Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

3 hours per week (two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial) for 12 weeks or equivalent in intensive mode or online.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This advanced unit covers the topics related to occupational health and wellbeing in organisations, emphasizing the principles of good work design and the practical means to integrate occupational health and safety, health promotion, wellness, work design, and productivity. Topics cover common occupational health hazards such as manual tasks and the interaction of risk factors (environmental health exposures), office-based work environments and sedentary work behaviours, and psychosocial hazards (occupational stress, workplace bullying, occupational violence, and shift-work and fatigue), as well as basic but integrated principles for human factors; ergonomics; workplace wellness, health, and wellbeing programs; and return to work.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Apply occupational health hazards knowledge during the analysis of the design of work and work systems and effectively communicate and interpret findings to organisational stakeholders (GA5, GA9)

LO2 - Examine the inter-relationships of the workplace, work systems, environment and people, and its impact on health and safety of individuals and communities (GA5, GA8)

LO3 - Assess the risk of injury/illness and examine factors that impede workplace performance and sustainability using occupational health, human factors and/or ergonomics tools and/or methods (GA5, GA10)

LO4 - Evaluate and recommend appropriate changes in work design to optimise occupational health and wellbeing, improve organisational performance and sustainability, and demonstrate respect for human dignity and human diversity through an understanding of the impact of psychosocial and physical human factors at the workplace (GA1, GA5)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • Significance of occupational health and wellbeing, human factors and ergonomics
  • Organise, analyse, and synthesis information arising from product and task analysis: physical & environmental, cognitive/human factors, organisational 
  • Human, organisation, performance and systems analysis
  • Manual tasks: calculate risks for musculoskeletal disorders (acute and cumulative), risk management, participatory ergonomics and design strategies
  • Office workstation ergonomics issues
  • Human information processing, shift-work and fatigue and OHSE
  • Psychosocial hazards, occupational stress and the wellbeing of employees
  • Psychosocial hazards resulting in workplace bullying & occupational violence and healthy workplaces
  • Technology, work design principles, tools & methods and human diversity
  • Integration of occupational health & safety with  good work design and  other business unit activity
  • Planning workplace wellness strategies for diverse individual needs
  • Fundamentals of return to work considerations and its impact on employees and business sustainability

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This Unit employs a learning and teaching strategy that combines active learning (engaging with online lecture videos, reading, writing and case studies to analyse, synthesise and problem solve) and peer learning methods (engaging with peers and the lecturer via online tools to collaborate, query and elaborate). Live online workshops will be offered at regular intervals throughout the teaching period to allow students synchronous access to their lecturer and peers at defined times or ACU Online 10 week asynchronous delivery mode. Use of applied case studies and scenarios, with reference to legislation and standards as well as national and international contexts, are used to facilitate applied action learning. The provision of timely student feedback is also a key aspect of the learning and teaching strategy as this allows students to direct future learning behaviours and performance in a meaningful way. The online learning environment can be challenging in terms of encouraging student interaction and participation, and the Unit’s teaching methods have been chosen because they are most likely to support the achievement of learning outcomes and participation by a geographically diverse cohort of students. 

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Three primary assessment items are required in this Unit. The first, based on online activities and discussion of selected topics, requires students to provide and synthesise their views and experiences with weekly learnings from lectures and research from the academic literature. It also requires students to evaluate and respond to views expressed or questions posed by other students. The second is a workplace report that requires students to demonstrate their ability to research, reflect and apply OHSE knowledge and skills using a human factors/ergonomics approach, to assess risk and determine design concepts and features that lead to recommendations to improve work or job design, . This assessment will help students demonstrate their written communication skills in a business context. ) The third assessment is a toolbox talk presentation via video that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills as an OHSE practitioner to a non-academic audience for workers and maintainers. The content will arise from selected topics within the unit.

To pass this unit, students are required to achieve an overall mark of at least 50% and must make an attempt at all three assessment items. The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Discussion Forum Activities: Select extracts from topics 1 - 3

This assessment task consists of a 1000-word submission entailing selected extracts from the Discussions for topics 1-3 (for example, two of the student’s initial posts and two responses to other students’ posts). This assessment task requires students to engagein discussions and critically analyse, translate, or extend ideas about topical issues related to occupational health and wellbeing, human factors and ergonomics, and work and job design.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Discussion Forum Activity

Artefact: Written discussion forum posts


LO1, LO2

GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2: Workplace Risk Analysis Report:

This assessment task consists of a 1500 word written report  This task requires students to demonstrate their knowledge of an occupational health hazard(s),  work,  job design opportunities within an organisational system. It requires students to  use specialist tools to measure and analyse the risk of injury from exposure to workplace hazards specific to the topics discussed in this unit. Students are also required to identify work and/or job design concepts, features, and strategies that might optimise a work system, translating the ideas in a business report.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Report

Artefact: Written report


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3: Video Toolbox Talk submission

This assessment task requires students to record their simulated presentation of a toolbox talk to frontline workers about a topic affecting occupational health well-being and safety – 10 minute video presentation and a presentation video and slides. The presentation should present immediate, short-term, and mid-term strategies for job or work design within the agency of the frontline worker. This assessment task helps student demonstrate their ability to explain topical issues relating to occupational health and wellbeing and formulate practical work strategies while considering respect for human dignity and diversity.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Video Presentation

Artefact: Video Presentation/Slides


LO3, LO4

GA1, GA5, GA10

Representative texts and references

Ahram, TZ & Karwoski, W. 2012, Advances in Physical Ergonomics and Safety, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 

Bridger, R 2018 Introduction to Human Factors and Ergonomics, Fourth Edition, CRC Press 

International Ergonomics Association, IEA. 2015, What Is Ergonomics? . Downloaded 4 Jan 2015. 

International Standards Organisation (ISO). 2016, Human-Centred Organisations. ISO Standard 27500:2016. 

International Standards Organisation (ISO) 2010, Ergonomics of human-system interaction: Part 210: Human-centred design for interactive systems. ISO 9241-210: 2010.

Hollnagel, E. 2016, The Nitty-Gritty of Human Factors (Chapter 4). Sharrock, S. & Williams, C.

(Eds.), Human factors and ergonomics in practice: Improving system performance and human well-being in the real world. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Lallemand, C. 2012, Contributions of Participatory Ergonomics to the Improvement of Safety Culture in an Industrial Context. Work, 41, 3284 – 3290.  

Safe Work Australia (SWA) (2015). Principles of Good Work Design Handbook. Canberra, ACT: Safe Work Australia. 

The OHS Body of Knowledge Chapters:

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