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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE2020 Safety, Health and Environment

20 creditsClass Size: 180

Module manager: Dr TN Hunter

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Chemical engineers have a crucial role to play in the defining how every day processes that are critical to the modern world impact on the environment and also the health of society. There are perhaps no processes more important than the production of drinking water and maintaining of clean air standards. This module will examine both air and water systems from a society and engineering view point, as key examples of environmental and health impact.Secondly, leaders and managers of any chemical or process engineering activity, be this in the private or public sector, need to make responsible, ethical decisions that protect the safety and health of an organisation's employees, users of the organisation's products and the wider public. Operating with a strong regard for safety and health protects not only people, but also the organisation's reputation and future. There can be a substantial, positive return on investment in safety and health, for example through avoiding productivity and property losses, impact on future insurance premiums, uninsured costs, fines etc. This module provides the tools and ways of thinking needed to address safety in the context of a chemical or process engineering organisation.


Semester 1 of this module combines water treatment and air quality environmental health aspects. The key objectives for the water treatment section are to arm students with a knowledge of all the major unit operations involved with front end water treatment for domestic drinking purposes. It also includes a general assessment of the need for treatment, and international challenges to clean water, as well as the main types of organic and inorganic contaminants present. The air quality section highlights key air quality issues around the world, and includes analysis of monitoring data, in order to assess whether objectives in the National Air Quality Strategy have been met, and solutions for tackling these issues.

The safety and health section of the module (in Semester 2) aims to equip students with the ways of thinking and tools needed to conduct chemical and process engineering activities in a fashion that is safe and does not have negative impacts on health. This section of the module therefore focuses on the intersection of technology, people and processes but primarily exemplifies the methods used in industry to ensure process safety. The concepts covered in the module are illustrated by means of case studies.

Learning outcomes
- Insight into the key issues of water treatment, and water security;
- Understanding the main unit operations of water treatment from both a fundamental science and engineering perspective;
- Insight into key issues into the need for air quality;
- Understanding of how air quality can be monitored to assess conditions for the National Air Quality Strategy;
- Insight into key issues in safety, health and corporate social responsivity, in a chemical and process engineering context;
- The ability to identify, analyse and respond to safety and health issues for chemical and process engineering organisations;
- Familiarity with the design and implementation of safety management systems;
- Understand how to identify and assess faults in engineering operations, and conduct a safety assessment.


Semester 1
Water Treatment
- The need for water treatment and challenges to water security.
- The main inorganic and organic contaminants found in water treatment (including biological).
- A key understanding of the main unit operations in water treatment:
>Reservoir control and aeration
>Coagulation, flocculation and chemical dosing
>Filtration (deep bed and cake filtration)
>Membrane separation and GAC
>Chlorination and other disinfection
Air Quality
1. Introduction to legal framework for Air Quality legislation and the changes in the draft Environment Bill.
2. Health effects of air and fine particulate pollutants
3. Sources of Air pollution and Trends in emissions of pollutants that contribute to poor air quality.
4. Air quality Regulations.
5. Occupational exposure to pollution - COSHH and REACH.
6. The Clean Air Acts.
7. Meteorology and pollutant dispersion.
8. Environmental Law for Process Industries.
9. Town and Country Act planning law for Environmental Impact.
10. Environmental Management and Environmental Permits in Industry.

Semester 2
- Why safety and health?
- Consequences
- Safety law
- Examples of some well-known industrial accidents and what we learned from them
- Hazards and risks
- Occurrences, incidents and accidents
- What happens when people, engineering, regulation, policy and processes meet?
- Tools for thinking about engineering safety. What IFs and HAZOP risk assessment methods.
- Human error
- How can organisations enhance safety?
- Accident investigations
- Reporting systems and employee consultation
- ISO 45001 - Occupational health and safety
- Case studies
- VR simulation of engineering faults using TSC Sim-8000 module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours132.00
Total Contact hours68.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Coursework: 64 hrs
Private study and examination revision: 68 hrs.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Written assignments and feedback from formative MCQs.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentMultiple Choice Quiz10.00
In-course AssessmentMultiple Choice Quiz10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)70.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 30 mins30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)30.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/07/2022


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