SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMH123515
Module Leader Babakalli Alkali
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Mechanical Engineering
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to provide the student with:- A good grounding in the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and Regulations made under it. Comparison with international safety systems. An understanding of the principles applicable to the safe design and operation of plant and equipment and safe operation in the workplace environment. An understanding of the need for short-term and long-term planning to minimise damage resulting from a major plant or workplace safety failure. An understanding of ethical working and codes of ethical conduct.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas. Workplace hazards and occupational health. The review of statistics for accidents. Specific hazards; including; fire, explosion, chemical, biological, radiation, electrical, and mechanical hazards. Practical illustrations and case studies. Legislation The Law, Common law, Civil law, Criminal law and their relevance to their Health and Safety, Factories and Offices, etc. Acts, Health and Safety at Work Act, and regulations made under it. Comparisons with international systems of safety. Current legislation and use of databases and websites to identify it. Professional liability. The Key Elements of Safe Working Safe systems of work, Permit to work systems, Maintenance safety. Quality Systems and Health and Safety Reference to national and international standards. Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment Major Plant and Workplace Safety Failure The identification of major problems and distinguishing them from minor or apparent problems. Case studies. Contingency Planning The aims of contingency planning. The need for contingency planning. The use of experience from previous major industrial and commercial losses in the past. Ethics and the Workplace The background to ethics. The relationship between ethics and the workplace. Key principles of ethically sound work. Good practice and professional codes of conduct. 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 completion of this module the student should be able to:1.Gain a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the facts, concepts and application of safety and ethics to the workplace including a full understanding of professional liability and of the health implications and legal frameworks affecting workplace hazards.2.Solve complex problems related to the safety of relevant systems.3.Have a comprehensive awareness of the role and importance of safety in plant and plant design and the workplace.4.Obtain, analyse and interpret safety data from complex systems and processes to form a complete understanding of safety implications in a range of applications.5.Critically evaluate complex safety systems and processes particularly through the application of risk assessment and hazard and operability techniques to complex systems and processes.6.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.7.Critically examine the potential for damage and the long term financial liability as a result of a major plant or workplace safety failure and be aware of the need to plan for contingency measures.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

General approach This module will be taught by an integrated package of lectures reinforced by seminars and tutorials. Students will study and solve real world analytical problems encouraging divergent thinking and broader, deeper learning. Students will take part in project and case study work 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 industrial equipment for risk assessment and evaluation 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. Full time students 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, carried out in groups. The module will be supported by the managed learning environment GCU Learn. Part-time students 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, carried out in groups. Group project work would be carried out between students guided by the module tutors using the internet and telephone contacts as well as the facilities of GCU Learn. Distance learning students. A study pack will be provided including; lecture notes, tutorial notes, case studies and worked examples which will also be available on GCULearn. Legislation on Health and Safety will be accessed via the databases that the University subscribes to via Athens. The students will have the opportunity for group interaction within their working environment. Tutors will be available for consultation via GCU Learn ,e-mail and telephone. Guest tutors may be used to provide current specialist knowledge. Programme specific aspects of the module. For each of the programmes undertaking the module a specific area will be chosen to take advantage of the background of the students. In the instrumentation and control this will comprise the application of design skills developed by the students to produce an instrumentation system which is safe and compliant with the legislation and guidance e.g. DSEAR and ATEX. For the forensic and regulatory students it will comprise the knowledge of chemical reactions and this will be used to further investigate the safety implications of fires and explosions. For the maintenance management students it will comprise the understanding of the role of maintenance in safety and will involve the identification of safety critical maintenance issues and their maintenance scheduling. For the indoor climate and health students, it will comprise the understanding of indoor climate and health monitoring techniques to produce a safe protocol and risk assessment for the investigation of a particular indoor environment. For engineering students it will comprise the use of the design skills of the students to produce a design which is safe and compliant with the relevant legislation. Case study examples will be provided for each programme area. The specific area for each programme will be assessed in the coursework element of the assessment.

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. 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
Independent Learning (FDL) 120.00
Assessment (PT) 14.00
Tutorials (FDL) 4.00
Tutorials (FT) 4.00
Seminars (PT) 3.00
Practicals (PT) 12.00
Assessment (FDL) 14.00
Independent Learning (FT) 92.00
Seminars (FT) 8.00
Lectures (PT) 15.00
Practicals (FDL) 12.00
Independent Learning (PT) 102.00
Assessment (FT) 14.00
Lectures (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (PT) 4.00
Practicals (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 45% Exam (Exams Office)
Coursework 2 n/a 25.00 45% Written Report - Application of Discipline Specific Knowledge to Evaluate Critical Safety Issues in a Plant or Laboratory. 1500 words
Coursework 1 n/a 25.00 45% Comprehensive Risk Assessment of a Plant or Laboratory with Respect to Specific Hazards (By Group Work) 1500 words.