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NEBOSH Questions and Answer. Our Q&A will show how to approach the questions

Hi Everyone, NEBOSH can be a little tricky...

We have provided a few model answers below to demonstrate how best to approach and answer NEBOSH questions. Keep an eye on this page, it changes, we add and remove content. BUT... on our courses we do these Q&A sessions throughout the course.

New Questions Added Monthly

NEBOSH Questions and Answers | NEBOSH Support

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8 Mark Question

This is an OUTLINE Question.

What factors should be considered when providing a means of escape in the workplace so that all workers are able to reach a place of safety in the event of a fire 

Let take a look at the question, what are the sign-posts

  • Means of escape 
  • All workers
  • place of safety
  • In the event of a fire

So we simply have to outline a number of factors from the 4 bullet points.

Below are typical answer and the number of points they would gain

Bullet Point 1. Means of Escape

Sample Answer.

  • Well signed and illuminated primary  and alternative exit routes together with emergency back-up lighting ... 2 Points 
  • The travel distance should be such to enable the evacuation of the building with a suitable time frame ... 1 Point
  • The building should have well maintained fire protected routes with fire doors and seals to maintain the integrity of the building fire compartmentation ... 1 Points
  • Fire exits should suitable signed and ideally open outwards in the direction of the moving people traffic ... 1 Point
  • Adequate fire fighting equipment such as extinguisher suitable for the class of fires likely to be encountered ... 1 Point
  • Fire wardens/ marshals to help evacuate the building safely and undertake head count at assembly points ... 1 Point

Bullet Point 2. All Workers

Sample Answer.

  • The number of people to be evacuated including disabled persons ... 1 Point

Bullet Point 3. Place of Safety

Sample Answer.

Assembly points should be clearly signed identifying people have reached a place of safety ... 1 Point

Bullet Point 4. In the Event of a Fire

Sample Answer.

  • A suitable designed and maintained fire detection system capable of raising the alarm throughout the building... 2 points 
  • A fire procedure with fully implemented induction process to new starters and appropriate fire training and fire drills to maintain evacuation times in the event of a fire ... 1 Points 



8 Mark Question

(a) In relation to noise measurement, OUTLINE the following terms.

  • (i) Sound pressure (2)
  • (ii) Frequency (2)

(b) OUTLINE the difference between the dB(a)  noise measurement scale and the dB(c)  noise measurement scale found on noise measurement equipment. (2)

(c) OUTLINE chronic effects on hearing from exposure to high levels of noice. (2)

What is the question asking?

It is an outline question asking for the principle features, i.e a brief summary of the major aspects


(ai) Pressure Is the force of sound/ air over a surface area measured in Pascals (Pa) / Nm2. 

(aii) Frequency is the pitch, the way it sounds to the human ear and is measured in Hertz (Hz) which is the number of vibrations/ cycles  per second 

(b) dB(a) replicates the hearing characteristics of the human ear across a range of audible frequencies

dB(c)  is non-linear, i.e measures sound equally across all frequencies and replicates the ear at very high sound levels

(c) A permanent noise induced hearing loss which damages the hair cells of the inner ear resulting in an over stimulus of the auditory nerves which produces ringing in the ears/ Tinnitus

This approach to the answer would have resulted in the full 8 marks available

noise | Vibration | COSHH | Fire


20 Mark Question | Noise & Vibration


A worker is using a hand-held, powered rotary grinding tool during the manufacture of large steel waste containers. This creates high levels of noise and vibration. 

(a) Identify FOUR health effects that could be suffered by the worker from exposure to this noise AND in EACH case, outline the health effects. (8 Marks)

(b) Identify FOUR health effects that could be suffered by the worker from exposure to this vibration AND in EACH case, outline the health effects. (8 Marks)

(c) Outline practical control measures that could be taken in order to help reduce levels of exposure to:  

(i) Noise  (3 Marks)

(ii) Vibration  (3 Marks)

Lets take a look at what they are asking: · 

  • Noise and vibration are both physical hazards that result in ill health effects, neither of the health effects can be repaired so the worst case scenario is chronic conditions, albeit, early warning signs can be detected, i.e. acute.   

  • So lets take a look.  Part (a) gives us an “Identify” action verb asking for an “outline” for each identified element. So we are looking for a short anchor phrase or trigger word followed by an outline statement that reflects. Lets take a look.   

Answer (a)   

1. Temporary threshold shift; this is a noise induced temporary hearing loss, generally an acute condition which effects the ability to hear sound at particular frequencies.    

2. Permanent threshold shift; this is noise induced hearing loss that will not return too normal, i.e. chronic. The health effect, damage to the sensory hairs of the cochlea in the inner ear, this is a chronic condition.     

3. Tinnitus; which is a health effect resulting in ringing of the ear/ears. This condition can be temporary or permanent, i.e. acute/ chronic.   

4. Acoustic trauma, physical damage to the ear drum.   

5. For a fifth option could be the secondary effects such as stress, headaches, loss of concentration and depression.   

Any of the above answers would have given 2 marks for each   

Answer (b)   

1. Hand-arm vibration syndrome, a work related upper limb disorder, which affects nerves and blood vessels, this generally noted in muscle tissue and painful joints.   

2. Vibration white finger, this results from damaged blood vessels, which reduce the blood flow through the fingers. It manifest physically with a blanching of fingers.   3. 

3. Carpal tunnel syndrome, a nerve disorder resulting in tingling and numbness initially leading to pain and weakness in the hand.   

Any of the above answers would have given 2 marks for each   

Answer (Ci)   

1. Undertake the work in acoustic booths or damping material either internally or externally around the steel containers.   

2. Use absorbent screen to minimise any reflected noise together with the use of suitable hearing protection at the correct attenuation.   

3. Following a suitable noise assessment limit the exposure through time and job rotation.   

The above answers would easily have given 1 mark for each     

Answer (Cii)   

1. Select lower vibration hand tools with anti vibration handles and ensure the tools are maintained in accordance with manufacturers recommendations.   

2. The use of gloves to keep the hands warm thus helping with sufficient blood circulation to reduce damage to the nerves and blood vessels. These gloves are not to be confused with anti vibration gloves.   

3. Following a suitable and sufficient assessment reduce the magnitude of the vibration and/or adopt limited exposure through trigger times through job rotation   

The above answers would easily have given 1 marks for each     

COSHH | Biological Agents

(a) Identify forms of biological agents (2 marks) 

(b) Outline control measures to help reduce the risk of ill-health from exposure to biological agents (6 marks)  

  Answer to (a)   

  • Bacteria 
  • Viruses 
  • Spores 
  • Fungi 

Any of these would give 1 mark each   

Answer (b)   

1. Good housekeeping with cleaning and disinfecting work areas.   

2. Immunisation and personal hygiene through welfare facilities   

3. Water treatment precautions through water temperature or chemical treatment against legionella for example and the removal of dead-legs in water systems.   

4. Pest control against vermin to reduce leptospirosis and storing waste in sealed bins.   

5. Well designed, local exhaust ventilation systems with hood correctly placed or glove boxes to prevent direct contact with agents.   

6. The last resort would be the use of personal/ respiratory protective equipment such as face fit filters systems or positive pressure breathing systems, gloves and gauntlets could be used too.   

Any of the above would have given I mark each  



Here is a typical 3 part question

(a) Identify occupational sources of radon (4 Points)

(b) Outline how exposure to radon can course ill-health (1 Point)

(c) Outline ways of controlling exposure to radon (3 Points)

Answer (a) 4 Points max

Identify answer required.

  • Radon is found in certain geological conditions and through uranium precessing ... 1 Point

It can be found in poorly ventilated ares such as:

  • Underground workplaces ... 1 Point 
  • Ground floor rooms ... 1 Point 
  • utility service ducts ... 1 Point 
  • Basements ... 1 Point 

Answer (b) 1 Point

An outline answer 

  • Radon enters the body through inhalation, therefore it attacks the respiratory system causing lung cancer. 

Answer (c) 3 Points max

Outline answer options.

Good example engineering controls are 

  • Improving underfloor ventilation by providing air bricks to increase ventilation... 1 Point
  • Mechanical underfloor forced  positive pressure ventilation system ... 1 Point
  • The installation of a radon sump pump venting to atmosphere ... 1 Point
  • Sealing floors  with radon poof membranes and providing a positive pressure extraction and ventilation system ... 2 Points



8 Mark Question

(ai) GIVE the meaning and purpose of the term "active monitoring" (2)

(aii) GIVE  workplace examples of "active monitoring" methods  (2)

(bi) GIVE the meaning and purpose of the term "reactive monitoring"  (2)

(bii) GIVE workplace examples of "reactive monitoring"  (2)

What is the question asking?

'GIVE' is asking for your considered view in response to the additional information  or instructions within the question


(ai) Looking for things before they go wrong, taking the initiative and ensuring adequate H&S systems and appropriate procedures are in place


  • Health surveillance
  • Benchmarking
  • Behavioural observation 
  • Safety surveys
  • Safety Tours
  • Inspections
  • Audits 
  • Safety sampling

Any one of the above would gain a mark

(bi) Looking at past events, historical information to learn from the mistakes.


  • Enforcement action
  • Civil claims 
  • Complaints
  • Accident & incident reports
  • Accident cost 
  • Dangerous occurrences and near-miss reports
  • Ill-health reports
  • Property damage 

Any one of the above would gain a mark

This approach to the answer would have resulted in the full 8 marks available

H&S Policy 20 point Question


20 Mark Question

(a) EXPLAIN the purpose of the following sections of a H&S policy (2)

  • (ai) "statement of intent" (2)
  • (aii) "organisation" (2)
  • (aiii) "arrangements" (2) 

(b) OUTLINE items that are typically included in the "arrangement" section of a H&S policy (8)

(c) OUTLINE circumstances that would require a H&S policy to be reviewed (6)

What is the question asking?

EXPLAIN, to show your understanding and make the subjects relationship clear , the why and how of something

OUTLINE, asking for the principle features, i.e a brief summary of the major aspects


(ai) It is a commitment by the organisational management that sets goals and objectives to demonstrate leadership

(aii) to identify and ensure effective delegation of responsibilities and accountabilities through reporting lines 

(aiii) arrangements detail the H&S systems and procedures that are in place to assist with the implementation of the policy 

(b) Consultation arrangements and means of communicating procedures.  Safe systems of work which include permits to work in high risk and hazardous conditions , risk assessments to control specific hazards including hazardous substances and arrangements to identify training to deliver competence supported  by safety monitoring procedures.  

Safety equipment, how to use, clean, store  and maintain it in a safe condition.  Accident, incident, near-miss and investigation procedures together with emergency response for evacuation and first aid arrangement.  

Controls to ensure selection of supply chain contractors and their safety while on site.

Welfare arrangements to cover washing, showers,WCs, rest and eating arrangements.  Environment consideration and controls to include lighting, ventilation and waste disposal.

(c) After a designated time period, following information received through the consolation process, or at the request by a third party for example, the organisation's insurance company.

Following a change in legislation, premises key personnel and working arrangements, management structure, and the introduction new machinery or processes.

Due to the findings of audits, accident or incident reports, following risk assessment reviews, civil or enforcement actions.

30 minute question should have been broken down into bite size chunks

The above approach would have delivered the full 20 points