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NEBOSH

What is in the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus?

Amanda Bathory-Griffiths - Last Update: 17 Aug 2020

Contents

Unit NG1: Management of health and safety

Unit NG2: Risk assessment

Who decides what is in the NEBOSH General Certificate?

How often are the course contents updated?

Amanda Bathory Griffiths.jpg
Amanda Bathory-Griffiths

Amanda is TSW's content marketing manager. 

She has a background in personal finance and corporate learning, working for national brands and global agencies.

The new NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus is split into two. NG1 proves what you know about health and safety, while NG2 shows you know how to make your workplace safer.

It's a demanding and in-depth syllabus, but because it's moderated by NEBOSH, it's dynamic, relevant and transferable to any sector. You'll be immersed in best practice health and safety from the very first session.

Two men observe a machine

Key points:

  1. Unit NG1 prepares you for the written exam, covering your moral, legal and fiscal health and safety duties 
  2. Unit NG2 prepares you for the practical risk assessment. You'll learn what hazards are and the safest way to handle them - think fire, electricity, injured backs, hazardous substances and much more
  3. The syllabus is maintained by NEBOSH and a panel of experts and learning providers. It represents current legislation and reflects health and safety challenges faced by every industry

Unit NG1: Management of health and safety

Health and safety management helps you to reduce loss and waste because it curbs work-related absence, illness and injury, and lifts your efficiency and quality. 

This unit gives you a foundation in good health and safety management, including morality, law and culture, the contents of a risk assessment, and monitoring and measurement.

When you get back to work, you'll start making health and safety decisions based on the content in NG1. You can debunk every decision that forces your team to work quickly or cheaply, at the cost of health and safety.

Element 1: Why we should manage workplace health and safety

The very beginning of the course covers the moral, fiscal and legal reasons to manage health and safety.

1.1: Moral, financial and legal motivations for managing workplace health and safety

This element is broken up into:

  • The moral expectations of good standards of health and safety
  • The financial cost of incidents (insured and uninsured costs)

If you did some preparation work ahead of the course, you might've explored the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) annual statistics report. It'll give you context about the cost of poor health and safety for employers.

1.2: Explain how the law works and the consequences of non-compliance

Here, you'll dive into legislation. There's a lot to learn, but again, it's critical for making sure that your recommendations are lawful and your employer is compliant with UK law.

The module has an intense theme - 'the force of law punishment and compensation'. If you don't have a lawful foundation, you aren't acting safely at work, so pay attention.

Sources of law:

  • Statute law: the legal status and relationships between Acts of Parliament, regulations, approved codes of practice, official guidance; absolute and qualified duties (practicable and reasonably practicable)
  • Common law: precedents and case law; the importance of common law
  • Relevance of statute and common law to criminal and civil law

Types of law

  • Criminal law: Offence against the state; prosecution to establish guilt; burden and onus of proof (see s40 Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974)
  • Civil law: private individual seeking compensation; burden of proof; statute-barred 

Criminal law liabilities

  • Role, functions and powers of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)/HSE Northern Ireland (HSENI), Procurator Fiscal (Scotland) and local authorities
  • Why fees for intervention (FFI) are charged (material breach of legislation)> powers of inspectors (see s20 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974)
  • Enforcement notices (improvement, prohibition): conditions for serving; effects; procedures; rights and effects of appeal; penalties for failure to comply
  • Simple cautions
  • Prosecution: summary and indictable (solemn in Scotland) offences and relevant penalties (including the disqualification of directors)
  • The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007: the offence and available penalties
  • Defences

Civil law liabilities

  • Civil wrong in England and Scotland
  • Tort/delict of negligence
  • Duty of care (neighbour principle)
  • Tests and defences for tort/delict of negligence
  • Duty owed/duty breached/injury or damage sustained
  • Contributory negligence
  • Vicarious liability
  • The employer’s legal duty to provide a safe place of work, safe plant and equipment, safe systems of work, training and supervision, and competent workers
  • Breach of statutory duty in relation to new and expectant mothers.

1.3: Summarise the main health and safety duties of employers and workers in HSWA 1974 and MHSWR 1999

This element gives you advisory powers - you'll know the main duties of your employer and be in a position to guide the leaders of your business to act safely and in the interests of your entire workforce.  

  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974: sections 2–4, 6–9, 36 and 37
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999: Regulations 3–5, 7, 8, 10 and 13–14.

1.4: Explain how contractors should be selected, monitored and managed

You're responsible for the health and safety of outside workers too. In this module you'll look at:

  • Planning and co-ordination of contracted work
  • Pre-selection and ongoing management of contractors
  • Roles and duties under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 of the client, principal designer, principal contractor, contractors, workers and domestic clients (including HSE notification, pre-construction information, construction phase plan, health and safety file).

Element 2: How health and safety management systems work and what they look like

A health and safety management system uses standards like the ISO 45001:2018 or the BS EN ISO 9001:2015 to help you manage health and safety.

In this element, you'll learn what effective general policy, organisation and arrangements look like.

2.1: What is a health and safety management system and what benefits do they bring?

  • The basics of a health and safety management system: the ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ model (see ISO 45001:2018 and HSG65).
  • The benefits of having a formal/certified health and safety management system.

2.2: What good health and safety management systems look like

Statement of general policy – overall aims of the organisation in terms of health and safety performance:

  • Sets overall objectives and quantifiable targets (specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, time-bound – SMART principles)
  • Considers technological options
  • Proportionate to the needs of the organisation> considers financial, operational and business requirements
  • Signed by top management
  • Important role in decision making

Defined health and safety roles and responsibilities of people within the organisation

  • Allocation of responsibilities; lines of communication and feedback loops; the role of line managers in implementing and influencing the health and safety management system and monitoring its effectiveness.

Practical arrangements for making it work:

  • The importance of stating the organisation’s arrangements for planning and organising, controlling hazards, consultation, communication, monitoring compliance, assessing effectiveness.

Keeping it current:

  • When you might need to review the health and safety management system, including passage of time, technological, organisational or legal changes, and results of monitoring.

Element 3: Managing risk – understanding people and processes

This element is all about your positive input to the culture at work. You'll review how to influence health and safety culture and behaviour to improve performance. 

You'll learn how to explain what a health and safety culture is to anyone at your organisation, identify how it could be improved, and spot the human factors which positively or negatively influence behaviour that affects health and safety.

3.1: Health and safety culture

  • Meaning of the term ‘health and safety culture’
  • Relationship between health and safety culture and health and safety performance
  • Indicators of an organisation’s health and safety culture (including incidents, absenteeism, sickness rates, staff turnover, level of compliance with health and safety rules and procedures, complaints about working conditions)
  • Influence of peers on health and safety culture

3.2: Improving health and safety culture

  • Getting management to commitment
  • Promoting health and safety standards by leadership and example and appropriate use of disciplinary procedures
  • Competent workers
  • Good communication within the organisation
  • Benefits and limitations of different methods of communication (verbal, written and graphic)
  • Use and effectiveness of noticeboards and health and safety media
  • Co-operation and consultation with the workforce and contractors
  • When training is needed

3.3 How human factors influence behaviour positively or negatively

  • Organisational factors, including culture, leadership, resources, work patterns, communications
  • Job factors, including task, workload, environment, display and controls, procedures
  • Individual factors, including competence, skills, personality, attitude and risk perception
  • Link between individual, job and organisational factor

3.4 Assessing risk

This is a critical module that'll help you complete the practical risk assessment (NG2) in the final four weeks of your course.

You'll learn how to prioritise and profile risks, inspect your workplace, recognise common hazards, calculate the risks, consider current controls and recommend better and more thorough control measures, within reason.

  • Meaning of hazard, risk, risk profiling and risk assessment
  • Risk profiling: What is involved? Who should be involved? The risk profiling process
  • Purpose of risk assessment and the ‘suitable and sufficient’ standard it needs to reach (see HSG65: ‘Managing for health and safety’)
  • A general approach to risk assessment (5 steps) - identify hazards, sources and form of harm, sources of information to consult, use of task analysis, legislation, manufacturers’ information, incident data, guidance
  • Identify people at risk, including workers, operators, maintenance staff, cleaners, contractors, visitors, public
  • Evaluate risk (taking account of what you already do) and decide if you need to do more, think about the likelihood of harm and probable severity, possible acute and chronic health effects, risk rating, principles to consider when controlling risk (Regulation 4 and Schedule 1 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999)
  • Practical application of the principles
  • Applying the general hierarchy of control (clause 8.1.2 of ISO 45001:2018)
  • Application based on prioritisation of risk including examples of when they are required, including fire, DSE, manual handling, hazardous substances, noise
  • Why specific risk assessment methods are used for certain risks – to enable proper, systematic consideration of all relevant issues that contribute to the risk
  • Special case applications to young people, expectant and nursing mothers; also the consideration of disabled workers and lone workers (see Regulations 16, 18 and 19 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999).

3.5 Management of change

In element 3.5, you deal with how changes at work can impact health and safety and how you can control negative impacts.

  • Typical types of change faced in the workplace and the possible impact of such change, including construction works, change of process, change of equipment, change in working practices
  • Managing the impact of change with communication and co-operation, risk assessment, appointment of competent people, segregation of work areas, amendment of emergency procedures, welfare provision
  • Review of change (during and after)

3.6 Safe systems of work for general work activities

In this element, you'll be introduced to permit-to-work systems (documents that control high-risk activities), what to do in typical emergencies and how to develop safe systems of work that are suitable for your workplace.

  • Why workers should be involved when developing safe systems of work
  • Why procedures should be recorded/written down
  • The differences between technical, procedural and behavioural controls Developing a safe system of work by analysing tasks, identifying hazards and assessing risks, introducing controls and formulating procedures, instruction and training in how to use the system
  • Monitoring the system

3.7 Permit-to-work systems

This is a focused session that goes into detail about when you need a permit to work system and how to manage it effectively.

  • Meaning of a permit-to-work system
  • Why permit-to-work systems are used
  • How permit-to-work systems work and are used
  • When to use a permit-to-work system, including hot work, work on non-live (isolated) electrical systems, machinery maintenance, confined spaces, work at height.

3.8 Emergency procedures

This is your time to discuss emergency protocol, including training and testing.

  • Why emergency procedures need to be developed
  • What to include in an emergency procedure (see HSG268: ‘The health and safety toolbox’)
  • Why people need training in emergency procedures
  • Why emergency procedures need to be tested
  • What to consider when deciding on first aid needs in a workplace (shift patterns, location of site, activities carried out, number of workers, location relative to hospitals/emergency services.)

Element 4: Health and safety monitoring and measuring

Element four is all about taking part in health and safety investigations. You'll learn how to do the investigation, record your findings and report them back.

4.1: Active and reactive monitoring

You'll learn how to monitor the effectiveness of health and safety management systems.

  • The differences between active and reactive monitoring
  • Active monitoring methods (health and safety inspections, sampling and tours) and their usefulness. You'll cover the differences between the methods, frequency, competence and objectivity of people doing them; use of checklists and allocation of responsibilities and priorities for action
  • Reactive monitoring measures and their usefulness, including data on accidents, dangerous occurrences, near misses, ill-health, complaints by workforce, and enforcement action and incident investigations
  • Why lessons need to be learnt from beneficial and adverse events
  • The difference between leading and lagging indicators.

4.2 Investigating incidents

You'll be able to explain why and how incidents should be investigated, recorded and reported.

  • The different levels of investigations: minimal, low, medium and high (see HSG245)
  • Basic incident investigation steps (step one: gathering the information, step two: analysing the information, step three: identifying risk control measures, step four: the action plan and its implementation)
  • How fatalities, specified injuries, ‘over 3- or 7-day injuries’, diseases and dangerous occurrences must be recorded and reported.

4.3 Health and safety auditing

You'll know what an audit is and why and how it is used to evaluate a management system.

  • Definition of the term ‘audit’ (clause 3.32, ISO 45001:2018)
  • Why health and safety management systems should be audited, including negatives (identifying failing of a management system) and positives, organisational learning and assurance
  • Difference between audits and inspections
  • Types of audit: product/services, process, system
  • Advantages and disadvantages of external and internal audits
  • The audit stages, notification of the audit and timetable for auditing, pre-audit preparations, including competent audit team, time and resources required, information gathering and analysis, completion of audit report.

4.4 Review of health and safety performance

You'll be able to explain why and how regular reviews of health and safety performance are essential.

  • Why health and safety performance should be reviewed
  • What the review should consider including inspections, tours and sampling, absences and sickness, quality assurance reports and much more
  • Reporting on health and safety performance
  • Feeding review outputs into action and development plans as part of continuous improvement

Unit NG2: Risk Assessment

All the work you'll do in this unit is in preparation for completing a risk assessment in your place of work. You have all the theoretical knowledge from NG1, now you can see how it's applied in the real world of work. 

Element 5: Physical and psychological health

In the first element of NG2, you'll cover the risks posed by noise, vibration, radiation, mental health, violence and substance abuse at work, in preparation for the practical risk assessment. 

5.1 Noise

In 5.1, you'll review the dangers of uncontrolled noise and sound at work, so you can safeguard against hearing loss:

  • The physical and psychological effects of exposure to noise
  • The meaning of commonly used terms: sound pressure, intensity, frequency, the decibel scale, dB(A) and dB(C)
  • When exposure should be assessed; comparison of measurements to exposure limits established by recognised standards
  • Basic noise control measures, including isolation, absorption, insulation, damping and silencing; the purpose, use and limitations of personal hearing protection (types, selection, use, maintenance and attenuation factors)
  • Role of health surveillance

5.2 Vibration

Severe back pain and damage to the hands and fingers can be caused by exposure to shocks, jolts and vibrations. You can put controls on machinery, vehicles and equipment to limit the risk of injury.

  • The effects on the body of exposure to hand–arm vibration and whole-body vibration
  • When exposure should be assessed; comparison of measurements to exposure limits established by recognised standards
  • Basic vibration control measures, including: alternative methods of working (mechanisation where possible); low-vibration emission tools; selection of suitable equipment; maintenance programmes; limiting the time workers are exposed to vibration (use of rotas, planning work to avoid long periods of exposure); suitable PPE
    Role of health surveillance

5.3 Radiation

If you or your colleagues work with industrial and medical equipment, they could be exposed to harmful radiation.

  • The types of, and differences between, non-ionising and ionising radiation (including radon) and their health effects
  • Typical occupational sources of non-ionising and ionising radiation
  • The basic ways of controlling exposures to non-ionising and ionising radiation
  • Basic radiation protection strategies, including the role of the competent person in the workplace
  • The role of monitoring and health surveillance

5.4 Mental ill-health

Anxiety, depression and stress at work affect how your colleagues think, feel and behave. Protecting those workers, raising awareness and reducing stigma is part of your risk assessment:

  • The frequency and extent of mental ill-health at work
  • Common symptoms of workers with mental ill-health: depression, anxiety/panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • The causes of, and controls for, work-related mental ill-health (see the HSE’s Management Standards), including demands, control, support, relationships, roles and change
  • Homework interface: commuting, childcare issues, relocation, care of frail (vulnerable) relatives
  • Recognition that most people with mental ill-health can continue to work effectively

5.5 Violence at work

You have to safeguard the entire workforce against physical and verbal abuse, threats and assault, that includes bullying.

  • Types of violence at work including: physical, psychological, verbal, bullying
  • Jobs and activities which increase the risk of violence, including police, fire, medical, social workers, those in customer services, lone workers, those working with people under the influence of drugs and alcohol, those who handle money or valuables
  • Control measures to reduce risks from violence at work

5.6 Substance abuse at work

This unit helps you to manage drug, substance and alcohol misuse and abuse at work.

  • Risks to health and safety from substance abuse at work (alcohol, legal/illegal drugs and solvents)
  • Control measures to reduce risks from substance abuse at work

Element 6: Musculoskeletal health

This element discusses the possible fall out of poor digital screen equipment (DSE) setup and manual handling management. You'll learn about common injuries and how to prevent them. 

6.1 Work-related upper limb disorders

  • Meaning of musculoskeletal disorders and work-related upper limb disorders (WRULDs)
  • Possible ill-health conditions from poorly designed tasks and workstations
  • Avoiding/minimising risks from poorly designed tasks and workstations by considering task (including repetitive, strenuous), environment (including lighting, glare), equipment (including user requirements, adjustability, matching the workplace to individual needs of workers)

6.2 Manual handling

Let's talk about manual handling - namely when it can be avoided, how to assess it, preventing injuries and time away from work.

  • Common types of manual handling injury
  • Good handling technique for manually lifting loads
  • Avoiding/minimising manual handling risks by considering the task, the individual, the load and the working environment

6.3 Load-handling equipment

If you're hoisting people, animals or objects off the ground, you'll use equipment, machinery and vehicles to manage the load.

  • Hazards and controls for common types of load-handling aids and equipment, like sack trucks and trolleys, pallet trucks, people-handling aids, fork-lift trucks, lifts, hoists for loads and people, conveyors and cranes
  • Requirements for lifting operations for example, strong, stable and suitable equipment that's positioned and installed correctly, visibly marked with safe working load. You'll also think about how lifting operations are planned, supervised and carried out in safe manner by competent persons, and the special requirements for lifting equipment used for lifting people
  • Periodic inspection and examination/testing of lifting equipment

Element 7: Chemical and biological agents

You need to know which dangerous or harmful chemicals your workforce are using to do their jobs and how, so you can protect them from respiratory illnesses, burns and harmful situations.

7.1 Hazardous substances

  • Forms of chemical agent: dusts, fibres, fumes, gases, mists, vapours and liquids
    Forms of biological agents: fungi, bacteria and viruses
  • Difference between acute and chronic health effects
  • Health hazard classifications: acute toxicity, skin corrosion/irritation, serious eye damage/eye irritation, respiratory or skin sensitisation, germ cell mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, specific target organ toxicity (single and repeated exposure), aspiration hazard

7.2 Assessment of health risks

  • Routes of entry of hazardous substances into the body
  • The body’s defence mechanisms (superficial and cellular)
  • What needs to be taken into account when assessing health risks
  • Sources of information, like product labels, safety data sheets (who must provide them and information that they must contain)
  • Limitations of information used when assessing risks to health
  • Role and limitations of hazardous substance monitoring

7.3 Occupational exposure limits

  • Purpose of occupational exposure limits
  • Long-term and short-term limits
  • Why time-weighted averages are used
  • Limitations of exposure limits
  • Comparison of measurements to recognised standards (EH40: ‘Workplace exposure limits’)

7.4 Control measures

  • The need to prevent exposure or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately control it
  • Principles of good practice (see Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, Regulation 7(7) and Schedule 2A, as amended in 2004)
  • Common measures used to implement the principles of good practice, for example, eliminate or substitute (hazardous substances or form of substance), change process, reduce exposure time, enclose hazards, segregate process and people
  • Use of local exhaust ventilation, general applications and principles of capture and removal of hazardous substances, parts of a basic system and what can make it less effective, and requirements for inspection
  • Use and limitations of dilution ventilation
    Respiratory protective equipment - why and when it should be used and how effective it is, types of equipment and the different substances they are best suited for, selection, use and maintenance
  • Other protective equipment and clothing (gloves, overalls, eye protection)
  • Personal hygiene and protection regimes
  • Health/medical surveillance and biological monitoring
  • Additional controls that are needed for substances that can cause cancer, asthma or genetic damage that can be passed from one generation to another.

7.5 Specific agents

  • Health risks, controls and likely workplace activities/locations where the following specific agents can be found - asbestos (excluding removal and disposal), blood-borne viruses, carbon monoxide, cement, Legionella, Leptospira, silica and wood dust.

Element 8: General workplace issues

Here you'll cover everyday tasks like safe housekeeping, driving, drinking water and eating facilities, plus working from height and much more. The element has eye-catching highlights like new technology risks posed by, for example, electric cars.

8.1 Health, welfare and work environment

  • Health and welfare, like supply of drinking water, washing facilities, sanitary conveniences, accommodation for clothing, rest and eating facilities, seating, ventilation, heating and lighting
  • The effects of exposure to extremes of temperature and control measures

8.2 Working at height

  • What affects risk from working at height, including vertical distance, fragile roofs, deterioration of materials, unprotected edges, unstable/poorly maintained access equipment, weather and falling materials
  • The hierarchy for selecting equipment for working safely at height:> avoid working at height by, for example, using extendable tools to work from ground level, assembly of components/equipment at ground level
  • Prevent a fall from occurring by using an existing workplace that is known to be safe, such as a solid roof with fixed guardrails, use of suitable equipment such as mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), scaffolds and work restraint systems
  • Minimise the distance and/or consequence of a fall, by collective measures such as safety nets and airbags, installed close to the level of work, and personal protective measures such as fall-arrest systems
  • Main precautions necessary to prevent falls and falling materials, including proper planning and supervision of work, avoiding working in adverse weather conditions
  • Emergency rescue
  • Provision of training, instruction and other measures
  • General precautions when using common forms of work equipment to prevent falls, including ladders, stepladders, scaffolds (independent tied and mobile tower), MEWPs, trestles, staging platforms and leading-edge protection systems
  • Prevention of falling materials through safe stacking and storage

8.3 Safe working in confined spaces

  • Types of confined spaces and why they are dangerous
  • The main hazards associated with working within a confined space
  • What should be considered when assessing risks from a confined space The precautions to be included in a safe system of work for confined spaces
  • When a permit-to-work for confined spaces would not be required

8.4 Lone working

  • What a lone worker is and typical examples of lone working
  • Particular hazards of lone working
  • Control measures for lone working
  • What should be considered when assessing risks of lone working

8.5 Slips and trips

  • Common causes of slips and trips, including uneven or unsuitable surfaces, trailing cables, obstructions in walkways, unsuitable footwear
  • Main control measures for slips and trips, including non-slip surfaces, maintenance and housekeeping

8.6 Safe movement of people and vehicles in the workplace

  • Hazards to pedestrians, for example, being struck by moving, flying or falling objects, collisions with moving vehicles, or striking against fixed or stationary objects
  • Hazards from workplace transport operations (vehicle movement, non-movement)
  • Control measures to manage workplace transport, like safe site design, safe vehicles and safe driving

8.7 Work-related driving

  • Using the plan, do, act, check model
  • Work-related driving control measures, like safe driver, safe vehicle and safe journey planning
  • Hazards associated with the use of electric and hybrid vehicles

Element 9: Work equipment

You'll learn about personal protective equipment (PPE) and how to safely manage machinery and equipment used in your workplace - these could be industrial, or hand-held size. 

9.1 General requirements

  • Providing suitable equipment, including the requirement for CE marking within the UK and Europe
  • Preventing access to dangerous parts of machinery
  • When the use and maintenance of equipment with specific risks needs to be restricted
  • Providing information, instruction and training about specific risks to people at risk, including users, maintenance staff and managers
  • Why equipment should be maintained and maintenance conducted safely Emergency operation controls, stability, lighting, markings and warnings, clear workspace

9.2 Hand-held tools

  • General considerations for selecting hand-held tools (whether powered or manual)
  • Requirements for safe use
  • Condition and fitness for use
  • Suitability for purpose
  • Location to be used in (including flammable atmosphere)
  • Hazards of a range of hand-held tools (whether powered or manual) and how these hazards are controlled

9.3 Machinery hazards

  • Potential consequences as a result of contact with, or exposure to, mechanical or other hazards (see ISO 12100:2010 (Table B.1))
  • Hazards of a range of equipment, including manufacturing/maintenance machinery (including bench-top grinder, pedestal drill), agricultural/horticultural machinery (like a cylinder mower, strimmer/brush cutter, chainsaw), retail machinery (including compactor), construction machinery (including cement mixer, bench-mounted circular saw), and emerging technologies (including drones, driver-less vehicles)

9.4 Control measures for machinery

  • The basic principles of operation, advantages and limitations of the following control methods, including guards, fixed, interlocking and adjustable/self-adjusting
  • Protective devices like two-hand, hold-to-run, sensitive protective equipment (trip devices), emergency stop controls
  • Jigs, holders, push-sticks
  • Information, instruction, training and supervision
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Use of the above control methods for the range of equipment listed in 9.3
  • Basic requirements for guards and safety devices

Element 10: Fire

This is how you should manage and control fire risks in your place of work. It also covers the safest way to navigate a workplace fire if your measures and controls fail. 

10.1 Fire principles

  • The fire triangle - sources of ignition, fuel and oxygen in a typical workplace, oxidising materials
  • Classification of fires: A, B, C, D, F and electrical fires
  • Principles of heat transmission and fire spread: convection, conduction, radiation, direct burning
  • Common causes and consequences of fires in workplaces

10.2 Preventing fire and fire spread

  • Control measures to minimise the risk of a fire starting in a workplace, including eliminate or reduce quantities of flammable and combustible materials used or stored, control ignition sources (for example, suitable electrical equipment in flammable atmospheres) put in place good systems of work and good housekeeping
  • Storage of flammable liquids in workrooms and other locations
  • Structural measures to prevent the spread of fire and smoke, properties of common building materials (including fire doors), compartmentalisation, protection of openings and voids

10.3 Fire alarms and fire fighting

  • Common fire-detection and alarm systems
  • Portable fire-fighting equipment: siting, maintenance and training requirement
  • Extinguishing media: water, foam, dry powder, carbon dioxide; wet chemical; advantages and limitations
  • Access for fire and rescue services and vehicles

10.4 Fire evaluating

  • Means of escape: travel distances, stairs, passageways, doors, emergency lighting, exit and directional signs and assembly points
  • Emergency evacuation procedures
  • Role and appointment of fire marshals
  • The purpose of fire drills, including roll call
  • Provisions for people with disabilities
  • Emergency escape routes to be recorded in a building plan

Element 11: Electricity

Electric shocks are a real danger if your team works with electrical equipment, or work at height to sort out overhead wiring. This final element covers the primary and secondary dangers (like falling) as well as the most sensible and effective controls to keep everyone safe.

11.1 Hazards and risks

  • Electric shock and its effects on the body for example, what affects severity, voltage, frequency, duration, resistance, current path and electrical burns (from direct and indirect contact with an electrical source)
  • Common causes of electrical fires, including portable devices overheating during charging
  • Workplace electrical equipment, including portable
  • What is likely to lead to accidents (unsuitable equipment; inadequate maintenance; use of defective/poorly maintained electrical equipment; use of electrical equipment in wet environments)
  • Secondary effects, including falls from height
  • Work near overhead power lines; contact with underground power cables during excavation work
  • Work on mains electricity supplies

11.2 Control measures

  • Protection of conductors
  • Strength and capability of the equipment
  • Advantages and limitations of protective systems: fuses, earthing, isolation of supply, double insulation, residual current devices, reduced and low voltage systems
  • Use of competent people
  • Use of safe systems of work (no live working unless no other option, isolation, locating buried services, protection against overhead cables)
  • Emergency procedures following an electrical incident
  • Inspection and maintenance strategies - user checks, formal inspection and tests of the electrical installation and equipment, frequency of inspection and testing, records of inspection and testing, advantages and limitations of portable appliance testing (PAT)

Who decides what is in the NEBOSH General Certificate?

The NEBOSH General Certificate course is developed, moderated and evolved by NEBOSH.

It hosts consultations with Learning Partners (like us - we're a Gold standard, which means we're the best of the best), standard-setting businesses, learners and health and safety experts.

It follows the lead of the HSE, so you can feel confident that what you're learning is always compliant and up-to-date.

How often is the NEBOSH General Certificate course updated?

The syllabus reflects the health and safety landscape - so if there are critical changes to the moral, fiscal or legal specifications your business must operate in, NEBOSH would update the course.