Course Title: Occupational Ergonomics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Occupational Ergonomics

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016

Course Coordinator: Leo Ruschena

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99251982

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.9

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course examines the contributions of human factors in work, task design and health and safety. 

Topics include human physiological processes, examination of work postures, human information processing and person-machine-environment interactions.  

The course aims to provide you with a basic understanding of the principles underlying the place of people in work systems and their abilities and limitations, so that tasks and work generally may be designed for effectiveness, efficiency and health and safety.  

Specific issues include anthropometry, biomechanics and the musculoskeletal system; and factors covering shiftwork and fatigue, controls and displays, lighting, noise and thermal comfort. The course will also explore the systematic incorporation of these factors into job and workplace design to minimise adverse health and safety outcomes.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes

  • 1.1You will demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of the OHS Body of Knowledge allowing you to reflect critically on OHS theory and professional practice.
  • 2.1You will have skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise OHS information, problems, concepts and theories.
  • 2.2You will have skills to generate OHS solutions and evaluate their effectiveness.
  • 3.1You will be able to apply knowledge and skills with creativity and initiative to new situations in OHS professional practice.
  • 4.1You will have communication and research skills to interpret OHS issues and justify OHS decisions for specialist and non-specialist audiences.


On completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Manage biomechanical and organisational hazards in the work place by using a systematic approach to their identification, risk evaluation and control
  2. Apply knowledge of legislation, standards and codes relevant to biomechanical and organisational hazards in day-to-day activities
  3. Collect, analyse and use relevant literature and workplace data on hazards in a systematic way with appropriate attention to ethical, legal and confidentiality constraints
  4. Develop, implement, evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of hazard prevention programs for the work place
  5. Consult and communicate in a manner which recognises and makes appropriate use of the industrial framework and social context of the work place
  6. Utilise practical knowledge, measurement and analytical skills to investigate and develop controls or solutions for biomechanical and organisational hazards within an organisation



Overview of Learning Activities

Key concepts and their application will be set out (with case studies) in on-line lectures and suggested readings.

Concepts will be further explored in face to face block mode lectures and practical and online tutorial discussions.

Practical use of instrumentation will apply in some areas.. 

Off campus individual and team projects as case studies or within your organisation on selected topics will build your capacity to think critically and analytically. Teamwork, and the requirement to prepare written reports and presentations will develop your communications skills.

You will then receive feedback on your understanding and academic progress during discussion and when assignments are returned.  

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Total Study Hours

144 (lectures, tutorials, assessments, research, private study)

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be directed to a range of texts, journal articles and other web based material that provide a current understanding of the knowledge in this area. 

Lectures and other materials will be available on myRMIT (Blackboard). 

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

Assessment is at AQF8 level:

  1. Innovative ergonomics design written analysis and presentation (15%)   This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,4
  2.  Practical demonstration and analytical written reports (40%)   This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,3,4,5
  3. Safety in Design: Workplace ergonomic risk project and presentation (45%) This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,3,4,5,6


Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures