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College of Extended Learning

Course descriptions

The Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety (COHS) is a single-level certificate that includes 11 courses categorized into three clusters, all of which are mandatory to obtain the certificate:

Fundamentals cluster

Includes three introductory courses:

COHS 3110 Health and Safety Program Basics
This course provides an introduction to health and safety program development. It includes a presentation and overview of the main elements required and the factors influencing the success of health and safety.
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COHS 3120 Fundamentals of Occupational Hygiene
Occupational Hygiene is the art and science of the recognition, evaluation and control of workplace hazards that may result in illness, disease or injury. This introductory course is designed to overview the fundamental concepts of Occupational Hygiene, including types of hazardous exposures, chemical routes of entry to the body, likely health effects of hazardous exposures and mechanisms of controlling workplace exposures.
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COHS 3130 Legislative Compliance and Corporate Responsibility
The work of health and safety practitioners is guided partly by jurisdictional legislative frameworks. This course will guide you through the key elements of Canadian Federal, Provincial and Territorial legislation, regulations and policy related to workplace safety. Learners will compare and contrast OHS laws in several jurisdictions in Canada, and in other parts of the world.
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Management and leadership cluster

Includes three intermediate-level courses directed toward the effective management of health and safety systems:

COHS 3210 Management of Health and Safety Systems
Sound health and safety systems management requires understanding of management principles used in health and safety programs and how those principles related to the program's effectiveness and efficiently. This course builds on the concepts presented in the health and safety basics course (COHS 3110). Students will gain a deeper understanding of the legal, moral, and financial benefits derived from maintaining a workplace program that delivers health and safety excellence, and will explore several models of systematic health and safety program management.
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COHS 3220 Management, Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Health and safety professionals often work within complex workplace structures providing a specialized technical support to their employers. Successful health and safety leaders understand corporate organization and function, and are able to incorporate that understanding into the recommendations they provide to corporate leadership for approval. This course provides an introduction to corporate leadership and organization and helps learners to understand the structure and organization of their own workplaces so that they can make more focused and valued contribution to health and safety program design and management.
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COHS 3230 Risk Management and Risk Communication
Risk management and risk communication are fundamental skills critical to the success of every health and safety practitioner. Understanding the elements of risk management, and being able to communicate effectively and systematically about risk are expertise areas of increasing importance in contemporary health and safety program management. This course will provide learners with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop and implement an effective risk management system.
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Specializations cluster

Includes five courses dedicated to the comprehensive study of the major discipline-specific specialties within the OHS field:

COHS 3310 Accident Causation Theory and Incident Investigation
Accident causation theory provides a systematic approach to the analysis of workplace accidents, to identify all potential root causes and to establish the links between workplace accidents and norms in workplace practice. It is an essential discipline that allows health and safety professionals to determine why workplace incidents occur, so that attention and energy can be applied to correcting deficiencies and preventing re-occurrences. This course considers the approaches and frameworks used to investigate accidents within a business management system context, and provides the learner with the tools, skills and knowledge necessary to investigate workplace accidents effectively.
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COHS 3320 Fundamentals of Environmental Management
Environmental management is critical to workers, organizations, and the environment itself, and is commonly a dimension of the health and safety practitioner's role. This course provides an introduction to the complex discipline of environmental management. Learners will be familiarized with the systems of identification, evaluation and communication of issues related to environmental conditions in the workplace, and globally, and with the planning and implementation of strategies intended to mitigate environmental harm.
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COHS 3330 Fire Prevention and Protection
Fires are a major cause of property damage and loss of life. In this course learners will develop an understanding of chemistry of fire, the causes of fire, current methods of fire prevention and protection. The concepts of fire hazard evaluation, control, prevention, reduction, and elimination of fire hazards are reinforced. A major focus in this course is the concept of Life Safety as it relates to fires and the control of damage and loss of life from fires in the workplace.
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COHS 3340 Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the study of workers' interaction with their workplace. Good ergonomic management will result in a reduction of injuries and increases in productivity in workplaces. Health and safety professionals must have the ability to recognize potential ergonomic hazards and systematically reduce them. This course will provide an introduction to the complex discipline of ergonomics, and explain the need for and processes associated with ergonomic hazard assessment, solution development and solution evaluation after implementation.
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COHS 3410 Auditing OHS Management Systems
This course is designed to provide students with an intensive overview of the theory and practice of performing occupational health and safety audits. The course provides a real emphasis on the importance of auditing to the continuous improvement process of occupational health and safety programs. The course reviews the fundamental principles of auditing and describes the audit process itself in detail. The features of several different audit instruments are identified, along with considerations for best application in diverse types of occupational environments. Relevant OHSE case studies and examples are referenced throughout. By course end, students should have a strong understanding of contemporary OHSE auditing practice and should be ready to begin applying auditing principles within workplaces.
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