In spite of the acknowledgement of health and safety at work, the accidents and mishaps are at their increase. At this juncture the international regulations are framed to reduce the workplace accidents, injuries, ill health issues and the associated costs. It needs a deeper gravitation towards an effective health and safety management at the workplace. NEBOSH booked its space as a social service agent to indoctrinate the society with the health and safety awareness. You are among the ginger group who can erudite yourself with NEBOSH for being straight and narrow towards the health and safety of the working populace.

NEBOSH International General Certificate (IGC) is formulated to take the lead over the health and safety issues in the organization. This is a preliminary discourse of the topics comprised in the NEBOSH IGC program. The key topics are notched and grooved with international standards of health and safety at work; implementation of health and safety management systems; identification of workplace hazards; method of hazard control; and the practical application of knowledge and understanding to provide you specialist knowledge in controlling the workplace hazards under the framework of the international regulations (ILO).

The qualification structure constitutes the passing scores in IGC1 (Management of International Health and Safety), GC2 (Controlling Workplace Hazards) and GC3 (Health and Safety Practical Application). The pass standard is 45% for the written papers (IGC1 and GC2) and 60% for the practical application unit (GC3). You need to pass all the three units within a five year period (this period starts from the result declaration- date of the first successful unit) to achieve the overall qualification.

For further details see the NEBOSH “Policy and procedures for access arrangements, reasonable adjustments and special consideration” available from the NEBOSH website (

At the outset, IGC1 is divided into 5 elements

  • Element 1, FUNDAMENTALS OF HEALTH AND SAFETY elucidates the scope and nature of occupational health and safety; reasons for maintaining and promoting good standards of health and safety; and the role of national governments and international bodies. From the Element 2 to 5, the iterative four steps management method (PDCA) used in business for the control and continual improvement of the management processes in relation to health and safety management.
  • Element 2, PLAN deals with the key elements of health and safety management system and the key features of the health and safety policy;
  • Element 3, DO explicates the organization, health and safety, principles and practices of risk assessment, preventive and protective measures, safe system of work, permit to work, emergency procedures and first aid;
  • Element 4, CHECK expounds the techniques of active and reactive monitoring and recording and reporting of incidents; and at the culmination,
  • Element 5 ACT explains the health and safety auditing, and review of health and safety performance.

GC2 is split up into 8 elements

  • Element 1, deals with the standards of health, welfare and work environment requirements, the ways to deal with violence and substance misuse at work, hazards and controls on safe movement of people, working at height and temporary works;
  • Element 2, dispense the knowledge of transport safety;
  • Element 3, depicts about the musculoskeletal disorders and controls;
  • Element 4, depicts the safe selection, use and maintenance of tools and machineries and the control measures to reduce the risks;
  • Element 5, portrays about the electrical safety;
  • Element 6, illustrates about the fire safety systems;
  • Element 7, gives a picture of various chemical substances and biological agents used at work and how the hazards can be controlled;
  • Element 8, exemplifies the hazards and controls related to noise, vibration, radiation and stress at the workplace.

GC3 deals with 2 hours of the health and safety practical application of the knowledge gained from the unit IGC1 and GC2 syllabus and report writing.  Further information available from the NEBOSH website ( “Unit GC3: Health and safety practical application: Guidance and information for accredited course providers and candidates”.

Article written by

Ananth Tamilmaniarasu, 

HSE Trainer & Consultant,

Green World Group,Dubai.

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