Attending NIOSH Basic Train the Trainer Programme

June 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Beginning June 27th, 2011, I’ll be attending the Basic Train-the-Trainer programme organised by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Malaysia.

 

About NIOSH

NIOSH Malaysia is a company limited by guarantee owned by the Government of Malaysia. “In the words of the Minister of Human Resources, Malaysia, NIOSH would be a "critical catalyst" in the promotion of occupational safety and health that would also serve as the "backbone" to create a "self-regulating occupational safety and health culture" in Malaysia.”

NIOSH Malaysia conducts regular Occupational Safety and Health-related trainings around the country. As the “training arm” of the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), IMHO, the courses offered by NIOSH are recognised by that department.

 

About the Basic Train the Trainer Programme

The course aims to provide participants with the competency to gain skills in

  • the setting of a training environment;
  • the design and delivery of simple training sessions; and
  • the basic assessment of learning.

The foundations that this course is built on ensures that the trainers are able to provide their trainees with quality learning outcomes.

The learning outcomes are:

  • Work effectively in vocational education and training;
  • Foster and promote an inclusive learning culture;
  • Ensure a healthy and safe learning environment;
  • Use training packages to meet client needs;
  • Provide training through instructions and demonstrations of work skills;
  • Plan and organise assessment; and
  • Assess competence.

Looking forward to June 27th…

By the end of this 4-day course (30 June 2011), I would have obtained the necessary training & certification to become certified Trainer.

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Finally I have the NEBOSH IGC Qualification!

June 19, 2011 Leave a comment

In December 2010, I signed up for the NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health – shortened as NEBOSH IGC. Classes for the 10-day course spread over the weekends began on January 22, 2011.

What is NEBOSH?

From the NEBOSH website:

NEBOSH (The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) was formed in 1979 as an independent examining board and awarding body with charitable status.  We offer a comprehensive range of globally-recognised, vocationally-related qualifications designed to meet the health, safety, environmental and risk management needs of all places of work in both the private and public sectors.

NEBOSH programmes are accredited/recognised by:

NEBOSH examinations and assessments are set by its professionally qualified staff assisted by external examiners; most of whom are Chartered Safety and Health Practitioners operating within industry, the public sector or in enforcement.

Our technical standards are overseen by a Qualification and Technical Council with representatives drawn from national institutions.

In addition, NEBOSH maintains Investors in People (IIP) status and is also an ISO 9001:2008 registered organisation.

 

Classmates

Joining me in January 2011 were:

  • Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health holders
  • Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health final year students
  • Two Safety and Health Officers
  • One Engineer
  • Three Oil & Gas industry professionals
  • One Scaffolding Inspector
  • Several repeating/returning students

Traditionally, NEBOSH students are working professionals and semi-professionals. This is because NEBOSH aims to formalise their working experience. In theory, working professionals, especially those in the safety and health field, would find NEBOSH IGC a walk in the park.

 

Elements of the IGC

To qualify for the NEBOSH IGC, you need to undertake a 10-day training programme that encompasses 16 different modules. They are:

  1. Health and Safety Foundations
  2. Policy
  3. Organising for Health and Safety
  4. Promoting a Positive Health and Safety Culture
  5. Risk Assessment
  6. Principles of Control
  7. Monitoring, Review and Audit
  8. Incident and Accident Investigation and Reporting
  9. Movement of People and Vehicles – Hazard and Control
  10. Manual and Mechanical Handling Hazards and Control
  11. Work Equipment Hazards and Control
  12. Electrical Hazards and Control
  13. Fire Hazards and Control
  14. Chemical and Biological Health Hazards and Control
  15. Physical and Psychological Health Hazards and Control
  16. Construction Activities – Hazards and Control

After completing the 16 elements, you will need to sit for three separate papers: IGC1, IGC2 and IGC 3.

  • IGC1 tests your comprehension of the first 8 elements. Out of 100%, the passing score is 40%. It’s a subjective/essay test which aims to gauge your understanding of the basic OSH principles.
  • IGC 2 tests your comprehension and application of elements 9 to 16. Just as IGC1, you need 40% to pass the paper. Like IGC1, IGC2 is also a written exam meant to test your theoretical comprehension of the applied OSH principles.
  • IGC3 is a more practical exam. The first two papers are theoretical. This third paper is a practical exam. It tests your ability to apply the principles & knowledge you acquired in a real workplace. Here, the paper goes so far as to test your analytical skills. First, you will be taken to a worksite. You are asked to identify 20 hazards or non-compliance of OSH principles. In addition to that, you will be asked to identify where the workplace complies with this. You are given about 45 minutes to do this. Upon returning to the classroom, you are to transfer your findings to the worksheet provided by NEBOSH. In addition to that, you are to write a management report on your findings. The passing rate for IGC3 is 60%.

Note that the passing score of each IGC papers do not contribute or bring down the score(s) of the other papers. There’s is no “average score”. A pass is when you attain more than the passing mark for that paper.

Let’s say you obtained 55% for IGC1, 39% in IGC2 and 80% in IGC3. Where NEBOSH is concerned, you need to retake IGC2 because you failed to attain at least 40%.

 

NEBOSH IGC in Semester 3

From January 22 to March 13, I attended the NEBOSH IGC classes conducted on the Saturdays and Sundays. Initially the classes were from 2pm to 6pm. After the 2nd weekend, the timetable was stretched to 9pm.

This is because we had to cover 16 modules called “elements”. The topics covered ranged from the introduction of basic Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Management System to OSH policy drafting, all the way to construction safety and machine hazards and safety.

At the time, I was also in my 3rd Semester of the Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health programme. My classes in the diploma programme were already from Monday to Friday – three (3) hours a day. Fortunately I dropped my “Computer Concept” which freed up my Wednesdays. Imagine going a whole week of studying non-stop!

NEBOSH Study Materials: 1 inch thick textbook & 3-inch thick notes

 

When the results came out…

For those who took the NEBOSH exam with me in March 2011, May 20th, 2011 is the day the news will come out and answer the question: did we pass all 3 papers and obtain our NEBOSH IGC, or did we fail a paper/all papers?

Out of the almost 30 candidates, I am – thankfully – one of the five that passed all papers! Now I await the arrival of the NEBOSH IGC certificate itself. Smile

Dynamic Occupational Safety & Health Portfolio

January 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Over the last three articles, you glimpsed into the benefits of having a Occupational Safety and Health Portfolio in helping you secure the job of your dreams. You have also been given some tips on how to react towards feedback about your portfolio.

By now you should realise that your OSH portfolio is a dynamic tool.

In some world-class medical universities, medical students are asked to sit for a progressive test each semester. The test contains the same question for that set of students and all students fail in the first half of the semester. Why? The questions asked on subjects, principles and procedures that these students have not study yet. In fact, they’ll only be taught about the answers to the questions in the coming semesters.

So what’s the purpose of the progressive test?

It’s to gauge the understanding and progress of the students.

Portfolio Reflects Understanding

If your understanding of a subject matter has not changed over the course of you preparing your portfolio, there must be something wrong in the process you’re using. If you’re to reflect on the knowledge, principles and theories, your mastery is shown through the many ways you can manipulate and apply that knowledge to find solutions in life.

Your portfolio is meant to reflect your growth and maturity in the field. If you’re a final semester student and yet still thinks like a 1st semester student, what difference do you have compared to your juniors? Why should your prospective employers employ you when your knowledge is no different than someone who has never studied Occupational Safety and Health?

Because your portfolio is dynamic, your portfolio can incorporate change. You can revisit your thoughts and understanding in the past and ratify it through writing a newer article – an update. There are many authors I know – whether OSH related or not – who update their books every now and then.

Knowledge is Dynamic

Your portfolio is meant to demonstrate your mastery of occupational safety and health workplace knowledge. In the Information Age, knowledge and information doubles every two years besides being obsolete in the same time.

Think of the many “miracle substance” which – after a few decades – is revealed to be extremely hazardous to humans.

Knowledge is never perfect, knowledge undergoes the scientific and philosophical debates and with new understanding, the perceptions towards the knowledge changes. Let’s take cheap child labour and slavery. Once upon a time, it’s accepted as true and valid in many countries. Today, it’s condemned by human rights activists and many businesses and democracies.

Realise this: knowledge is dynamic, so your understanding and reflection of that understanding must also be dynamic.

Transition from Generalist to Specialist

Your OSH portfolio is also a marker of your transition from a generalist to a specialist.

For instance at the Diploma or Certificate level, your are taught or exposed to the general principles and practices of workplace safety and health. So few diplomas and certificate specialise immediately in fields like toxicology, occupational hygiene etc.

Thus, your portfolio should represent the transition. Show that you mastered the basic concepts in OHS in the general sense. Based on your focus, company or industry, demonstrate how you can use your understanding and mastery of the knowledge in the circumstances or scenarios that exist in your chosen industry.

Take Action, Draft it Now

You have every reason to promote yourself through an OSH portfolio – online or offline. There is a never perfect timing for action – you need to begin with an action, react to the reactions and take charge by foreseeing the obstacles and challenges  of the future.

No amount of literature, video or audio can help you without action on your part.

Take action, draft your OSH portfolio today. Make it a priority.

Handling Reactions towards Your Safety & Health Portfolio

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Everyone has their own critic. Open up YouTube and you can read all the hateful comments towards a lot of videos. If you believe in God, even this All-Powerful Being has critics. If you believe in Science, even science has its critics. So, as you put your portfolio out there, be ready for criticisms. The key is to ignore these noise. Here are some ways to handle the reactions towards your online safety and health portfolio:

Have an Open Mind

Give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps the other person is challenged by the idea you put forth. Perhaps the commenter has done something similar in the past but saw his efforts burn in flames.

If the criticism is constructive in nature, i.e. sheds a light on an unexplored path, use it to your advantage. For the criticisms that purely criticise and call you names, just delete it off.

Having an open mind also means that you must be aware of your own limitations. There could be an error in reasoning due to insufficient or lack of information. If you made a mistake, then admit it and repair the mistake.

Convert Failure into Feedback

Your ability to turn your failures and mistakes into feedback is vital to your long term success. The road to success, as someone once said, is filled with failures.

Many recite the mantra: you either win or lose. I denounce that mantra and replace it with this: you either learn or lose.

Keeping your open mind, find out where it went wrong. Never do it to blame, but do it to repair. Blaming, complaining, cursing, fuming etc. merely drains you emotionally and your energy. It’s easy to slip into the victim mode and do nothing.

Reply after Cooling Down

If you intend to reply to a criticism, never do it while your blood is boiling! Yes, you have the right to give her the piece of your mind, but it doesn’t mean you need to. You never know if that other person can benefit you.

And even if the other person doesn’t benefit you, it wont mean anything if you’ve flamed the person on the Internet. It merely reveals your inability to cope with criticism and ability to be (emotionally) manipulated.

Compile an Action Plan

Use the feedback you get from your safety and health portfolio as a blueprint for an action plan.

What action plan?

The action plan that’s going to take your from where you are to where you want to be. That action plan. If someone recommends that you contact another, why not? Just take action.

It’s so easy to turn seconds into minutes, minutes into hours and hours into days. So easy and effortless that you don’t need to do anything! But for someone who took action, you’ll be eating the dust of his trails.

As they say, the road to Hell is filled with good intentions. Intentions alone cannot give rise to results – it’s your action or inaction.

Ensure that whatever your action may be, it gets you closer and closer to your goal. It’s pointless to allow yourself to deviate from that goal – unless it’s a new goal.


(Posted originally in Ilang in the Sampan 2.0http://musings.aldrictinker.com)

Building a Safety & Health Portfolio

January 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Congratulations! You’re studying Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in an institute of higher learning! Perhaps you just concluded a non-OSH programme and doing your OSH certification or academic qualification.

Responsibility to Create Demand

As a student, one of your primary responsibility towards yourself is to ensure that whatever you learn in college, it will help you secure your OSH job of your dreams at the salary you want. In other words, you are responsible to make sure you’re valuable and demanded by many firms/companies.

Showing You’re Practical

To help you started, maintaining and keeping a safety and health portfolio can mould that critical and creative cognitive skills required when you’re an OSH professional. Through this portfolio, you want to show your prospective employers that you can apply the things you have learned – as well as be updated at all times – in the prospective employer’s workplace.

Yes, knowledge is power. Applied knowledge, however, is in demand and makes money. Brian Tracy urges that whatever you learn, make sure it contributes to your bottom line. As an employee, your bottom line is your salary.

 

We overestimate what we can do in 12 months, but we underestimate what can be accomplished in 5 years.

– Brian Tracy in Ultimate Goals Prorgram

Getting Started

Begin from Day 1. Have a focus: where do you intend to work after graduating? In what industry do you want to start earning the big bucks from? Where do you want to be 5 years from graduation? Are you working in Malaysia or overseas? Use this as the objective(s) and theme of your portfolio.

For example, if you want to work in the shipping industry in 5 years time, mould your portfolio in that direction. Be alert to any and every development in the shipping industry. Start liaising with people in the industry. Find out what the shipping industries expect from the top 5% OSH professionals working for them. And, from Day 1 and as you progress, build up the portfolio or skills that takes you closer to that position.

Case Studies and Reflection

Fill up the pages of your portfolio with case studies. Based on the developments in the news, local and foreign, apply the theories and principles that you’ve learnt in the classroom. Ask:

  • How does it apply to the industry?
  • How does it not apply to the industry?
  • How can it be refined further to be applied in that industry?
  • What alternatives are there in applying the principles?
  • What are the possible applications of the principles and theories besides the one currently in practice?
  • How would new solutions benefit your industry/company?

Do this exercise and you’ll be ahead of many in your class – if not your college.

The perception is students study the syllabus just to sit for the exams. With this portfolio, you think 5 years into the future. You’re forced to see how relevant or irrelevant the principle or theory is. You are beginning to think for application, not theory.

As you find more innovative solutions, you can join the Top 5% of the industry. Why? Only the top 5% do more and beyond what the remaining 95% does.

Offer Review

Use your portfolio to compile your finings in your industry of choice. Critique the current practices in the field and offer alternatives. Rest assured, firms are more than happy to employ people with better and cost effective solutions. It saves money and boosts productivity.

Be Specific, Be Focused

I cannot emphasise this enough. Begin to be specific: which industry do you want to work in? Which company or top 5 companies you want to work with? Based on that, tailor your portfolio to meet the needs of that company/those companies.

Also, as focused as you may be, be consistent.


(Posted originally in Ilang in the Sampan 2.0http://musings.aldrictinker.com)

Building a Safety & Health Portfolio

January 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Congratulations! You’re studying Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in an institute of higher learning! Perhaps you just concluded a non-OSH programme and doing your OSH certification or academic qualification.

Responsibility to Create Demand

As a student, one of your primary responsibility towards yourself is to ensure that whatever you learn in college, it will help you secure your OSH job of your dreams at the salary you want. In other words, you are responsible to make sure you’re valuable and demanded by many firms/companies.

Showing You’re Practical

To help you started, maintaining and keeping a safety and health portfolio can mould that critical and creative cognitive skills required when you’re an OSH professional. Through this portfolio, you want to show your prospective employers that you can apply the things you have learned – as well as be updated at all times – in the prospective employer’s workplace.

Yes, knowledge is power. Applied knowledge, however, is in demand and makes money. Brian Tracy urges that whatever you learn, make sure it contributes to your bottom line. As an employee, your bottom line is your salary.

 

We overestimate what we can do in 12 months, but we underestimate what can be accomplished in 5 years.

– Brian Tracy in Ultimate Goals Prorgram

Getting Started

Begin from Day 1. Have a focus: where do you intend to work after graduating? In what industry do you want to start earning the big bucks from? Where do you want to be 5 years from graduation? Are you working in Malaysia or overseas? Use this as the objective(s) and theme of your portfolio.

For example, if you want to work in the shipping industry in 5 years time, mould your portfolio in that direction. Be alert to any and every development in the shipping industry. Start liaising with people in the industry. Find out what the shipping industries expect from the top 5% OSH professionals working for them. And, from Day 1 and as you progress, build up the portfolio or skills that takes you closer to that position.

Case Studies and Reflection

Fill up the pages of your portfolio with case studies. Based on the developments in the news, local and foreign, apply the theories and principles that you’ve learnt in the classroom. Ask:

  • How does it apply to the industry?
  • How does it not apply to the industry?
  • How can it be refined further to be applied in that industry?
  • What alternatives are there in applying the principles?
  • What are the possible applications of the principles and theories besides the one currently in practice?
  • How would new solutions benefit your industry/company?

Do this exercise and you’ll be ahead of many in your class – if not your college.

The perception is students study the syllabus just to sit for the exams. With this portfolio, you think 5 years into the future. You’re forced to see how relevant or irrelevant the principle or theory is. You are beginning to think for application, not theory.

As you find more innovative solutions, you can join the Top 5% of the industry. Why? Only the top 5% do more and beyond what the remaining 95% does.

Offer Review

Use your portfolio to compile your finings in your industry of choice. Critique the current practices in the field and offer alternatives. Rest assured, firms are more than happy to employ people with better and cost effective solutions. It saves money and boosts productivity.

Be Specific, Be Focused

I cannot emphasise this enough. Begin to be specific: which industry do you want to work in? Which company or top 5 companies you want to work with? Based on that, tailor your portfolio to meet the needs of that company/those companies.

Also, as focused as you may be, be consistent.


(Posted originally in Ilang in the Sampan 2.0http://musings.aldrictinker.com)

OSH Students: What is a Safety & Health Portfolio?

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

For the purpose of this entry – and the next three after this – Safety and Health Portfolio means your collection of past work, observations, application of knowledge and case studies that can be used to increase your value in the perception of your potential employers.

Your résumé or curriculum vitae/cv is the summary of your experience. It should be short, simple and concise. If you read Malay, here is one eReport I did on the 33 ways to ensure your résumé is thrown before it is ever read: <Read on Scribd> or <Download from 4Shared>.

For occupational safety and health (OSH) students, you do not have to be at a disadvantage. One way to show that you’re valuable is by building your own early-days portfolio. Show that you can apply what you’ve learned in the classroom or lecture hall into the real world. After all, employers hire you to solve a problem, not talk about theories and principles.

In this four part series, you can form a picture or have an idea of what you want to accomplish and how to go about it.

So, here’s to your employment and professional success!