Module4 Complete - Module 4 overview and objectives Page 1...

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File: Overview File: Objectives Print Save to File Module 4: Occupational Health and Safety Overview Approximately 500 Australians die each year from work-related disease or injury, and over 300 000 suffer injury. The cost of work-related injuries and disease is enormous: Australia’s total costs are estimated to be over $8 billion per year. (Students outside Australia should compare their local statistics with the figures given here.) These costs are not limited to workers’ compensation costs, but include the costs of lost production, rehabilitation and replacement and repair of equipment. In addition, the personal and emotional costs to the injured person, their family and co-workers are immense, and cannot be measured in monetary values alone. The problem of work-related injuries and diseases is not unique to Australia; the same issues are of concern worldwide. Engineers and technologists are usually responsible for the design, construction, approval or commissioning of workplaces, equipment, processes, products and most other aspects of our constructed environment. Engineers are central to both the creation and the control of all the associated health risks. Therefore engineers need to be aware of their moral and legal responsibilities in relation to risk management. Engineers and technologists must also be aware that management of hazards at the design stage is much more effective and reliable than attempts to modify human behaviour. The ultimate goal of risk management and occupational health and safety programs should always be the elimination of a hazard at its source. This module provides an overview of the legal and moral responsibilities of managers and engineers in the area of occupational health and safety, and outlines a risk-management strategy directed at changing hazardous situations by design. The module uses the Australian environment, and in particular the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 1985 , as the basis for discussion. Students are encouraged to investigate the legislative framework in their own jurisdiction by contacting the relevant government ministry or industry organisation. Case study Many of the principles covered in this module are illustrated through detailed consideration of a case study Fatality on a production line (Phillis 1990). Please read the complete case now to gain an overview of the situations described. We will be returning to parts of the case throughout these notes for more detailed consideration of various points. Reference Phillis, T, 1990, Occupational health and safety for engineers: a resource for engineering education , Worksafe Australia, AGPS, Canberra. Page 1 of 2
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Module4 Complete - Module 4 overview and objectives Page 1...

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