Industrial Relations (IDRL) 308

Occupational Health and Safety (Revision 5)

IDRL 308  course cover

Revision 5 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version.

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with eTextbook

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies (Business and Administrative Studies). This course can also be used as a Social Science by credential (degree) students only.

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Human Resources & Labour Relations Home Page

IDRL 308 is not available for challenge.

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Industrial Relations 308: Occupational Health and Safety is a three-credit, senior-level course that examines issues of worker health and safety (and life and death) within their political and economic contexts and in the workplace. Over the past three decades, the field of occupational health and safety has grown and developed, and an extensive amount scientific and technical knowledge on the subject has accumulated. Nevertheless, conflicts among practitioners and scholars, on even the most basic questions, still persist. These disagreements are driven by inherent differences in interest and power between workers and employers (or labour and capital, if you will), which together form the conditions of industrial relations. Scientific arguments often disguise the real debate, which concerns the value attached to preserving the life and health of workers in the workplace. Occupational health and safety cannot be examined without also considering the power dynamics that operate both within and around the job.


  • Unit 1: Occupational Health and Safety: An Introduction
  • Unit 2: Hazards and Agents
  • Unit 3: Workplace Interventions
  • Unit 4: Critical Perspectives on OHS


To receive credit for IDRL 308, you must complete four online quizzes and two written assignments, write a final examination, achieve a minimum grade of D (50%) or better on the final examination, and obtain an overall grade of at least“D” (50 percent) on the entire course. The weighting of the composite course grade is as follows:

Four online quizzes (10% each) Assignment 1: Two short essays Assignment 2: Essay Final Examination Total
40% 10% 30% 20% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Barnetson, B. (2010). The political economy of workplace injury in Canada. Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press. OER: PDF.

Kelloway, E. K., Francis, L., and Gatien, B. (2014). Management of occupational health and safety (6th ed.). Nelson Series in Human Resources Management. Toronto, ON: Nelson Education. E-text.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other materials will be available to students online; including a study guide.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 5, August 28, 2014.

View previous syllabus