General Details

Full Title
Transcript Title
OSH3 Occ Health & Ergonomics
N/A %
Subject Area
SAFE - Safety Studies
ESCI - Environmental Science
09 - NFQ Level 9
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Rachel Nugent, Blaithin McGrath
Programme Membership
SG_SEHSM_M09 201600 Master of Science in EHS Management

This module addresses the systematic management of major occupational safety and health risks, their causative agents and health effects.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Explain the multidisciplinary approach to managing occupational health risk and differentiate between the strategies of prevention, promotion and rehabilitation within occupational health.


Differentiate between physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic and psychosocial health hazards and apply appropriate managment strategies to reduce the risk of ill health or disease.


Discuss the concepts for promoting health and well-being in the workplace.

Apply the principles of ergonomics in relation to the person, the task, work systems, environment and equipment design.
Analyse human error and organisational failures in accident causation.

Integrate the knowledge, principles and theories pertaining to OSH.

Participate in groups, communicate and defend findings in relation to prescribed OSH problems.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The students will be exposed to a blend of learning activities e.g. online lectures (via adobe connect or similar), independent learning and directed learning. This approach is expected to address various student learning needs. Moodle will be used to upload educational material (e.g. powerpoint presentations, recordings of online lectures and supplementary reading material) and a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals). The online delivery will be blended with workshops to bring the learners together to facilitate group learning.

Module Assessment Strategies

Continuous assessment - 50%, Final exam - 50%.

Regular assessments will be undertaken via moodle and assignments uploaded via moodle. Assignments may be designed across modules delivered in the same semester.

Students may be assessed individually or in group environments with a strong emphasis on continual improvement and skill building.

Repeat Assessments

Repeat assessment, where relevant, will involve assignment, practical test or examination that provides evidence that the student has met the subject and topic learning outcomes to the required standard.

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

History & development of occupational ill health. Policy makers and key drivers of occupational health.

Occupational health services, the multidisciplinary team approach, specialist services.

Interpretation of statistics and data related to occupational ill health.

Occupational health effects of physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic and psychosocial hazards.

Vulnerable risk groups, legislative requirements, codes of practice relating to ill health, health surveillance of health issues. Demographics and concerns regarding workforce.

Appropriate occupational health strategies to manage workplace health hazards.

Health screening, health surveillance, absence management, case management, employee assistant programmes.

Promoting health and wellbeing in the workforce. Key performance indicators to measure performance in occupational health.

Ergonomic principles and interventions.

Human factors and safety.

Human error taxonomies

Accident causation, investigation & root cause analysis.

Man -machine/user interface.

Information input and processing, display and coding, compatibility and standardisation.

The workstation, working posture, anthropometric data, reference planes and the design of workstations, zone of convenient reach, optimal placement.

Prolonged static muscular loading and posture.

Manual handling in the workplace - hazards, risk factors, strategies for control - past failures and consensus towards future best practice.

The musculoskeletal problem - a multi faceted problem requiring a multi dimensional approach.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
50 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
50 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Group and Individual Assessment of subject specific material Continuous Assessment Assessment 50 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 50 % End of Term 1,2,3,4,5,6

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 2.5 Weekly 2.50
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self Study 4.5 Weekly 4.50
Total Part Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.50 Hours

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Online Lecture Not Specified Lecture 2.5 Weekly 2.50
Independent Learning Not Specified Self Study 4.5 Weekly 4.50
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.50 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2006-12-04 Occupational Health: Pocket Consultant Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN 1405122218 ISBN-13 9781405122214

Offering a balance of theory and practice, with guides for further reading, this is a clinical guide for the practitioner in the widest sense: physicians, nurses, occupational hygienists, safety officers, environmental, health officers and personnel managers. With coverage of both medicine and hygiene, and including sections on OH law, it is a primer for appropriate courses and provides all that the interested medical student would need to know.

Recommended Reading
2014-07-18 CURRENT Occupational and Environmental Medicine 5/E McGraw-Hill Education / Medical
ISBN 0071808159 ISBN-13 9780071808156

A Doody's Core Title for 2015.

A thorough, concise, up-to-date guide to the diagnosis and treatment of common occupational and environmental injuries and diseases

Coverage includes:

  • Chapters on how to conduct an occupational and environmental medical history, examine the patient, evaluate exposures, and prevent further injury and illness
  • New methods of disability management and the important role that physicians can play in preventing disability
  • Practical information on the toxic properties and clinical manifestation of common industrial materials
  • Techniques to prevent acute and cumulative workplace-related injuries
  • Detailed discussion of international occupational and environmental health, and issues of worker migration
  • An appendix that concisely introduces the important topics of biostatistics and epidemiology

The definitive overview of common occupational and environmental illnesses

NEW CHAPTERS on electronic health records, the management of chronic pain, violence in the workplace, terrorism preparedness, disease surveillance, and chemical policy

Valuable to practicing physicians as well as students and residents

Recommended Reading
2011-01-25 Occupational and Environmental Health: Recognizing and Preventing Disease and Injury Oxford University Press
ISBN 0195397886 ISBN-13 9780195397888

Occupational and environmental health is the public health and multidisciplinary approach to the recognition, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and control of disease, injuries, and other adverse health conditions resulting from hazardous environmental exposures in the workplace, the home, or the community. These are essential elements of public health practice and the core course in Environmental Health in Masters of Public Health programs.

Thoroughly updated and expanded upon, the sixth edition of Occupational and Environmental Health provides comprehensive coverage and a clear understanding of occupational and environmental health and its relationships to public health, environmental science, and governmental policy. New chapters include Toxicology, Risk Communication, Health Equity and Social Justice, Occupational and Environmental Health Surveillance, Food Safety, Protecting Disaster Rescue and Recovery Workers, Implementing Programs and Policies for a Healthy Workforce, and Addressing the Built Environment and Health. The authors also expand on chapters included in previous chapters, and the book features practical case studies, numerous tables, graphs, and photos, and annotated bibliographies.

Reviews for previous editions:
"This text goes a long way in meeting the need for a brief overview of the entire field. The quality of writing is in general excellent, and this is a physically attractive book. Chapters are concise and to the point. The use of illustrative cases in many of the chapters is a definite plus. This an excellent book and a mainstay for introductory courses in the field."--The American Journal of Industrial Medicine

"It achieves a good blend of practical application, together with the elements of the supporting sciences, such as toxicology and epidemiology, as well the social context. It is a useful text to inform and support day-to-day practice, to educate students, and to help with examinations. If I had not received a reviewer's copy, i would have bought the book out of my own pocket."--Occupational and Environmental Medicine

"The book is geared primarily to medical personnel and professionals, but it contains many chapters that would be of use to nearly everyone. It is a delight to read."--Journal of Community Health

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

 Aw, Gardiner & Harrington (2007) 5th ed. Occupational Health  Blackwell Publishing

Palmer and Brown (2007) 4th ed. Fitness for Work: The Medical Aspects Oxford University Press

Smedley and Sadhra (2007) Oxford Handbook of Occupational Health  Oxford University Press

Rom and Markowitz (2006)4th ed.  Environmental and Occupational Medicine  Lippincott Williams

Rosenstock , Cullen and Brodkin (2005)2nd ed. Textbook of Clinical Occupational and Environmental Medicine Butterworth -Heinnman

 D. Chenoweth, (2011) 3rd ed. Worksite health promotion Champaign  Human Kinetics

 Morton Kasdan (2006) Work Related Upper Extremity Injuries - Butterworth Heinnman

Jeremy Stranks (2005) Stress at Work: Management and Prevention Butterworth Heinemann

Cary Cooper (2004)2nd ed. Handbook of Stress Medicine and Health CRC Press

Wertyz and Bryant (2000) Managing Workers' Compensation CRC Press

Marras, W., Karwoski, V., 2006,The Occupational Ergonomics Handbook, Vol. I & Vol. II, Boca Raton aylor & Francis

Karwowski, W., Marras W., 2003. Occupational Ergonomics Design and Management of Work Systems, Boca Raton, CRC Press

Karwowski, W., 2006, International Encyclopaedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors, CRC Press

Decker, S., 2006, The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error, 2nd ed., Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing

Peters, G.A., Peters, B.J., 2006, Human Error, Causes & Controls, CRC Press

Roughton, J.E., 2008, Job Hazard Analysis, London, Butterworth-Heinemann

Ammerman, M., 2006, Root Cause Analysis: Improving Performance for Bottom-line Results, Boca Raton, Taylor & Francis Group

Sanders, M.H., 2004, Ergonomics and the Management of Musculoskeletal Disorders, Butterworth-Heinemann

Marras, W.S., 2008, The Working Back, John Wiley & Sons

Bhattacharya, A., 2012, Occupational Ergonomics: Theory & Applications, 2nd ed., CRC Press

McCauley Bush, P., 2011, Ergonomics: Foundational Principles, Applications and Technologies, CRC Press

Reese, C.D., 2011, Accident/Incident Prevention Techniques, 2nd ed., CRC Press

Kumar, S., 2007, Biomechanics in Ergonomics, CRC Press

Other Resources

Research Reports and HSA and HSE strategy documents, class notes and materials. 

Additional Information