Miri – 5 July 2010 – Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak), is offering a new diploma programme ideal for people who want to specialise in the management of occupational health and safety (OHS), or for managers in organisations that have a high responsibility for OHS.
The Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety (BSB51307) programme, which is open for enrollment until commencement of classes on 9 August 2010, is being conducted by Curtin Sarawak’s School of Foundation and Continuing Studies in collaboration with Curtin University of Technology’s Vocational Training and Education Centre (Curtin VTEC) in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
A five-day introductory programme from 2 to 6 August 2010, which is equivalent to half of Certificate III of Occupational Health and Safety, will prepare students for entry into the diploma programme.
There will also be preview of the programme from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Grand Palace Hotel in Miri on 16 July 2010. Those interested are encouraged to attend and get all the necessary information they need for speedy enrollment.
Graduates of the programme will be equipped with the knowledge and leadership necessary to develop programmes in industry that will assist in conserving life, health and property; improve productivity by implementing loss-control programmes in consultation with company and labour officials, and identify health and safety hazards in the work environment and advise corrective action.
They will also be able to manage health and safety information, data systems, and risk management, as well as participate in the coordination and maintenance of a systematic approach to managing OHS.
Good occupational health and safety practices are essential for preventing illness and injury in the workplace and ensure a safer working environment, according to Beena Giridharan, Dean of the School of Foundation and Continuing Studies.
“The job scope of occupational health and safety professionals can be quite wide-ranging. In addition to managing OHS policy and practices in the workplace, they can play a major role in the development and application of accident investigations, risk assessments, loss prevention, and safety training,” said Beena.
She said Curtin Sarawak is offering the programme as a direct response to managerial opportunities in the area of occupational health and safety in Malaysia.
Employment prospects are excellent, with graduates often earning above average salaries. Graduates gain employment in a variety of industries including mining, oil, gas, manufacturing and construction. There is also demand for graduates in corporate, government, health and academic sectors.
With the stringent legislative requirements for health and safety in the workplace and the increase in resources and commodity prices expected to continue, future demand for tertiary qualified occupational health and safety professionals is expected to be high.
She believes the programme would be popular among those engaged in, or intend to be employed in, Sarawak’s oil and gas industry where occupational health and safety is of paramount importance, but realistically, it is relevant to a large number of industries.
“The Diploma of Occupational Safety and Health is developed in consultation with relevant industry and community groups, and students can therefore rest assured that their qualification will be highly valued by industry employers, education and training providers, as well as the wider community.
Furthermore, the diploma is awarded under the Australian Qualifications Framework, so it is an Australian government-accredited and Australia-wide recognised course. By virtue of Curtin Sarawak’s self-accreditation status granted by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, the qualification is also recognised by the Malaysian government,” said Beena.
Paul Morgan, Associate Director of Business & Market Development at Curtin VTEC, said, “The Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety will provide graduates with the practical skills and knowledge to work within the field of occupational health and safety as a supervisor or manager.”
He added that they will also develop skills to coordinate and maintain occupational health and safety programmes within organisations, as well as develop a sound theoretical knowledge base and use of a range of specialised, technical or managerial competencies to plan, carry out and evaluate their own work and the work of others with safety responsibilities.
Career possibilities in occupational health and safety include Occupational Health and Safety Manager, Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator and Senior Occupational Health and Safety Officer.
The Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety is a two-year programme comprising four semester of 14 weeks each. It is delivered as a face-to-face programme with access to course resources. Students will be supported by qualified trainer assessors from both Curtin Sarawak and Curtin VTEC.
Working adults can request special arrangements in terms of class hours, such as flexible timetables, to suit their work schedules.
The programme features strong core units which include assisting with compliance with OHS and other relevant laws; contributing to the implementation of a systematic approach to managing OHS; identifying hazards and assessing OHS risks; contributing to the implementation of strategies to control OHS risk; participating in the coordination and maintenance of a systematic approach to managing OHS; and contributing to the implementation of the OHS consultation process.
Students will also learn to participate in the management of OHS information and data systems; assist in the design and development of OHS participative arrangements; apply principles of OHS risk management; participate in the investigation of incidents; manage hazards in the work environment; and monitor and facilitate the management of hazards associated with plant.
Those interested to enroll in the Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety programme should preferably possess a Certificate IV of Occupational Health and Safety (BSB41604) or equivalent, or SPM with minimum 3 credits in relevant subjects inclusive of English.
Being familiar with computers for word-processing, databases and the Internet would also be an advantage.
However, potential students can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), whereby they can have their existing skills formally acknowledged, irrespective of how or where they were acquired. The RPL acknowledges that many people acquire skills not only through formal education and training but also through work, life experience or informal training. Applications for RPL are assessed on an individual basis.
A successful RPL application means that students need not attend formal classes and may allow them to progress through their course in a reduced time. Examples of indicative job roles for RPL are Health and Safety Representative, Health and Safety Committee Member, and Health and Safety Assistant/Administrator.
For more information on the Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety programme, contact Curtin Sarawak’s Student Recruitment Department at 085-443939 or by e-mail to [email protected]. Relevant information can also be obtained at the university’s website at http://www.curtin.edu.my/sch_dept/PreUniversity/Diploma/Diploma_OHSA.htm.