Guidance On NEBOSH Command Words

In Health and Safety, NEBOSH, NEBOSH IGC by EDCONS SAFETY INSTITUTELeave a Comment

Guidance On NEBOSH Commands Words 

To Pass NEBOSH IGC in the first attempt, there are many things to consider while attempting the NEBOSH, but the main thing that the student should follow is the commands words by NEBOSH. These are the most important to achieve the NEBOSH IGC in the first attempt. Most of the students don’t follow the rules and some of them don’t know about that so the reason they get failed. So let’s discuss the guidance on NEBOSH commands words. These are the following commands words:



  1. Identify
  2. Give
  3. Outline
  4. Describe
  5. Explain

NEBOSH IGC Command Words.jpg

1. Identify – 

To give reference to an item, which could be its name or title.
NB: normally a word or phrase will be sufficient, provided the reference is clear.

For Example:

Q. Identify FOUR hazards associated with excavations?    (4)

Sufficient answers would include:

  • Collapse of the sides
  • Water Ingress
  • Falling Material
  • Undergrounds Services



2. Give –

To offer for consideration, acceptance, or use of another.
NB: Give an example of; Give the meaning of.

For Example:

Q. Identify FOUR types of safety sign AND Give an example in EACH case.     (4)

Sufficient answers would include:

  • Prohibition signs – eg No smoking
  • Warning signs – eg Caution hot surface
  • Mandatory signs – eg Wear ear protection
  • Emergency or safe condition signs – eg first-aid box

3. Outline –

To indicate the principal features or different parts of.
NB: an exhaustive description is not required. What is sought is a brief summary of the major aspects of whatever is stated in the question

To gain the marks for the outline example questions below, the same breadth of the answer is required as for an identify answer, but now, additional information will be required to satisfy the depth of an outline.

For Example:

Q. Outline FOUR hazards associated with excavations?    (4)

Sufficient answers would include:

  • Collapse of the sides – Unsupported trench or incorrect angle of the sides.
  • Water ingress – Through heavy rain or burst water main.
  • Falling materials – Spoil dug from excavation or materials and tools stored at ground level could fall in.
  • Underground services – Contact or rupturing of electricity, gas or water utilities.

4. Describe –

To give a detailed written account of the distinctive features of a subject. The account should be factual, without any attempt to explain.
When describing a subject (or object) a test of sufficient detail would be that another person would be able to visualize what you are describing.

For Example:

Q. Describe the mechanical hazards associated with a  bench grinder.    (8)

A sufficient answer would be:

An entanglement hazard would be associated with the rotating spindle that the abrasive wheel is mounted on. Drawing in and trapping is associated with the gap between the tool rest and the rotating abrasive wheel. Friction or abrasion hazards would be associated with the surface of the rotating abrasive wheel and stabbing or puncture hazards could be created by flying fragments or pieces of ejected broken wheel.



5. Explain –

To provide an understanding. To make an idea or relationship clear.
NB: this command word is testing the candidate’s ability to know or understand why or how something happens. Is often associated with the words ‘how’ or ‘why’.

For Example:

Q. Explain how sensitive protective equipment (trip device) can reduce the risk of contact with moving parts of machinery.    (8)

A sufficient answer would be:

Sensitive protective equipment is designed to identify the presence of a person or body part within the danger zone of machinery. Examples of such devices include pressure mats and light beams that are connected to the machine controls and would stop the machine rapidly should a person or body part be detected.

Guidance On NEBOSH Commands Words

are very important to pass the NEBOSH in first attempt.

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