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The NEBOSH General Certificate and Machinery Hazards

In the health and safety article NEBOSH General Certificate Work Equipment we saw how the syllabus of the NEBOSH General Certificate course will cover the general risks from some common small items of machinery but will not provide specific details of instruction for each piece of equipment or attempt to cover the hazards created by every single piece of machinery that may be used by everybody in every trade and industry!



The NEBOSH General Certificate Looks at Many Risks Associated with Machinery

Instead the syllabus of NEBOSH General Certificate courses will discuss common risks and dangers to the health of individuals who are either operating or stood/moving in the nearby vicinity. Some of the most likely methods in which a person may come to harm from work equipment (or even using such tools and equipment in their personal time) will take the form of:


  • Entanglement with moving parts and mechanisms, such as hair or clothing getting caught. Not only can it be painful if it is hair, but clothing such as ties which get caught can result in choking to death. Entanglement can also result in drawing-in which is described in the bullet point underneath.

  • Drawing-in usually refers to clothing or body parts such as fingers being drawn-in to machinery parts which are rotating and as such pull a person closer to and unfortunately into the mechanisms of the machinery. These are likely to be sharp and/or strong enough to easily crush limbs which makes this risk extremely serious and one where suitable health and safety training needs to be provided in order to reduce the likelihood of such an incident occurring.

  • Impact injuries where a person's body is struck by a moving object such as ejected waste matter from the machining process (e.g. wood or plastic which has been punched out to create a hole in a piece of material), or from machinery itself which moves such as robotic equipment. Although sometimes fitted with sensors and other safety controls to detect the presence of objects in their path, it is often necessary for the person themselves to stay out of the way of moving robots and other pieces of machinery!

  • Cuts and lacerations are amongst the most prevalent of dangers to a person's health and wellbeing when using machinery. Even tools and equipment which are not specifically intended to be used to cut material will often have sharp protrusions which can cause both minor and serious injuries to a person.

  • Hazardous substances, particularly dust and fumes, will be produced as a by-product of the use of machines and tools as they cut, sand, demolish etc. Suitable precautions need to be taken according to the substances created and/or encountered, which may be particularly hazardous to health such as asbestos dust. Comprehensive training in working safely with regards to likely dangers is therefore essential.

  • Vibration Injuries. Many machines, especially high-powered ones and those designed specifically to perform an action such as drilling or compacting material, will cause vibrations from the tool to the hand and body of the operator. This can cause health issues for a person, particularly over the long-term.

  • Noise. Many machines are noisy which can easily cause permanent damage to the hearing abilities of the operator and everyone else nearby. Depending upon the noise levels involved, this hearing damage can occur even over a short period of time, meaning that suitable precautions must be taken at all times.



NEBOSH Courses

Please see below for some NEBOSH 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 Diploma in Environmental Management

The NEBOSH Environmental Diploma is intended for safety professionals and managers who are taking on environmental responsibilities. It is designed for individuals with responsibilities for the management of environmental risk in relation to the damage caused by work activities.

Holders of the NEBOSH Environmental Diploma will be able to advise their organisation on the environmental impacts of their activities, on their legal obligations and the means of continuously improving their environmental performance as part of an integrated management approach.

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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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NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management

The NEBOSH Fire Certificate is aimed primarily at managers and supervisors who are responsible for fire safety within their organisation and compliance with applicable fire safety legislation.

The course aims to give delegates the knowledge to conduct and review fire risk assessments, along with fire prevention and protective measures within most workplaces.

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NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety

The NEBOSH Construction Certificate, or NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health & Safety to give it its full title, is one of the most recognised health and safety qualificatons in the construction industry.

It is aimed primarily at managers, supervisers, CDM co-ordinators and anyone else who is responsible for making sure that construction activities under their control are undertaken safely.

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NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate, or NEBOSH National Certificate in Environmental Management to give it its full title, is an environmental health and safety course which is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who are responsible for managing environmental issues at their workplace.

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate qualification focuses on UK law, so is really only suitable for those who are based and operate within the UK.

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