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Occupational Health & Safety Management
Winter 2008 Course Outline
Human Resources and Management Area
DeGroote School of Business
As a specialized elective, this course is designed to build on your previous knowledge of workers
and workplaces, and to act as a stepping-stone to your future learning. The purpose of this
course is to enhance your knowledge of managing occupational health and safety in workplaces,
teach critical thinking, discussion, and presentation skills, and assist you to develop strategies for
creating healthy workplaces.
INSTRUCTOR AND CONTACT INFORMATION
Section 1: Thursday
8:30 – 11:30
Office: DSB A-210
Office Hours: by appointment
Tel: (905) 525-9140 x 26169
Class Location: KTH B105
Vicki Cometto Golnaz Tajeddin
Administrative Assist. TA
Office: DSB 403 Office: TBA
Office Hours: 09:00 – 16:00 Office Hours: by appointment
Tel: (905) 525-9140 x 24434 Tel: (905) 525-9140 x 26179
Course Website: http://www.webct.mcmaster.ca
Credit Value: 3 Leadership: Yes IT skills: No Global view: Yes
WebCT: Yes Ethics: Yes Numeracy: No Written skills: Yes
Participation: Yes Innovation: Yes Group work: Yes Oral skills: Yes
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This course includes lectures and class presentations and discussions. These methods allow
1. Test their understanding of theories and concepts presented in the readings.
2. Develop skills in communicating ideas, in developing and presenting arguments, in
listening to and understanding others, and in challenging others’ views in a way that
advances everyone’s understanding.
3. Learn to think independently, because each student must choose the theories or
conceptual frameworks that best fit with the issues and problems in the case at hand.
In this course, the role of the professor will more often tend toward stimulating and guiding
student discussion. I will ask questions and encourage you to present, and support, different
points of view in discussion.
Upon the completion of this course, your professional skills should be improved by being able to
Understand and discuss theories, concepts, legislation and issues affecting workers and
Apply ethical principles to all types of businesses
Identify the important opportunities and challenges facing workers and their workplaces
and develop and implement strategies for change and individual and organizational
Participate and/or lead effectively in a team-based environment.
REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS AND READINGS
WebCT registration for course content, readings and case materials
Kelloway, E.K., & Francis, L. 2008. Management of Occupational Health and Safety. 4rd edition,
Nelson: Toronto. (Available in the Bookstore).
IF no copies are immediately available for purchase, then you MUST ask for a “raincheck”; the
bookstore will create a new courseware package for you (but ONLY if you ask).
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Your final grade will be calculated as follows:
Components and Weights
Group Project 29%
Article / Case Summaries 32%
Final Exam 29%
NOTE: The use of a McMaster standard calculator (Casio FX-991) is allowed during
examinations in this course. See McMaster calculator policy at the following URL:
At the end of the course your overall percentage grade will be converted to your letter grade in
accordance with the following conversion scheme.
LETTER GRADE PERCENT LETTER GRADE PERCENT
A+ 90 - 100 C+ 67 - 69
A 85 - 89 C 63 - 66
A- 80 - 84 C- 60 - 62
B+ 77 - 79 D+ 57 - 59
B 73 - 76 D 53 - 56
B- 70 - 72 D- 50 - 52
F 00 - 49
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Your courseware contains nine articles, book chapters, case studies, etc. Every week, you will be
expected to write a one page (single spaced, 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman font)
summary, where you answer the following questions: (1) what is the article saying? (2) what do I
agree with? (3) what do I disagree with? (4) what else should the author(s) have included? (5)
what is my overall assessment?
For the case study (week 9) your assignment should focus on identifying the central issues facing
Dofasco Inc., and on evaluating appropriate alternatives. For the consulting report (week 5), you
should do a search for either the news story or a court case related to psychological hazards at
work. Briefly (no more than 1 paragraph) describe the story/case. Imagine you are a consultant
hired by an organization which employees are involved in the story/case. Advise on what this
organization should do to ensure such accidents will not happen in the future.
If you would like to summarize a different article than those available in the courseware, check
with me first to make sure that the article is suitable (I will probably say yes as long as the topic
is sufficiently relevant).
Each assignment is worth 4%. I will choose your eight highest reports to evaluate (so you can
skip up to two reports with no penalty).
All assignments are due in class (or before). Late assignments will not be accepted.
Group Project – Company Evaluation
I will assign you a group of 3-4 people. Your group will need to apply what we have learned in
class to evaluate the occupational health and safety policies and practices of a company of your
choice. I will provide you with more details when I form your groups.
This closed-book examination will be conducted during the regularly scheduled exam period and
will test all material covered to date.
All students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of the course material, verbally, in
class. Your comments and questions are welcome, will not be judged, and help to make the
entire course more interesting and enjoyable for everyone. There is no penalty for being “wrong”
but there is a (small) penalty for being silent.
Professional demeanour is mandatory at all times. Behaviours or comments that would be
inappropriate in a boardroom setting are also inappropriate in the classroom.
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Although class attendance is not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged, because the material
covered in class will substantially augment that which is available in the text. If you miss a class,
it is your responsibility to acquire the course notes from one of your classmates. Slides will also
be available from the course website. Poor attendance will affect your participation grade.
If you are wondering if your participation is adequate, send me an email or come to my office
and I will provide an estimate of your anticipated participation grade for the semester.
Communication and Feedback
Students who are uncomfortable in directly approaching an instructor regarding a course concern
may choose to send a confidential and anonymous email to the respective Area Chair at:
Students who wish to correspond with instructors directly via email must send messages that
originate from their official McMaster University email account. This protects the
confidentiality and sensitivity of information as well as confirms the identity of the student.
It is the student’s responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. Please refer
to the University Senate Academic Integrity Policy at the following URL:
This policy describes the responsibilities, procedures, and guidelines for students and faculty
should a case of academic dishonesty arise. Academic dishonesty is defined as to knowingly act
or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage.
Please refer to the policy for a list of examples. The policy also provides faculty with procedures
to follow in cases of academic dishonesty as well as general guidelines for penalties. For further
information related to the policy, please refer to the Office of Academic Integrity at:
McMaster University has signed a license with the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency
(Access Copyright) which allows professors, students, and staff to make copies allowed under
fair dealing. Fair dealing with a work does not require the permission of the copyright owner or
the payment of royalties as long as the purpose for the material is private study, and that the total
amount copied equals NO MORE THAN 10 percent of a work or an entire chapter which is
less than 20 percent of a work. In other words, it is illegal to: i) copy an entire book, or ii)
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repeatedly copy smaller sections of a publication that cumulatively cover over 10 percent of the
total work’s content. Please refer to the following copyright guide for further information:
POLICY ON MISSED MID-TERM EXAMINATIONS / TESTS
Where students miss a regularly scheduled midterm for legitimate reasons as adjudicated by the
Academic Programs Office (APO), the weight for that test will be distributed across other
evaluative components of the course at the discretion of the instructor.
Documentation explaining such an absence must be provided to the APO within five (5) working
days upon returning to school. The approved McMaster Medical Form must be used to
document absence for health related reasons. If an examination is missed without a valid reason,
students will receive a grade of Zero (0) for that component. University policy states that a
student may submit a maximum of three (3) medical certificates per year after which the student
must meet with the Director of the program.
Please see the following URL for APO forms:
Students unable to write at the posted examination time due to the following reasons: religious;
work-related (for part-time students only); representing university at an academic or varsity
athletic event; and conflicts between two overlapping scheduled midterm examinations, have the
option of applying for special examination arrangements. Such requests must be made to the
APO at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled examination along with acceptable
documentation. There will be only one common sitting for the special examination.
Instructors cannot themselves allow students to unofficially write make-up exams/tests.
Adjudication of the request must be handled by the APO.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Students with disabilities are required to inform the Centre for Student Development (CSD) of
accommodation needs for examinations on or before the last date for withdrawal from a course
without failure (please refer to official university sessional dates). Students must forward a copy
of such CSD accommodation to the instructor immediately upon receipt. If a student with a
disability chooses NOT to take advantage of a CSD accommodation and chooses to sit for a
regular exam, a petition for relief may not be filed after the examination is complete. The CSD
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RESEARCH USING HUMAN SUBJECTS
Research involving human participants is premised on a fundamental moral commitment to
advancing human welfare, knowledge and understanding. As a research intensive institution,
McMaster University shares this commitment in its promotion of responsible research. The
fundamental imperative of research involving human participation is respect for human dignity
and well-being. To this end, the University endorses the ethical principles cited in the Tri-
Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans:
McMaster University has mandated its Research Ethics Boards to ensure that all research
investigations involving human participants are in compliance with the Tri-Council Policy
Statement. The University is committed, through its Research Ethics Boards, to assisting the
research community in identifying and addressing ethical issues inherent in research, recognizing
that all members of the University share a commitment to maintaining the highest possible
standards in research involving humans.
If you are conducting original research, it is vital that you behave in an ethical manner. For
example, everyone you speak to must be made aware of your reasons for eliciting their responses
and consent to providing information. Furthermore, you must ensure everyone understands that
participation is entirely voluntary. Please refer to the following website for more information
about McMaster University’s research ethics guidelines:
Organizations that you are working with are likely to prefer that some information be treated as
confidential. Ensure that you clarify the status of all information that you receive from your
client. You MUST respect this request and cannot present this information in class or
communicate it in any form, nor can you discuss it outside your group. Furthermore, you must
continue to respect this confidentiality even after the course is over.
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Occupational Health & Safety Management
Winter 2008 Course Schedule
WEEK DATE ASSIGNMENT
Read: Chapter 1 (Introduction) in text
1 January 10
Read: Chapter 2 (Legislative Framework)
Assignment: Barling, J., Kelloway, E.K., Iverson, R.D. 2003.
2 January 17 Accidental outcomes: Attitudinal consequences of workplace
injuries. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 8(1), 74-85.
Read: Chapter 3 (Worker’s Compensation)
3 January 24 Assignment: Groopman, J. 2004. The grief industry. The New
Read: Chapter 4 (Physical Agents)
Read: Chapter 5 (Chemical and Biological Agents)
4 January 31 Assignment: Zeytinoglu, I.U., Denton, M.A., Webb, S., & Lian, J.
2000. Self-reported musculoskeletal disorders among visiting and
office home care workers. Women & Health. 31(2/3): 1-35.
Read: Chapter 6 (Psychosocial Hazards)
5 February 7 Assignment: The consulting report on the news story or a court
Read: Chapter 7 (Hazard Recognition and Assessment)
Read: Chapter 8 (Hazard Control)
6 February 14 Assignment: Smith, M.J. & Bayeh, A.D. 2003. Do ergonomics
improvements increase computer workers’ productivity?: An
intervention study in a call centre. Ergonomics. 46: 3-18.
7 February 21 READING BREAK
Read: Chapter 9 (Training)
Assignment: Griffin, M.A., Neal, A. 2000. Perceptions of safety at
8 February 28 work: A framework for linking safety climate to safety
performance, knowledge, and motivation. Journal of Occupational
Health Psychology, 5(3), 347-358.
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Read: Chapter 10 (Motivating Safety Behaviour at Work)
Assignment: Harry, K.A., Connelly, C.E., & Zeytinoglu, I.U.
9 March 6 2006. Dofasco Inc. Minerva Canada Safety Management Education
Read: Chapter 11 (Emergency Response and Emergency
10 March 13 Assignment: Pearson, C.M. & Clair, J.A. 1998. Reframing crisis
management. Academy of Management Review. 23: 59-76.
Read: Chapter 12 (Accident Investigation)
Assignment: Perrow, C. 1994. Accidents in high-risk systems.
11 March 20
Technology Studies. 1: 1-20.
Read: Chapter 13 (Workplace Wellness)
Assignment: Zohar, D. 2002. The effects of leadership dimensions,
12 March 27 safety climate, and assigned priorities on minor injuries in work
groups. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 23, 75-92.
13 April 3 Student Presentations