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Health and Safety - Warnings


Whether it concerns employees in a place of work or members of the public out and about, warnings serve to alert them to the presence of danger and will usually require them to take action by either doing something (e.g. getting out of the way, wearing a hard hat) or deliberately not doing something such as not smoking or not using a mobile telephone in the vicinity.

Warnings Need to be Understood

One of the most important aspects of a warning is that they must be easily and quickly understood so that a person can take the appropriate action in time to avoid coming to harm. Many warning signs are either a picture and words or even just a picture. Not only does this visual representation allow for a quick understanding, but it also means that those who cannot understand the language will know what message is trying to be conveyed. This is particularly useful in locations such as airports or popular tourist attractions where there are likely to be lots of people of different nationalities present.

Audible warnings also have their uses, but they are more likely to be misunderstood. In terms of language, an audible instruction could be misunderstood or not understood at all if the person does not understand the language. If the audible warning is not an instruction but rather just a siren or bell or beeping sound, then if a worker or member of the public has not been pre-informed of what it means, then they will not know what they should do when they hear the alarm as they will not know the nature of the emergency! As far as workers are concerned, being informed of the various audible warnings that they may hear (including being given a demonstration of it) and what they should do in the event of hearing it should be part of their health and safety induction training as the emergency could take place at any time, including on their first day of work.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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