Understanding Risk Assessments before Taking a Health and Safety NVQ
Risk Assessments and Health & Safety
Risk assessments form a considerable part of workplace health and safety. The prevention of accidents and incidents is the ultimate aim of everyone, and is the reason why health and safety training is provided to employees, in order to educate them about the dangers which they may face or create whilst at work. Because an NVQ qualification is based around the collection of evidence rather than any information being taught as there is in a classroom-based course with a tutor, it is imperative that an individual has a thorough understanding of risk assessments before they enrol on a health and safety NVQ.
What are Health and Safety Risk Assessments?
Health and safety risk assessments, as the name implies, are an assessment of the actual or potential risks which can endanger health or wellbeing. Depending upon the nature of the work/activity taking place, these dangers could affect the worker themselves, their colleagues, members of the public living and working nearby, as well as the environment in terms of plant, animal or aquatic life.
All current and planned works can create risks to health, as can stopping a process e.g. will a lack of activity lead to the growth of harmful bacteria in a drainage pond? Or will the abandonment of machinery create an environmental hazard as it corrodes over the months and years? This is why it is important that risk assessments are carried out before any changes to processes are made, as well as assessing the risks of those processes and practices already in operation.
NVQs Require a Person to be in a Suitable Job Role and Have a Certain Level of Health and Safety Knowledge
The fact that health and safety NVQs are vocational qualifications which require evidence to be gathered as a person undergoes their normal workplace duties means that the individual also needs to have a comprehensive understanding of health and safety issues, including risk assessments, before enrolling. Of course, if a person is already in such a job role it is highly likely (hopefully) that they are already well-trained in such matters, but sadly this is not always the case.
A number of people are attracted to the fact that the NVQs are at the same qualification level as the NEBOSH National Diploma for instance, but do not require attendance at a training venue. Unfortunately though, not only can NVQs not be undertaken by those who are not in a suitable job role, as they will not be able to gather the evidence required for their portfolio, but a suitable level of knowledge regarding health and safety issues needs to already be in place. For instance, an individual cannot gather evidence about suitable risk assessments if they are not fully aware of what needs to actually be performed on a risk assessment.
For those who have not already received a suitable level of health and safety training before, an NVQ qualification is not option to bypass the need to attend a classroom training course. Some people try and get around it by searching for an e-learning or distance learning option for a taught health and safety course, but these are not suitable formats for trying to learn the great quantity of information provided by these courses, which most people only realise half way through or, perhaps worse, when it comes to the exams and assessments. To read more about why e-learning and distance learning courses are not suitable for comprehensive qualifications like the NEBOSH General Certificate or NEBOSH Diploma, please click here.
The NEBOSH General Certificate Course as an Alternative to an NVQ
Anybody who is not in a suitable health and safety job role already, or who is but has had little health and safety training before and needs to acquire more knowledge of the subject, will benefit far more from taking the NEBOSH General Certificate course. This comprehensive health and safety course covers a tremendous range of health and safety issues and topics, looking at the most common hazards and risks which are likely to be encountered in a typical workplace. As well as these dangers, the NEBOSH General Certificate will also cover relevant issues such as applicable legislation (e.g. the Health and Safety at Work Act), policies, accident reporting and, of course, risk assessments. Please click here to go to the NEBOSH General Certificate page which provides a great deal of information about the course, as well as scheduled open course dates and prices.