Why a NEBOSH qualification is going the extra mile

07 Jan 2022
BY Dave Salisbury

Why a NEBOSH qualification is going the extra mile.

This year – I’m proud to say – Zicam became a holder of a NEBOSH qualification. More specifically, Sophie Hancox, our Senior Operations Controller, made the commitment last year to studying for this qualification, which is quite the undertaking when you consider that it takes around a year from starting the course to taking the examination.

Sophie was one of around 50,000 people who study for a qualification with the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) every year and while the courses are taken by people across a spectrum of industries, it’s unusual for a company in our industry (in security and surveillance) to attain one. But they are the most sought after health, safety and environmental (HSE) qualification and globally recognised , so we wanted one!

Managing risk, investing in staff

Quite simply getting that qualification was all about excellence, investment and doing what’s best for our customers. Everyone at Zicam likes to commit to going the extra mile – in everything we do – and attaining accreditation and qualifications is no different. We like to show, rather than tell, our customers about our high standards and this most recent HSE qualification shows we are a competent company committed to continuous improvement. Our good reputation is really important to us, so there’s an element of credibility when – thanks to the NEBOSH qualification – we can show a proven track record for no accidents either at our site or our customers.

By investing in our staff to take this qualification we’re also investing in our customers. This HSE qualification means we can conduct a risk assessment and method statements (RAMS) on behalf of  them prior to a project starting. It’s quite a large time and cost saving for our customer for us to be able to do this because it can be quite a lengthy and in-depth process. But it shows we’re a responsible company who make the wellbeing of our customer’s employees, as well as our own, the highest priority.

With a risk assessment there are five elements we have to go through:

  1. Identify any hazards
  2. Establish who could be harmed and how they could be harmed
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
  4. Recording the findings
  5. Review the assessment and updating if necessary

A risk assessment is kept under review to make sure that safe working practices are carried out during the work, and to consider any new practices or equipment / machinery that may emerge as work progresses.

Then, next…

Down to method

Alongside a risk assessment sits the method statement. When it comes to HSE on a job the method statement is really important as it outlines in detail how the work is going to be carried out. It goes hand in hand with the risk assessment because it describes how the risks identified in the first step are going to be mitigated and what the control measures are. It’s used to describe the process, steps and resources needed to do the job safely and how the work is going to be completed and in what order. What we would normally find in a method statement include:

  1. Project details
  2. Responsibilities
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required
  4. Agreed activities and description of work
  5. Emergency procedures
  6. Work procedure and control measures

While this list isn’t exhaustive and includes just some of the detail captured in the method statement, it shows the level of detail that’s required to keep everyone safe on site. It’s a big undertaking but an essential task to take on both a risk assessment and method statement on behalf of our customer, but one that we’re happy to commit to – and it’s made all the easier with the NEBOSH qualification.

So, well done to Sophie for her commitment. It boosts our company’s reputation and sets high standards. Two things that we mean to keep!

Donna Doughty, Office Manager and Director, Zicam Integrated Security Limited

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