What’s environmental, occupational safety and health all about?
Environmental health is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environments that affect the health of individuals and the population in general. Occupational health specifically deals with workplace health and safety. It has a strong focus on the primary prevention of hazards that can cause injuries and disease at the workplace.
Environmental, occupational safety and health (EOSH) is a rewarding field especially if you’re passionate about ensuring people's welfare and wellbeing at work. A constantly developing field, professionals in this field help prevent work-related illness and stress, discover how motivation can impact on health, and help to improve the quality of people's lives.
The increasing need for EOSH professionals comes from environmental and occupational health threats, including those associated with global warming and climate change such as the effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution on cardiovascular and respiratory diseases; deadly outbreaks caused by food contaminated with E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria; diseases spread through unsafe drinking water; cancer-causing chemicals, toxins, and other agents; and outbreaks of communicable diseases. EOSH professionals also work to minimise workplace risk factors leading to injuries and accidents, musculoskeletal diseases, cancers, cardiorespiratory diseases, hearing loss, and stress-related conditions. In addition, they create and promote natural environments and green spaces that are beneficial to human health and well-being.
What will you study?
A typical course in EOSH will ensure that you develop the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively create, maintain and manage environment, safety and health programmes. You will also acquire an in-depth understanding in environment, safety and health practices including knowledge of the relevant legislation with respect to environment, safety and health.
You will learn how to identify and manage risks and hazards, effectively participate in decision‑making processes and improve safety and health to prevent injuries and illness in the workplace. In addition, you will learn the necessary scientific and technical skills associated with analysis and the evaluation and interpretation of data.
Is this course right for you?
- Are you passionate about ensuring people's welfare and wellbeing at work?
- Do you like finding ways to help improve the quality of people's lives?
- Do you have excellent written and spoken communication skills that will help you to explain health and safety processes to a range of people and to give presentations to groups?
- Do you have good negotiating skills to convince managers of the need to implement and maintain safety standards?
- Are you patient, diplomatic and good at using a collaborative approach?
- Do you have an investigative mind and good attention to detail?
- Are you interested in the law and the importance of implementing and maintaining regulations?
- Do you have IT skills and the ability to understand and analyse complex information and present it simply and accurately?
- Do you enjoy a flexible approach to work and working on site and outdoors?
A wide range of career opportunities exists for graduates in this expanding field. These careers include: Occupational Safety and Health Officer; Safety, Health and Environmental Adviser; Safety Health Engineer and Practitioner; Ergonomist; Fire Protection and Suppression System Engineer; Industrial Hygienist; Process Safety Engineer; Risk Assessor; Environmental, Safety and Health Legal Compliance Advisor; Emergency Response Commander and so on.
You can gain employment in both government and private sectors, particularly in oil and gas, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, public utility companies, consulting firms, and environmental or public advisory organisations.
Courses on environmental, occupational safety and health
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) is unveiling a new multidisciplinary programme integrating both environmental health and occupational safety and health through its Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology (FEGT).
A four-year programme, UTAR’s Bachelor of Science (Hons) Environmental, Occupational Safety and Health degree is designed to respond to the impact of local occupation and safety and health issues as well as environmental legislation on the working environment of institutions and industries. The programme aims to produce graduates who are competent and able to recognise, develop and apply good EOSH practices and technologies based on sound scientific principles and legislative requirements.
Students will undergo an intensive industrial training at either clinical setups, government agencies or private sectors. The compulsory industrial training is a platform for students to apply their knowledge and skills into a different work environment and to prepare them for the future challenges at work.
Soft skills-based courses are also integrated into the curriculum – these include communication, complex problem solving, cultural intelligence, leadership, moral ethics, entrepreneurship skills, and digital literacy.
Other providers of OHS courses at Diploma and Bachelors degree levels
List of courses (source: StudyMalaysia.com)
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