Course Title: Assessment and Control of Physical and Biological Hazards

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Assessment and Control of Physical and Biological Hazards

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012

Course Coordinator: Susanne Tepe

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99252899

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.8.59

Course Coordinator Availability: any time if available

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You are expected to have successfully completed courses with knowledge equivalent to that assessed in

  • PUBH1361Principles and Practice of Work Health and Safety,
  • PUBH1384Critical Thinking and Decision Making and
  • ENVI1020 Work Health and Safety Legal Systems



Course Description

This course aims to provide you with an advanced understanding of occupational health and safety (OHS) hazards in the workplace, including physical hazards such as light, vibration, radiation, and environmental and biological hazards. The course reviews the risk assessment processes associated with these hazards and discusses appropriate control measures.

 On completion of this course, you should have

practical capability to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the physical and biological agents in the workplace environment. You should also have knowledge of the basic principles of occupational hygiene sampling and analysis for physical and biological agents.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course is an option course so it is not required to contribute to Program learning outcomes (PLOs) though it may assist you in developing the following Program Learning Outcomes:

 You will demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of the OHS Body of Knowledge allowing you to reflect critically on OHS theory and professional practice.

2.1 You will have skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise OHS information, problems, concepts and theories.

2.2 You will have skills to generate OHS solutions and evaluate their effectiveness

3.1 You will be able to apply knowledge and skills with creativity and initiative to new situations in OHS professional practice.

4.1 You will have communication and research skills to interpret OHS issues and justify OHS decisions for specialist and non-specialist audiences.


On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Develop, implement, evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of prevention programs for the workplace;
  2. Identify potential and current health and safety hazards in the workplace and recommend a systematic approach to their assessment and control;
  3. Locate, evaluate, interpret and provide occupational health and safety information appropriate to the workplace;
  4. Collect, analyse and use workplace data in a systematic way with appropriate attention to ethical, legal and confidentiality requirements; and
  5. Assess the workplace management systems and apply sound management practices to all aspects of the occupational health and safety function.


Overview of Learning Activities

This course is provided in mixed mode with lectures provided at the beginning of the semester, plus practical classes and/or factory visits, followed by on-line real time tutorials to further explore the issues raised in the block lectures.

  • Lectures
  • Presentations and group discussions
  • Laboratory-based practical exercises
  • Factory visits
  • Independent study

Total Study Hours

A total of 120 hours of study is expected during this course, comprising:

Teacher-guided activities: lectures at the beginning of the semester, practical classes and/or factory visits, and on-line real time tutorials

Student-directed activities: You are expected to study independently managing your own learning progress.



Overview of Learning Resources

There are no set texts for this course. Appropriate references include:

Tranter M (2005) Occupational Hygiene and Risk Management, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.

Significant use will be made of guidance material provided by the OHS regulator at and Australian Standards available at the RMIT library.

Overview of Assessment

Note that: This course has no hurdle requirements. 

Assessment tasks  

  1. Written Assignment (30%)      This assessment supports  CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
  2. Practical exercises (25%)      This assessment supports  CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 
  3. Field Visit Report 15%      This assessment supports  CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
  4. Written Examination (30%)      This assessment supports  CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5