Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Physical Agents

Course summary

Course code: OMED1162
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Built Environment
Course Coordinator(s): Shaun Lundy



The course aims to:

a) Develop awareness of the concepts and theory of physical agents in the workplace;

b) Critically evaluate importance of controlling physical agents in the workplace;

c) Develop investigative and analytical skills in respect of physical agents in the workplace;

d) Critically evaluate the scientific and technical controls available to deal with physical agents.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will:

a) be able to critically evaluate the importance of monitoring, assessing and controlling physical agents in the workplace;

b) show awareness of the mechanisms associated with physical agents in the workplace;

c) be able to monitor, review and evaluate hazardous physical agents in the workplace;

d) be able to critically examine and reflect on the application of the control measures available for physical agents in the workplace.

Indicative content

Physical hazards of occupational health, safety and hygiene significance, including lighting, radiation, noise, vibration and the thermal environment.

Noise in the workplace, the hearing mechanism, permanent and temporary threshold shift, tinnitus, deafness, noise induced hearing loss, noise control measures in the workplace, enclosures, barriers, working practices. Assessment, selection and use of ear defenders, information instruction and training.

Hazards associated with workplace vibration, hand-arm and whole-body vibration. Measurement and control of workplace vibration risks.

The thermal environment, its effect on workers and appropriate control measures.

Lighting in the workplace, vision, colour, glare, etc. Lighting as a workplace hazard. Lighting design.

Ionising and non-ionising radiation. Radiation sources and hazards, health effects of radiation. Handling and use of radioactive sources. Radiation monitoring and control measures. Control measures.

The content of this course matches the learning outcomes for BOHS W502 assessment and Control of the Thermal Environment and W503 Assessment and Control of Noise courses.

Teaching and learning activity

The learning time for a 15 credit level 3 course is approximately 150 hours, and as the course is studied in distance learning mode, this will be largely student centred.

Students will receive comprehensive study materials together with supporting text books. There will also be at least one intensive study school, which will adopt a problem solving approach to the subject.

Throughout the texts there will be self assessment questions (SAQs), which will be linked in to the student website, and these will allow the students to monitor their understanding of principles, procedure and practice as they progress through the material. The answers can be monitored by tutors and feedback given. Where practicable, SAQs will be interactive.


1500 word essay covering legislative and/or administrative aspects - 50% weighting, pass mark 40%. 2000 word case based report - 50% weighting, pass mark 40%.