MSc Occupational Medicine / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Occupational Exposure Control

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH60161
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
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit evaluates exposure control strategies, including equipment and techniques used in controlling exposure to hazards. The unit examines various practice-based topics including the role of ventilation, containment, behavioural factors and PPE in the workplace. A range of work settings are evaluated with analysis of key issues in exposure control for example, control of dermal exposures and implementation of effective dermal risk assessment, communicable disease and infection control in workplaces..


This unit will introduce students to the principles and concepts of good control practice and enable them to develop strategies and reasonably practicable controls as part of integrated occupational health and hygiene programmes to minimise the risks from exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. The unit builds on the stages of anticipation, recognition and evaluation of exposures, examining the ways in which the exposures can be controlled. Evaluation of control strategies for various hazards and the techniques available to develop health surveillance system in a variety of different workplaces are covered extensively.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes intend to allow students to:

  • Develop critical understanding of process control and the need for judgement in setting priorities.
  • Use evidence-based practice to examine the technical and legal factors involved in process control.
  • Critically analyse risks to health from hazardous substances in the workplace and apply the principles of good control practice and hierarchy of controls to identify, develop and implement reasonably practicable control strategies and integrated control regimes.
  • Identify and specify reasonably practicable engineering measures to control exposure to hazardous substances.
  • Identify and specify organisational and management measures as part of a control regime.
  • Select appropriate personal protective equipment to minimise exposure to hazardous substances.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of control measures, programmes and strategies.
  • Make independent decisions that are based on evidence and research in relation to behavioural factors, ergonomics and cost benefit analyses.


Process Control Strategy

  • Ventilation
  • Containment
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Human Behaviours
  • Dermal Exposure and Risk Assessment
  • Communicable Disease and Infection Control

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching will take the form of online materials supported by online synchronous lectures, webinars. group discussion, tutorials, synchronous workshops and practical experience days where relevant or possible.

Blackboard and Zoom/Teams will be used for course materials including group discussions, announcements and updating of content, relevant lecture slides and additional reading, written example sheets and for online formative assessments.

Knowledge and understanding

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Apply and synthesis knowledge of the concepts and principles of managing ventilation systems used to control hazardous substances in the workplace.
  • Demonstrate critical thought and application in relation to the types of PPE available when working with hazardous chemicals and other forms of PPE available for use with some physical and mechanical risks.
  • Demonstrate critical understanding of the range of strategies that can be used to control dermal exposure and how these fit into the hierarchy of controls.
  • Demonstrate understanding of factors that influence human behaviour and the significance of behavioural change in reducing exposure risk in the workplace
  • Apply the principles of the hierarchy of control and the management of health risks to develop control strategies for workplace health hazards.

Intellectual skills

On completion, students should be able to: 

  • Critically evaluate the key aspects of a well-developed control strategy and health protection programme.
  • Critically evaluate existing measures used to control exposure, including ventilation and PPE.
  • Critically assess the range of strategies that can be used to motivate and perpetuate behaviour change.
  • Interpret outcomes of peer reviewed research in the context of exposure control practice and propose solutions as a result of the research findings.

Practical skills

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate strategies used for the control of occupational exposures in a range of workplace settings.
  • Communicate developments in practice to a wide audience.
  • Use principles of evidence-based practice to review and improve practice.
  • Identify areas of uncertainty to formulate focused, answerable questions.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On completion, students should be able to: 

  • Independently gather, organise, and evaluate information from a variety of sources and develop an evidence-based approach to occupational hygiene practice. 
  • Understand the influence of a wide range of factors when negotiating with others within the field of occupational hygiene.
  • Communicate complex ideas in concise written formats appropriate for a range of stakeholders
  • Apply and synthesise knowledge of health, legislation, and business in the management of work-related issues affecting both individuals and groups. 

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will have an understanding of process control and judgement in setting priorities.
Project management
Students will understand the influence of a wide range of factors when negotiating with others within the field of occupational hygiene.
Problem solving
Students will know the range of techniques that can be used for developing an effective health surveillance system in a variety of different workplaces.

Assessment methods

Description Weighting Length
Patchwork assessment: A series of assignments that may be written or oral to develop knowledge and evaluation skills in Workplace Exposure Control 100% 3,500 words


Feedback methods

  • Assignment feedback is available to all students. 
  • Feedback on summative assessments is provided following ratification of results by the Examination Board.
  • Two web-conference tutorials involving small group teaching provide formative feedback to students.

Recommended reading

  • American Industrial Hygiene Association. The occupational Environment: its evaluation, control and management 3rd ed.  AIHA Press 2010. ISBN 9781935082156.
  • BS EN 529:2005. Respiratory protective devices. Recommendations for selection, use, care and maintenance. Guidance document. BSI 2005. ISBN 0580469085.
  • BS EN 374-3:2003. Protective gloves against chemicals and micro-organisms. Determination of resistance to permeation by chemicals. BSI 2003. ISBN 9780580678561.
  • BS 7184:2001. Selection, use and maintenance of chemical protective clothing. Guidance. BSI 2001. ISBN 0580386147.
  • Cherrie J, Howie R, Semple S. Monitoring for Health Hazards at Work 4th ed. Wiley-Blackwell 2010. ISBN-10: 1405159626, ISBN-13: 978-1405159623.
  • COSHH Essentials: HSG 193. HSE Books 1999. ISBN 0717624218.
  • Gardiner K, Harrington JM. Occupational hygiene.  Blackwell Publishing 2005. ISBN 1405106212.
  • Gawkrodger DJ. An illustrated colour text: Dermatology. Basic Principles: Churchill Livingstone 1992.
  • HSE. HSG 258 Controlling airborne contaminants at work: A guide to local exhaust ventilation (LEV). HSE Books 2008. ISBN 9780717662982.
  • HSE. INDG408 Clearing the air: a simple guide to buying and using local exhaust ventilation (LEV). HSE Books 2008. ISBN 9780717663019.
  • Lunt J, Lee R, Carter L. Systematic review of preventative behavioural interventions for dermal and respiratory occupational health hazards. HSL 2007/36.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 138

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Anne Clayson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

If you have any questions regarding the content of this unit, please contact the Course Unit Leader, Anne Clayson, via

If you have any other queries, please contact the programmes team via

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