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IRE1655: Occupational Health and Safety

This subject guide is meant to assist students, particularly those enrolled in IRE1655, with research papers and assignments.

Welcome to Occupational Health and Safety

   save your eyes use your goggles   To-day is another day Make it safe!   

Photo Source: (left) Federal Art Project. (1936-1941). "Just a scratch" But! Infection is avoided by immediate first aid on-the-job! [Print]. Library of Congress. (middle) Federal Art Project. (c. 1936-37). Save your eyes - use your goggles [Print]. Library of Congress. (right) Federal Art Project. (c. 1936-37). To-day is another day Make it safe! [Print]. Library of Congress.


This course will focus on the organisational, legal, social and political dimensions of occupational health and safety. First, we will review the basics. We will begin with a discussion of the key constructs and components of the work disability policy system, and the principal actors in it. What is the purpose of the system, how does it work, what are the roles of the actors, what are the key issues?

There are two fundamental components of the systems. The first is occupational health and safety regulation, which focuses on eliminating health risk exposures in the workplace. We will review how regulation and its enforcement work, and the breadth of their reach. The second part of the system is workers’ compensation, which generally enters into the picture once a worker experiences a workplace injury or illness. We will discuss the primary and secondary roles of workers’ compensation. The remainder of the course involves looking beyond the basic components and mandate of the occupational health and safety system to understand system design, the recognition of health and safety risks, and the management of risk in the workplace.