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Andrew Rankine "Aurelianus" (Glasgow, scotland)

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Health and Safety, Environment and Quality Audits: A risk-based approach
Health and Safety, Environment and Quality Audits: A risk-based approach
by Stephen Asbury
Edition: Paperback
Price: 31.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the best in the field, 27 Feb 2014
This is the second edition of a very successful book which first appeared in 2006. I said then that it was a most welcome addition to the library of any manager active in this field and ought to be the standard work in HSEQ auditing; this second edition only confirms me in this opinion.
A thriving and constantly improving HSEQ culture depends on those in control questioning its condition, measuring its successes and failures and defining routes towards development. Much in the way that a financial audit determines the monetary health of a management system, HSEQ audits test these elements of performance. Some audit systems are one-size-fits-all prescriptions, which, although successful in many applications, cannot be said to succeed in all, simply because management structures vary so much. Indeed, earlier audit systems tended to give a false sense of security precisely because there was a fundamental mismatch between the management system under scrutiny and the audit system chosen. Hence Stephen Asbury’s approach to letting the management structure determine the what and how of auditing, and that is its major strength.
‘Risk’ is defined herein as the scale of any type of impact on an organisation’s objectives, i.e. very widely. The purpose of this book is therefore to instruct the reader in how to focus on especial classes of risk, how best to interrogate the management system responsible for that aspect, and what to make of the outcome(s).
The book comprises 10 main chapters plus 5 appendices. The novice auditor and senior general manager or director would be well advised to simply start at the beginning and wade in, for there is much to be gained from Asbury’s understanding of the current business environment and how the structure and control functions of an organisation operate. If you’re familiar with modern management studies, then you might skip the first two chapters, but there are plenty of inset boxes with nuggets of good sense and advice that you won’t want to miss. The crux of the matter starts in the next section, where it is explained why, how and by whom and auditing culture comes about in an organisation. This leads into a discussion of the interactions between auditor and those individuals who control the aspects of management under scrutiny. This is important if the audit process is to elicit the best and most accurate data on which future strategy can be confidently based.
The “Audit Adventure” is the author’s term for the thought processes around the dynamics used by auditors. This steers auditors through the major steps of the audit. Since an audit is a project like any other, it comprises a series of inter-related activities with a timescale, budget and resource allocation, plus clearly understood objectives. The remainder of the main sections of the book detail the principles and practices of this audit adventure.
If you have been appointed as lead auditor, chapters 6 – 10 will lead you by the hand, telling you how to approach the tasks involved, how to get the best from your team, and to prepare and execute the best programme you can. All the important aspects of this vital process are dealt with expertly, and with good humour. Good preparation is, naturally, vital for a potentially complex project such as an audit. The audit team and especially the lead auditor must understand what is expected of them, the audit processes they will use and how the deliverables agreed will be uncovered. As Asbury says, “the key to a successful audit is a thoroughly prepared audit team”. Once the groundwork has been laid, the audit team will, hopefully, have unearthed a representative sample of significant risks for inclusion in the audit work plan. The actual conduct of the audit is, quite properly, the major section of this book and the author explains in some detail the variables inherent in these processes, how difficulties can be minimised and focus retained. It’s all most helpful, with case studies, tips and pithy asides to guide the reader towards a deeper understanding. Of greatest use to the auditee will be the formal report and perhaps a presentation giving the conclusions of the audit. Where immediate risks or major non-conformancies have been uncovered, the lead auditor needs to be prepared to help in arriving at workable solutions. This is all part and parcel of the audit process. All these aspects are covered in enough detail to let the prospective lead auditor understand what is required, and conversely what a director of an auditee company can and should expect.
The graphic design is superb with inset case studies to illustrate important points and tips garnered from the author’s personal experience, Special mention must be made of Paul Richardson’s cartoons. Auditing may not be the ‘sexiest’ topic for humour, but these really do work well and don’t detract from the seriousness of the subject.
There is so much to enjoy and admire in this book. The introductory chapters are as good a summary of the nature of business risk as one can have without straying into magnum opus territory for management studies undergraduates. That this is achieved without recourse to ‘management speak’ is quite remarkable. The writing style throughout is accessible and the layout leads the eye to the salient matters of each topic. There are, in addition to the main text, five main appendices plus lots of extras, not the least of which is the useful website supported by the publisher at: [...] There is also a good index, which makes life a lot easier.
Auditing ‘how-to’ guides tend not to be the most thrilling reads. One reads them because one wants to understand the process or to pass an exam. This one, however, actively draws the reader into an understanding of how important these activities are to the health of an organisation so that one appreciates that without such processes, success or failure would be pretty much left to chance. In today’s business environment, no senior manager should be content with that. This book will tell you how to find out what could go wrong and how to address such challenges. This second edition remains the ‘go to’ handbook for those who aspire to drive a prosperous and thriving business and I highly recommend it.

The Watermen
The Watermen
by Patrick Easter
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-imagined period procedural, 30 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Watermen (Hardcover)
Well, this one is definitely splitting the readers! Pace the one-star reviewers, I enjoyed this series opener. The characters are decently drawn and their motivations clear. Even the villains have an emotional life that explains their actions. Life on the Thames is atmospherically described, and the addition of a glossary of the used nautical terms is, for this land-lubber, most useful.
Although the denouement is a bit of a let down, it was led into nicely and is understandably what might have happened. Overall, this was a nice introduction to the series and I look forward to the next book.

No Title Available

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great music. Pity about the sound quality, 21 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You can't argue with the quality of the musicianship on display here, but oh dear, the sound quality is poor with clear wow from the tape recording evident. To me just about unlistenable. Sorry, but one for C(S)NY completists only.

Price: 11.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock like its supposed to sound!, 21 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ii (Audio CD)
Great songs, superbly played and expertly produced. Marvelous stuff! This is how rock is supposed to sound: it actually means something and is brought to you by people who mean it.

The Depression Cure: The Six-Step Programme to Beat Depression Without Drugs
The Depression Cure: The Six-Step Programme to Beat Depression Without Drugs
by Stephen S. Ilardi
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.39

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depressed like me?, 15 July 2011
I've suffered depression on and off for over 30 years. And I do mean suffered. I've broken long bones and had cholera - depression is worse. That's why I was recommended to try this book.
It is written in simple straightforward language you don't need a B.Sc. to grasp. The chapters and sections are short enough that if your concentration is off, you won't miss too much. Dr Ilardi's understanding of the illness is profound and well-conveyed. And here's the thing - it works! I've reduced my meds, have reduced rumination and better sleep (as opposed to 3-4 hours). You couldn't ask for a better guide on your journey out of the pit. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
One minor thing - I have a PhD in biochemistry, and I would have loved a brief 'further reading' list or journal references - I'll check out the TLC website.
Depressed like me? Read this book. Compassion and good empirical advice.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2012 9:41 PM BST

Hot 'N' Nasty - Rockin' The Winterland
Hot 'N' Nasty - Rockin' The Winterland
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: 9.44

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as expected, 31 Jan 2011
This cd seems to be identical as the King Biscuit Flour Hour recording, which was released several years ago: same tracks, timings etc. The sound is a bit clearer, but completists need to be aware of the general similarity.

Sixty Minutes With
Sixty Minutes With
Price: 14.13

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent retrospective of a master guitarist, 30 Oct 2008
This review is from: Sixty Minutes With (Audio CD)
Sixty Minutes With

I've been a fan of Mrs Weinstein's boy Leslie since the first solo album, Mountain. There was something about his guitar style and his gutsy singing voice that just 'got to me'. These factors, combined with the late Felix Pappalardi's bass and lighter tenor made each album a real treat for me. Mountain's subsequent appearance at the original Woodstock festival made stars of the band, but drink, drugs and personal differences led to the band imploding in the time-honoured fashion.
Leslie West now tours as both Mountain (with Corky Laing and various others) and as a solo artist. It is in the latter form that we hear him on great form here.
This is a very varied selection from Leslie's many solo albums. "The Cell" is a strong opener; good riff, great solo. "Old Brown Shoe" I could live without, but all the rest are top-notch rock and blues, some by West, some by other writers. Listen to the extended solo on "If Heartaches Were Nickels"; that's what Leo Fender meant an electric guitar to sound like and it sends shivers up my spine every time.
All in all, if you don't know Mountain or Leslie West's work, this is arguably the best place to start. There are other Greatest Hits packages available, but the variety, magical playing and sound quality just gives this one the nod for me.
Jolly nice bloke too, as it happens.

The Requiem Shark
The Requiem Shark
by Nicholas Griffin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating subject, fascinating people., 9 May 2008
This review is from: The Requiem Shark (Paperback)
Avast, ye lubbers! Like cowboy stories, SF and similar genre yarns, pirate stories come and go in the public's affections. But: Not since R. L. Stevenson or Melville has the life of the sailor been so vividly rendered. The narrative fairly cracks along, the characters are excellently portrayed and their travails spring off the page. Ideal summer reading, and just be glad you don't have to live this way.

Miami Vice (Xbox)
Miami Vice (Xbox)
Offered by multimedia-online
Price: 24.99

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Dont go there, 13 Jan 2005
This review is from: Miami Vice (Xbox) (Video Game)
The TV show was cool, but this is a cash in will little or no efort to make a good game.
Just no, just no.

My Favourite Headache
My Favourite Headache
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: 35.19

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long awaited solo album from Rush bassist hits the mark, 27 Nov 2000
This review is from: My Favourite Headache (Audio CD)
Geddy Lee is often to be found at the top of 'World's Best Rock Bassist' league tables. And with good cause. His first solo outing, although featuring his sinuous bass-lines throughout, is not such a bass-fest as might be imagined. Here are good songs, for grown ups, addressing real issues. Hummable, no, but memorable just the same.
Fans of Rush will need no encouragement; they will just buy it and enjoy this CD, probably without missing Peart's sometimes over-heated if expert drummimg, or Lifeson's choppy guitar. Potential fans should give it a listen too. This is classy rock and thoroughly recommended.

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