MSc Occupational Hygiene / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course unit details:
Module 1: Introduction to Hazards, Risks and the Working Environment

Unit code POPH68870
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

This introductory unit provides an overview of the discipline of occupational hygiene and underpins the key areas that will be revisited in greater depth in later units, such as workplace hazards and risk, toxicology and other related topics.

Aims

The aim of this unit is to provide an overview of the discipline of occupational hygiene and in-depth knowledge in certain limited areas of practice generic to the work of the majority of safety professionals involved in occupational hygiene.  At the conclusion of these, the student should have an awareness and understanding of the basic principles of occupational hygiene as well as of the main hazards which are encountered within a workplace. The student should also be able to recognise those areas where reference to more specialist knowledge and advice is required.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes intend to:

  • Introduce course participants to the knowledge and skills required in those areas of medicine, science and hygiene that are encompassed by occupational health.
  • Describe and define the relationships and responsibilities of the occupational health professional with management, trades unions, employees and other branches of the profession/other appropriate agencies.
  • Give course participants a good foundation on which to build and extend their knowledge of occupational health during the changes and developments which lie in the years ahead.

Syllabus

  • Occupational Health in Perspective
  • Introduction to Occupational Health Law
  • Historical Development of Occupational Health
  • Hazards and Risks
  • Introduction to Toxicology
  • Introduction to Occupational Hygiene
  • Introduction to Lighting
  • Introduction to Temperature and Work
  • Introduction to Noise and Vibration
  • Introduction to Hazardous Substances

Teaching and learning methods

The unit is delivered through a blend of written materials in electronic format (PDFs) and interactive teaching material, supported 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.
  • Have an awareness of current legislation and the regulatory bodies relating to occupational health practice.
  • 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.

Intellectual skills

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to solve problems and make decisions about occupational health risks.
  • Have awareness of the impact of professional ideology.
  • Reflect on the impact of a wide range of influences (such as cultural background and intellectual capacity) on the working environment.

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 integrate knowledge of health, legislation, and business in the management of work-related issues affecting both individuals and groups.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will be able to plan and carry out an assessment of a working environment taking into account hazards, and evaluating risk.
Problem solving
Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to solve problems and make decisions around occupational health risks.
Research
Students will be able to design, carry out, write up and present studies that allow investigation of work-related incidents, accidents, or disease.

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 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.

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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