SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2H124520
Module Leader Ross McKillop
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module addresses, in particular, the physical and chemical hazards (and their control) from Fire, Machinery, Construction, Hazardous Processes and Electricity. It covers safety in design and intrinsic safety and the application of Hazard Studies. The specific legal requirements associated with these topics are included.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas. The Dangers of the Workplace A review of statistics for accidents and their relevance to workplace safety. General Safety( including relevant case studies). Safety in the workplace including; construction, maintenance work, confined spaces. Safety and Safety Systems. System design for safety. System reliability. Specific Hazards Fire and explosions. Flammable materials, dusts, vapours, gases, liquids. Potential ignition sources. Plant and machinery safety. Selection and use of work equipment. Safe use of electricity and electrical equipment. Manual handling, Chemical process safety. Storage and transport of flammable, toxic and corrosive substances. Integrity of materials and components. Relevant legislation including COSHH and BIO hazards. Environmental pollution and waste managementThe significance and relevance of these to process and workplace operations. The Key Elements of Safe Working Safe systems of work, Permit at work systems, Machinery maintenance, Safe place of work, Control of Contractors, Training, Instruction and Supervision, Personal protective equipment. Hazard Analysis Defect and failure mode analysis. Accident prevention. Definition of accident. Hazard and risk. Accident causation theory. Practical risk assessment. Use of HAZOP techniques. Major Plant Failure The identification major problems and their distinguishing features. The ranking of problems in order of importance. The formulation of alternative solutions or approaches to the identified problems. The comparison of alternative solutions in accordance with their value and feasibility. (Case Studies). Contingency Planning The aims of and need for contingency planning. The evaluation and analysis of previous major industrial and commercial losses to formulate future policy and planning. Contingency planning techniques. The formulation of suitable responses to minimise the consequences. Ethics and the Workplace The background to ethics. The relationship between ethics and the workplace. The key principles of ethically sound work. Codes of professional practice. The syllabus consists of a list of topics normally covered within the module. Each topic may not be dealt with in the same detail.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to : perform a complete risk assessment of any workplace through the comprehensive identification of the hazards, evaluation of risks, identification of suitable control measures and actions including monitoring and auditing.Be able to critically evaluate the validity of risk assessments of workplace hazards.Have gained a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of professional liability and of the health implications and legislation affecting workplace hazards.Be able to solve complex problems in workplace safety through careful analysis of interactions between the factors involved in the workplace hazards.Be able to critically evaluate complex safety systems and processes particularly through the application of risk assessment and hazard and operability techniques to complex systems and processes.Have gained a comprehensive awareness of the role and importance of safety in plant and to plant design.Be able to develop, promote and apply safe and ethical systems of work through a fundamental understanding of the ethical and safety requirements which should be fulfilled in the workplace.Be able to critically examine the potential for damage and the long term financial liability as a result of a major plant failure and be aware of the need to plan for contingency measures in the event of a major plant failure.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

A combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials will be complemented by a substantial element of student-centred experiential learning techniques including projects and case studies. Projects and case studies will be approached using problem based learning. The delivery of the module will be fully supported by GCU Learn. This module will be taught by an integrated package of lectures reinforced by practical work and tutorials. Students will study and solve real safety issues in the workplace encouraging divergent thinking and broader, deeper learning. Students will take part in a practical laboratory involving a general chemistry laboratory and a pilot scale pneumatic conveying rig which will enhance data acquisition and manipulation skills, individual and group working skills, technical report writing skills and communication skills in general. Use of state of the art equipment will enhance their employability. Through the use of the managed learning environment GCU Learn, students will become more engaged, flexible and independent in their learning as there will be a wide range of learning resources available on line. In addition to the core module content, links to relevant external application notes and videos from sources around the world will be made available. Students will receive individualised feedback on their performance through one-to-one contact with tutors at tutorials and through the timely return of marked coursework, which will reinforce the students' learning.

Indicative Reading

Relevant topics from the following books: Principles of Health and Safety at Work (Eighth Edition), Allan St John Holt, 2009 IOSH The Health and Safety Toolbox HSG268 2014 HSE Out of Control. Why control systems go wrong and how to prevent failure (second edition). HSE 2003 Managing for Health and Safety HSG65 2013 Reliability, Maintainability and Risk, Practical methods for Engineers( eighth edition) Butterworth-Heinemann 2007 Safety databases via Athens.

Transferrable Skills

Critical thinking and problem solving in particular through consideration of the evolution of risk and the effect on the evolution of risk and the effect on the workplace environment. Development of higher level cognitive skills including analysing and synthesising skills. Communication skills written, oral and listening through to safety and ethics presentations. Self marketing / presentational skills in relation to the presentation of safety cases. Independent working through interpretation and presentation of safety data. Group working as a result of the risk assessment and HAZOP case studies. Management skills through the critical consideration of safety management systems and their use in case studies.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (PT) 12.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00
Assessment (PT) 23.00
Independent Learning (PT) 141.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% 4 questions from 6
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% Case Study 2000 words