PUB HLTH 7031 - Occupational Hygiene and Ergonomics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

This course is an introduction to practical occupational hygiene and ergonomics. There is broad coverage of chemical and physical hazards and of technologies for evaluation and control. Topics include noise, vibration, thermal stress, shift work, biohazards and toxic chemicals. There will be discussion of exposure standards and the interpretation of hygiene data. There will also be an overview of ergonomics, including consideration of workstation and process design; displays and information systems; biomechanics; anthropometry; and psychological aspects.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 7031
    Course Occupational Hygiene and Ergonomics
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Internal & external mode
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Course Description This course is an introduction to practical occupational hygiene and ergonomics. There is broad coverage of chemical and physical hazards and of technologies for evaluation and control. Topics include noise, vibration, thermal stress, shift work, biohazards and toxic chemicals. There will be discussion of exposure standards and the interpretation of hygiene data. There will also be an overview of ergonomics, including consideration of workstation and process design; displays and information systems; biomechanics; anthropometry; and psychological aspects.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Dino Pisaniello

    Course Coordinator: Prof Dino Pisaniello
    Phone: +61 8313 3571
    Location: L8 Hughes Building North Terrace

    Course Coordinator: Mr Paul Rothmore
    Phone: +61 8313 3568
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace

    Student & Program Support Services Hub
    Phone: +61 8313 0273

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Explain the basic conceptual frameworks for occupational hygiene and ergonomics

    2. Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific basis of occupational health hazard exposure criteria

    3. Discuss the scientific basis of common techniques used for the evaluation and/or control of various occupational health exposures

    4. Prepare a critical review of existing or proposed occupational hygiene and ergonomics interventions

    5. Apply and explain the application of the hierarchy of hazard controls for occupational hygiene and ergonomics issues
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Introduction to Ergonomics (3rd Edition) by R. S. Bridger. CRC Press, 2009.
    Note: There is 1 copy of this book on short-term reserve in the University Library.
    In addition a set of readings will be provided on MyUni with material relevant for each topic. Please ensure you have appropriate access prior to commencement of the course.
    A set of readings will be provided on MyUni with material relevant for each topic.
    Recommended Resources
    A list of recommended resources will be provided on the MyUni course site.
    Online Learning
    This is an online course. MyUni will provide the online learning system for students via Once students  have successfully enrolled in this course they can access the MyUni site where they can access lectures, assignments, join discussion  forums and link up with the course co-ordinator and fellow students.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    As an online course much of the contact you have with fellow students and staff will be via MyUni.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that, for this course, you are expected to commit approximately 12 hours per week to private study. Lectures for locally-based students may be offered during the Semester. Students are encouraged to attend where possible. Attendance should be considered as part of the suggested 12 hour study commitment per week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic Lecture
    Introduction to Ergonomics Ergonomics as a Discipline
    Ergonomics Models
    Anthropometry and Design Principles Anthropometry and Statistical Methods
    Using Anthropometry Data
    User Centred Design
    Work related Musculoskeletal Disorders I Hazardous Manual Tasks
    Anatomy & Biomechanics of the Low Back
    Age related changes
    The REBA Tool
    Work related Musculoskeletal Disorders II The Upper Limb
    Risk Factors
    Work related Disorders
    The RULA Tool
    Cognitive Ergonomics and Job Design Hazardous Manual Tasks Code of Practice
    Psychosocial Risk Factors
    The Older Worker Safety Culture
    The Older Worker
    Introduction Introduction to Occupational Hygiene
    Heat Stress
    Physical Hazards I Radiation (Ionizing)
    Physical Hazards II Noise and Evaluation Control
    Physical Hazards III Vibration (hand-arm and whole body)
    Chemical Hazard Evaluation Introduction to Chemical Hazards
    Chemical Exposure Evaluation
    Biological Monitoring for Exposure to Chemicals
    Chemical Hazard Control Industrial Ventilation
    Personal Respiratory Protection
    Chemical Protective Clothing
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Ergonomics Exercises
    · The Ergonomics Model
    · Ergonomics Tools



    Major Ergonomics Assignment Summative 35% 3
    Heat Stress
    ·  Exercise



    Noise and Radiation
    ·  Exercise



    Chemical Exposure Assessment & Control
    ·  Exercise
    ·  Occupational Hygiene Tutorial



    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail

    The ergonomic exercises are worth 15% of the total mark for the course (7.5% each).
    Exercise 1
    Using an activity in your own workplace (or one you are familiar with) as an example, describe how you might conduct an assessment using either of the two Ergonomics Models provided as a framework.
    Exercise 2
    Complete either a REBA or RULA analysis on the relevant tasks pictured at the end of the Module 2 Study Guide. Submit the results sheet and provide some dot point comments (no more than half-a-page) on its potential usefulness for developing control options. 

    The Major Ergonomics Assignment is valued at 35% of the total marks for the course. The written assignment should include an analysis of an issue relating to an occupational task /setting of your choice. The paper should clearly indicate the application of ergonomics theory, analysis and practice to the issue. The paper must provide a concise description of the issue and its effect on the people involved (based on your own direct observations), including a review of contemporary literature. The methodology you adopt for analysis of the issue should be included, as well as a discussion on the key points. It is essential that you include recommendations for improvement of the situation in your assignment.

    Your assignment  should not exceed 2000 words (tables, appendices and photographs are encouraged and are considered  additional).

    The use of a standard reference system is essential. For this assignment the Harvard system is recommended. The Harvard system cites the first author and year of publication in the text, and assembles the references in alphabetical order at the end of the article.
    All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission. Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds. Supporting documentation must be provided at the time a student requests an extension. Without documentation, extensions will not be granted. Late requests for extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged.

    Only the Course Co-ordinator(s) may grant extensions.
    Supporting documentation will be required when requesting an extension. Examples of documents that are acceptable include: a medical certificate that specifies dates of incapacity, a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc.), a letter from a Student Counsellor, Education and Welfare Officer (EWO) or Disability Liaison Officer that provides an assessment of compassionate circumstances, or a letter from an independent externalcounsellor or appropriate professional able to verify the student’s situation. The length of any extension granted will take into account the period and severity of any incapacity or impact on the student. Extensions of more than 10 days will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.
    Late submission
    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late.

    All assignments, including those submitted late, will be assessed on their merits. In the case of late assignments where no extension has been granted, 5 percentage points of the total marks possible per day will be deducted. If an assignment that is 2 days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10% (5% per day for 2 days) to 55%. If that same assignment is 4 days late, the mark will be reduced by 20% (5% per day for 4 days) to 45%, and so on.

    The School of Public Health reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.

    Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.

    Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines.

    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution Process <>. Students who are not satisfied with a particular assessment result should raise their concerns with Course Co-ordinator(s) in the first instance. This must be done within 10 business days of the date of notification of the result. Resubmission of any assignment is subject to the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator(s) and will only be permitted for the most compelling of reasons.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.