The MSc in Occupational Health is a long established multidisciplinary programme run by the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health under the direction of Dr Birgit Greiner. This course is unique in Ireland and provides a modern approach to work and health by integrating ‘classical’ health and safety topics (for example risk assessment and management, occupational hygiene, ergonomics) with contemporary topics, such as psychology, training and development and law. It is taught from a population health perspective, based on a bio-psychosocial model of health (and safety) with current workplace issues such as drug and alcohol testing, cultural diversity, job stress, work organisation, work-life family balance and bullying.
The programme continues to lead the way in Occupational Health and Safety education with the launch of a fully accredited online option in 2015, which incorporates all the same aspects of the campus based course with the added flexibility of distance learning.
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) recently reviewed all aspects of the programme which included specific course features such as health and safety practice, evidence based practice informed by research evidence and legislation, reflective practice, and interdisciplinary working.
The programme officially became IOSH accredited in December 2015 but the Department has been working with the organisation for some time most notably on a large scale research study, the HITS Study (Health In Hand-Intensive Tasks and Safety). The study which was funded by IOSH looked at Musculoskeletal Injury as “part of the job”. Its focus was on prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries, risk factors and the importance of self-care education in hand intensive occupations in healthcare workers in Ireland.