MSc Occupational Hygiene / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course unit details:
Module 2: Occupational Ill Health

Unit code POPH68850
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

Together with the unit Introduction to Hazards, Risks and the Working Environment MEDN68870, this occupational disease focused unit is designed to meet the needs of students from a scientific background who want to gain introductory knowledge of occupational health.

Aims

Building on the foundation of unit Introduction to Hazards, Risks and the Working Environment MEDN68870, this unit aims to give an understanding of the diseases which can occur as a direct result of engaging in specific occupations. This builds upon the recognition of workplace hazards described in the introductory unit and prepares the student for an understanding of the mechanisms used for evaluation and control of hazards presented in the further units. The unit also gives an understanding of health assessment, surveillance and screening and introduces the subject of epidemiology.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes intend to:

  • Provide an overview of the basic anatomy and physiology of the skin before explaining the main types of occupational skin disease.
  • Provide an understanding of the principles by which the respiratory system may be affected by occupational exposure to dust/chemicals and outline the common occupational lung diseases and their causes.
  • Cover the nature of work-related musculoskeletal injuries, in particular upper limb disorders and low back injuries.
  • Provide an understanding of the main occupational cancers and their causal agents and familiarise the student with the IARC monograph series on human carcinogens and the assessment criteria used for classifying suspected agents.
  • Explain the role of the multifactorial nature of illnesses associated with stress at work.
  • Give an understanding of the role of an occupational hygienist in managing occupational disease.
  • Provide knowledge of how biological monitoring can assist in exposure evaluation and health surveillance.

Syllabus

  • Occupational Dermatoses
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Occupational Cancers
  • Stress Disorders
  • Work-Related Infections
  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Health Assessment, Surveillance and Screening
  • Biological Monitoring

Teaching and learning methods

The unit is delivered through a blend of written materials in electronic format (PDFs) and interactive teaching material, supported by a 1-day seminar.  The unit is assessed summatively via a 1-hour examination of best fit questions.

Knowledge and understanding

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Understand how to evaluate the likely effects of agents on health, and advise on their prevention and management.
  • Display an awareness of system-related occupational disease.
  • Understand the nature of evidence required to establish a causal link between occupation and
  • disease or injury.
  • Recognise the importance of the interaction between health and work (i.e. effects of work on health and health on work) and understand how to manage such problems.
  • Display an awareness of the theoretical principles and research methodologies underpinning all aspects of occupational hygiene.

Intellectual skills

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Analyse and evaluate the relevant medical and scientific literature relating to occupational health practice.
  • Demonstrate the ability to solve problems and make decisions about occupational health issues.
  • Critically examine knowledge limitations within occupational health, and identify the need to seek further (specialist) advice.
  • Develop powers of critical appraisal, analytical thinking, and logical argument to allow evaluation of concepts and/or approaches to occupational health issues.

Practical skills

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Plan and carry out an assessment of a working environment taking into account hazards, and evaluating risk.
  • Be able to design, carry out, write up, and present studies that allow investigation of work-related incidents, accidents, or disease.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Be able to consider workers’ health in respect to their employment and work tasks; additionally to know how to communicate with managers and employers in relation to workers’ health and well-being.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will be able to critically appraise, analyse and evaluate concepts and/or approaches to occupational health issues.
Oral communication
Students will be able to to communicate with managers and employers in relation to workers¿ health and well-being.
Problem solving
Students will be acquire the ability to solve problems and make decisions about occupational health issues.
Written communication
Students will be able to to communicate with managers and employers in relation to workers¿ health and well-being.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Formative assessments with automatic feedback are available throughout the unit as an aid to understanding the course materials. Students may also receive direct feedback from interaction with session leaders at campus based Seminar Days - held in the middle & end of Semester 1 Year 1.

Recommended reading

  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists: Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®) for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs®). ACGIH
  • American Industrial Hygiene Association.  The occupational environment: its evaluation, control and management 3rd ed.  AIHA Press 2010. ISBN 9781935082156.  
  • Cherrie J, Howie R, Semple S. Monitoring for Health Hazards at Work 4th ed. Wiley-Blackwell 2010. ISBN-10: 1405159626, ISBN-13: 978-1405159623.
  • Gardiner K, Harrington JM. Occupational hygiene.  Blackwell Publishing 2005. ISBN 1405106212.
  • Hendrick DJ, Burge PS, Beckett WS. Occupational disorders of the lung: recognition, management and prevention. London: W.B. Saunders 2002. ISBN 0702025070.
  • McDonald JC, ed. Wheatley M. Epidemiology of work related diseases 2nd ed. London: BMJ Books 2000. ISBN 0727914324
  • Rajadurai Sithamparanadarajah (Bob Rajan). Controlling skin exposure to chemicals and wet work - a practical book.  BOHS and RMS Publishing 2008. ISBN 9781906674007.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1
Seminars 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 143

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Adrian Hirst Unit coordinator

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