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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Postgraduate Medical School Short Name: WORKENVIRO
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: EDGAR J Dr (PGMS)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability


Assessment Pattern

Components of Assessment
Percentage Weighting
An extended essay (approximately 3,000 words)

Module Overview

Some knowledge of physiology, toxicology and behavioural aspects relevant to health issues at work.

Module Aims
To extend the student's knowledge of environmental factors which affect the health of people at work
Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student will be able to:

a)       Describe how exposure to a wide range of workplace hazardous agents can cause physiological changes, health effects and may result in disease
b)       Explain homeostasis and human physiological defence mechanisms
c)       Describe basic toxicological concepts and routes of entry/target organs for chemical agents: compare and contrast the impact of chemical and biological agents
d)       Apply their extended knowledge in a risk assessment and prevention/control context

Cognitive skills

  • Define environmental problems which influence health, further utilise this knowledge to problem solve and thus formulate relevant hypotheses to evaluate arguments.

Practical skills 

·         Obtain and critically interpret data collected from a variety of validated of sources.



·         Use advanced technology to access information



·         Carry out searches of relevant electronic databases



·         Identify, operate and evaluate a selection of equipment to measure workplace stressors and to apply measurement and observation to the process of health risk assessment.




Key skills

  • Work productively within a multi-disciplinary team recognising the complex environmental factors which impact on health.
  • Communicate to a high standard both verbally and in written format, recognising the needs of different client groups
  • Critically analyse literature to formulate an evidence based response
Module Content


·         Physiological responses, health effects and occupational disease resulting from exposure to workplace hazardous agents.



·         Physical agents: ionizing and no-ionising radiation (including light) noise, vibration, thermal and hyperbaric environments.



·         Chemical agents: toxic effects including carcinogenesis and hypersensitivity



·         Biological agents: exposure to harmful bacteria and viruses associated with work



·         Workplace design - ill-health and ergonomic factors



·         Stress as a psycho physiological response to the environment. The relationship between stress and disease




Methods of Teaching/Learning

Lectures, tutorials, case studies and syndicate exercises

Selected Texts/Journals
Material provided as programme handouts.
Aw TC, Gardiner K and Harrington J.M. (2006) Occupational Health, 5th Edition, Blackwell
Baxter P., Adams P.H., Aw Tar-Ching, Cockcroft A. and Harrington J,M. (Eds) (2000) Hunters Diseases of Occupations 9th Edition.   Arnold.
Brune D., Gerharsson G., Crockford G.W and D’Auria D. (Eds).   The Workplace (1997) Vol 1.   Fundamentals of Health, Safety and Welfare, Vol 2. Major Industries and Occupations. Scandinavian Science Publishers.
Hawkins L. (Ed) (2002). Guide to Managing Employee Health. Lexis Nexis, Butterworth Tolley.
Gardiner K. and Harrington J.M (2005), Occupational Hygiene, Blackwell Scientific.
Hartley C.B (2005) Health and Safety: Hazardous Agents, IOSH Publications
HSE (2007) Managing the causes of work-related stress: A step-by step approach using the Management Standards, HSGxxx, HSE Books
Jones JR Hodgson JT Clegg TA and Elliot RC (1998) Self reported work-related illness in 1995- Results from a household survey HSE Books Sudbury (updated annually)
Martin A and Harbison S A (1996) An introduction to radiation protection 4th edition
McDonald C (2000), Epidemiology of Wok Related Diseases, 2nd Ed, Wiley Blackwell
Parsons K, (2003), Human Thermal Environments (2nd Ed) Taylor and Francis, London and New York,
Raw G.J. (1995), Sick Building Syndrome, A review of the evidence on causes and solutions, HSE Books.
Wilkinson, C, (2000), Fundamentals of Health at Work, (2000), Taylor and Francis.
Kroemer K and Kroemer A, (2001), Office Ergonomics, Taylor and Francis.
HSE (2003), Work with display screen equipment, 2nd Edition L26, HSE Books
HSE (1995), How to Deal with Sick building Syndrome Guidance for Employers, Building Owners and Building Managers. HSG 132 HSE Books.
Waldron H A and Edling C (1997) Occupational Health Practice 4th Edition Butterworth
Timbrell J.A. (1989) Introduction to Toxicology, Taylor and Francis, London.
Hartley L.R (Ed) (1995). Fatigue and Driving, Taylor and Francis, London.
Colls, Jeremy.(2002), Air Pollution, Taylor and Francis, London.
Mansfield, Neil. (2003), Human Response to Vibration, Taylor and Francis, London.
Pheasant. S. (1991), Ergonomics Work and Health, Macmillan.
Last Updated

28th May 2008