To effectively develop your skill of using knowledge to draw conclusions from a NEBOSH scenario, you need to apply your understanding of health and safety principles. It’s not enough to simply read for keywords in an assessment, as that would only test your reading ability, not your actual knowledge. Instead, you must demonstrate your understanding by analysing the facts and justifying your conclusions with evidence from the scenario.
Consider this extract from a past NEBOSH scenario:
The supermarket, which was ranked in the top 10 for sales last year, aims to improve its performance this year and be among the top 5. The store manager has instructed shift managers to achieve this goal by any means necessary in order for everyone to receive their bonuses.
What conclusions can you draw from this text? Think about it before revealing the answer. Collectively, these sentences suggest negative aspects of the health and safety culture in the workplace. Although it’s not explicitly stated in the scenario, it can be logically inferred from the information provided.
If you can develop this skill, you will be able to effectively answer exam questions such as:
Comment on the negative indicators of health and safety culture in the workplace.
Note: Support your answer with relevant information from the scenario, where applicable.
The use of the word “comment on” invites a detailed analysis. The scenario will provide clues that some aspects of the culture are negative. Your theoretical understanding of culture indicators from your studies will guide you to identify evidence about the culture through logical inference.
Theory and Evidence
A theoretical point to consider is the “emphasis on financial incentives at the expense of health and safety.”
Using relevant evidence from the scenario, such as the store manager’s instruction to shift managers that they do not care how the goal is achieved, you may logically infer that there is an “emphasis on financial incentives at the expense of health and safety” as an indicator of the negative culture.
In this example, you would be awarded one mark for identifying the “emphasis on financial incentives at the expense of health and safety” and an additional mark for noting the store manager’s instruction to shift managers.
That’s double the marks for answering correctly! It could be the difference between a 40% fail and an 80% distinction!