Answer review – Obligations of employers to workers

Common mistakes

Go through your answer and see if you made any of these mistakes. If you did, think carefully about why you made them and how you will avoid making them again.

Listing the raw legislation/regulations

For example, a learner on the National Certificate might put:

HASAWA Section 2, Sub-Section 2 (a) the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

and a learner on the International Certificate might put:

Recommendation 10 of International Labour Organisation R164 (a) to provide and maintain workplaces, machinery and equipment, and use work methods, which are as safe and without risk to health as is reasonably practicable.

Where all they need to write in order to score a point would be:

The employer has failed to provide and maintain safe work equipment.

…and then go on to provide some concrete examples from the scenario where the employer has failed to provide and maintain safe work equipment.

Not providing enough supporting information from the scenario

To effectively analyse a scenario for your assessment, it’s important to dig deeper than you might be accustomed to in order to achieve higher marks. Let’s use the example of a failure to provide and maintain plant.

Firstly, you can break down this scenario into two distinct components: failures to provide plant and failures to maintain plant. By considering each of these aspects separately, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding.

Now, let’s focus on the specific items of plant mentioned in the scenario. There are several items involved…

  1. a conveyor belt
  2. racking
  3. machinery used to make the dough
  4. bread ovens.

It’s crucial to recognise that if more than one item is unsafe, there are multiple contraventions of employer obligations. Including these additional contraventions in your answer can earn you more marks.

And it goes on. Think about other aspects of the scenario, such as supervision and training. Consider how many instances of poor supervision occurred and who was responsible for each instance. Additionally, identify the individuals who should have received training and determine the specific training they were missing.

By adopting this analytical approach, you’ll start to harvest many more points from the scenario. Moreover, you can apply this method to address other questions in the assessment, as it is likely applicable to most if not all of them too!

Here’s a reminder of the question hint…

You do not need to list out the raw legislation sections or sub-sections in your response. However, it may be helpful to use the different parts of the legislation as headings to structure your answer, but write them as broken obligations because that’s what the question is asking for (for example: “failure to provide and maintain safe work equipment”).

Remember to include relevant information from the scenario to support your points. Avoid simply listing the employer’s obligations, but additionally, use examples from the scenario as evidence.

For instance, if you want to highlight a

“failure to provide and maintain safe work equipment”

you should provide evidence from the scenario, such as

“bread ovens not regularly maintained or inspected”.

It is important to ensure that your answer includes references to specific examples from the scenario, such as the issue with bread ovens, in order to gain points for your response.

Watch the video for some ideas on how to approach this question.