Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety

Unit Plan

Unit Code: HST1152

Unit title: Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety

Semester: 1

Year: 2016

Study Mode: On Campus & Online

Lecturer Information

Unit Coordinator

NameMr Gregory Ho
OfficeBuilding 19, Room 158, Joondalup Campus
Telephone6304 2521
Consultation arrangementsBy appointment


NameMrs Sally-Anne Doherty
OfficeBuilding 19, Room 163, Joondalup Campus
Telephone6304 5961
Consultation arrangementsVia email, during class and Blackboard

Unit Overview

Acknowledgement of Country

As the unit coordinator and lecturer of this unit, I would like to first and foremost pay my respects to the traditional custodians of the land upon which our university campus stands, and their connection with this land. I acknowledge and offer my respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and people for their care of the land through their communities and culture, which we have the great fortune of enjoying.


Welcome to HST1152!  In this unit, you are introduced to a variety of occupational health and safety concepts and are encouraged to develop the skills and knowledge required to make workplaces safer and healthier. We will explore the earliest roots of occupational health and safety from an international perspective and in a variety of global industries.

Learning outcomes

In this unit, you will be learning to:

  1. describe the history of occupational safety and health as a discipline;
  2. differentiate between two accident causation models;
  3. locate, review and utilise safety and health resources for research into managing risks;
  4. describe the legal framework for occupational safety and health in Australia or a country of the student’s choice; and
  5. outline and apply the international ISO 31000 Risk Management Principles and Guidelines using a team-based approach.

Graduate attributes

Graduate attributes help to build your capacity to engage in professional practice and become a lifelong learner when you graduate. In this unit, you will be developing your:

  • Ability to communicate,
  • Ability to work in teams,
  • Critical appraisal skills,
  • Ability to generate ideas, and
  • Cross-cultural and international outlook.

English language proficiency

To assist our students to graduate with competent levels of English language proficiency, ECU has developed an ELP Strategy (English Language Proficiency). This strategy focuses on supporting you with development of your written English skills while studying at ECU, to enhance your professionalism and employability when you graduate.

The ELP Measure is an assessment of your written English skills, to ensure you receive feedback on your written English language proficiency at various stages in your course. You will receive feedback on your ELP when you submit an ECU Assignment Cover Sheet with your assessments. Page 2 of this cover sheet has an ELP marking guide, designed to give you an indication of your skill development.

If you would like assistance with improving your English language skills, please contact a Learning Adviser or visit Blackboard > Communities > FHES Academic Skills Centre.

Teaching and learning

On-campus students

If you are enrolled as an on-campus student you will need to attend a weekly lecture.  You will meet your lecturer at the first class. It is important that you attend class every week and make an effort to contribute to in-class discussions and participate in the activities.

You may find it beneficial to complete the associated reading prior to attending class, to give you some understanding of the topic and improve your confidence with sharing your ideas during class.  Please arrive punctually and switch off your mobile phone before entering the class.

There are also tutorials held every two to three weeks.  These are held in smaller groups and you will be given the opportunity to complete the learning activities in the modules, ask questions of the lecturer and consolidate your learning.

Learning materials and resources will be available on the Blackboard site for this unit, to assist you with your studies.  Further information about your studies in this unit will be provided during your first class.

Online students

The teaching and learning approach in the online version of this unit is aligned with the learning offered to on-campus students. The intention is to ensure that you have a rich and engaging learning experience incorporating online engagement and independent learning.  You should use the suggested readings and other resources to assist you with developing your understanding of the content. You will also need to draw upon your own knowledge, opinions and discussions with other students.

Learning materials for this unit are available on the Blackboard site for this unit, under the Learning Modules link (written hereafter as Blackboard > Learning Modules). The folders contain instructions and resources to assist you with your studies, including: recorded lectures; links to YouTube videos and external websites; suggested readings, articles and other resources; activities and topics for discussion and collaboration with other students.

You can progress through the learning modules at your own pace, but it is important that you use the Study Schedule to assist you with staying on-track with your learning this semester. To assist you with planning your time, please consider the following:

  1. This unit will require a study commitment from you of approximately 10 hours per week;
  2. Use the Study Schedule to guide your progress through the learning activities and assessment tasks this semester;
  3. Check your ECU student email regularly;
  4. Stay in touch with your classmates regularly, via Blackboard > Discussion Board;
  5. Plan ‘rigid’ study times in your weekly schedule and consider allocating separate times for reading,

learning activities, assignment research and discussion.


Contacting your lecturer

Your lecturer’s contact details are available on the front page of this document and on Blackboard > Staff Contacts. Please refer to ‘email protocols and expectations’, to guide your communication with your lecturer. Questions of a personal nature, such as notification of illness, sharing personal learning requirements or issues, should be emailed to your lecturer, from your ECU student email account.  All other questions should be posted on Blackboard > Discussion Board.

Online discussion

You are encouraged to participate in online discussions regularly, via Blackboard > Discussion Board. Networking with your fellow students, asking questions to clarifying understanding, responding to questions asked by others, debating different perspectives and sharing articles or other information you discover throughout your studies, is an integral part of the learning process.

   Adobe Connect

Many online units offer ‘Live’ tutorial sessions, where you can ask questions in real-time. These sessions are generally run using Adobe Connect software and will be indicated in the Study Schedule.  To participate in these tutorials, you will need a headset with microphone, preferably with a USB connection, plus a reliable Internet connection. We recommend testing your headphones and microphone before an Adobe Connect session starts, as you may need to adjust some settings on your computer.


This unit contains an award-winning* podcast to complement your learning.  There are interviews with industry leaders and field experts to add real-world context to the unit topics. All audio files can be downloaded via the Blackboard site or by using the ECU Mobile App.

*ECUlture Teaching & Learning Conference 2015, 1st Place.

Email protocol

At ECU, we only communicate with you via your ECU student email account. Please make sure you check this email account regularly (at least once a week) or consider forwarding your student emails to an account you access regularly. If you wish to email your Lecturer, you must use your ECU student email account, as anti- spam filters may prevent emails from other accounts being delivered to your lecturer.

Please ensure your message contains the following:

  1. A subjectthat contains the unit code, and identifies the nature of your query or request.
  2. Any previous messages, if your email is part of an ongoing email exchange.
  3. Address your lecturer professionally, by name and title.
  4. Use concise and polite language.
  5. Insert a signature at the end of your email that contains:
    1. your name in full as it appears in SIMO;
    1. your student number;
    1. the campus you attend, or indicate if you are an off-campus student.

While lecturers cannot be available online all day, in normal circumstance your lecturer will reply within two working days.

Communication expectations

Please ensure your communications follow these guidelines:

  • Be polite and respectful to others;
  • Use correct spelling and grammar;
  • Do not write using capital letters (this can be interpreted as SHOUTING);
  • Avoid exotic fonts or colours;
  • Be concise;
  • Support independent ideas and different perspectives;
  • Avoid responding when you are feeling angry;
  • Be careful not to disclose personal contact details in class discussion forums; and
  • Create some discussion and respond to others.




Other readings


Archer, R., Borthwick K., Travers, M., and Ruschena, L. (2012). WHS: A management guide (3rd Ed.), South Melbourne, Cengage Learning.

Dunn, C.E. (2012). Planning work health and safety: an introduction to best practice. North Ryde, CCH Australia.

Flaus, J.M. (2013). Risk analysis. John Wiley & Sons.

Goetsch, D.l. (2005). Occupational safety and health for technologists, engineers and managers. New Jersey, Prentice Hall.

Rausand, M. 2011. Risk assessment: Theory, methods and applications. New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons.

Safe Work Australia. (2011). Code of practice: how to manage work health and safety risks. Canberra: Safe Work Australia.

Safe Work Australia. (2012). Compendium of workers’ compensation statistics, Australia 2009-10. Canberra: Safe Work Australia.

Safe Work Australia. (2012). The Cost of Work-related Injury and Illness for Australian Employers, Workers and the Community, 2008-2009. Canberra: Safe Work Australia.

Safety Institute of Australia. (2012). The OHS body of knowledge. Retrieved from


Journal of Health and Safety Research and Practice

Journal of Health, Safety and Environment Journal of Safety Research

Professional Safety

Safety and Health at Work


Additional resources will be available within each learning module on Blackboard > Learning Modules. In addition, the ECU library holds a large range of books and journals on this subject.  You may wish to view the  ECU L ibrary’s Health Sciences Subject Guide for additional library materials available to assist you with your studies.

Assessment Information

AssessmentDue date and timePercentageMandatory to pass
Presentation (PowerPoint)Week 6, 30th March 2016, 11.59pm (AWST)20%No
Essay (Word Document)Week 9, 27th April 2016, 11.59pm (AWST)30%No
Final ExaminationSee SIMO for details50%No

Assessment 1 – PowerPoint Presentation

Weighting20% of Total Grade
FormatLength: 10 min presentation +/- 10% PowerPoint presentation with speech notes with optional embedded audio.  See below for details.
Due Date and timeWeek 6, 30th Mar, 11.59pm (AWST)
TopicLegal obligations in respect to workplace hazards
InstructionsYour task is to create a PowerPoint presentation that you could deliver to a hypothetical workplace to increase the staff’s awareness of occupational health and safety. Your presentation should include the following: Describe the OHS legal framework.Give a brief overview of the OHS Act and Regulations that are applicable to where you live.Harmonisation of Australia’s WHS laws and the history of this.Define key terms, such as reasonably practicable, duties of employer and employees, due diligence, etc.Health and safety representatives.The names of any Government and other agencies in which staff could
 approach in order to gain further advice and assistance. (Note: you do not actually have to deliver your presentation.)
Marking CriteriaPresentation Style (5 marks) Your presentation should be of professional industry standard (ie suitable for use in a workplace setting).Concepts and terms should be explained in such a way that it is easily understood by the staff who may have little or no prior experience with health and safety.Efforts should be made to make your presentation engaging to your target audience.  This should include the use of photographs, images and/or embedded audio.You must include full narration notes (i.e. what you would say to your audience word-for-word) in the ‘speech notes’ section of each slide. Presentation Content (10 marks) Your presentation should include all aspects as described in the bullet points above. Referencing (5 marks) Your presentation must include in-text (on-slide) citations as well as an end- text Reference List, and in APA style. Total: 20 Marks Your completed assessment is to be submitted via the online Blackboard system in the place provided within the Assessment One folder. Note: If your file size is large (ie greater than 10MB), you may have difficulties uploading it onto Blackboard.  As an alternative, you may upload your presentation into a Dropbox, or to YouTube, and just submit the link. Use the marking rubric available on Blackboard to assist you. Please use the following naming convention for your electronic file: SURNAME_firstname_HST1152_Assessment1.doc
FeedbackFeedback will be available via Blackboard > My Grades.

Assessment 3 – Final Examination

Weighting50% of Total Grade
FormatClosed book, supervised examination
Due Date and time(As per ECU Assessments Department via SIMO)
Learning OutcomesThe examination covers all modules and learning outcomes
Instructions2 hours with a 5-minute reading period.
FeedbackNo feedback given.  Results will be available via SIMOin due course

Requesting an Extension on an Assignment

It is recognised that there may be instances that are unexpected and beyond students’ control that may adversely impact on their capacity to submit an assessment item by the due date. For this reason ECU has a process that enables students to apply for an extension to the due date for an assessment item (other than an end of semester exam) up to a maximum of one week past the original due date.

The application must be in writing on the Application for Extension form, available at

data/assets/pdf_file/0009/20025/assign_ext.pdf  (opens in a new window)

and must set out the grounds on which deferral is sought. This request must be submitted to the lecturer/tutor before the due date.  Late applications will not be considered and the lecturer/tutor’s decision on an application will be final. If you require an extension that is longer than one week past the original due date, then you must apply in writing to the Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Dr Shelley Beatty at

Valid and Invalid grounds

Applications for an extension to a due date will normally be made on the following grounds and students must include supporting documentation/evidence:

  • Ill health or injury;
    • Compassionate grounds;
    • Representation in sporting activities at a national or international level;
    • Representation in significant cultural activities;
    • Employment related intrastate, interstate and overseas travel;
    • Special consideration granted to student as detailed on an ECU Learning and Assessment Plan (LAP);
    • Australian Defensive Service commitments; and/or
    • Other special grounds considered appropriate by the Lecturer.

The following factors will NOT normally be considered grounds for an extension of an assessment:

  • Routine demands of employment;
    • Stress or anxiety normally associated with course work;
    • Routine financial support needs;
    • Lack of knowledge of the requirements of academic work;
    • Difficulties with English language;
    • Scheduled anticipated changes of address, moving home etc;
    • Demands of sport (unless the student is registered in ECU’s elite athlete program), clubs, social or extra-curricular activity other than those specified above;
    • Recreational travel (domestic or international);
    • Planned events such as weddings, birthday parties etc; or
    • Misreading the due date, sleeping in, forgetting etc.

Students who submit an assessment after the due date but within five working days will be penalised 5% of the maximum marks available for that assessment per business day it is late. Assessments items, that are more than 5 working days late, will automatically be awarded a mark of zero.

Distribution of Grades

As per the Course and Unit Delivery and Assessment Policy, the expected distribution of grades is:

  • Undergraduate courses:

o    “Approximately 35% of distinction passes (High Distinction and Distinction) of which not

more than half should be at the upper level.” (s. 4.8.9)

Academic Conduct

ECU Student Charter

As an ECU student you have rights as well as responsibilities.  Please familiarise yourself with the ECU Student Charter available on-line:  charter to ensure you are aware of your responsibilities as a student at ECU.

Academic misconduct (including plagiarism)

Edith Cowan University regards academic misconduct of any form as unacceptable. Academic misconduct, which includes but is not limited to, plagiarism; unauthorised collaboration; cheating in examinations; theft of other student’s work; collusion; inadequate and incorrect referencing; will be dealt with in accordance with the ECU Rule 40 Academic Misconduct (including Plagiarism) Policy. More information on academic misconduct is available at  7.pdf  (421 KB)



ECU has strict rules on plagiarism, which means all sources must be accompanied by a reference. Even if you write using your own words, you must acknowledge the source of your information using correctly presented, in-text citation and an end-text reference list.

For details about referencing and the required format, please refer to the ECU Referencing Guide: (opens in new window). ECU uses the American Psychological Association (APA) (6th edition) referencing style.

Unit and Teaching Evaluation (UTEI)

At the end of the semester, all students will be requested to complete the ECU UTEI online survey. This survey will ask questions concerning your level of satisfaction with the unit, your lecturer/tutor. Your feedback is needed to help us to improve the quality of our courses. We endeavour to use the feedback we receive from the UTEI survey to improve the quality of the unit when it is next run. In fact, the unit as it is

running this semester has been modified in several ways based on the feedback we have received previously from the UTEI. Participation and your feedback are anonymous and confidential.

Getting started

Study schedule

After reading this document, you will be ready to begin your studies in this unit. Please go to Blackboard > Learning Modules > Week 1 to begin. Best wishes for an enjoyable semester of learning…

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