Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)


The topics included in this unit should afford FCT-NOVA students the fundamental knowledge and skills to deal with occupational safety and health (OSH) and its management; the contents are interrelated with other matters of their curricula.

 At the end of the semester, students should have gained fundamental competencies and skills to:

- participate in OSH Management

- identify common workplace hazards

- carry out preliminary risk assessments and prevent risks commonly present in most industrial workplaces

- communicate risk, and discuss risk prevention with the company''s local OSH managers (OSH officers)

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Maria Nascimento Lopes Nunes, Maria Celeste Rodrigues Jacinto


Weekly - 2

Total - 30

Teaching language



None in particular


- ISO 45001. 2018. Occupational health and safety management systems.

- ISO 31000. 2018. Risk Management.

- BS 8800. 2004. Guide to occupational health and safety management systems. British Standard Institution.

- Miguel, Alberto S. 2014. Manual de Higiene e Segurança do Trabalho, 13ª Edição, Porto Editora (MAIN BOOK – main Library)

- Harms-Ringdahl, L. 2013. Guide to safety analysis for accident prevention. IRS Riskhantering AB, Stockholm, Sweden (available online)

- Jacinto, Celeste, não pub., 2022. Métodos Práticos para Análise e Avaliação de Riscos. Apoio às aulas, FCT/UNL

- Kjellén, Urban. 2000. Prevention of accidents through experience feedback. Taylor & Francis, Lon.

- Legislation / EU Directives: Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda.

Teaching method

1 Theoretical component 

Lessons integrate theory and practice. At the beginning of each topic, a presentation is given using slides (PowerPoint). Students are encouraged to intervene and interact with the lecturer, with a view to assessing their knowledge in other associated matters. This way, the lecturer has the possibility to make a brief review of other issues that need clarification, in order to facilitate communication and understanding.

2 Practical components and laboratory sessions

In view of the very practical nature of this course, real examples and case-studies are analysed (as far as reasonably possible,). To this effect, photos and videos are frequently used. 

In addition, the following activities are also carried out:

-   Solving practical cases and calculations. Discussion of results (accident statistics, accident rates, chemical contamination levels, and their respective Confidence Intervals, noise levels, etc).

-   Team-work (groups of around 3), in which students have to carry out a search and analysis of National and European OSH Regulations. Each group has to make an oral presentation on a specific topic for the whole class (PowerPoint). This oral presentation is designed not only to assess students’ ability to analyze and synthesize legal requirements but also to extend the knowledge they receive within the lectures. It allows disseminating OSH legislation.

-  Use and demonstration of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment); this is done through the existing set of equipment in the LAB. Legal aspects of PPE. Safety signs: same as previous.

-   Noise measurement – assessment of noise exposure using existing equipment (sound level meters). Protection and prevention measures. Discussion of results (at the end, students are required to deliver a summary report with results and main conclusions).

(if the school calandar allows) -  Level of illumination – measurement and evaluation parameters. Use of lux meters. Calculation and assessment of the illumination requirements of a workplace (work room). Analysis and discussion of the results.

For registered students, information on the course and teaching materials are available online within the CLIP system.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is based on 3 elements (graded 0-20), as follows.

> 1 GROUP ASSIGNEMENT (GA) (20% weight on final classification) - specific topic per group, with the delivery of a PowerPoint (oral presentations this year are made via Zoom due to Covid-19 restrictions).

This first assignment is used to decide whether the student gains access to the final exam (minimum score is 10).

> 2 INDIVIDUAL QUIZES/TESTS (T) (80% weight on final classification, 40% each test) (average min score is 9.5).

Students failing to "pass" in the two quizes, may try again at the final exam, which replaces the quizes/tests (also 80%)

Students wishing to improve their grade may attend the second Examination period (JUL)

   FINAL GRADE (average) =

[20%GA + 40%T1 + 40%T2]

Subject matter

1. Introduction Safety Management: Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) management systems. Legal aspects. Introduction to the concepts of hazard, risk, and risk acceptability. The ALARP principle in risk management. Standard ISO 45001:2018.

2. Occupational accidents and their prevention: Accident causation models, statistical indices more commonly used; performance indicators for OSH.

3. Occupational noise. The physiscs of sound. Assessment of noise levels and legal exposure limits. Control measures.

4. Chemical hazards. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH). Exposure Legal limits. Control measures. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and precautions for their use.

5. Fire and Explosion. Explosivity and Flammability limits. Flammable substances and their classification. Fire and explosion risks and their assessment. Fire prevention and protection strategies. Firefighting: main systems and equipment.

6 (?). Illumination in the workplace. Depends on the School calendar and holydays.