The ABC of OSH (Part 2)

iStock_000005528686XSmallAs we discussed in the ABC of OSH Part 1, all safety and health professionals grapple with a near endless list of issues in order to ensure every employee returns safely home to their families each night. In this second part, we look at the final 13 letters and what they mean for every OSH professional…


When it comes to health and safety qualifications, The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) an independent awarding body originally founded in 1979, offers a full range of globally recognised options. Whether you’re studying for the NEBOSH National General Certificate (which is now the most popular health and safety qualification in the UK, currently held by over 150,000 people) or for your diploma, our free NEBOSH help guides can help you achieve your potential.

Occupational health

It’s not just accidents resulting in injuries that pose a risk to workers. Occupational ill health is a major issue in its own right. For example, work-related stress alone is calculated to cost the UK economy £26 billion pounds each year, while at least 4,000 people still die each year from asbestos-related diseases resulting from workplace exposure. The workplace health section of Workplace Safety Blog explores health in more detail, providing specific guards to help you safeguard your workers.


PUWER stands for the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, which deal with the work equipment and machinery used every day in workplaces and aims to keep people safe wherever equipment and machinery is used at work. If you need more information, we have an excellent guide which includes a definition of PUWER and how and where they should be applied.


Whether you’re a veteran OSH professional or a student just beginning your health and safety journey, choosing the right qualification can make all the difference to your career progression – especially when considering your route to achieve CMIOSH status. Fortunately we can help you decide, with a comprehensive post explaining the difference between NVQ 5 and NEBOSH diploma, which weighs up the benefits of each.

Risk assessment

The cornerstone of occupational safety and health, a risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. For a more detailed look at the key components all risk assessments must include, as well as discussing why you need to tailor your risk assessment to your organisation, then look no further than our guide to writing a risk assessment template (which explains why one size definitely doesn’t fit all!) 3d_blocks

Safer people handling

In the care sector, manual handling of people is the biggest cause of injury to both staff and service users. The financial cost of these injuries across the public and private sector and to the taxpayer are incalculable – not to mention the cost in terms of human suffering. To be treated with dignity and respect during the handling process is a basic human right, as well as being a legal requirement, so ensure your employees have the training they need to keep themselves safe and fulfil their professional duties.

Training providers

While there might be no shortage of health and safety training providers, it’s important to remember that not all trainers are created equally! Choosing the right one for your organisation can be a tricky business. If you’re struggling why not check out the RoSPA occupational training page to see the many reasons why we think we’re the best bet. After all, at just two years off our centenary year, we’re obviously doing something right!


Perhaps one of the most surprising things about health and safety is just how much money it can save your organisation – not to mention society! The HSE estimate that injuries and new cases of ill health in workers in Great Britain cost society around £14.2 billion a year (2012/13). Aside from the devastating human cost of workplace injuries and ill health, investing in preventing accidents before they happen really is a win-win for every business.


The ubiquitous hi-vis jacket seen in workplaces around Britain is probably one of the most high profile implementations of health and safety law – and for good reason. As the HSE explain, remaining visible to your fellow workers – particularly when around machinery and vehicles – is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to ensure you stay safe and healthy at work.

Worker involvement

When it comes to boosting health and safety performance, worker involvement is the key to success. Positive relationships between employers and employees, as well as between employees themselves, pay dividends and help enhance productivity. For great tips on boosting employee engagement, have a look at our recent post on corporate storytelling, which is a great way to help ensure everyone is feeling involved.

X-tra mile!Guardian_Angel_Advert2

Do you know someone who’s gone ‘above and beyond’ to ensure the safety of their colleagues and the wider community? In 2014, The RoSPA Guardian Angel Award Scheme was launched to celebrate precisely these kinds of achievements. Unlike other awards, this scheme aims to reward individuals who have gone the extra mile, so if you would like to nominate someone then  please let us know!

Young workers

For many young people, the world of work is often a strange and confusing place. Inexperience and lack of trained judgement leaves them more at risk from injuries and damage to their health. If employing a young person for the first time, or employing one with particular needs, an employer will need to review their risk assessment, taking into account the specific factors for young people before they start. The HSE website includes detailed advice on measures you can take to protect young workers.


As an OSH professional, it’s your job to wake people up to the value of safe practices. Fortunately, we’ve spoken to some of RoSPA’s most experienced trainers, who have kindly provided us with their top tips to do just that. Take a look at our expert training presentation tips and learn from the best!

Now read –

ABC of OSH Part 1

Do’s and don’ts for the NEBOSH Practical

7 tips for safer people handling

For more vital health and safety guides, facts and advice, sign up to SafetyMatters, RoSPA’s free fortnightly newsletter and receive our collection of free original e-books!

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