over my career I have seen many a debate on the common belief that fork lift trucks (FLTs) and mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs) can travel between premises without being taxed, insured, registered, fitted with lights, number plates, reflectors etc.   Some say FLTs can load / unload vehicles outside a premises on the public road, some say they have contacted the police, local councils, FLT trainers who all say it's OK to do so.

I have never been comfortable with the lack of consistency with some of the advice and their mixed messages, so I decided to do a bit of digging on the subject to satisfy myself.   I've written this article to hopefully help clear things up for you too.  

One important point I'd like to get across is that failure to follow these, and other appropriate guidelines, could invalidate company insurance, result in penalty points for the driver of the vehicle and / or result in expensive and damaging police or civil actions.


Here is what I have discovered...


Inspectors may exercise the powers set out in Section 20 of The HSWA ect.1974

  1. To enter premises, at almost any time, where it is believed that a dangerous state exists. A police officer may be taken along to help gain entry if required
  2. To carry out any necessary investigations and examinations - taking photographs, drawings and measurements of premises or items within them, taking samples of articles/substances and of the atmosphere, etc
  3. To direct that premises (in whole or in part) or items within the premises shall be left undisturbed for as long as required to make specialist examination
  4. To dismantle and/or test any item or substance which they decide is harmful to health
  5. To take statements from persons involved with an incident or accident. Interviewees must answer any questions and sign a statement of their answers, although these are not admissible as evidence in any subsequent proceedings against that person
  6. To inspect any documents, books or records considered relevant to the investigation
  7. To seize and render harmless any articles/substances found to be very dangerous in respect of causing personal injury

Inspectors may exercise the powers set out in Section 21 of The HSWA ect. 1974

If an inspector is of the opinion that a person is contravening one or more of the relevant statutory provisions or has contravened one or more of those provisions in circumstances that make it likely that the contravention will continue or be repeated, an "Improvement Notice" may be served requiring that person to remedy the contravention in a given time scale.

Inspectors may exercise the powers set out in Section 22 of The HSWA ect. 1974

If an inspector is of the opinion that a person carrying out activities will involve a risk of serious personal injury or personal injury is imminent, the inspector may serve a "Prohibition Notice" which will have immediate effect.



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