MSc Occupational Hygiene / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Module 3: Health and Workability (Occupational Hygiene)

Unit code POPH68940
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This unit provides a deeper understanding of the issues around exposure to processes and materials used in manufacturing industries, such as pesticides and pharmaceutical products, and the control methods used. The unit also provides guidance on undertaking workplace assessments in a variety of locations.

Aims

This unit assists in the development of skills required for carrying out workplace assessments as well as introducing the student to some of the hazardous substances that can be encountered in various manufacturing industries.   The unit also expands on the law elements within Introduction to Hazards, Risks and the Working Environment MEDN68870 and outlines the legal responsibilities of employers regarding fair and equitable working practices and in maximising the potential for individuals to return to work after illness or disability. The unit provides a sound introduction to the benefits of good ergonomic practice and also aims to give the student an appreciation of how to choose a research topic and subsequent development of a research question.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes intend to:

  • Aid participants in the development of skills required to carry out workplace assessments.
  • Provide an understanding of the ware of the wide range of toxic substances that are handled during a variety of manufacturing processes.
  • Allow participants to recognise the ways in which respiratory and dermal exposures can occur and how good occupational hygiene practice can be applied to control such hazards.
  • Provide an understanding of the principles of control and how they are applied in the various situations.
  • Give an approach to tackling a research topic/question.
  • Provide sound knowledge of how European Community law affects the practice of occupational health in the UK.
  • Provide an understanding of ergonomics.
  • Provide an understanding of the effects of shift work on health and social life.

Syllabus

  • Workplace Assessment Skills
  • Advanced Occupational Health Law
  • Ergonomics
  • Shift Work and Daily Rhythms
  • Solvents
  • Plastics and Polymers
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals
  • Choosing a Research Topic and Literature Review
  • Developing the Research Question

Teaching and learning methods

The unit is delivered through a blend of written materials in electronic format (PDFs) and interactive teaching material.  The unit is assessed summatively via a 1-hour examination of best fit questions.  Students are strongly encouraged to participate in Risk Assessment discussion forum, the success of which relies on interaction between students (peer review) and the tutor.  

Knowledge and understanding

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Understand the occupational hygiene issues in the different manufacturing industries and the control methods used.
  • Understand the principles of risk management and the control strategy used in industries producing solvents, pesticides, pharmaceutical products and plastics and polymers.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Choose a research topic and develop a research question.

 

Intellectual skills

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Understand the importance of research and related activities in occupational hygiene practice.
  • Know how good occupational hygiene practice can be applied to control the hazards in the industry.

Practical skills

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Plan and carry out an assessment of a working environment.
  • Understand the principles of control and how they are applied in the various situations.
  • Apply skills acquired in order to undertake a research project.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Understand the influence of a wide range of factors when negotiating with others within the field of occupational health.
  • Know how to communicate with managers and employers in relation to patients’ health and well-being.
  • Use the research skills acquired in other disciplines, i.e. beyond occupational hygiene practice.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will be able to understand the occupational hygiene issues in the different manufacturing industries and the control methods used.
Problem solving
Students will 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.
Research
Students will understand the importance of research and related activities in occupational hygiene practice and apply skills acquired in order to undertake a research project.

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.

The Risk Assessment discussion forum exercise provides an opportunity for participants to submit ideas for their workplace assessments to be peer-reviewed and appraised by their tutor.

Recommended reading

  • Bridger RS. Introduction to Ergonomics 3rd ed. CRC Press 2008. ISBN 0849373069.
  • Kloss DM.  Occupational health law 5th ed.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 2010.  ISBN 9781405185905.
  • HSE. Health and Safety Guidance Booklets 188: Health risk management - a guide to working with solvents. HSE 1999. ISBN 0717616649.
  • HSE Method for Determination of Hazardous Substances (MDHS) series.
  • Casarett LJ et al.  (1997) Toxicology: the basic science of poisons. 4th ed. Pergamon, p1074. ISBN 0071125329.
  • Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry. Guidance on Setting In-house Occupational Exposure Limits for Airborne Therapeutic Substances and Their Intermediates. ABPI 1995.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1
Independent study hours
Independent study 149

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Adrian Hirst Unit coordinator

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