Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Courses Available Online, Virtually and Classroom
Fully Certified NEBOSH, IOSH, IEMA Accredited
7-Day Customer Service
David Bryan BSc, CMIOSH, CMAPS

Unit NCC2: Construction Health and Safety Practical Application Part 2 – The Management Report

Prepare for the NCC2 Unit in Construction Health and Safety with this guide towards building your report.

April 2017

In Part 2 of this guide to the NCC2 practical, I will be looking at the ‘Report to Management’, practical element of the moderation.

Having previously discussed the need to start the process early and the specific content of the safety inspection, we will now have a look at what might usefully be included in the report to management - from an examiners viewpoint.

If you haven't already read part 1 of this blog click here.

‘Examiners are looking for a report that persuasively urges management to take appropriate action, explaining why such action is needed (including reference to possible breaches of legislation) and identifying, with due consideration of reasonable practicability, the control measures that should be implemented.’

Breaking this requirement down, we find several issues that are worthy of further exploration:

  • Quality of content – what observations / actions might be appropriate (and therefore should be included)?
  • Breaches of legislation – which legislation might be effectively cited (and therefore should be included)?
  • Persuasive arguments – what arguments might you use to convince managers to act?
  • Reasonably practicable – how might this ‘qualified statutory duty’ be considered in respect of ‘control measures’?

It should be remembered that NCC2 is a practical examination which covers the full NGC1 AND NCC1 syllabus.  This means that several topics from NGC1, especially Element 1 (Foundations in health and safety), will be directly relevant to the report to management, as well as the full NCC1 syllabus.  Specifically, the practical application of NCC1 Element 1 (Construction law and management) is very important.

Quality matters

Examiners are specifically looking at the quality of the interpretation of the inspection findings, and can award up to 15 marks accordingly.

Work at height hazards

Reports that score highly in this respect show a logical progression from the observation sheets and discuss the majority of key issues identified. In selecting the observations to be included in the report, a useful approach is to group similar findings together.

For example, it may be that several working at height hazards have been observed, or issues surrounding the use of work equipment appear as a common theme.  By grouping items together and using sub-headings in the report, such as ‘Work at Height’ or ‘Work Equipment’, the chances of getting high marks for an appropriate structure, a logical progression from the observation sheets, and ease of reading and understanding can be improved.

Reports that score low marks for quality commonly contain a simple duplication of the observation sheets, or introduce issues that were not covered in the observation sheets!

Breaking the law

With 5 points on offer here, examiners are looking for candidates to cite a minimum of five breaches of health and safety law.

All construction hazards are controlled via the requirements at CDM 2015 Part 4 or specifically through their own regulations such as the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAH) or the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (CNWR).

ncc2Clearly, infringements of construction health and safety law is what is required, however, many candidates simply fail to appreciate the nature of NCC2 and only mention general health and safety law such as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA).  Note: full legal titles should be given on first use and then may be subsequently abbreviated.

In the report, therefore, you must refer to ‘relevant’ legislation that is applicable to your site and the hazards that you have outlined during your inspection.

Importantly, you must show a clear understanding of the reasons for the breach.  For example, CDM 2015 Part 4 (Regulation 18: Good order and site security) may be being breached if the site boundary is not secure or clearly identified where necessary in the interests of health and safety.

Mention of the relevant CDM duty holder may also add weight or persuasive argument to your report.

Do you like a good argument?

Well, the examiners do!  In fact, examiners prefer clear legal, moral and financial arguments, and they can award up to 10 points accordingly in the main body of the report (for persuasiveness/conciseness/technical content).

Issues requiring urgent actions should always be included here – urgency being an expression of risk (likelihood and severity) in this context.  Arguments to explain the urgency are commonly discussed as the ‘drivers’ for health and safety – try to be ‘specific’ when discussing these – and always draw particular attention to those issues that could incur a high cost in terms of finance, inconvenience or time.

The possible costs of not taking action must be included, for example, both criminal and civil legal costs, and the costs associated with accidents.  For example, Fees for Intervention (FFI) can represent significant added costs to projects where they are incurred for material breaches of health and safety law (currently at £129 per hour).

The costs of accidents are typically expressed as financial (direct costs such as cleaning up etc) and opportunity (indirect costs such as damage to reputation etc).  As there are usually two sides to an argument, don’t forget to highlight any financial benefits such as quality improvements, time savings, or environmental benefits.

In control

As fundamental statutory duty, ‘reasonably practicable’ requires that the cost of controlling risks may be balanced against the amount of reduction in risk that might be achieved (the benefits).  If there is a ‘gross disproportion’ between the costs and the benefits, those costs do not have to be incurred and the duty is discharged.  Clearly, this can be a complex calculation and judgement to make and may require several inputs, which, for the purposes of your report, may not be available to you.

Your report, therefore, does not require extensive discussion or calculations of what is or isn’t reasonably practicable.  What is required, is that your report, particularly in the main body and recommendations sections, contains evidence that you have considered ‘reasonably practicable’.

Together, the conclusions and recommendations sections are worth 30 marks.  This means that they should be given appropriate attention and not simply treated as an afterthought.

Your conclusions (worth 15 marks) must persuade management to act via a concise summary of the main body findings.  Care must be taken not to introduce anything new or that which has not been previously mentioned in the main body of the report – doing so will attract low marks!

ncc3In your recommendations (worth 15 marks), examiners are looking for you to show that you understand the duty to provide, for example, construction places of work that are safe ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’.

To do this, you should provide relevant examples of the potential costs incurred and benefits that might be accrued for the control measures that you stipulate.

Whilst you are not expected to either know or estimate actual costs, you should demonstrate your awareness of cost implications, balanced against the amount of risk reduction and priority.

For example, high cost recommendations that will only provide a very small amount of risk reduction should be avoided.

Using the required tabular format for your recommendations, examples of reasonably practicable controls might be:

RecommendationLikely resource implicationsPriorityTarget date
Secure the boundary fence adjacent to children’s playgroundx3 operatives for one hourHighWithin one day
Give a tool box talk on falls from vehiclesSite supervisor and all operatives for 30 minutesMediumWithin one week
Repair the minor potholes in the site haul roadx2 operatives for one hourLowWithin two weeks

Your recommendations must be given in priority order.  This means that the highest risks should be addressed first, together with those that can be dealt with immediately and at little cost.

Is that it?

Well, nearly.  The introduction and executive summary together are worth 10 marks.  Here, the examiner is looking for an introduction (worth 5 marks) that provides an overview of your chosen area, starting with the details of your inspection, when and where it took place, and a clear description of the area and what construction work is going on.  The location, proximity to other structures etc, size, general layout, number of operatives, work patterns (shifts etc), stage of construction, may all be useful in developing a ‘word picture’ for the examiner.

The executive summary (worth 5 marks) is written last but inserted at the beginning (after the introduction).  Here, the examiner is looking for a concise overview of the important points and main conclusions/recommendations.  You must provide sufficient information to enable a busy manager to want to (or need to) read your full report.  This is not an easy thing to do.

For example, if you begin your executive summary with a statement such as ‘everything was ok on the day of the inspection’, a busy manager might very quickly decide that it is not worth reading the rest of your report.  In that case, all your time and effort may well have been wasted!

Your executive summary must also convince or persuade the busy manager that your recommendations should be implemented.  Here, you should take care not to introduce anything new into the executive summary – remember that you will have already made the case for implementation in the main body of your report.

Further help

In this, the second of 2 blog posts, we have focused on the report to management, from an examiners viewpoint.  If you do require help, you may consult any reference material (e.g. HSG150 or L153) when preparing your report, however, copying text word-for-word from reference material may be regarded as malpractice.

Your report is expected to be about 1,000 words in length and must not contain photos, sketches etc.  So, based on the marking scheme (70 marks) and report template, this might approximate (but is not mandatory) to:

  • Introduction: 80 words
  • Executive Summary: 80 words
  • Main Body: 420 words
  • Conclusions: 210 words
  • Recommendations: 210 words

Please remember that examiners will award marks for clear, accurate information, and not for unsupported generalities. Check out all our construction health and safety courses below.

Related Blogs

  • 23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part Two Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part Two

    Complete your understanding of the 23 reasons why we are the industry-standard health, safety and environmental training provider in 2023. Read more here!
     
    28.01.23
  • IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #3 Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #3

    Read the final instalment in the trilogy of blogs that document a successful venture into the IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management course. Read more here.
    12.01.23
  • 23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part One Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part One

    In this first instalment, we unpack why you should choose to train with Astutis in 2023. We detail 23 reasons, because, well it's 2023! Discover the first eleven reasons here! Read more now. 
    11.01.23
  • IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #2 Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #2

    Toby's IEMA Foundation Certificate Learner Diary returns with Part Two. In this instalment he covers Elements 4-6, sharing how he managed to pass first time. Read more here. 
    05.01.23
  • A Year In-Review: 2022 and Its Effects on Astutis and the Health, Safety and Environmental Industry Image
    Steve Terry

    A Year In-Review: 2022 and Its Effects on Astutis and the Health, Safety and Environmental Industry

    Astutis, Managing Director, Steve Terry looks back on the events of 2022 and invites us all to be optimistic as we head towards 2023. Read more here.
    23.12.22
  • How To Maximise Your Virtual Training Experience Image
    Brenig Moore MCIEH CEnvH CMIOSH

    How To Maximise Your Virtual Training Experience

    Astutis Technical Director, Brenig Moore investigates the world of virtual training, using research and studies to underline the very best practices afforded by virtual training. Read more here. 
    12.12.22
Section Curve
Case Studies

Real Life Stories

Find out how learners look back on their training with Astutis. Our case studies give our learners, both individual and corporate, a platform to share their Astutis experience. Discover how training with Astutis has helped past learners and delegates make the world a safer place, one course at a time.
More Image
Bottom Curve
What People Say

Hear What Our Learners Have To Say

We're always there for our customers. 98% of our learners rated their overall experience as good or outstanding. We will always pride ourselves on our customer service. But don’t take our word for it, here is what our customers have to say
  • "From start to finish the service Astutis have provided has been 5 star. Following the amazing experience I have referred multiple colleagues to complete training with Astutis. Great course, great support and great customer service"

    Stuart
    03.02.2023
  • "I really enjoyed studying Nebosh with Astutis. I had tried to complete the Nebosh Qualification previously but Astutis made it easier to learn and provided great training resources and support."

    Stuart
    03.02.2023
  • "Great customer focus, as usual!"

    Gary
    01.02.2023
  • "Excellent course, thank you"

    Gary
    01.02.2023
  • "Ever since I started with Astitus in 2018 I have completed two qualifications with them and they have always been quick to respond to queries, they have convenient payment options since I'm based in south Africa, I don't always afford to pay cash due to exchange rates. Hilary is super helpful she will communicate new courses and assist with information and enrolment. If it were possible to do my MSc with them, I would have enrolled with them"

    Philiswa Sister
    01.02.2023
  • "The course is very informative and outlines useful information that i will apply on my everyday duties"

    Philiswa Sister
    01.02.2023
  • "Course content was good though the on boarding was an issue with sone to and fro to sort wasting time."

    26.01.2023
  • "Content aligned to all learning styles and relevant to risk professionals especially h and s a worthwhile bit of cpd"

    26.01.2023
  • "Astutis advisor training course enrolled me quickly on my course. The course was well detailed, well organised and easy access to the platform for my study."

    Saito
    26.01.2023
  • "Good course and well presented. The content is easy to understand with options to listen or read. Videos and flowcharts describe well the content for a better understanding."

    Saito
    26.01.2023