We have put this IOSH Managing Safely Project guide together to help people who have completed an IOSH Managing Safely training course and have either forgotten or are not sure about the instruction that they have been given for its completion.
But first, if you haven’t yet attended your IOSH Managing Safely training and would like to do so for just £395, take a look at our open IOSH Managing Safely courses. Maybe you would like to provide an IOSH Managing Safely course for your employees at just £150 per person, if so here is the IOSH Managing Safely course for you.
This IOSH managing Safely project guide doesn’t give you the answers nor does it teach you about health and safety but it will help you to layout your own answers in a way that might be expected for the IOSH Managing Safely project. The information is provided for guidance only so please do not submit these examples as your own work. I am sure that your assessor will spot them. If you would like to be provided with all of the solutions to the project take a look here.
The information in these pages relates only to the Pack version 3.1 of the project. If you have undertaken a different version of the IOSH Managing Safely course this guide will be of no help to you, sorry. You may be able to confirm which project you are undertaking by looking at the top of the introduction page or the bottom right hand corner of the assessment part pages. If you are still unsure about which version of the project you are completing please consult with your training provider.
Lynwood cannot accept responsibility for your certification and following this IOSH Managing Safely project guide does not guarantee that you will provide the correct answers. That bit is still down to you.
The information has been provided with good intentions. If you spot any faults or if you have any ideas for improvements for our IOSH Managing Safely Project Guide I would be very grateful for your comments. Please submit them via the email address in the footer to this page.
If you need a blank V3.1 IOSH Managing Safely Project paper you can download one (by clicking on the following links) in either:
If you completed your training with Lynwood your trainer will review your draft IOSH Managing Safely project. If you would like to take advantage of this offer you must complete the project in MS Word format. It must be submitted within 5 working days by emailing it to the address in the footer of this page. You can submit partially completed projects to check that you are on the right track.
These forms have been provided for use by Lynwood delegates and the return mailing address has been completed for their convenience. If you didn’t do your training with Lynwood you are welcome to use these forms too but you will need to send your project to your own training provider, not to Lynwood.
IOSH Managing Safely Project – Guide for Completion
There are a number of pages explaining the expectations of the project and what points are awarded for which parts of the project. In addition to the return address for your project the front cover should also indicate the date by which your work must be submitted by. IOSH stipulate the time allowed for the project. Missing the submission deadline could jeopardise your certification for the course.
The project is broken down into 6 main parts. Each of these has a number of cells to complete. Although the project is based on the risk assessment process it is unlike any risk assessment that you are likely to complete in your workplace.
The intention of the project is not to test whether you have completed a suitable and sufficient assessment of risks; it is an assessment of whether you understand the process of risk assessing. You may find it easier to base your project on your workplace or another place that you are familiar with. Equally this may be based on a place that exists only in your head.
The amount of space that IOSH has provided for your answers is, perhaps, indicative of the amount of information that they expect you to provide. If you are responsible for multiple rooms or even multiple floors in a building, you might use just a small area within it.
You will need to identify a total of 9 hazards in your workspace. If you are basing your project on a real place and there are insufficient equipment, substances or work activities in this place to enable you to complete your project, you might imagine these items being there. Perhaps you do have enough potential hazards in your workplace but, like many workplaces, these hazards and their associated risks are sufficiently well controlled. For those hazards that you are going to take forward to risk assess and control, you might unimagine these re-existing controls.
Every page in this project has an authentication line at the bottom. Don’t forget to sign these on every page. A failure to do so could result in IOSH rejecting your work.
Part 1 – Description of the Work Tasks That are Your Responsibility
The markers of your project will need to understand a few things about your workplace in order to understand your processes, your workforce and your equipment etc. Part 1 of the project provides you with the opportunity to convey this to your markers. This part of the project is broken down into 4 further parts as follows:
A description/labelled sketch of the location(s)
“A description/labelled sketch”, you may take this to mean that providing a sketch is optional. If so, before you opt out of providing a sketch, remember that a picture paints a thousand words.
In your sketch identify the perimeter of your area of responsibility. This may be done by drawing walls with their openings (windows and doorways) or, if you are responsible for a space within a larger area, you may define the limits of your area with a dotted line.
Within your area sketch the general layout including the main equipment, such as desks or machines. Identify the doorways, including the emergency exits if you have them. You may want to label these. If the limits of your area are defined by a dotted line you might use arrows to show where the access and egress points are.
You should indicate the size of your workspace. Don’t worry; no one is coming to your workplace to test your measurements. If you say that it is 20’ x 20’ then that is what it is.
You could label your sketch with a descriptive heading such as “administration office”, “metal fabrication workshop” or “goods out yard”. A good descriptive title will tell the marker of your project what is the function of this place and whether it is indoors or outdoors (“office”, “workshop” = indoors. Yard = outdoors). If you don’t give your sketch a descriptive title or label you should find another way to provide this information.
A description of the people who work in or visit the area on a regular basis or from time to time and how often they’re there
If you read that carefully I am sure that you will identify that we are being asked to provide quite a bit of information here. The idea here is that we tell the marker of our project who might be affected by the hazards, which we will identify later.
Think about the other people who work here, your colleagues. Remember, we are being asked to be descriptive. “Operative” or “manager” would not be enough. Operative of what? Or manager of what?
Some of the people that might be affected by our hazards might be a little less obvious, such as our contractors or other visitors. If you can’t identify what contractors come to your workplace then take a look around you and imagine “what would happen if someone put a brick through that window?” or “what would I do if the printer broke down?” or “who would replace the gear set on that machine?”. It is difficult to imagine a workplace that would never need support from a contractor. “Visitors” would include the type of people who might be escorted around your workplace by a member of your management, such as customers or potential customers and external assessors or auditors.
Don’t forget to include the general public in your considerations. These might also be your visitors, especially if you provide a public service. There is a special part of the public that you need to consider too, trespassers. If you don’t get visits from these groups of people then describe what your organisation does to prevent them. Maybe you have a security guard at the entrance or a key code entry system. Perhaps your windows are barred and you have an alarm system fitted. If these people are not excluded from your workplace then they may be affected by your hazards.
Out of all of these people you will need to identify who is there regularly. One way to do this would be to provide a group heading such as “full time employees, 9 ‘til 5”. You could then go on to provide two further headings including “regular visitors” and “occasional visitors”. For the people under these headings you will need to identify how frequently they visit e.g. 3 x cleaning laddies visit 3 hours per day on work days.
A description of permanent and temporary pieces of equipment and substances used in your work environment
There’s that word again, “description”. Don’t list things like “drills”. There are many types of drill, pedestal drills, floor mounted pedestal drills, bench mounted pedestal drills, hand drills, mains voltage drills, reduced voltage drills, hammer drills, SDS drills …… You get the point (I hope). Apply this principle to all of the equipment that you describe.
Some equipment might be permanent and some might be temporary. Maybe all of your equipment is permanent or maybe it is all temporary. You decide but make sure that you distinguish which they are.
Remember to indicate how many of these pieces of equipment you have in your workspace. It could affect your assessment.
You will need to describe your substances. In order to describe your substances accurately you will need to describe their nature e.g. is it an irritant, a corrosive, explosive etc. etc. etc. You can find the nature of your products on the product MSDS or on the label on the container. If you can’t find the MSDS try searching online. Enter the search criteria “MSDS – followed by the product name”. There are loads of MSDSs freely available online.
Include the amount of substance that you hold in this place. “2 bottles” or “6 x cartridges” won’t do. How much does a bottle hold? You might say “2 x 1Ltr bottles” or just “2Ltrs”.
It is apparent that a lot of people cannot identify any substances in their workplaces. In which case it would be a good idea to imagine some substance that could exists here. You might chose not to, which is fine but then you will not be given any marks for your substances.
A description of the activities carried out within your work environment
Provide an overview of the kind of thinks that go on in your chosen workspace e.g. manual handling of stationary, fabrication of steel vessels, financial data input or whatever it is that you get up to.
Earlier in Part 1 you described your equipment. Now describe what maintenance of that equipment is undertaken. You may have described earlier that you have fork lift trucks. PUWER and LOLER dictate a number of maintenance events for these trucks. You might include them here. You may have described electrical items that are plugged into service sockets. Employers must ensure that these portable appliances are safe. Perhaps your organisation employs PAT to accomplish this. Describe this here.
Describe too what you do to keep your workplace clean. To say that “the cleaning laddies visit twice per day” doesn’t describe these cleaning events. “The floor is vacuumed and the desks are polished every day. The windows are washed once per month” would be an example of a description of cleaning, as would “at the end of each day the workbenches are brushed down, the tools are hung back on their racks, the floor is swept and the bins are emptied”.
The next 3 parts are all about identifying hazards. You will need 3 separate hazards per part, 9 in total. The hazards that you identify in Parts 2 & 3 are taken no further. The hazards that you identify in Part 4 will be taken forward into Part 5 for assessment and into Part 6 for control.
Some situations could give rise to location hazards, equipment hazards, substance hazards and even activity hazards but they cannot be the same hazard.
Let’s take a look at a computer terminal. We might describe how the screen is facing a window, causing reflection. This is a location hazard. We know that because if you move it i.e. turn it so that it doesn’t face the window, the problem has gone away.
We might describe how our computer terminal has a screen with a high gloss finish. This too can cause reflection but this time it’s an equipment hazard. The reflection is due to the glossy finish.
Maybe we clean the screen with solvent based wipes. Regular exposure might cause dermatitis perhaps. It’s because our wipes have solvents in them, a substance hazard.
OK, we have put our screen in an appropriate place, it doesn’t have a reflective finish and we don’t use solvent wipes. The trouble is that people sit at their terminals for up to 8 hours per day without frequent breaks. This could cause eye strain from looking at the screen for too long. Repetitive key strokes could cause RSIs, simply sitting in one place for too long could cause vascular problems or sitting in an awkward position could cause musculoskeletal disorders. These are activity hazards. They are due to the way that we work or sit for prolonged periods, the way that we work repetitively or the way that we slouch in our chair.
For some people it might be easier to identify 9 completely unrelated hazards.
Each of these checklists has small box in the bottom right hand corner of each cell. These are for marking purposes. Please do not write in them.
Part 2 – Hazard Checklist: Locations
Start with the cell across the top, where you need to identify your company, department and site name. Maybe you don’t have departmental or site names. That’s fine. If so put “N/A”, “none applicable” or “we don’t have one”. Just don’t leave these blank.
The main form is broken down into 3 rows, one for each of the 3 location hazards that you are going to identify.
Location hazards are those potential problems that arise due to where they are such as on walk ways, facing windows or next to the heater; or they may be due to environmental issues such as lighting levels, temperature or airflow.
In the first column we are asked to provide a “description of the location”. We have already described our location in part 1 right? Yes but, what we need here is a description of the location in relation to the hazard:
The carpet, in the opening of the fire escape door on the right hand side of the office, is not properly secured and the tread plate is raised.
What I have described in my example is the state of the floor in this emergency escape route. In the next column we are asked to provide a “description of the hazard”, which, following my example, could go as follows:
In the event of a fire people using this escape route might trip over the raised tread plate or carpet.
Next we are asked to identify the “number and occupation of the people affected”. These people will be taken from those that we identified in Part 1. If, as you complete this checklist, you think of someone that you didn’t identify in Part 1 then go back and add them to that list. Don’t list people here that you haven’t identified in Part 1. Don’t just list everyone from part 1. Think logically. Imagine if you described how your PC monitor is facing a window, then do not include members of the public or trespassers as being affected. It is not likely that you would allow visiting members of the public to you use your PC, nor is it likely that people would break in to use it.
In the last column, on the extreme right hand side of the form, we are asked whether a “risk assessment (is) recommended”. There are 2 small cells at the top of this box, a “yes” cell on the left and a “no” cell on the right. Tick the one that applies to your hazard. It doesn’t matter whether you decide that a risk assessment is recommended or not, these hazards will be taken no further in this project. If you tick the “yes” cell you will get a point. If you tick the “no” cell you will only get a point if you properly explain why an assessment is not recommended. Perhaps there are already adequate controls in place.
Make sure that you have used just the one hazard in each row, 3 location hazards in total.
Part 3 – Hazard Checklist: Equipment and Substance
Don’t forget that cell across the top with our company name etc.
In this part you can use 3 equipment hazards, 3 substance hazards, 2 equipment and 1 substance or 1 equipment and 2 substances, any variation that you like.
The principle is the same as in Part 2, except we are going to talk about equipment and/or substance hazards. Let’s look at equipment hazards first. Perhaps in Part 1 we described a floor mounted, mains voltage pedestal drill. In the first column we are asked to provide a “description of the equipment/substances”. Don’t just repeat the description from Part 1. Describe what it is about this equipment that causes the problem or, in other words, describe the equipment in relation to the hazard:
The drill does not have a bit guard fitted.
In the next column we are expected to provide a “description of the hazard”, which, if we follow my example, could go along the lines of:
Swarf could be ejected, which could go into the operator’s eyes
Or it may cause another hazard, such as:
The cuff of the operator’s coveralls could become entangled and drawn in his arm.
Don’t use 2 hazards, just one or the other.
The points in relation to the next 2 columns are the same as for Part 2. In the interest of brevity I won’t repeat them.
When describing a substance hazard a common mistake is to repeat its nature i.e. it is a corrosive. Well, we already know that. You told us in Part 1 remember? Let’s say that we do have a substance and it is a corrosive. We need to describe how this causes a problem:
About a cap full of the xyz (substance) is decanted into a bucket of hot water.
…. And the hazard might be:
The xyz tends to splash and the user could get it on their hands or in their eyes.
Part 4 – Hazard Checklist: Activities
If you have read the pre-amble to your project you may have noticed that Parts 2 & 3 are worth 16 points each. This, Part 4, is worth only 13 points. In Parts 2 & 3 you are given a point for deciding whether each hazard should be risk assessed. All 3 of the hazards that you identify in Part 4 will be carried forward into Part 5 for risk assessment and then to Part 6 for risk control. You don’t get to make the decision so you don’t get the points.
If what you describe here in Part 4 is not an activity hazard not only will you lose the 4 points related to that hazard here in Part 4 but you will lose the 9 points related to that hazard in Part 5 and the 9 points related to that hazard in Part 6. That’s a lot of points.
These activity hazards arise due to the way that we do things – for long periods, without breaks, repetitively or with poor posture. Sitting in an awkward position; repetitively pulling a lever; loading a flatbed manually, which takes a log time, without respite; unloading a delivery to the store by “passing off” down a line (which causes people to twist); picking things up from under the desk (stooping) and stretching to reach for things would all work as activity hazards.
Let’s stick with our pedestal drill example here. There are a number of potential activity hazards related to our pedestal drill. We might describe how the operator spends up to 8 hours per day pulling down the lever to drill holes in sheet material. This might lead to repetition. Here’s another:
A pallet of sheet aluminium is placed next to the drill and the operator picks up a sheet at a time to drill pre-spotted holes into it.
At the start of the operation, when there is a high pile of aluminium on the pallet, the ergonomics might be good but as the pile decreases things might get worse. Let’s say:
As the stock of aluminium is depleted the operator is required to bend further and further over.
If he keeps bending over like that things could go wrong.
Comments relating to the number and occupation of people affected remain the same as or Parts 2 & 3. You are not required to tick the “yes” or “no” box for risk assessment. The hazard that you have described must need assessing.
As with the other hazard checklists you will need 3 separate hazards.
Part 5 – Risk Assessment Form
That cell across the top of the page requiring you to complete your company name is the same as for the other parts of the project.
There are now additional cells at the bottom of the page. We will talk about these first.
The upper of the 2 cells asks for the date and time. This is the date and time of the assessment, which is any date and time that you say it is in between your course end date and the date that you submit your project to your course provider.
In the same cell you get to decide what the appropriate review period is. Think about your hazards and how long you expect it might take to take corrective action. Take a common sense approach here but consider that most risk assessments, even for those risks that are controlled, would often be reviewed at least annually. Your risks are not controlled (or you shouldn’t use them here) so perhaps the review period should be something less than a year. The date of next review is your “date” plus your “review period”.
In the lower of these 2 cells you provide your details. A common problem here is to forget to sign this cell, which is unfortunate because that’s easy points lost. I think that the problem is due to people flicking through the pages to sign the authentication line and forgetting that Parts 5 & 6 need to be signed twice. Please take care.
OK, we’re into the main body of the form. You are going to carry forward the 3 hazards that you identified in Part 4. I would recommend that you put them in the same order as you did in Part 4. The marker of your project will need to identify which row pertains to which Part 4 hazard. If he/she can’t do so, you may just lose all of the marks from here forwards. Make it easy for them.
In the first column we are ask to identify the “work activity”. Remember, in Part 4 we were asked for a “description of the work activity”. Now that key word “description” is missing. A succinct name will do now:
Picking up aluminium.
In the next cell you are asked to answer 3 questions – what is the hazard, what is the hazardous event and what do you expect the consequence to be? Sticking with my example:
The hazard is the – bending over repetitively to pick up sheets of aluminium.
The hazardous event might be that this is – placing an excessive load on the lower back.
The expected consequence could be – causing a back injury such as a ruptured intervertebral disc or sciatica.
The next column asks you to list the people affected. That word “description” is missing again. In Part 4 you would have listed, for example, the manager of this and the manager of that. Here we could reduce that to “managers x 2”.
When it comes to completing the numeric assessment of risk you must use the 5×5 risk matrix. Qualitative risk assessments such as these are pretty subjective. Because it is largely a matter of opinion it’s difficult to get this part wrong yet, from time to time, it happens. One mistake that people make is bad maths, caused perhaps through a lack of attention or rushing. Another potential issue is related to matching the numeric value to the expected consequence, which we listed in the second column e.g. if you have cited “death” as an expected consequence, then the numeric value for death in this evaluation should probably be about 5.
We have no option as to whether risk controls are required. Just make sure that the “yes” cell is ticked.
Part 6 – Risk Control Form
Don’t forget to fill out ALL of the parts of the cells across the top and bottom of the page. The same points that I brought up in Part 5, relating to these, pertain here too.
The 3 hazards that we selected needed to be assessed. The implication is that the associated level of risk must have been unacceptably high. Otherwise why would we need to do a risk assessment, right? This is where we put that right. We are going to introduce new risk controls.
I would recommend that you lay your 3 hazards out in the same order as you did in Part 5 for the same reason that we laid Part 5 out in the same order as Part 4.
The first column asks you for 2 things, the work activity and the risk level. Use the work activity name that you used in Part 5, verbatim. The risk level is the numeric value that you identified in the “risk level” of the “assessment of risk” in Part 5.
The next 2 columns are in relation to risk controls, those that already exist and those further controls that you recommend. Many organisations have most of their risks controlled well enough. When people base their project on such a workplace it can make it difficult to see what more can be done. One approach might be to uninvent an existing control, which would result in the unacceptable risk level that we identified in Part 5. We could then go on to reinvent that control as our recommendation. If doing this means that there are no existing risk controls that’s fine, just write “none”, “nil” or “there are no existing controls” in the first of these 2 columns.
When it comes to considering your recommended further controls, make sure that the control that you recommend controls the activity hazard. In my example the problem arose due to the bending and lifting. If I am going to reduce or solve this problem I am going to need to reduce or eliminate the bending.
In the next 3 columns we are going to review the residual risk, that which is left after our recommendations have been implemented. You must use the 5 x 5 risk matrix again. There are very few risk controls that reduce both likelihood and consequence. Think about which one of these your control has reduced.
If, in my example, I had found some way to eliminate the need for the operator to pick up the sheet aluminium, then I have eliminated the risk. In such cases people have, in the past, answered this residual risk evaluation as 1 x 1 = 1. If the risk has been eliminated it should be 0 x 0 = 0.
In the final column you are asked for a “description of the monitoring required”. You will also need to identify the frequency at which this is to be undertaken. Common mistakes include statements along the lines of “monitor the ….”, “check that people follow the safe system” etc. You have been asked to describe how you will monitor, don’t just say that you will monitor/check etc.
Think about your control. How could you best test whether it is being applied and if it is, whether it is having the desired affect? Consider too, how likely is this to go wrong and if it did go wrong how bad would things be? The more likely it is to go wrong and the more severe the consequence, then the more effort we should apply to ensuring that we have put it right.
If an activity hazard resulted in the production of dust you might recommend respiratory protection. We could test this with lung function checks. If the way that you have done things resulted in a lot of noise you might recommend hearing protection. Audiometric testing would check whether this control works. If people spend too long looking at a computer screen and you enforce frequent breaks as your recommended new control you might test this with eye and eyesight tests (yes, I know that looking at screens doesn’t damage your eyes but this was established as an appropriate measure long ago. Besides, it provides warnings).
If a hazard has historically resulted in a large number of injuries you might monitor your new control by checking the accident records. If your control has reduced the associated incident/accident rate this would indicate that your control works.
There are some controls that are monitored by simple means. You might say that they should be measured during safety tours, during OH&S inspections or during audits.
The frequency of monitoring should be appropriate to your means of monitoring. Health surveillance can be costly and complicated. You might undertake these annually. Auditing is a complex means of measuring. This too is time consuming. Maybe quarterly would be appropriate for such activities. Safety tours on the other hand are simple and, unless things are going wrong, take very little time and effort. We should be undertaking safety tours daily. You might measure the effectiveness of your control on each daily tour.
If your trainer has looked at this guide and has told you not to follow it, then don’t follow it. Your training provider will be marking your project. If they believe that this guide is wrong then you would get no points for following it.
I hope that this has helped you with your IOSH Managing Safely project. If it has we would love to hear about it. If you can see how it might be improved we would love to hear about that too. Your opinion matters to us so please let us know whether our IOSH Managing Safely project has worked for you and if we might make it work better for others in the future.
Good luck with your project.