This module aims to provide the student with the knowledge necessary to develop an appreciation of the need to recognise, measure and control different health hazards, which are present in our workplace and wider environment. The scientific discipline concerned with recognition, evaluation and control of occupational or environmental hazards is known as Occupational Hygiene or Exposure Science. The broad discipline of Occupational Hygiene is a core component of Occupational Health and Safety.

Health hazards can be categorised under the broad groupings, biological, physical, chemical and psychosocial. Health hazards are generated directly or indirectly by natural processes and also by man. We will discuss the different exposure pathways and routes of human exposure.

Some health hazards for example noise, have been around for centuries others are new hazards introduced with new technologies e.g. biopharmaceuticals. As the workplace evolves and new work processes and practices are introduced, new hazards emerge, and later, depending on work practices and conditions, some of these new hazards contribute to new occupational diseases.

Often at the early stages in the design of a new process, there may be opportunities to eliminate the need to use a high-risk hazard or to perform a high-risk task, there maybe opportunities to substitute the hazard with a less harmful alternative. It is important that the key players involved in research, and development incorporate occupational health and safety principles at the design stage, so that they bring safe technologies to the workplace of the future.

This module will discuss the ‘general principles of prevention’ and how they apply to chemical, physical and biological hazards. The module will also explore different exposure control options, including containment technologies, ventilation and personal protective equipment  which can be used to reduce and control worker exposures.

Apply by 4th Feb.

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