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S.N. Pestovskaya


Safety Technology
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Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»

Northern (Arctic) Federal University

named after M.V. Lomonosov

Foreign languages for professional purposes

S.N. Pestovskaya

English for rescuers

Safety Technology

Teaching Aid

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Министерство образования и науки Российской Федерации

Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное
учреждение высшего образования
«Северный (Арктический) федеральный университет
имени М.В. Ломоносова»

Иностранные языки для профессий

С.Н. Пестовская


Технологии безопасности

Учебное пособие

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УДК 811.111(075)
ББК 81.2Англ=923
Рекомендовано к изданию учебно-методическим советом
Северного (Арктического) федерального университета
имени М.В. Ломоносова

Серия основана в 2013 году

кандидат педагогических наук Ю.В. Манухина;
кандидат филологических наук Т.В. Пьянкова

Пестовская, С.Н.
П286 Английский язык для спасателей: Технологии безопасности =
English for Rescuers: Safety Technology : учебное пособие / С.Н. Пес-
товская; Сев. (Арктич.) федер. ун-т им. М.В. Ломоносова. – Архан-
гельск: САФУ, 2016. – 124 c. – (Иностранные языки для профессии). –
Текст англ.
ISBN 978-5-261-01210-8
Пособие, нацеленное на формирование навыков профессиональ-
ной англоязычной коммуникации в области техносферной безопас-
ности, содержит систему упражнений, направленных на расширение
активного словарного запаса, обучение студентов стратегиям чтения
специальной литературы на иностранном языке разработанных на
основе современных обработанных и адаптированных аутентичных
Предназначено для студентов, обучающихся по профилям «По-
жарная безопасность» и «Защита в чрезвычайных ситуациях» направ-
ления подготовки 20.03.01 «Техносферная безопасность». Может быть
использовано в качестве дополнительного материала при изучении
отдельных тем студентами инженерных направлений подготовки.

УДК 811.111(075)
ББК 81.2Англ=923

ISBN 978-5-261-01210-8 © Пестовская С.Н., 2016

© Северный (Арктический)
федеральный университет
им. М.В. Ломоносова, 2016
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»


Unit 1. University life ................................................................................ 7

Unit 2. What is engineering? ..................................................................... 14
Unit 3. Safety versus security .................................................................... 21
Unit 4. In time of emergency ..................................................................... 26
Unit 5. Urban fires, wild fires, famous fires .............................................. 36
Unit 6. Safety first ...................................................................................... 44
Unit 7. Technology in safety ...................................................................... 50
Unit 8. Road safety, vehicle safety ............................................................ 56
Unit 9. Safety in the Arctic ........................................................................ 62
Unit 10. Across cultures............................................................................. 68
Additional activities................................................................................... 73
Review ....................................................................................................... 104
Glossary ..................................................................................................... 115
Resources ................................................................................................... 124
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This book is aimed at enabling students majoring in technosphere

safety to improve their professional communication skills and specialist
language knowledge of engineers.
The book consists of ten units covering different aspects of techno-
sphere safety. The units contain:
• realistic listening activities;
• situation-based speaking activities;
• relevant vocabulary;
• engaging topics and articles to make learning interesting and mo-
An answer key to the most difficult activities can be found at the
back of the book. A glossary containing useful technical words is an es-
sential part of the book.
We hope the book will help create mutual understanding between
professionals in the field of safety by building cultural bridges that en-
hance understanding and establish trust.
We believe that establishing mutual understanding between eastern
and western peoples and countries is the urgent issue of the day, so this
book focuses attention on cultural knowledge as a necessary aspect of
communicative competence.
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Activity 1. Answer the questions:

You decided to pursue a degree in integral safety. What do you think
your future job will involve? What personal qualities would you need to
have to do this? Do you agree that people who choose this job are going
to spend their days imagining the worst?


Activity 2. Read the information taken from the site of University of

Central Lancashire and compare it with your ideas.

Part A. Fire Engineering

Recent reforms in fire safety law demand that fire risk is considered
at every stage of the design, construction and occupation of a building.
This specialist degree has been developed in response to these reforms –
when you graduate, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence needed
to develop integrated design and management solutions for buildings.
By reducing the risk of a fire, and putting systems in place to minimise
harm to people, property and the environment if a fire does break out,
you’ll save lives and money – a highly rewarding way to earn a living.

Part B. Why Study This Course?

We’re a recognised Centre of Excellence for fire safety engineering –
if you’re aiming for a senior role in fire safety, this is the course for you.
This course builds on the training and educational programmes offered

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by the Institution of Fire Engineers and is a very hands-on course – you’ll

work with the training team at Lancashire Fire and Rescue HQ in your
first year, and get the chance to work with fire safety engineering compa-
nies, all with the aim of boosting your employability when you graduate.

Part C. Further Information*

The course is delivered by academics with extensive experience in
fire related subjects and fire service professionals who bring years of
experience from working in industry and the fire and rescue service.
The 2013 National Student Survey (NSS) findings show that 100%
of fire students said that as a result of the course their career prospects
had improved.
Fire Engineering is about how fires work, the effects they have on
people/society, and the prevention/suppression of fires. Fire Engineer-
ing also considers fundamental things such as the structure of a flame
or how a water spray affects the turbulence of cloud of smoke. It is the
development of novel technological and engineering solutions with-
in the often contradictory constraints of safety, economy and the law
which pose the challenge in the course.
This course emphasises fire in the context of buildings and infra-
structure, and the technology for predicting fires and designing against
them. The application of Fire Engineering is multi-disciplinary (every
area of academic study plays a role in this understanding from law to
chemistry) and it is envisaged that, as in the professional world, you
will carry out project work, which will facilitate dialogue between the
Fire Engineer and other members of the design and management teams.
Fire Engineering is for students aiming for senior roles after grad-
uation in safety design roles or on their way to becoming senior fire
officers. BEng(Hons) Fire Engineering is supported by an established
research base and builds on the training and educational programmes
offered by the Institution of Fire Engineers.
(URL: http://www.uclan.ac.uk/courses/bsc_hons_fire_safety_risk_


Activity 3. Match the underlined words in parts A and B of the text

with the meanings (1–5) below.

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1) a series of classes or lectures on a particular subject; (in British

English) a period of study at a college or university that leads to an ex-
am or qualification;
2) showing a usually pleasing mixture of qualities, groups, etc.;
3) (of an experience or activity) that makes you happy because you
think it is useful or important, worth doing;
4) to get a degree, especially your first degree from a university or
5) doing something rather than just talking about it.
Activity 4. Fill in the gaps with an appropriate word from Activity 3.
а) You will need to gain ______ experience in industry.
b) She had taught on a range of undergraduate ______.
c) He ______ from Bristol University with first-class honours in History.
d) We visited an ______ school with children of different races and
social classes.
e) Nursing can be a very ______ career.


Activity 5. The two verbs ‘to save’ and ‘to rescue’ are used in the
text. They are basically synonymous concepts and can be translated in-
to Russian as «спасать». Still there is some difference between them.
Read and compare the dictionary entries for them, then do Activity 6.
To save – if you save someone, you stop them from being killed or
badly hurt.
Example: He almost fell off the cliff, but she put out her arm and
saved him.
To rescue – if you rescue someone, you take them away from a dan-
gerous situation, so that they do not get killed or badly hurt.
Example: Paramedics and the fire fighters worked for two hours to
rescue people who were trapped in the bus.
Activity 6. Choose the proper word:
1. Wearing a seat belt can save/rescue your life.
2. The couple were rescued/saved from the burning building by their
3. They were rescued/saved by a passing cruise ship.
4. There is no doubt that the firefighters rescued/saved my daugh-
ter’s life.
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Activity 7*. Many people assume that there is a philosophical aspect

to the difference between the concepts ‘to save’ and ‘to rescue’, not a
matter of semantics. Additional activities to Unit 1 can help you pen-
etrate into it.

Language review
Activity 8. Match the phrases and their Russian equivalents.
Noun groups
fire safety эвакуация людей
forest fire вопросы безопасности
evacuation plan лесной пожар
people evacuation пожарная безопасность
safety issues план эвакуации

Activity 9. Translate into Russian:

fire safety, fire safety law, fire safety engineering, fire safety engi-
neering companies, accident prevention
Activity 10. Analyse the sentences according to the given diagram.
Sentence structure
Adverbial modifier Subject Predicate Object Adverbial modifier
In scientific work we measure volume in cubic centimeters.

1. Our classes begin at 8 o’clock in the morning.

2. The students measure gas pressure at the laboratory.
3. On Mondays and Fridays Mr. Black delivers lectures at the college.
Activity 11.
A. Arrange the following words into sentences.
B. Translate your sentences.
1) countries, the metric system, use, most, now.; 2) begin, never, at
7 o’clock, in the morning, lectures; 3) work, in the evening, Mr. Hall,
does not, on Fridays; 4) Krypton 86, give off, does, white light?
Activity 12. Arrange the following words into sentences.
1) are, academic, two, year, there, terms, every, in; 2) each, the,
end, at, students, term, of, take, and, tests, examinations, credit; 3) our,

Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»

trains, integral, department, students, in, safety; 4) undergraduates,

classes, the time-table, attend, set out, in; 5) higher, first, term, cur-
riculum, the, includes, of, mathematics; 6) after, classes, go, students,
sports, to, ground, the, many, play, to, tennis; 7) of, hundreds, every,
students, year, from, graduate, the, university; 8) offers, university,
residential, its, to, students, the, accommodation; 9) difficult, is, it, to,
study, at, safety, department, of, industrial, the; 10) the, universities, in,
most, work, of, fundamental, in, chemistry, carry out, chemists; 11) sci-
ence, the, mathematics, is, cornerstone, of, modern; 12) human, the, in-
tellect, noble, the, mathematics, is, of, rigorous, and, activity; 13) ab-
stractions, nature, the, scientists, of, employ, mathematics, understand,
the, to, patterns, of.
Activity 13. Read the following sentences and point out the subject
and object in each of them.
1. At the North (Arctic) Federal University students have lectures
and practical classes. 2. On completion of studies every student presents
a graduation thesis and takes the finals. 3. Among the student body of
any institution of higher education one can see quite a number of for-
eign students. 4. Our country requires more and more specialists with
higher education.


Activity 14. Look at the possible ways of choosing an occupation

and comment on them:
1. It has been a dream since childhood.
2. I wanted to follow in my parents’ foot.
3. It was a wish of my parents.
4. My friends advised me to choose this occupation.
5. I feel I can do it best of all.
6. I’ve always been good at it.
How have you chosen your occupation?
Activity 15. Agree or disagree:
1. It is a difficult problem to choose an occupation.
2. Many young people don’t know what they want to be.
3. You can make a career without being a good specialist.
4. To be a good specialist you should have a good education, pro-
found knowledge and much experience in the field you are working.
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5. Safety engineering ought to be a vocation as well as a way of

earning money.
Activity 16. Speak about your university and your student life an-
swering the questions:
1. Where is your university situated? When was it founded?
2. What is the course structure at the university?
3. How long do the undergraduates study?
4. What institutes are there at the university?
5. Do you find descriptive geometry very difficult?
6. Where do you usually do your homework?
7. Do you like to do your homework alone or together with a friend?
8. How many hours a day do you spend at the University?
9. How long does it take you to do your homework?
10. Are you fond of pop-music?
11. Do you go in for sport?
12. What are your hobbies?
13. Is there any international collaboration at the university?
14. Where do the graduates work?
Activity 17*. Find the Russian equivalent.
1) to face a problem a) иметь правo на льготы
2) to make (take) a decision b) получить исчерпывающую
информацию o …
3) to climb the career ladder c) постоянный работник
4) to have callings and abilities d) сталкиваться с проблемой
5) to gain detailed information e) принимать решение
6) to have self-evaluation f) иметь призвания и способности
7) to be entitled to benefits g) подниматься по карьерной
8) a permanent employee h) иметь самооценку

Activity 18*. Discuss the following questions:

In your opinion, which factors below are important to become a pro-
fessional and make a rewarding career? Choose the four most impor-
tant. Compare your ideas in a group and try to agree on a final choice:
– contacts and connections;
– appearance, age, experience;

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– personality;
– IQ;
– marital status;
– qualifications;
– blood group;
– family background.
What qualities are necessary for a good employee:
– to be accurate;
– organized;
– clever;
– tactful;
– creative;
– easy-going;
– hard-working;
– responsible;
– punctual;
– decisive;
– friendly.
What about you? What are your strengths and weaknesses?


An informal letter
Activity 19. This is a part of a letter you received from an English
friend. Write your letter in 100–140 words, answering your friend’s
questions and giving relevant details.
… In your last letter you said you entered the university. What major
did you choose? Is it difficult to study? Did you meet any new friends
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Activity 1. Work with a partner. In your own language, think of four

words to describe engineering. Compare your words with another pair
and agree on four words. How do you say these words in English? Write
down four English words to describe engineering.


Activity 2. Read the headings of the paragraphs (1–4) in the text of

Activity 3. Underline any new words and look them up in the glossary
or your dictionary. What do you think each paragraph will be about?
Activity 3. Read the paragraphs (1–4) below and check your answers.
1. Engineering is everywhere.
Almost everything we use in modern life is made by engineers. For
example, if a manufacturer wants a faster car, a smaller personal stereo,
or a better pen, they will ask a design engineer to find a practical solution.
2. Engineering is both theoretical and practical.
Engineers use theory (ideas about engineering) to produce practical
answers. The design solution must be a reasonable price, safe, and reli-
able. A new idea that is expensive, dangerous, or doesn’t always work is
not a good solution.
3. Engineers use a method.
Generally, engineers solve problems in a methodical way. Engineers:
1) define the problem,
2) design a solution,
3) test the solution,
4) evaluate the solution.

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If the solution isn’t right, the process is repeated. When a good solu-
tion is found, the next step is to:
5) communicate the solution.
4. Anyone can use engineering ideas.
This method of problem-solving is useful in everyday life – for ex-
ample, you can use the five steps next time you prepare for a test:
A. Define the problem: I want to pass my test next week.
B. Design a solution: I will study for three hours a day.
C. Test the solution: Study for three hours a day and take the test.
D. Evaluate the solution: have I passed the test with a good mark?
Yes = a good solution.
E. Communicate the solution: Tell your friends about your test-pass-
ing technique.
Activity 4. Read the four paragraphs again and decide if the sen-
tences (1–4) below, are true (T) or false (F).
1. Lots of things are made by engineers.
2. Engineering isn’t practical.
3. Engineers must think carefully.
4. Only engineers can solve problems.


Activity 5. Match the underlined words from the text with the mean-
ings (1–7) below.
1) plan;
2) say exactly;
3) a businessman;
4) answer;
5) careful;
6) assess the success of;
7) normal.

Writing and Speaking

Activity 6. Read the paragraph headings again. Do you agree with
Activity 7. Work with a partner. Choose one of the problems below
or your own problem. Solve it using the five steps. Make notes.

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1. You want to go away for a weekend with your friends but your
parents want you to study.
2. You want to buy an iPhone but you haven’t got any money.
Activity 8. Explain your problem and the solution to another pair of
Activity 9. Look at the four words you wrote to describe engineer-
ing at the beginning of the unit. Do you want to change them?
Activity 10. Find examples of job advertisements for engineers in
your town. What type of engineers are employers looking for? Are
there any vacancies in your branch of engineering?

Collocations are very common in English, and learning them is im-
portant. A collocation is two or more words that often go together, like
“hard work” or “make a mistake”. Collocations sound “right” or “natu-
ral” to native speakers, so the more collocations you know and use, the
more natural your English will sound and you will find it much easier to
understand native speakers if you learn collocations.
The word engineering often goes together with the adjectives heavy,
light, conventional, advanced, aeronautical, agricultural, chemical,
civil, design, ecological, electrical, electronic, genetic, mechanical,
process, software, systems, etc.
It is also often used with such nouns as: company, firm, group, in-
dustry, services, work/works.
Example: Train services on Sunday will be restricted, because of en-
gineering works.
Also you can often come across such phrases as: a feat of engineer-
ing and a piece of engineering.
Example: The new building is a remarkable feat of engineering. The
bridge is a fine piece of engineering.

The two verbs ‘to define’ and ‘to determine’ can be translated into
Russian as «определить». Still they have different meanings in Eng-
lish. Read and compare the dictionary entries for them.

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to define – to say or explain what the meaning of the word is.

Example: The term ‘mental illness’ is difficult to define.
to determine – to discover the facts about something, to calculate
something exactly.
Example: An inquiry was set up to determine the cause of the ac-
Some native Russian speakers also often get confused by the verbs
‘to solve’ and ‘to decide’ as they both can be translated into Russian as
«решать». They have different meanings in English. Read and compare
the dictionary entries for them, then do Activity 11.
to solve – to find a way of dealing with a problem or difficult situa-
Example: Attempts are being made to solve the problem of waste
to decide – to think carefully about the different possibilities that
are available and choose one of them.
Example: It was difficult to decide between two candidates.
The word decision is usually used with the verbs to make and to
Example: He is really bad at making decisions.

Activity 11. Choose the proper word:

1. She solved/decided that she wanted to live in Germany.
2. After a long discussion they solved/decided in favour of the
younger candidate.
3. I can’t solve/decide what to wear.
4. Sherlock Holmes solved/decided many murder cases.
5. In order to solve/to decide the climate crisis, we have to solve/de-
cide the democracy crisis.
6. The Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners de-
fines/determines the verb to cause thus: “to make something happen,
usually something bad”.
7. They are unable to accurately define/determine the ship’s position
at this time.
8. An engineer is a person who uses scientific knowledge to solve/to
decide practical problems.
9. He had trouble deciding/solving which branch of engineering to

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Language review

Defining adjective clauses

LifeGuard is an alarm system which can find a MOB (man over-
The italicized part of this sentence is a defining adjective clause.
Defining adjective clauses provide essential information about the
noun they follow. They are called defining adjective clauses because
they always occur in definitions but they are used in any sentence when
we want to give essential information about the noun.
Activity 12. Combine the following sentences. Make the second
sentence into a defining adjective clause for a noun in the first sentence
(main clause).
Example: LifeGuard is an alarm system. The system can find a MOB
(man overboard).
Answer: LifeGuard is an alarm system which can find a MOB (man
1. The device was the telephone. The device started modern elec-
tronic communication.
2. The storm was called ‘St Jude’. It was one of the most powerful
storms to hit Britain in decades.
3. This air pollutant is the most responsible for dirty air. It is carbon
monoxide (CO).
4. The hovercraft is a vehicle. It carries people over land and sea.

Relative Pronouns
Adjective clauses usually begin with one of the five possible adjec-
tive clause markers: that (thing/person), which (thing), who (person),
whom (person), whose +N (person/thing).
In a definition, it is possible to use the relative pronoun that for both
things and human beings.
Example: A circuit is a complete path that can be followed by an
electric current. A pediatrician is a doctor that attends to children.
However, in defining adjective clauses that are not definitions, we
use the relative pronoun who for human beings, especially when there is
a personal relationship.
Example: The man who sits next to me is an engineer.

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Activity 13. Add the correct relative pronoun.

Example: The man _____ we met was studying earthquakes.
Answer: The man whom we met was studying earthquakes.
1. The textbook _____ we use in class costs $25.00.
2. The new pilot had to fly a plane. The pilot had never flown this
plane before.
3. The woman _____ he heard at the conference is a well-known par-
ticle physicist.
4. The men _____ first described the DNA double helix are Watson
and Crick.
5. The people _____ need help the most are those _____ have no food
or shelter.

Relative Adverbs
Relative adverbs where and when are also used in defining adjective
clauses, although less frequently than the relative pronouns.
Activity 14. Fill the blanks with whose, where and when.
1. Persons _____ blood pressure is high should not eat too much food
containing sodium.
2. Power, the rate of doing work, is described by the equation P =
w/t, _____
w = work done and t = time taken.
3. The plane had reached a state _____ it could neither fly nor land
4. The “Big Bang theory” describes the moment nine billion years
ago _____ the universe began.
Activity 15. Correct the errors in the following passage:
A loudspeaker are device who transforms electrical signals into
sound waves. It consist of a magnet, a coil, and one diaphragm whom is
usually made of paper. The changing current that enters the metal coil
vary the magnetic force. This variations causes sound waves that has
the same pattern as those in the original sound.
Activity 16. Read the entries from Longman dictionary and com-
pare the type words usually used in definitions: device, gadget, ma-
chine, appliance, instrument, tool, and implement.
Device is general word for any man-made object used for doing
work, and is usually used when there is no suitable particular word: a
device for catching mice.
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A gadget (informal) is a small and perhaps an unusual device for do-

ing a particular job: a clever little gadget for opening bottles.
A machine usually uses power and is not worked directly by hand:
the machines in the factory.
Electrical machines used in the home (such as washing machines)
can also be called appliances.
An instrument is a man-made tool, usually without power used in
science or art. A microscope, a compass, and a thermometer are examp-
les of instruments. A piano, an organ, and a violin are examples of mu-
sical instruments.
A tool is an object held in the hand, without power, and used for
making things from wood, metal or other materials: a hammer is one of
a carpenter’s tools.
An implement is usually larger than a tool, and is used for other jobs:
A plough is an implement used in farming.
Activity 17. Write short definitions of the following words (some
prompts are given below them):
a saw, a computer, a screwdriver, a drill, a hammer, a brake, a fire
extinguisher, a torch, a hydraulic spreader, a self-contained breathing
apparatus (SCBA), an axe

(to process information, to cut hard materials, to split wood, to cut

down trees, to drive in (nails, screws, etc.), to extricate people from a
wrecked car, to provide breathable air, to make holes).
Activity 18. Translate into English.
Индивидуальный дыхательный аппарат – это прибор, которым
пользуются спасатели, пожарные, представители других профес-
сий, чтобы обеспечить доступ воздуха во враждебной среде.
Информация, извлекаемая из «черных ящиков», помогает опре-
делить причины катастроф.
NOMEX – это акроним, который обозначает торговую марку,
зарегистрированную компанией DuPont в начале 1970-х годов.

Activity 19.
1. Choose a topic in your professional field (e.g. a Fire Extinguisher,
a Hydraulic Spreader, etc.).
2. Write a definition of the chosen device.
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Activity 1. Answer the questions.
What is the difference between safety and security?
What does it mean to be safe and how is it different from being secure?

Activity 2. Read the text and compare your ideas with the ones ex-
pressed in it.
Explaining the difference between the two concepts ‘Security’ and
‘Safety’ is rather a challenging task, as in many languages the two
words are the same (Arabic, Norwegian, French, Russian, Polish, etc.).
It is often assumed that in English safety and security go together
and are basically synonymous concepts and there is a philosophical as-
pect to it, not a matter of semantics.
However, over the years most experts believe that the two are distin-
guished by the following definitions:
SAFETY – provides for the reduction of the risk or occurrence of
injury, loss or death from accidental or natural causes.
SECURITY – provides for the reduction of the risk or occurrence of
injury, loss or death from the deliberate or intentional actions of people.
Security and safety are important to the owners, occupants and visi-
tors of any building or facility. Today, all facility designers pay serious
attention to the specific issues of Security and Safety – especially to
those issues which are most apparent to the users of the facilities.
Both safety and security are the matter of great concern for those in-
volved in any industry. Safety is taken seriously, openly communicated
and given a high priority. Most factories and plants have a ‘safety mo-
ment’ before every meeting to stress the point. Even before someone is
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allowed to visit a plant, they usually go through a safety training video.

Very few, if any, companies do the same with security. Security needs
to be a focus for all companies. Executing safety measures is crucial,
but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. In order for any organization to feel
secure, owners and operators must become experts in and implement
both safety and security.
To learn more about why safety and security are so vastly differ-
ent and equally important, please read the full Control Magazine article
here: CyberSecurity in Your Safety DNA.
(URL: http://www.controlglobal.com/articles/2012/boyes-cyberse-

Activity 3. Divide the words into those which go with Safety and
those which go with Security. Explain your choice.
Turnstile, fire extinguisher, attack, road accident, hard hat, crime,
goggles, arson, warning sign, window grill, fire retardant, threat, haz-
ard, hack, flood, burglar, deadlock, evacuation plan, intruder, intension,
losses, injuries, damage, assault, kidnapping or attempted kidnapping,
thefts, ambush, first-aid kit, insurance.
Safety Security Both
earthquake deliberate losses

We can use the word ‘turnstile’ when speaking about both safety
and security as they are aimed at enhancing security but they may pre-
vent people from escaping a dangerous situation, such as fire.
Activity 4. Match the first halves of the following British proverbs
and sayings with their endings and meanings.
Example: One cannot be too careful. This proverb means that every-
one should always be very careful.
Safety in numbers extremely safe
as safe too careful being in a group makes you feel safer and
more confident
There is safety first to protect oneself even though it might not be
necessary, just in case
One can not be safe side safety is the most important thing
to be on the as houses everyone should always be very careful

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Activity 5. Invent your own sentences using the expressions from

Activity 4.
To be on the safe side, take an umbrella. It might rain.


Safety is protection against hazards, while security is protection
against threats.
Ice on roads is a serious safety hazard.
Liquids are regarded as a security threat on planes because some
explosives are liquids.
Within the field of safety, hazards represent a risk for human health
and lives, environment, production and material objects. The hazards
are tightly related to the concept of energy release. An incident involves
a sudden and uncontrolled release of energy. The injury or damage de-
velops when the uncontrolled energy hits the human body, environment
or material assets.
(URL: www.getcited.org/pub/100450961)

Activity 6. Choose the proper word.

1. That big box of papers is a fire (hazard/threat).
2. Many health (hazards/threats) and risks can be overlooked at con-
struction site.
3. The main (hazard/threat) to endangered species of Arctic today is
4. Common examples of (hazards/threats) at workplace include in-
dustrial chemicals, solvents, and pesticides.
5. While the killer goes free he is a (hazard/threat) to everyone in
the town.
Here you can find some more collocations:
safety feature – a related collocation with a contrasting meaning to
‘safety hazard’ (example: Seat belts are a safety feature in cars);
safety record – a record showing how effective safety measures have
been (examples: Which airline has the best safety record?
The mining industry has a terrible safety record, with hundreds of
miners dying every year);

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occupational hazard – a danger that people doing a particular job

face (examples: Getting infected with a disease is one of many occupa-
tional hazards that nurses face.
War photographers are often in danger, but they just say it’s an oc-
cupational hazard).
Activity 7. Complete the sentences.
1. I faced serious occupational hazards when I:
a) was learning to be a driver;
b) was the driver of a school bus;
c) drove an ambulance in a war zone.
2. A safety hazard is something that could:
a) be dangerous;
b) reduce danger;
c) increase safety.
3. Safety records improve if the number of injuries and deaths:
a) increase;
b) decrease;
c) stay the same.

Language review

Word formation
Activity 8. Use a good dictionary and complete the table with the
words derived from the italicized ones.
Fill in the gaps with a proper form of the word.
Example: He said ‘Good morning’ in a most ______ way. ( friend)
Noun verb adjective adverb
friend friendly

He said ‘Good morning’ in a most friendly way.

1. The main aim of the training is accident ______ (prevent).
2. During icy weather the pavement at the side of the road may be-
come _____ (slip).
3. The_ European Community has prepared guidelines on waste
______ (dispose).
4. ______ regulations do not allow the use of asbestos in public
______ (build).

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5. Owing to a danger of ______, workers must wear a hard hat ( fall).

6. Fire regulations prohibit builders from using ______ materials
( flame).
7. The construction engineers do not normally force painters, plas-
terers, and plumbers to use ______ products (specify).
8. Following the fire, many more people have been affected by
smoke than we had ______ thought (origin).
9. Please wear ear protection because it’s ______ here than in other
areas (noise).
10. One of several advantages of an ______ jacket is that it can be
stored in a small space when not inflated (inflate).
11. The building was declared ______ because of the weak founda-
tion (safe).
12. Mobile phones are inherently ______, as anyone can listen in (se-
13. Some thieves prey especially on ______ travelers (alert).
14. Skydiving is a ______ sport (hazard).
15. We were unable to find the ______ of the problem (solve).
16. It took rescuers two hours ______ him from the rubble (extri-
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Activity 1. Do you know any names of natural or caused by hu-

man error disasters? With your partner discuss what you understand
by the following words: a hurricane, an earthquake, flooding, tsunamis,


Activity 2. What is your definition of a disaster? Preview the vocab-

ulary, listen to the text and compare your ideas with the definition in it.
Pre-listening vocabulary:
– avalanche: a sudden rush of snow and ice down a mountain or hill
– pilot error: a mistake made by the person operating an aircraft
– misalignment: the incorrect position or arrangement of something

A Disaster Was a Bad Star

The news today is ______ disasters. A disaster is anything bad that
happens and causes major ______ or loss. It can refer to something natu-
ral, such as an avalanche, or something ______, such as a plane crash
caused by pilot error. The word disaster comes from the Latin words dis
(bad) and aster (star). In the Middle Ages, disasters such as ______ or
fires were blamed on the misalignment of the planets. Ironically, these
days, many ______ disasters are considered to be manmade.
Activity 3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full
1. What was the original meaning of the word disaster?

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2. What examples of natural disasters are given in the report?

3. Why does the report mention pilot error?
Activity 4. Preview the vocabulary, listen to the news report about a
natural disaster which happened recently and tell what part of the world
was hit by the disaster.
Pre-Listening Vocabulary:
– typhoon: a tropical storm in the western Pacific or Indian ocean;
– storm surge: rise of sea water during a storm;
– livelihood: source of income;
– calamity: a major disaster.
Activity 5. Listen to the news report once more and fill in the
12 November 2013

Devastating Typhoon
One of the strongest ______ storms in history hit the central islands
of the Philippines on 8 November, causing massive destruction in the
provinces of Leyte and Samar. Estimates suggest that up to 10,000
people have died, while hundreds of ______ lost their homes and liveli-
hoods. Yolanda, as the storm is called in the ______, was expected, and
about 800,000 people did evacuate to shelters. Many of these shelters,
unfortunately, could not stand up to the severe winds and flooding from
the storm surge. ______ aid agencies are attempting to deliver food, wa-
ter, and medical supplies; however, many of the roads leading to the
most devastated areas are blocked and some of the airports have been
destroyed. Philippine President Aquino has declared a state of national
calamity. ______ power and communication to the country, is one of the
top priorities.
(URL: www.englishclub.com)
Activity 6. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full
1. Which area was hit the worst?
2. Why didn’t evacuation alerts prevent a high death toll?
3. Why was it difficult to get food and water to the survivors?
Activity 7. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading the story out

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Activity 8. Match English words with their Russian equivalents.

Which of these disasters often happen in Russia?
А. Disasters: flood, drought, earthquake, famine, avalanche, locust,
warfare, tornado, hurricane, fire
В. Бедствия (катастрофы): пожар, землетрясение, лавина (об-
вал), торнадо, наводнение, саранча, ураган, массовый голод, воен-
ные действия, засуха.
Activity 9. Translate the sentences into Russian.
1. There was a disastrous earthquake in Uzbekistan in 1966.
2. Hurricanes hardly ever happen in Archangelsk.
3. There are often avalanches in North Ossetia.
4. In Ethiopia, famine is provoked by locust and droughts.
5. During mid-August 2013 parts of eastern Russia and north east-
ern China were stricken by heavy flooding.
6. The warfare in Eastern Ukraine started in May 2014.
7. There were many fires in central Russia in 2010.
Activity 10. Translate the sentences into English.
1. В Сирии возобновились военные действия.
2. Наводнения случаются в Санкт-Петербурге почти ежегодно.
3. В 1988 г. в Армении произошло разрушительное землетрясение.
4. В США часто бывают ураганы и торнадо.
5. В Альпах часто случаются обвалы.
6. В Эфиопии массовый голод провоцируется саранчой и засу-
7. В мае 2012 г. в Архангельске произошло 20 пожаров.


Activity 11. Mind the expressions containing the word ‘disaster’:

– to end in disaster
– a disaster area
– to declare a disaster area
– disaster operation
– disaster risk
– a disaster victim

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– environmental disaster, ecological disaster

– flood disaster
– natural disaster
– state of disaster
Activity 12. Complete the sentences with one of the expressions
from Activity 11.
1. Much of the state has been __________ a disaster area and every
county is eligible for federal assistance.
2. Disaster __________ identification in southern Thailand took
months to complete.
3. The major __________ for nature is man.
4. Death toll in European __________ rises.
5. Natural __________ affect the lives of many thousands of people
each year. Within minutes they can rip apart a community and change
the lives of its residents forever.
6. A __________ shall be declared when a disaster has occurred or
appears imminent.
7. The capacity of the Red Cross in disaster __________ lies, without
doubt, in its staff, its professional people, its logistic unit and its volun-
Activity 13. Match the words on the left with their partners on the
right to form useful ‘disaster collocations’.
aid aid
distribute off
relief supplies
washed/swept workers
cut regions
affected effort
stricken away
medical areas

Activity 14. Use the collocations from Activity 13 to complete the

extract from a newspaper article below.
In some cases whole towns have been ______ by the waves. In some
of the ______ entire communities are still totally ______ because the
surrounding infrastructure has been destroyed by either the tsunami,
the earthquake or both. International charity organisations and ______

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are finding it hard to _____ including vital _____ to the _____, partly due
to the size of the _____ and partly due to the scale of the destruction.
(URL: www.englishclub.com)

Language review

The first and second conditional

Activity 15. Look at the examples of a first conditional and second
conditional sentence below.
а) In any type of general disaster, lives will be saved if people are pre-
pared for the emergency and know what actions to take when it occurs.
b) If I were a member of a rescue team, I would probably act in the
same way.
1. Identify the if-clause and the result clause in each.
2. Which tenses are used?
3. In which sentence is the result of the if-clause likely or automatic?
4. Which sentence describes an imaginary or hypothetical situation?
Activity 16.
Unless is often used in first conditional sentences and has the idea
of if not or except. For example: The Metropolitan Police said callers
should refrain from using 999 unless they required an immediate re-
sponse, and all other calls should go to the ‘101’ non-emergency number.
Change the verbs in brackets to make first conditional and second
conditional sentences.
1. If I (work) in a rescue team, I (help) people.
2. What (do) if you (walk out) and (get bitten) by a poisonous snake?
3. The police said: “If you (call) 999 not in an emergency it (reduce)
our effectiveness at dealing with genuine emergencies.”
4. Just imagine what we (do) if we (manage) to get into their com-
puter system!
5. Unless you (get) good financial advice, you (pay) too much tax!
6. I (be) an extremely reach woman if I (know) the answer.
Activity 17. Work in pairs or groups and discuss these questions.
Use if or unless in your answers.
1. What one thing would improve your life the most?
2. What will happen if people retire younger or live longer?
3. What will happen if global warming continues?

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4. What would you do if you were stuck in the lift?

5. What would you do if someone pulled out a knife in the street and
said, “Hand over your money”?
6. If you started your own business, what would it be?
Activity 18. Second conditional sentences are often used to express
polite requests.
Would you move your bag, please? Подвиньте, пожалуйста,
Перефразируйте следующие команды так, чтобы они звучали
ка вежливые просьбы.
1. Turn on the light.
2. Stop smoking.
3. Stop talking.
4. Turn down the radio.
Activity 19. Look at the notes and rewrite them in instruction form:
activate the alarm, evacuate the building quickly and quietly. Use
the nearest emergency exit, not use the lift.
Example: activate the alarm – If you see smoke, activate the alarm.
What type of conditional do you use?


Activity 20. You are going to read a magazine article about earth-
quakes. Six paragraphs have been removed from the article. Choose
from the paragraphs A–G the one which fits each gap (1–5). There is
one extra paragraph which you do not need to use. There is an example
at the beginning.

Earthquake in L.A.
At 4/31 in the morning on January 17, 1994, the full impact of a mas-
sive earthquake measuring 6,7 on the Richter scale hit the community
of Northridge in Los Angeles. It was an unwelcome wake-up call for
everyone in the city.
One resident, Rosemary Sato, was shaken awake in her bed to the
sound of tremors violently rocking her house. When she got up she
found that the quake had blown open her front door and thrown her fur-
niture around like toys.
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However the damage wasn’t restricted to Northridge. Across the
city the quake killed sixty people, destroyed or severely damaged more
than 3,000 homes, and brought down ten highway bridges. Many peo-
ple were trapped under debris. The cost of damage was estimated to
be $20 billion. The cause of this quake was movement in the San An-
dreas fault system. The fault is a crack between two giant pieces of the
Earth’s crust. One of these pieces, most of which is situated under the
Pacific Ocean, is moving at an average of four centimetres every year.
The good news is that the Californian authorities are taking these
predictions seriously. Engineers are working to strengthen steel frames
of buildings and other structures such as bridges. Hopefully, this will
lead to less structural damage during the next quake.
During a quake it is important to stay calm, as panic leads to rash
actions which may result in injury or even death.
Levon Jemazian, a clinical psychologist, helps people to deal with
the effects of this trauma. For weeks after the Northridge quake, one
of his patients, Ani Shakhverdyian, aged eight, would still cling to her
parents, was terrified of the dark and would not even go to the bathroom
Other survivors of quakes deal with their fears in a different way.
They tell themselves that it won’t happen again.
Little does she realise that in California, with the chances of another
severe quake at 90 per cent in the next thirty years, she is very likely to
experience at least one more.
In one session, Ani was asked to draw a picture of her fears. She
drew a big rat. Than Levon Jemazian told her to cut the picture of the r
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at into pieces, burn it, and then jump on the remains. Ani did what he
suggested and her fears became less intense.
Unfortunately, this movement isn’t slow and continuous, but occurs
in bursts, which result in earthquakes. And to make matters worse, sci-
entists not only expect more earthquakes in the future, but also more
powerful ones.
People are advised to stay where they are and, if possible, to take
shelter under a bed or table. However, for many it is difficult to get rid
of the terror of experiencing an earthquake. After the
Northridge quake, thousands of Californians even left the state, and
many of those who stayed have experienced what is known as “earth-
quake trauma”.
One woman’s reaction was, “I’m not scared anymore. Also, it’s
similar to being in a plane crash. What are your chances of being in
Another resident of the community, who lived in a three-storey
apartment block, recalls the top two floors of the building crashing
down onto his first-floor apartment. “A wall fell on me,” he said, “I
couldn’t move my head. I was trapped for five hours with injuries to
my lungs, ribs and collar-bone.”
Amazingly enough, nobody noticed it apart from scientists who were
studying the seismic activity. However, one man did report that his dog
had started to howl at the time the quake was said to have started.
The residents of California are also preparing themselves for the
next big one. They are buying emergency supplies, nailing down their
belongings and making plans for what they should do in the event of
another quake.

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Activity 21. Look at the words in bold in the text (Activity 19) and
try to explain them.
Activity 22. Complete the sentences with one of the words:
howling, estimated, survivors of, strengthened.
1. The exact number of dead people is unknown, but the figure is
_______ to be 400. (roughly guessed)
2. You could hear dogs _______ just before the earthquake started.
3. The earthquake experts insist that all buildings should be _______
with steel rods. (made stronger)
4. The _______ the quake were rushed to the hospital by helicopter.
(people who didn’t die in)


Activity 23. Read the following news report; explain the words in
bold and think of a suitable headline for it. Read it again and answer the
following questions:
1. What happened?
2. When/where did it happen?
3. What was the cause?
4. How many were injured or died?
5. What action is being taken as a result?

An aeroplane operated by the Romanian national airline, Tarom,

crashed into a field only three minutes after taking off from the run-
way at Bucharest air port this morning. All of the 59 people on board
the Brussels-bound plane are believed to have died.
The plane was found 28 km from Bucharest air port shattered into
tiny pieces, the largest being only 2 metres long. The cause of the crash
is known. At first experts thought that the pilot might have experienced
a technical problem such as engine trouble or a problem with the fuel
tank, but air-traffic control reported no radio con tact with the pilot
in which hesaid he was experiencing difficulties. Weather condi tions
today have been good. with excellent visibility and no fog. Sabotage or
a terrorist attack have not been ruled out.

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Witnesses reported hearing an explosion before the plane nosedived

and crashed into the ground. It seems likely that a bomb not had been
planted on board the plane. Crash experts are examining the wreck-
age and a statement will be issued later this week as to the cause of the


Activity 24. When natural disasters hit, people in unaffected regions

often feel like there is nothing they can do to help. What can an average
person do to help out in such a situation? Write a short essay or discuss
the story with other students.
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Before you start

Activity 1. Answer the questions.

Can fires which are dangerous disasters happen both in urban and
rural life? Can they happen in wild nature? Why do they occur? Why
do some people deliberately start fires? Are forest fires all bad?


Activity 2. Read the text where the author thinks about forest fires
and tries to find answers to the above questions, compare your ideas
with the ones offered in the text.
There are many different reasons why forest fires occur and many
of them are completely natural. Heat waves, drought and high winds
are often the main culprits. Sometimes lightning strikes can start fires,
as can volcanic activity, of course. However, there are obviously times
when forest fires start due to reckless human practices, such as the fail-
ure to put a cigarette or camp fire out properly, or careless agricultural
practices, such as land-clearance through burning. Unfortunately, some
fires are started deliberately by pyromaniacs or arsonists.
There are various reasons why someone might start a fire in a build-
ing – to file an insurance claim, for example, or to cover up a previous
crime. Revenge is another motive, so is politics; the list is endless. How-
ever, none of these really explains why someone would want to set fire
to something as beautiful as a forest, to deliberately damage the envi-
ronment or to risk putting people’s lives in danger.
Actually, not all forest fires are bad. Forest fires are important for the
ecosystem: they help to clear out dead wood from the floor of the forest.
If they are prevented then the undergrowth may become too thick and
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crowded – a disadvantage for new plants – and burn even more fiercely
should a fire eventually occur anyway. In addition to this, some trees
have specifically evolved with the ability to benefit from forest fires –
their seeds need fire to stimulate them to germinate, for example. Nev-
ertheless, uncontrolled fires which break out and spread dangerously
cause deforestation and emit large amounts of carbon dioxide into the
Activity 3. Read the clues below and write the solutions on a piece
of paper. Then take the first letter of each answer and rearrange them to
find the hidden word connected with this Talking Point.
1. Sometimes _______ strikes can start fires
2. Unfortunately, some fires are started deliberately by pyromaniacs
or _______.
3. There are various reasons why someone might start a fire in a
building – to _______ an insurance claim, for example.
4. Forest fires are important for the _______.
5. Revenge is another _______.
(by «TalkingPoint» Apr. 23, 2009, 7:42 a.m.;
URL: www.englishclub.com)


Activity 4. Listen to the news report and tell what part of the world
it is related to. Were there any fatalities reported?
Activity 5. Listen to the news report once more and do activities

Fire in Colorado
Firefighters have had a hard time putting out a big fire near Boulder,
It took firefighters a long time to control the fire. It was very windy. One
firefighter said that the winds can blow the fire out of the area very easily.
The fire destroyed 65 homes. During the worst part of the fire, people were
asked to leave their homes. Police were worried that the empty homes
might be looted. They checked every car going in and out of the fire area.
One family returned to their home to find that only a small part of it
had been hurt by the blaze. They felt very lucky to be able to repair the
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damage. The fire had come so close to their house that the girl had to
run out with only her teddy bear.
Another family lost only their outdoor toilet. Their cabin had no in-
door plumbing so their outhouse was in the yard. They were thankful
their home had not burned down.
Activity 6. Fill in the gaps.
1. They felt very lucky to be able to repair the ______.
a) trees;
b) plumbing;
c) outhouse;
d) damage.
2. With the homes empty, police were afraid that they might be ______.
a) dried;
b) looted;
c) flooded;
d) burned.
3. ______have had a hard time putting out a big fire in Boulder, Col-
a) Meter maids;
b) Policemen;
c) Home owners;
d) Firemen.
4.  One family returned to their home to find ______.
a) only a small part of it had been hurt by the blaze;
b) their whole house had burned down;
c) their whole house had burned down;
d) only the garage and bedrooms were burned down.
5. The fire had come so close to their house that a girl could only
take ______.
a) her new pants;
b) her teddy bear;
c) her dog.
6. Because of high winds, the fire could easily______.
a) be blown out of the area;
b) burn itself out;
c) be controlled;
d) be put out.

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7. Their cabin had no indoor ______ so their outhouse was in the yard.
a) water;
b) doors;
c) plumbing;
d) walls.
8. Because of high winds, it took firefighters a long time to ______.
a) leave their homes;
b) get to each house;
c) control the fire.
9. During the worst part of the fire, people were asked to ______.
a) leave their homes;
b) help fight the fire;
c) put water on the fire.
10. When homes were empty, police checked every car coming and
going into the area to check for ______.
a) things that have been looted from the houses;
b) things that needed to be fixed;
c) things that had been burned.
Activity 7. Choose the right answer to the questions.
1. What was the only thing one family lost in the blaze?
a) they lost their outside bathroom;
b) they lost only their cabin;
c) they lost their indoor plumbing.
2. Why did one family feel lucky?
a) their home was not destroyed;
b) they moved to a new city;
c) they were given money for a new house.
3. Why did the little girl grab just her teddy bear?
a) it was her dog’s favorite toy;
b) she had to leave very quickly;
c) it was right next to her pillow.
4. What were police checking for when they checked all the cars
leaving the area?
a) they were checking for cars which may have engine troubles;
b) they were checking for pets;
c) they were checking for items that were looted from the homes.

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5. What were firefighters afraid the weather would do?

a) it would rain really hard;
b) it would rain really hard;
c) it would put the fire out very quickly;
d) it would blow the fire out of the area.
(URL: http://www.cdlponline.org)


Activity 8. Read the text and think of a suitable heading for it.
Have there been any famous fires in history? Perhaps the two most
famous fires in history were in cities, not forests. The Great Fire of
Rome started on 18th July 64BC and lasted for nearly ten days, dev-
astating the city. The emperor Nero is said to have played his fiddle –
a type of violin – while the city burned.
One of the other most famous fires in history may well be the Great
Fire of London in 1666. It started during the night of Sunday 2nd Sep-
tember and went on until the following Wednesday. Although various
factions were thought to have started it, there was no arsonist: the fire
started in a bakery in Pudding Lane, quite by accident. John Farynor,
the baker to King Charles II, went to bed in his room leaving a flame
flickering in his bread ovens. He didn’t know its significance, of course!
At two o’clock on Sunday morning the fire in the bakery sparked off the
worst fire in history!
Sparks raising from the bakery set fire to a haystack in the yard.
Thousands of people were soon out in the street watching the blaze. If
fires had not been so common on the city, people would have been more
alarmed. But people realized how serious the hazard was only on Sun-
day afternoon, when it reached the River Thames, and the warehouses
containing oil, brandy and coal exploded like bombs.
The fire destroyed thousands of houses and nearly one hundred
churches, blackened around 30 acres eventually burning itself out when
the strong winds that had fanned it died down. There was one stage
on Sunday when the blaze might have been stopped but the firefighters
smashed the water pipes to fill their buckets more quickly and so they
cut off the area’s supply of water.
Remarkably, only eight people died in the Great Fire of London.
Most people had time to escape. The fire was extinguished by Wednes-
day night also due to the personal intervention of the king, who ordered
to knock down buildings, so as to clear the space as a fire break.
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Activity 9. Grade each group of the words (least first).

Nouns: spark, fire, conflagration, inferno, blaze, flame.
Verbs: to blaze, to flicker, to burn, to smolder.
Activity 10. Complete the sentences with one of the words:
impact, restricted, recalled, intense.
1. Because John was wearing the protective clothing, his injuries
were ______ to his arms and legs. (limited)
2. “The full ______ of the fire is not yet known,” said the reporter
3. The ______ heat from the blazing house made it difficult for the
fire fighters to advance (extreme).
4. The police asked lane if she ______ ever having seen the man be-
fore (remembered).


There’s no need to cause a stir with collocates of the verb to cause!

The Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners defines
the verb to cause thus: “to make something happen, usually something
bad”. If you think about cause and effect, it is possible to envisage nu-
merous situations when the effect is a positive one. For example, pay
rise (cause) and happy staff (effect).
Interestingly, however, the verb to cause almost always collocates
with negative effects. The most common examples are cause damage,
cause concern, cause distress, cause embarrassment, cause harm, cause
suffering, cause trouble and cause problems. In the legal world you can
be arrested for causing a disturbance and sent to prison for causing
death by dangerous driving.
At the risk of causing controversy, one could suggest that there are
hardly any collocations with positive effects. One example might be
“The 5-0 victory over their bitterest rivals caused great delight among
City supporters”. It is also possible to cause pleasure, cause amuse-
ment and cause happiness. Then we are back with the negative ones.
One might think that cause euphoria is positive but it often appears in
warnings on pharmaceutical products: “This drug may cause euphoria,
muscle seizure, hypertension and coma”.

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Staying with the pharmaceutical theme, perhaps the most superflu-

ous advice ever given appeared on the packaging for a particular brand
of sleeping pill: WARNING – may cause drowsiness.


Activity 11. Read the following news report; explain the words in
bold and think of a suitable headline for it. Read it again and answer the
following questions:
1. What happened?
2. When/where did it happen?
3. What was the cause?
4. How many were injured or died?
5. What action is being taken as a result?
Disaster struck in the town of Redbrooke last night when the recently built
Palmer Court apartment block caught fire and was completely destroyed.
It was just after 2.00 am when many of the residents in the building
were woken by the smell of smoke. The fire brigade was alerted and ar-
rived promptly to evacuate the building and extinguish the fire.
The fire spread rapidly through the building and the rescue opera-
tion had to be carried out quickly in order to save the forty-three resi-
dents inside. Twenty-nine people were taken to Redbrooke General Hos-
pital, suffering from smoke inhalation and minor burns, but it is ex-
pected that they will be discharged later today. The remaining fourteen
people were evacuated safely with no injuries. The Fire Brigade battled
with the fire until 7 o’clock this morning but were unable to save the
building. The residents will be provided with temporary accommodation.
An investigation is being carried out to determine the cause of the
fire. At present it is suspected that it was caused by a malfunction in
the electrical wiring system, which would explain why so many flats
were affected at the same time.

Language review

Third conditional
Activity 12. Read this sentence and answer the questions.
If fires had not been so common in the city, people would have been
more alarmed.

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1. Did the fire break out often?

2. Were people alarmed?
3. Does the sentence describe:
a) a situation that happened?
b) a situation that was possible but which didn’t happen?
4. Which tenses are used?
Activity 13. Complete the following sentences using the information
from the text in Activity 8.
1. The fire would have never started if…
2. The blaze might been stopped earlier if…
3. If people hadn’t had lots of time to escape…
4. The fire would have continued to burn if…
5. If there hadn’t been such a strong wind blowing…
Activity 14. Translate the sentences into English.
1. Если бы не было Великого пожара в Лондоне, не прекрати-
лась бы эпидемия чумы.
2. Если бы король не вмешался, то пожар не закончился бы и в
3. Если бы король не вмешался, пожарные потушили бы огонь
намного позже.
4. Пожар не начался бы, если бы пекарь не оставил огонь в печи.
5. Если бы не было такого сильного ветра, то пожар не переки-
нулся бы на весь город.
Activity 15. Change the verbs in brackets to make third conditional
sentences. Where appropriate, use might or could in the second clause.
1. If firefighters (not act) so decisively, the building (be badly dam-
2. If the fire (break out) during the night, we (to be killed) by the fume.
3. If people (be more alert), the fires (not happen so often).
4. The fire brigade put out the flames before they reached the hall or
it (be a more serious matter).
5. If someone (threaten) to set fire to a public building, you (contact
the police)?
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Before you start

Activity 1. With your partner discuss the following questions:

1. Can there be dangerous areas in the facilities where you work or
2. What are some ways to keep workplace safe?
3. What should there be to ensure safety at work?
4. Where would you find the notices below? How do you say these
things in your language?
a) Don’t lean out of the windows.
b) Beware of dogs.
c) Now wash your hands.


Activity 2. Where could you see a notice like this? Do you have any
similar safety precautions where you work or study?

Workshop safety precautions

1. Report all potential hazards to a superior.
2. Always bring and wear safety gear like gloves, goggles and ear
3. Do not leave things lying on the floor.
4. Handle liquids carefully. Clean spills immediately to avoid slips.
5. Eating or drinking in the workplace is prohibited.
6. Wear short-sleeved shirts or roll up shirt sleeves.
7. Do not remove safety guards from machines.
8. Do not use electric tools when the work area is wet. Liquid on
electrical equipment often causes a shock. Make sure plugs are earthed.
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9. Only use fire extinguishers to put out fires. Spraying water or oth-
er materials spreads flames and causes burns.
10. In case of injury, call paramedics. Treat minor wounds with first aid.
Activity 3. Match these hazards to the correct precaution in Activity 2.
a) trips and falls;
b) electric shocks;
c) cuts;
d) eye injuries and hearing damage;
e) clothing getting caught up in machinery.
Activity 4. Read two conversations. Match each one to a hazard in
Activity 3.
1. A: Can you come closer to the machine?
B: I’m worried about getting too close to the gears.
A: You should roll up your sleeves.
B: Yes, OK.
2. A: You shouldn’t leave these boxes here.
B: I don’t know where else to put them.
A: They’re in the way. Someone could trip over them and hurt
B: All right, I’ll move them.
Activity 5. Read the poster (Activity 2) once more. Then, choose the
correct answers.
1. What is the poster about?
a) first aid procedures;
b) safety in the workplace;
c) how to use a fire extinguisher;
d) where to find gloves.
2. What should employees do when they see a hazard?
a) wear safety gear;
b) call the paramedics;
c) tell a superior about it;
d) get a fire extinguisher.
3. What can you infer about this workplace?
a) its fire extinguishers are knew;
b) its employees eat while working;
c) it provides safety for employees;
d) it has potentially dangerous equipment.

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Activity 6. In the text (Activity 2) find words or phrases with the fol-
lowing meaning:
1) a device that is used to put out fires;
2) something that protects your hands;
3) injury caused by electricity;
4) something that protects your eyes;
5) injury caused by a fire.
Activity 7. Complete the sentences with one of the words:
precaution, hazard, injury, prohibited, first aid.
1. Wearing goggles is a safety ______ .
2. The paramedics can treat the ______ .
3. Sandals are ______ in the construction area.
4. Storing gas near the open flames is a safety ______ .
5. He only needs ______ because his wounds are minor.
Activity 8. Choose the proper word.
1. Acid is flammable/corrosive.
2. Petrol and oil are flammable/vehicles.
3. TNT and dynamite are corrosive/explosive.
4. You must wear a hard hat/goggles on a building site.
5. Wear a hard hat/goggles when you work with chemicals.


Pay attention to the words injury and damage. We usually use injury
when we talk about people getting hurt, but damage when we talk about
things. However, we receive eye injuries and hearing damage.
Hurt and injured have similar meanings. We use hurt when it isn’t
very serious.
Example: My son hurt his arm when he fell off his bike.
We use injured when it is more serious.
Example: His son was injured in a car crash and rushed to hospital.
Activity 9. Choose the proper word.
1. The flood caused serious injury/damage to the crops.
2. His grandmother suffered from hearing injury/damage.
3. He can’t play today because he’s injured/damaged his knee.
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4. Two people were killed and seven injured/damaged, some of them

seriously, when the car hit the bus.
5. The building was severely injured/damaged by the explosion.
Pay attention to the words flammable and inflammable. They both
mean able to burn easily, while non-flammable means not able to burn
easily. Flammable and inflammable are the recommended words for
warning notices and labels these days. However you may still encounter
inflammable in some safety instructions, recommendations, or rules of
storage and disposal of liquids and other dangerous substances, etc.
Activity 10. Choose the proper word.
1. Gas hydrates, also known as ‘ ______ ice’, are in great abundance
in the Black Sea. (flammable /non-flammable /inflammable).
2. These are ______ gases – butane, isobutane and propane. (flam-
mable /non-flammable /inflammable).
3. Fluorinated gases have high energy efficiency, they are ______and
non-toxic, and can be handled and managed by workers in total safety.
(flammable /non-flammable /inflammable).

Language review

Activity 11. Which hazards are these conversations about? Com-
plete the sentences with should, shouldn’t, or could. Then read them
with a partner.
1. A: The floor’s wet.
B: Did someone spill some water?
A: Someone ______ slip. We ______ clean it up right away.
B: Yes, and we ______ turn off all the machines. Someone ______
get a shock.
2. A: You ______ use this machine without goggles. You ______ in-
jure your eyes.
B: I don’t know where they are.
3. A: Who took the guard of this machine? Someone ______ have a
nasty accident.
B: It takes longer to clean if it is on.
A: But you ______ remove it. You ______ cut yourself, or even
lose a finger.

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Activity 12. Match the headlines with the possible causes in the table
below. Then looking at the table, say what the possible causes and pre-
ventative measures are for following accidents: a) fires at home, b) poi-
soning, c) car accidents, d) forest fires.
matches Keep matches out of children’s reach.
pan of oil on cooker unattended Never leave pan of oil unattended.
drinking bleach Keep bleach locked away safely.
taking pills Keep medicine out of children’s reach.
speeding Don’t drive too fast.
drunk driver Never drink and drive.
lit cigarette Don’t drop lit cigarettes in forests.
campfire left unattended Always extinguish campfires.

Example: A fire at home might be started by a child playing with

matches. For this reason parents should keep matches out of the reach
of children.
Activity 13. In pairs, discuss the hazards in the following situations
and the precautions that should be taken.
1. Working inside a container with limited air circulation.
2. Cleaning metal using acid that can burn the skin and which gives
off fumes.
3. Using a grinder to cut through a steel plate.
4. Applying paint that can cause painful rashes on the hands.
Activity 14. Here you can find the suggested answers to Activi-
ty 13. Match the precautions that should be taken to the situations de-
1. This is a harmful substance. You need to wear gloves, and there’s
a risk of splashing, eye protection.
2. This is a corrosive substance. You need to wear gloves and eye
protection, and a mask for protection from fumes.

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3. This is a confined space. You need to test the air using a CO2 de-
4. This makes sparks and is a noise hazard. You need to wear eye
protection, ear protection and gloves.


Produce an operating manual with your group for a device you know
1. Agree on the device you want to write about.
2. Divide the work. Each group member produces a different section
of the operating manual: 1) how it works, 2) operating instructions, and
3) labelled diagrams.
3. Check each other’s work, and then produce a single manual from
the group.
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Activity 1. Technology affects the way we live enormously. What

are the effects of the following items: space rockets, mobile phones,
thermal power stations, washing machines, automobiles, television?
Are the effects positive or negative? Consider both sides. Match the
technological items to negative or positive effects (1–12) below.
E.g.: Automobiles have mainly a positive effect. They allow us to
travel fast. They also affect the society negatively: road deaths are pos-
1. Fast travel.
2. River pollution.
3. Nuclear missiles.
4. Less housework.
5. Cheap power.
6. Noise pollution.
7. Road deaths.
8. Space exploration.
9. Overweight people.
10. Global warming.
11. Easy communication.
12. Mass entertainment.


Activity 2. Pay attention to the words effect and affect. These sen-
tences mean the same:
1. What is the effect of technology on society?
2. How does technology affect society?
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Effect is a usual noun and affect is a usual verb: these safety issues
will not affect us/ will not have any effect on us. Effect used as a verb
is very formal and means ‘to bring about, usually according to one’s
wishes’: He was able to effect certain changes in government policy.
Affect used as a verb usually means ‘to cause some result or change
in, to influence’: a disease that does not affect humans; emergency re-
lief for the areas affected by drought/ for drought-affected areas. It also
means ‘to cause feelings of sorrow, anger, love, etc.’: she was deeply af-
fected by the news of his death.


Activity 3. Read the text quickly and choose the right answer to the
1. What is the main purpose of this text?
a) to give a brief history of technology;
b) to argue that we should worry about the potential negative ef-
fect of technology;
c) to give a brief description of what technology is?
The purpose of technology is to produce applications which improve
our material environment. The people who design, test, and make these
applications are called technicians, technologists and engineers. The
main difference between a technician, a technologist, and an engineer
is in the level of education and training. Engineers have the most ad-
vanced training and normally hold university degrees. The titles techni-
cian and technologist are sometimes used interchangeably, meaning a
specialist working in technology below the level of engineer. Technolo-
gist is normally used for someone at a higher level (usually trained for
2-3 years) than a technician (usually trained for 1-2 years). They all use
scientific knowledge and technological experience in their work. They
often adapt older existing technology (e.g. radio waves) to create new
applications (e.g. mobile phones).
Technology is all around us and affects every aspect of our lives.
Here are some examples:
transport – road, sea, and air travel;
telecommunications – mobile phones, fibre-optics, internet, satel-
trade – credit and debit cards, bank ATM machines;
work efficiency – washing machines, microwave ovens;

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power – heating, lighting, air conditioning;

health – lasers in eye surgery;
safety – ABS brakes, air bags, sensors, smoke detectors;
information management – computer-databases, search engines,
business software.
Because technology is so important in society, technicians, tech-
nologists and engineers always have to think about values, that is,
whether something is good or bad. Unfortunately, some technology
has both positive and negative effects on society. Using minerals such
as oil, coal, iron, and uranium improves our standard of living, but
can also pollute the air, water, and ground. The same rockets that al-
low space exploration can carry nuclear weapons. Road vehicles and
planes allow fast travel but also cause accidental deaths on the roads
and create global warming. The challenge for technology is how to in-
crease the positive effects on society but reduce or eliminate the nega-
tive effects.
Activity 4. Read the text once more and decide if the sentences (1–4)
below, are true (T) or false (F).
1. Technologists usually hold a university degree.
2. Technology is a small area.
3. Air bags and smoke detectors are examples of technology affect-
ing safety matters.
4. Technologists don’t have to use scientific knowledge in their work.

Language review

Comparisons with adjectives and adverbs

Activity 5. Fill in the gaps to compare computers now and ten years
ago. Use the adjectives in brackets.
Computers today are ______ (powerful). They operate ______(fast)
and have much ______ (large) memories. Because they contain more
electronics, the cases have become ______ (big) but the flat-screen
monitors are ______ (heavy) and fit into a ______ (small) space on
your desk. Computers are also ______ (cheap). The price is ______
(low) now than in the past. The programs are also ______ (good).
They are ______ (sophisticated) and you can work much ______ (ef-

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Activity 6. Find an example of a new, improved design, for example,

a new model of car, household appliance, or personal stereo. Compare
the original and the new one. Which features are different? Is the new
one better? Try to prove your point of view.


Activity 7.
1. In pairs, discuss what you know about the properties of Kevlar
and how it is used.
2. Read the following extract from DuPont’s technical guide to Kev-
lar. Compare the information with your ideas from Activity 7 (1).

What is Kevlar?
DuPont KEVLAR is an organic fiber in the aromatic polyamide
family. The unique properties and distinct chemical composition of
KEVLAR distinguish it from other commercial, man-made fibers.
KEVLAR has a unique combination of high modulus, toughness,
abrasion resistance and thermal stability. It was developed for demand-
ing industrial and advanced – technology applications. Currently, many
types of KEVLAR are produced to meet a broad range of end uses that
require strong, lightweight, durable materials.


Activity 8. Find words in the text in Activity 7 to match the follow-

ing definitions.
toughness the opposite of fragility
resistance to damage caused by friction
resistance to problems caused by temperature change
the opposite of heavy

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Activity 9. Build up a list of similar words useful in your technical

field. Check them in a dictionary or online search engine before you
write them in the box.
proof resistant
fireproof, bulletproof, ovenproof fire resistant, water resistant, stain
(dish), childproof (locks) resistant, corrosion resistant

Note use of the hyphen: The door is fire resistant. It’s a fire-resistant door.
A fireproof/ fire-resistant door = a door which resists fire; a door
which does not allow fire to pass through it; a door which stops fire
from spreading.
Note: proof is generally stronger than resistant; for example, a wa-
terproof jacket is probably guaranteed to keep out all water, but a water-
resistant jacket may not be.

Activity 10. Pre-Listening Vocabulary. Match the words with their
modelling staying in good condition for a long time de-
spite constant use
an advantage made by people and used instead of some-
thing natural (for example: fake snow)
athletes to try to get the best result possible
give (someone) a helping hand people who are good at sport and particular-
ly take part in sporting competitions
go for gold move very quickly without much control
artificial designing and planning (here, using a com-
puter programme)
durability the best result you have ever achieved
personal best something that makes one person more like-
ly to succeed than another
hurtle help someone

Activity 11. Listen to the dialogue offered by 6 Minute English and

say what the speakers are talking about:
a) a summer sporting event that’s taking place at the moment;
b) a sporting event that was taking place in 2012 London;
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c) a sporting event that is going to take place in two years;

d) a winter sporting event that’s taking place at the moment.
Activity 12. What properties of materials are mentioned in the dia-
logue? Can these properties be important for the materials used in safe-
ty engineering?

Language review

Activity 13. Look at the sentences A and B below.

A. An employee stole the plans.
B. The plans were stolen.
1. What information in a) is missing from b)?
2. How could we add this information to b)?
3. Why would we use b) rather than a)?
Activity 14. Sentence B above is in the passive. Read the following
passage, underline examples of the passive and explain why it is used.

Flammability test procedure

Fabric samples are attached to a metal frame and a small flame is ap-
plied. In the first test, the time the fabric takes to ignite is recorded. In
the second test, the distance the flames spread is measured. If the fabric
fails the second test, a third test is performed. A larger sample is taken
and timings over distance are calculated.


Activity 15. A description of a process is used in technical writing

to explain how something works, how something is done, or how some-
thing was invented or discovered. Think of a common process you are
familiar with. Explain how it is performed using the passive. Write a
paragraph describing the process. To express the order in which things
happen, use some of the following sequencing phrases: to begin with,
next, then, following this, after that, lastly, finally.

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Activity 1. We hope that you’ll never be involved in an accident, but

if you have conversation about one, what words and phrases will be use-
ful? What types of accidents can you think of?


Activity 2. Preview the vocabulary, listen to the news report and fill
in the blanks.

Belgium Mourns Bus Crash Victims

Pre-Listening Vocabulary
– mourn: to show sadness in memory of people who have died;
– head-on: straight into with the front first;
– elementary: primary; first grades of school;
– monitor: a person who observes and/or aids;
– technical: related to machines or electronics;
– respond: to go to a scene after receiving a call for help.
Belgium held a national day of mourning on Friday ______ of
28 people who were killed in a bus crash last week. The coach, which
was on its way home to Belgium from a ski trip in the Alps, crashed
head-on into a ______ wall in Switzerland. 22 children and all 6 of the
adults on board died. The children were 11 and 12-year-olds from two
elementary schools. The adults were teachers, ______ and ski moni-
tors. 24 ______ students were injured in the accident. It is unknown
whether or not the crash was caused by human or technical ______.

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Many emergency workers said it was the worst crash they had ever
responded to.
(URL: www.englishclub.com)
Activity 3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full
1. Where did the crash take place?
2. Why were there so many children on the bus?
3. What is unknown?
Activity 4. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading the story out


Activity 5. Mind the accident- related expressions.

Types of accidents
a collision = when two vehicles drive into each other.
a mid-air collision = when two planes collide in the air
a head-on collision = when two cars collide front to front
a car crash = when there’s a serious car accident – involving another
car or object, or not involving anything else
a derailment = when a train comes off the rails
a (multiple) pile-up = when more than one car crashes into another
car, especially on a busy road or motorway

Describing an accident
An accident occurred / happened between two cars travelling in the
same / opposite direction. One car was travelling at speed (at X miles
per hour)
As the driver was rounding the corner, he drove straight into another
car which was on the wrong side of the road. The driver lost control of
the car and ploughed into the other lane / overturned / drove into an on-
coming vehicle / into a tree.
As the driver was overtaking another / went through a red light / he
drove straight into oncoming traffic

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A lorry jackknifed, spilling its load over the road.

A car skidded on a wet / oily surface and the driver lost control.
The brakes failed / the car driver misjudged the distance.
The car was speeding / doing 80 mph in a 30 mph area.
The driver was under the influence of alcohol / drugs / on his mobile
phone at the time.
The accident was due to pilot / human error.

The results of an accident

There were no fatalities (people killed).

Five people were taken to hospital with major / minor injuries / for
The driver was shaken, but unhurt.
The passengers were escorted safely from the train.
Firecrews had to cut the passengers out of the wreckage.
The car was a write-off (The damage was so bad there was no point
in claiming insurance).
Fortunately, there was only minimal damage / we escaped with only
a couple of scratches on the bodywork.
Activity 6. Read the following news report and fill in the correct
words from the list:
braked, injuries, direction, crashed, damaged, overtake, skidded,
“… There have been further road accidents following yesterday’s
heavy rain. Early last night two motorists suffered serious 1) ______ in
an incident involving three vehicles.
Mr Tom Kimberley from Newcastle was travelling along Palms
Road at around 90 mph when he noticed the van behind his car driv-
en by Mr Ray Biden, moving out to 2) ______ him. Mr Kimberley
3) ______ slightly in order to let the driver of the van pass, but instead
of slowing down, his car 4) ______ on the slippery surfaceand 5) ______
into the van. As a result, the van was knocked into a third vehicle, com-
ing from the other 6) ______ which was driven by Mr Luke Peterson.
All three vehicles were severely 7) ______ in the 8) ______ and the three
drivers had to be taken to hospital.
Police believe that the crash could have been avoided if the drivers
had not been travelling so fat under such dangerous conditions.”

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Serious accident – an accident in which someone is badly injured or
Example: Have you ever been in a serious car accident?
You’re lucky. The accident could’ve been much more serious than
it was.
Activity 7. Complete the sentence:
A traffic accident is very serious if:
a) cars are seriously damaged;
b) someone is seriously hurt;
c) traffic is seriously delayed.

A for and against essay
Activity 8. Discuss these questions in small groups.
1. Are there a lot of CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras in your
2. Where do you usually find them?
3. Do you think they are a good thing? Why or why not?
4. How do they make you feel?
Activity 9. Zeina is a student in London. Read her essay about CCTV
cameras. Does she mention any of the things you discussed in Activity 6?

The advantages and disadvantages

of CCTV cameras
There are now four million CCTV cameras in the UK. That means
one camera for every fourteen people. If you live in London, you are
caught on camera 300 times a day. This is becoming a very impor-
tant issue in our lives. How is it affecting us? This essay will consider
whether CCTV cameras are good or bad for us.
One serious disadvantage of CCTV cameras is that it is difficult to
find private places in our cities. People are watching us everywhere we
go. Another problem with them is that, because there are so many of
them, the government has spent a lot of money on them.
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On the other hand, a major advantage is that, they help to catch

criminals and prevent crimes from happening in the first place. Another
advantage is that ordinary people feel safer and have more freedom to
live their lives as they wish.
To sum up, are the cameras good or bad? This is a difficult ques-
tion to answer. Although we feel safer, every move we make is seen by
someone, somewhere. Therefore, we might get more freedom in some
ways, but we lose it in other ways. Perhaps we need more time to under-
stand the effects of this, but I personally think that the advantages are
greater than the disadvantages.
Activity 10. Do you agree with ideas in this essay?
Activity 11. Match these headings a-d with the paragraphs of the essay.
a) conclusion;
b) introduction;
c) disadvantages;
d) advantages.
Which of these form the main body of the essay?
Activity12. Where can you find these things in the text?
Write I for introduction, MB for main body and C for conclusion:
1) a statement of the writer’s opinion;
2) a statement of the importance of the subject;
3) development of important ideas;
4) a statement the writer’s aims;
5) a summary of the main points.
Activity 13. Underline the phrases that are used in the text to talk
about advantages and disadvantages.
Activity 14. Use the table to make sentences about Zeina’s opinions.
Activity 15. Use the table to make sentences about Zeina’s opinions.
The main advantage of the government has spent a lot
of money on them.
The main disadvantage of
CCTV cameras
they help to catch criminals.
One of the good points is that
about people are watching us all the
One of the bad points
about ordinary people feel safer.

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Activity 16. Study the use of the linkers although, on the other hand
and therefore in the text. Then complete these sentences.
1. ______ CCTV cameras can catch criminals, they are expensive.
2. There are a number of good points about this. ______, there are
many more bad points.
3. There is very little data about this. ______, it is difficult to reach
clear conclusions.
4. A career in the police force could be very interesting. ______, it
might be very dangerous.
5. ______ the crime rate is going down, people sometimes feel less
Activity 17. Work with a partner. Discuss the advantages and disad-
vantages of these topics.
1. Having a lot more police officers on the streets of our cities.
2. Emergency services having a lot more female officers.
3. Using plain-clothes police / emergency services (i.e. not in uni-
Activity 18. Write a for and against essay on one of the above topics.
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Activity 1. With your partner discuss the questions.

What is Arctic? Do people live in the Arctic? Does this territory belong
to any country? Why is it attracting more and more attention of industries?
What unknown challenges and safety issues can the industries face?


Activity 2. Read the text below and decide which paragraph (A, B,
C, D, E) each sentence (1–4) belongs to.
1. The Arctic economy has focused largely on the extraction of pe-
troleum and mineral resources.
2. The region has no single government.
3. Commercial fishing is one of the important economic activities in
the Arctic.
4. Indigenous peoples are integral part to any development assess-
ment and strategy in the region.
5. To obtain a unique Arctic engineering knowledge aimed at tech-
nology and safety challenges in the High North one should join one of
the programmes offered by Northern Arctic federal university.
6. In terms of modern inhabitation, many of the indigenous peoples
are still present in the Arctic region.
The Arctic region is located in the northernmost part of our planet.
It lies between 66.5°N and the North Pole. The name Arctic itself origi-
nates from a Greek word that means near the bear. Geographically, the
Arctic spans the Arctic Ocean and covers land areas in parts of Russia,

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Canada, Greenland and the United States, as well as Finland, Iceland, Swe-
den and the Kingdom of Norway. The Arctic Council, an intergovernmen-
tal forum, works to promote cooperation, coordination, and interaction
among those eight sovereign states and the region’s indigenous peoples.
This vast swath of northern land and ice is often considered to be
populated only by polar bears, walruses and other Arctic wildlife as its
climate is incredibly harsh. Some of the lowest recorded temperatures
in the Arctic were recorded in Siberia around -58 °F (-50 °C). The aver-
age Arctic temperature in the summer is 50 °F (10 °C). Since the Arc-
tic has such a harsh climate and permafrost is prevalent in the Arctic
region, it mainly consists of treeless tundra with plant species such as
lichen and mosses. The area sees three months without a sunset every
summer, which may help make up for mid-November to mid-January,
when the sun never rises over the horizon. Many people think that other
than whalers, seal-hunters and the occasional scientists, few humans
travel into the Arctic. Still humans have lived in the Arctic for thou-
sands of years. The current population of roughly four million people
includes more than thirty different indigenous peoples such as the Inuit
in Canada, the Saami in Scandinavia and the Nenets and Yakuts in Rus-
sia, as well as Caucasians. The native people who call the Arctic home
have over time adapted to the very cold weather and intense environ-
mental conditions. Many of them have been living in their traditional
areas for several thousand years.
The Arctic is home to numerous natural resources, some of which
include oil, gas and fish. One tenth of the world’s oil and a quarter of its
natural gas now come from the region. The natural resources of the High
North are increasingly attracting the industry. New offshore oil and gas
fields are being developed. Minerals and mining are given increased at-
tention. Maritime transport in Arctic waters is growing. The fisheries
have become highly industrialized. New industrial facilities are being
developed in the remote, hostile and vulnerable Arctic environment.
The oil and gas industry aiming to operate sustainably in the Arctic
faces unknown challenges. It has to work with indigenous peoples to
develop the region’s natural resources in a manner compatible with the
environment and their traditional way of life. This may include consid-
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eration of timing and location of planned activities relative to biological

activity (whale migration or fish spawning periods), traditional hunting
activity and transportation routes across ice, to name a few.
Significant challenges related to safety issues are also emerging which
if left unaddressed, could limit the potential for long-term economic
growth in the region. Therefore many universities (the Northern Arctic
federal university among them) offer different programmes focusing
on the technical and safety related challenges associated with industrial
activities in the High North. Special attention is given to different in-
dustrial operations in the harsh and vulnerable Arctic environment. The
students are introduced to methods and tools for managing advanced,
complex and integrated technical systems with respect to health, safety
and environmental risk as well as emergency preparedness. So you want
to possess the unique Arctic engineering competence, if you are science
and technology oriented, if you have a fascination of the High North,
then you should join the team of engineers for the Arctic!
Activity 3. What do the underlined words in the article refer to? The
first one is done for you.
1) itself (paragraph A) name;
2) that (paragraph A);
3) them (paragraph B);
4) its (paragraph c);
5) It (paragraph D);
6) their (paragraph D).
Activity 4. Do the following words have a positive or a negative
meaning? Write + or – next to each one:
1) intense (paragraph B);
2) vulnerable (paragraph C);
3) hostile (paragraph C);
4) harsh (paragraph E);
5) advanced (paragraph E).


Activity 5. In the text (Activity 2) find words or phrases with the fol-
lowing meaning:

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1. A thick subsurface layer of soil that remains frozen throughout the
year, occurring chiefly in polar regions (paragraph B).
2. Space or equipment necessary for doing something (paragraph C).
3. Able to exist or occur together without conflict (paragraph D).
4. Conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural
resources (paragraph D).
Activity 6. Complete the sentences with one of the words:
1. There is also a car parking and picnic ______.
2. It took a long time to learn how to farm salmon properly and ______.
3. Building a pipeline in the Arctic region is difficult because the
heat of it can thaw the ______ and destabilize the structure.
4. It is perhaps most vital of all for you to achieve good and ______
relationships with members of the team.


Harsh, severe, hard, bleak – these words describe weather condi-

tions which are not pleasant and difficult to live in.
Harsh (of weather and conditions) – harsh weather or conditions
make living physically difficult; harsh is used especially when these
conditions exist all the time in a place or last for a long time.
These plants will not grow in this harsh climate.
Severe weather may last only a short time, but can cause immediate
danger not just difficulty over a longer period.
Severe weather conditions can lead to an increase in the demand for
Hard typically describes a winter (= hard) or a frost (= making the
ground very hard).
There was a hard frost that night.
Bleak describes a time such as a day or a winter that makes you feel
depressed, whether or not life is physically difficult.
She left on a bleak November day.
Activity 7. Choose the proper word:
1.A severe/bleak storm blew the ship off course.
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2. Despite parts of Siberia boom today thanks to oil, gas and mineral
discoveries, the area is as harsh/hard as ever.
3. There are still months of bleak/harsh weather stretching out ahead
without anything to look forward to.
4. Life expectancy is extremely low due to the harsh/severe condi-


Activity 8. Preview the vocabulary, then listen to the news report

and fill in the blanks.

Arctic Ice Hits Record Low

Pre-Listening Vocabulary:
– greenhouse gas: a gas (e.g. carbon dioxide) that can absorb radia-
tion and contribute to the Earth’s warming;
– drastic: extreme; will probably cause a major change;
– impact: effect.

12 November 2013
Arctic sea ice fell to a record ______ this September, down 18%
from the previous record set in 2007. Scientists believe the sea ice in the
Arctic could be gone in the summer months as early as ______. Previ-
ous reports had suggested that the melting could occur by 2050. Experts
warn that the higher temperatures in the Arctic will cause the release
of greenhouse gases that are currently frozen in the permafrost from
the last ______. This will increase the rate of global warming, causing
drastic ______. Environmentalist groups predict that the impact will be
extreme in the northern hemisphere. Sea ice plays an important role in
______ the Earth.
(URL: from www.englishclub.com)
Activity 9. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full
1. How can we compare this year’s summer Arctic ice level to other
the one of recent years?
2. What major concern is there about the melting of the permafrost
in the Arctic?
3. Why does the Earth need sea ice?

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Activity 10. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading the story out



Activity 11. With your partner discuss the following questions:

Scientists have always said that the first real evidence of global
warming would be observed in the Arctic. Will the record low of the
recent years be enough to force governments to take climate change se-
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Activity 1. What do we mean by ‘culture’? Write your definition of


Activity 2. Compare your ideas with the definitions given by differ-

ent dictionaries and scholars.

Culture –
1) in a society – the beliefs, way of life, art, and customs that are
shared and accepted by people in a particular society;
2) in a group – the attitudes and beliefs about something that are
shared by a particular group of people or in particular organization;
3) art/music/literature – activities that are related to art, music, lit-
erature, etc. (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English);
4) culture – the way of life, especially general customs and beliefs
of a particular group of people at a particular time (Cambridge Interna-
tional Dictionary of English).

Культура –
1) совокупность достижений человечества в производственном,
общественном и умственном отношении;
2) то же, что культурность;
3) высокий уровень чего-нибудь, высокое развитие, умение
(С.И. Ожегов «Словарь русского языка»).

Culture –
‘a way of shaping the mind’, ‘programming of the mind’ (Geert Hof-

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So, what do we mean by ‘culture’?

Although there are many definitions of culture we are going to fol-
low the Dutch psychologist Geert Hofstede’s maxim ‘Software of the
Mind’, the subtitle of his 1991 book ‘Cultures and Organisations’ and
use the word culture in the sense of “the collective programming of the
mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from
another”. The “category of people” can be a nation, region, or ethnic
group (national etc. culture), women versus men (gender culture), old
versus young (age group and generation culture), a social class, a pro-
fession or occupation (occupational culture), a type of business, a work
organization or part of it (organizational culture), or even a family.
What culture covers is the commonly held traditions, values and
ways of behaving in a particular community. It includes what we used
to call ‘British and American life and institutions’, ‘daily life’ and also
cultural artefacts, such as the arts or sports. This is all interesting and
sometimes useful knowledge and it is often included in textbooks.
However, there is also another level of understanding of culture.
This is how you develop cultural sensitivity and cultural skill. This cov-
ers how you build cultural awareness, what qualities you need to deal
successfully with other cultures, and how to operate successfully with
people from other cultures. This is often considered to be a professional
skill in any field, safety engineering included.
As far as we have mentioned, commonly held traditions and ways
of behaving, rules and regulations are part of national culture. For ex-
ample, we can compare safety related rules and regulations in different
countries, how people use emergency numbers in different countries.

Activity 3. Listen to the news report (URL: http://www.cdlponline.
org) and tell what part of the world it is related to.
Activity 4. Use an online search engine and find out the meaning of
the following geographical names: California Highway Patrol; Sacra-
mento; the Bay Area.
Activity 5. Listen to the news report once more and answer the
questions below.
1. A group of people is trying to come up with a way to fix this ______.
a) problem;
b) cell phone;
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c) accident;
d) call.
2. This phone number should only be used in an _______.
a) office;
b) emergency;
c) automobile;
d) elevator.
3. Many accidental 911 calls come from _______ phones.
a) public;
b) cordless;
c) home;
d) cell.
4. There have been some _______ with people using the 911 phone
a) solutions;
b) emergencies;
c) problems;
d) things.
5. Calling 911 when you _______ need it can be very bad.
a) do not;
b) might;
c) really;
d) know you.
6. One area is trying a new _______ that will hopefully help the
problem of accidental 911 calls.
a) emergency;
b) phone;
c) phone number;
d) program.
7. More than half of the calls made to it are _______.
a) real;
b) silly;
c) on purpose;
d) accidental.
8. This program will make 911 callers push another _______ on the
phone if it is a real emergency.
a) problem;
b) cell;
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c) key;
d) accident.
9. These accidental calls can make someone who are in a real emer-
gency situation wait before getting _______ they need.
a) the money;
b) the call;
c) the help;
d) the phone.
10. People can call _______ when they need help.
a) 411;
b) 800;
c) 911;
d) 415.
Activity 6. In the text find words or phrases with the following
– people hired to enforce the law and protect people;
– to make smaller;
– something is done without intending to do it;
– something urgent that must be taken care of;
– a device which can be used to call and talk to people far away.


Activity 7. Read the text and report if there are any peculiar features
in the of emergency services in Australia. Does it differ from that in
Russia? If so, in what way?

Emergency services in Australia

National emergency services
The national telephone number for all emergency services in Austra-
lia including AMBULANCE, FIRE and POLICE is 000.
How 000 works
000 calls are answered by a Telstra Operator who will ask which
service you require – Police, Ambulance or Fire. The operator will ask
relevant questions, and arrange an appropriate response from the local
Police, Ambulance or Fire Service.
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000 Calls from Mobile Phones

000 calls are free on all mobile phones. From analogue phones, 000
will connect callers, although many newer digital phones require the
user to dial 112, the international standard emergency number. Consult
your carrier if you are uncertain how to access the 000 emergency net-
Non emergencies
If you require the assistance of these services for routine matters and
non-emergency situations, then you should call the local number of the
required service near nearest to you. These numbers and other 24-hour
emergency numbers can be found in the local White Pages telephone
directory or you can search the Australian White Pages online.
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