Discipline of Occupational and Environmental Health
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Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health

NOTE: The Discipline only admit students to the programme once every two years. The next intake will be in 2015 and applications for admission will open in June 2014.

The programme is intended to provide graduates with the knowledge, skills and competence in the fields of occupational health. The course will provide health professionals with the skills necessary to render effective, ethical and quality occupational health services in the private, public and academic sectors.

Programme Structure

The Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health has 128 credits and is a two year programme in which time the registered students will have to meet the following requirements:

1. Complete the core modules and identify elective modules which must be fulfilled to achieve the required 128 credits. Students are required to complete the core modules which equate to 112 credits. They will then choose from the elective modules a total of 16 credits toward completion of their qualification.

2. The modules and requirements are listed below and in the University rules book. The modules listed in Table 1 are core modules for all students and they must be successfully completed. Modules 1 to 4 are delivered in the first year. Modules 5 and 6 are delivered in the second year.  The Case Study Module and the Min Project require independent work and must be submitted before the end of September of the second year

.

Module Name

Code

Credits

1. Introduction to occupational and environmental health

OCEH8G1

8

2. Introductory Principles in Occupational Hygiene

OCEH8H1

8

3. Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics

OCEH8F1

16

4. Principles of Toxicology

OCEH8O1

16

5. Health services and health management in occupational and environmental health

OCEH8E1

8

6. Psychosocial and sociological issues in occupational and environmental health

OCEH8Q1

8

7. Case studies

OCEH871

24

8. Mini project

OCEH8I1

24

The modules listed in Table 2 are elective modules. Modules 9 and 10 have to be taken by the doctors and 11, 12, 13 and 14 are the available options for the non medical students. Please refer to the rules book as some modules have pre-requsites.

Module Name

Code

Credits

9. Occupational and environmental respiratory disorders

 

8

10. Occupational and environmental diseases

OCEH8J1

8

11. Recognition of Occupational Hazards

 

OCEH8R1

8

12. Occupational and environmental toxicology

OCEH8L1

8

13. Environmental Impact Assessment and Rehabilitation

OCEH8D1

8

14. Evaluation of Occupational Hazards

OCEH8C1

16

MOUDULE OUTLINES

Introduction to occupational and environmental health
Prerequisite:
None

Aim: To provide a broad understanding of the concepts in occupational and environmental health.

Content: Occupational health - history and structure of OH in South Africa, comparison with other countries, international agencies, codes of practice, principles of occupational health and hygiene, resources in OH, occupational health legislation. Environment health - health education and promotion, air, water, soil pollution, workplace emissions and community health, food hygiene, disposal of hazardous waste, environmental health legislation.

Assessment: One group assignment, two individual written assignments, final 2-hour written examination.

DP Requirement: None Students will be expected to undertake significant reading in preparation for meetings. Class sessions will generally be in the form of didactic lectures and practical exercises.
1
Principles of toxicology

Prerequisite: None

Aim: To provide a broad understanding of the concepts of general toxicology and the relevant legislation, and an advanced knowledge of chemicals and physical agents that produce adverse responses in the biological systems with which they interact.

Content: Principles of toxicology, classification of chemicals, acute and chronic effects, dose effect responses, sensitisation. Biological markers/indicators, organic compounds, solvents and gasses, metals. Pesticides. Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis and teratogenesis. Acute poisoning and emergency treatment. Biological monitoring strategies. Hygiene methods. Exposure limits. Control of Chemical Hazards and Risk Assessment legislation.

Assessment: 50% module mark and 50% final examination mark. All four questions in the examination must be passed.

DP Requirement: None. Students will be expected to undertake significant reading in preparation for each unit. Students will be required to complete at least one group assignment and two written assignments  for the module.

1
Introduction to epidemiology and biostatistics

Prerequisite: None

Aim: To provide an understanding of the basic concepts in epidemiology and biostatistics appropriate to Occupational and Environmental Health.

Content: Descriptive statistics. Principles of statistical inference. Measures of disease occurrence. Descriptive and analytic epidemiology. Analysis and use of computer software.

Assessment: One group assignment, two individual written assignments (50%), final written 3-hour examination (50%).

DP Requirement: None

1
Introductory principles of occupational hygiene

Prerequisite: None 

Aim: To familiarize students with the nature and assessment of workplace exposure. To train them in the conduct of risk assessments and to understand their benefits and expected outcomes.

Content: Hazard definition, classification and sources. International and national standards. Public Health Impact. Legislative, regulatory, policy aspects - international (WHO, NIOSH, EPA.), national (white paper, acts, etc), provincial and local authority. Sources of occupational hazards. Principles of exposure assessment. Routes of exposure. Technical terms and units. Exposure limits. The risk assessment process and its steps. Hazard identification. Dose response evaluation. Exposure assessment. Risk determination.

 Assessment: Two group assignments and four written individual assignments (50%), final written examination (50%). Each question in the final examination must be passed.

DP Requirement: None. Students are expected to undertake significant reading in preparation for class sessions, which will generally be in the form of didactic lectures and practical exercises.

None. Students are expected to undertake significant reading in preparation for class sessions, which will generally be in the form of didactic lectures and practical exercises.

1
Health Services and Health Management in Occupational and Environmental Health

Prerequisite: None

Aim: To provide students with a basic understanding of the principles relating to the organisation of occupational health services, the different levels of prevention and cure provided, and how to evaluate these services for efficacy, cost-efficiency, effectiveness and utilisation.

Content: Rehabilitation and redeployment. Management of an occupational health service. Regulatory mechanisms. Policy for delivery of occupational health services. Financing and planning of health services. Medical ethics. Roles of different occupational health professionals at the workplace. Corporate Health Services. Public Health Services.

Assessment: 50% module mark and 50% final examination mark.

DP Requirement: As per faculty rules.

1

Psychosocial and sociological issues in OEH

Contact the Department for details

Mini project (Occupational Health)

Prerequisite: Core modules of the Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health (Table OCEH-e).

Aim: Expose students to practical research.

Assessment: Examination of project report.

DP Requirement: None

 1

Occupational and Environmental Toxicology

Prerequisite: Principles of Toxicology (OCEH601).

Aim: To provide advanced knowledge of chemicals and physical agents in the occupational and environmental setting that produces adverse responses in the biological systems in which they interact.

Content: Principles of toxicology. Classification of chemicals. Acute and Chronic effects. Dose effect responses, sensitisation. Biological markers/indicators. Organic compounds, solvents and gasses. Metals. Pesticides. Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis and teratogenesis. Acute poisoning and emergency treatment. Biological Monitoring Strategies. Occupational and Environmental Hygiene Methods. Exposure Limits and the Control of Chemical Hazards. Risk Assessment. Occupational and Environmental Legislation.

Assessment: 50% module mark and 50% final examination mark. Must pass all four questions in the written examination.

DP Requirement: None

1

Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Disorders

Prerequisite: None

Aim: To provide students with the skill to recognise, diagnose and manage Occupational and environmental respiratory diseases on an individual basis, and to make recommendations for the protection of the health of groups of workers or sectors of communities at risk.

Content: Lung function tests, basic chest radiograph reading. The response of the lung to injury from workplace and environmental exposures. Principles of the pathology of occupational and environmental lung disease. Dust and fume exposure in the workplace. Environmental and biologic monitoring. Respiratory protection and environmental control. Basic respiratory epidemiology. Health and safety legislation in South Africa. Obstructive lung diseases. Lung cancer and occupational exposures tuberculosis and HIV infection in the workplace.

Assessment: 50% module mark and 50% final examination mark to pass all four questions in their written examination.

DP Requirement: None. Students will be expected to undertake significant reading in preparation for each unit. Students will be required to complete at least 1 group assignment and 2 written assignments for the module.

 1 

Occupational and Environmental Diseases

Prerequisite: None

Aim: To provide students with the skill to recognise, diagnose and manage occupational and environmental diseases on an individual basis, and to make recommendations for the protection of the health of groups of workers or sectors of communities at risk.

Content: Occupational history taking, diagnosis, investigation, management and prevention. Medical Surveillance, biological monitoring and biological effect monitoring. Occupational exposure standards. Pre-placement, periodic and exit medical assessments, fitness-to-work assessments. Aetiological agents (physical, chemical, mechanical, biological and psychosocial). Principles of the pathology of occupational and environmental disease. The response of various organs to injury from workplace and environmental exposures - including acute and chronic responses. Organ Systems. Occupational Diseases: Skin, neurological diseases, genito-urinary diseases, renal and other systems (eyes, blood, orthopaedics), Radiation. Dust and fume exposure in the workplace - immunogenic, fibrogenic and carcinogenic properties, environmental and biologic monitoring, risk reduction, hazard protection and environmental control. Tuberculosis and HIV infection in the workplace.

Assessment: 50% module mark and 50% final examination mark. Must pass all four questions in their written examination.

DP Requirement: None

1

Recognition of Occupational Hazards

Prerequisite: None

Aim: To familiarise students with environmental hazards and methods of control, methods and levels of intervention, rehabilitation and management; integrated environmental managementContent: International and national standards in impact assessment. Public health impact of environmental exposures (individual, community and the environment). Case studies. Legislative, regulatory and policy aspects (international, national, provincial and local authority). History, rationale and principles of IEM. Procedure - proposal development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Impact assessment methodologies - scooping, reporting, review.

Assessment: 50% module mark and 50% final examination mark. All four questions in the written examination must be passed.

DP Requirement: None

1 

Environmental Impact Assessment and Rehabilitation

Prerequisite: NoneAim: To familiarize learners with the hazards of hazardous waste material, methods of control, levels and method of intervention, and with processes of environmental rehabilitation and management.

Content: Hazard definition, classification and sources. International and national standards. Public health impact - legislative, regulatory and policy aspects. Codes of practice. Waste management strategies - storage, collection, transportation, processing and disposal constraints. Reduction potential and disposal options. Landfill site classification, selection and design.

Assessment: 50% module mark and 50% final examination mark. All four questions in the examination must be passed.

DP Requirement: As per faculty rules. Students will be expected to undertake significant reading in preparation for each unit. Students will be required to complete at least one group assignment and two written assignments for the module.
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