UNIT 304

Of The NVQ 2356-99

Maintain a Safe and Healthy Working Environment

On this page we walk you through everything you need to know to get started – and complete – Unit 304 of your NVQ 2356-99.

What are the ‘Performance Objectives’?

The performance objectives are the criteria of the Electrical NVQ 3 which you are being assessed against. In order to successfully achieve this NVQ, you must meet the performance objective of EVERY unit.

How do I meet the performance objective of every unit of this NVQ?

You will simply describe HOW you carried out your duties, WHAT you did and how they related to EACH performance objective. You need to be specific and relate the duties you carried out to the performance objective. You will also need to support this with appropriate photo/video evidence to support your Site Diary/Logbook.

What is Unit 304 wanting me to demonstrate?

This unit – Maintain a Safe and Healthy Working Environment – is about the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974, which seeks to secure the health, safety and welfare of people whilst they work and protect other people against risks ot health or safety arising from the activity of people at work. You need to show that you possess the skills and knowledge to: – ensure that your own actions do not create any health and safety risks – not ignore hazards with significant risk in your workplace – take sensible action to put things right.

According to the Health and Safety at Work Act: Employers must safeguard so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all the people who work for them and ‘other persons’. This applies in particular to the provision and maintenance of safe plant and systems of work, and covers all machinery, equipment and substances used. Employess also have a duty under the Act to take reasonable care to avoid harm to themselves or to others by their working practices, and to co-operate with employers and others in meeting statutory requirements. The Act also requires employees not to interfere with or  misuse anything provided to protect their healthy, safety or welfare in compliance with the Act.

See an overview of this units performance objectives and examples of evidence below.

You personally need to be in as many photos / videos as possible.

Logbook / Site Diary: One of Three

Insert Site address and brief description of the job you were carrying out.

For example, 120 Any Street, Anytown, Any Postcode. Installation of conduit and trunking for lighting. Start and finish date (date you started and finished particular task)

Unit 304 Performance Objective No 1:

You identify which workplace health and safety procedures are relevant to your working environment.

(You need to describe how you met EACH performance objective, in this case, performance objective number one, how you identified which workplace health and safety procedures are relevant to your working environment).

“When I arrived on the site had to report to the safety officer who arranged for me to attend a site induction prior to starting work. This consisted of a video, the general site safety requirements, the position of all the emergency exits and fire extinguishers, my assembly point and the site evacuation procedures that I would have to follow in the case of a major emergency.”

Specific Health & Safety Issues For This SIte
Induction Room And First Aid Room

Unit 304 Performance Objective No 2:

You identify evacuation procedures and emergency exits before work commences.

“When I actually went on to the site prior to starting work and wearing all the relevant PPE I carried out a risk assessment of the area that I was going to be working in and I identified the emergency exits which I made sure were free from any obstacles and the fire extinguisher positions.”

Contractors Assembly Point
Identifying Evacuation Points In Area I Was Working
Fire And Evacuation Plan
Nearest Fire Exit To Where I Was Working
Fire Risk Assessment
Fire Awareness Area & Fire Extinguishers

Unit 304 Performance Objective No 3:

You review your working practices and your working environment for hazards which could cause serious harm.

“I carried out a risk assessment of the work area and noted any potential hazards on the correct form. This was passed on to my supervisor to file for future reference. Although this was to eventually be a commercial building it was classified as an industrial installation due to the fact that this had not yet been completed and handed over and there was a large amount of construction left to complete on many of the floors.

“I had been given the task of carrying out various alterations and repairs to the controls for the air conditioning units. As such I had to access and remove many of the floor tiles to access the controls and install new cable and make minor alterations and repairs as per the snagging sheet for this floor. Warning notices and barriers were put in place prior to removal of the floor tiles.

“I also had to access the ceiling area for the units and needed to use the podium for access. I ensured that the podiums were safe to work from and had the appropriate scaff tag attached. I worked a safe system of work throughout the working day checking periodically the work area for any potential hazards. Any hazards that were discovered were reported immediately to my supervisor. The main hazard on this particular site was moving vehicles immediately outside the building and I remained aware of the danger that these presented and ensured that I remained in a safe area whilst these vehicles were reversing or crossing.”

Warning Signs Clearly Highlighting Potential Dangers
Warning Of Heavy Plant Crossing
Risk Assesment Noticeboard
Method Statement & Risk Assessment Required

Unit 304 Performance Objective No 4:

You control those health and safety hazards within your capability and job responsibility limits.

“During the course of the working day I worked a safe system of work and I checked my work area at periodic intervals for any potential hazards, if any hazards were discovered these were reported immediately to my supervisor if I was unable to control them myself or if they fell outside of my job responsibility etc.

“All areas that we were working in were barriered off for safety reasons and warning signs were placed in prominent positions to prevent unauthorised access to my working area as some of the floor panels had to be removed in the area in which I was working. This presented a risk to other contractors on site and I used warning notices to highlight the danger. I was also aware of other contractors on the same floor who had also removed floor panels for the tasks they were carrying out and ensured that I remained out of their working area to avoid the risk of falling. One hazard I identified and removed was a 110v lead was trailing across my area, so I removed the trip hazard.

“I ensured that the access equipment I was using was safe for use by checking the scaff tag and checking the podium for stability and safe use. I had already received training in the safe assembly, dismantling and moving of mobile access towers so I am competent to carry out inspections, create safe systems of work and to understand my responsibilities. I used this training I had received to ensure that the podium I was to be working on was safe to use.

“Whenever I had to go outside, to the site foreman for example, I was aware of the heavy plant and machinery that were on site and of the potential hazard that they presented. I ensured that I used caution if and when they were in operation and waited behind the safety barrier until it was safe to pass.”

Warning Sign Highlighting Potentially Dangerous Area
Warning - Floor Panels Removed
Placing A Barrier In The Area In Which I Was Working
Removing Floor Tiles To Pull Cables Via Cable Tray
Connecting New Cables To Box Under The Floor
PASMA Competence Card
Checking The Scafftag
Preparing To Use Podium Placing Barriers Around Working Area
Heavy Plant Warning Sign
Waiting In Safe Area Out Of The Way Of Plant And Machinery

Unit 304 Performance Objective No 5:

You report those hazards which may present a high risk to the relevant persons responsible for health and safety in the workplace.

“If during the course of the working day any potential hazards that were found these would be immediately reported to my supervisor and also reported to the site manager who would then take the necessary steps to have these immediately eliminated. This was highlighted to us during our induction, this also included “learning events” (near misses) that would also need to be recorded and reported. If I was unable to locate my supervisor, I was aware of the other supervisors on site and would report the incident to them as well as the site manager.

“Fortunately there were no near misses or hazards that needed to be reported on this occasion, however, I was aware of the procedure to follow and who to report the incident to should this have occurred.”

Incident Reporting Procedure, As Outlined During My Induction
List Of Supervisors On Site And Their Occupational Roles

Unit 304 Performance Objective No 6:

Your personal conduct around the workplace does not endanger the health and safety of yourself or other persons.

“Under the HASAW Act 1974 I am fully aware that whilst on site I am not only responsible for my own safety but also the safety of others who may be working beside or around me. Therefore during the course of the working day I worked safely and in a competent manner at all times.”

Studying & Observing Site Dangers, Warnings & Rules
Witness Testimony From Occupationally Competent Person

Unit 304 Performance Objective No 7:

You follow the workplace policies and suppliers’ or manufacturers’ instructions for the safe use of tools, plant and equipment.

“I followed all the correct workplace procedures that I had learned both on site and at college inductions. If I came across anything that I did not understand I contacted my supervisor immediately and asked him. Before I used any power tools my supervisor/ foreman /chargehand gave me a practical demonstration on their use.

“I checked all power tools visually before I used them for any defects and I also checked the PAT Testing Certificates to see that they were still valid. I used the manufacturer’s instructions, which were available for my use, for both power tools and access equipment as required at all times.”

Scafftag Inspection Guide
Checking The Scafftag
Safety Instructions For Podium
Site Safety Toolbox Talk Induction Booklet
Checking Tools And Leads Before Use

Unit 304 Performance Objective No 8:

You follow agreed procedures in the event of an emergency.

“There were no emergencies on this site but had there been I would have followed the emergency and accident procedures that I had learned at my induction when I first came on site which was to raise the alarm by notifying those immediately around me leave the site by the nearest emergency exit and report straight to my assembly point to await further instructions.”

Fire Alarm and Evacuation Procedure
Drawing Highlighting Exits From Site
Contractors Fire Assembly Point

Unit 304 Performance Objective No 9:

You follow workplace procedures in the event of injuries to self and others.

“Fortunately, no accidents occurred whilst I was on this site, however, if I had an accident I would first of all go straight to get first aid treatment, secondly inform my supervisor then thirdly I would make sure that the site accident book was correctly filled in with all the relevant details of the accident and the names and address of any witnesses.”

Nominated First Aiders On The Site
Induction And First Aid Room
Site Accident Book

Key Criticals

Remember Key Criticals need to be covered OVER the three occasions and NOT in each logbook.

Two different relevant people

You will simply need to describe the photo evidence that you have that cover the key criticals.

“On this occasion I have referred to my supervisor and how he related to my maintaining a safe and healthy working environment by carrying out a toolbox talk and discussing with me the installation I was carrying out and the necessary precautions I had to put in place before during and after these activities. I have also asked my supervisor for a witness statement which will support my photographic evidence.”

Site Supervisor
Witness Testimony from occupationally competent person

Two Working Environments

Again, describe the photo evidence that you have uploaded and explain its relevance to the unit. In this case the supervisor is a relevant person as you would have agreed a safe system of work with your supervisor as described in your performance objectives above.

Remember, this is how they were relevant to your carrying out the performance objectives for this unit/task. For example, “other contractors” would also be relevant as they would have an impact on your safety on site and vice versa.

Industrial Working Environment

Two Different Working Practices


You will simply need to describe the photo evidence that you have that cover the key criticals.

On this occasion you would describe the activities that you carried out to “Maintain a Safe and Healthy Working Environment”.

REMEMBER: You will be completing this unit on three separate occasions and you must show how you maintained a safe and healthy working environment by at least TWO of the following on over the three occasions.

Working Techniques
Use of Materials or Equipment.

Placing Warning Notices When Removing Floor Tiles
Ensuring Working Area Is Barriered Off
Using Eye Protection Whilst Drilling

Additional Evidence

Witness Testimony Your witness testimony should be from an occupationally competent person such as your chargehand or supervisor. They should be familiar with the national occupational standards to which you are being assessed against and will be contacted by your assessor to validate the testimony provided.

You should not rely on witness testimonies as your main source of evidence. These are provided to support your photo/video evidence and your written account within your logbook. Your main source of evidence will be your photos / videos, so make sure you collect relevant evidence that are appropriate and clearly show you undertaking the tasks that you have described.

Witness Testimony from occupationally competent person

Make Completing Your NVQ 2356-99 Quicker And Easier…

Your assessor can carry out a direct observation of you without the need to physically visit your site. Find out more…

Your assessor will help to build your portfolio for you using the information you provide. Find out more…

Still Have Questions About Your NVQ Level 3 Electrical?

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