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ILR School

Introduction to Occupational Safety and Health (LS267)

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About the course

This course is intended to introduce participants to workplace hazards, their regulations/recommendations, and hazard control measures. The course will provide basic practical information about a range of occupational hazards (chemical, physical, biological, ergonomic, stress, violence), the hierarchy of controls, and some tools for performing workplace hazard assessments. This is an introductory course which requires no prior familiarity with the subject matter.

  • History of occupational safety and health
  • Occupational safety and health as a (political) regulatory process; OSHAct
  • Overview of types of workplace hazards (chemical, physical, biological, ergonomic, stress, violence) and their regulations/recommendations
  • Hazard control methods – Hierarchy of controls
  • Hazard evaluation techniques: job hazard analysis (including disability accommodations), process failure analysis, risk mapping, vulnerability analysis, accident investigation, root cause analysis
  • Health and safety committees; nonstandard work arrangements, temporary workers

Readings and appropriate websites will be provided. Students will participate in exercises, review case histories, and interpret monitoring data and observations. Students will be prepare a report on an occupational hazard or issue of their choice.

One written project is due at the end of the course dealing with a safety and health issue in their workplace with an action plan to address it. An alternative project is to choose a safety and health topic and write a research paper on that topic.

These workshops ease trainees into using structured, yet creative, tools which turn their knowledge and experience into a valuable and decided advantage for doing workplace assessments.

As people become more experienced, workplace safety walkarounds and evaluations can become worse -- people have seen the same workplace so often that they don't really "see" it anymore. They can overlook hazards and risks because of their familiarity. An important benefit of this course is to improve your ability to recognize hazards and to use hazard evaluation tools.

Trust the experts

Nellie Brown

Overview Nellie Brown, CIH, is a biologist, and chemist and certified industrial hygienist, specializing in occupational safety and health in her role as Director of Workplace Health and Safety Programs for ILR Extension. Since joining the Cornell faculty in 1986, she has provided on-site traini...


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