Occupational Health and Safety

Seneca College Certificate


This certificate program provides students with an understanding of occupational health and safety.

To be eligible for this certificate, you must complete the program within four years.

In order to graduate, students must successfully complete all seven courses in the program and submit their valid Standard First Aid Certificate and CPR Basic Rescuer Training (Level A, B or C) with their Request to Graduate Form.

The Seneca OH&S program has been reviewed by the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) and meets their education requirements related to eligibility for CRSP certification (Factor 1 Application Criteria).


Career Opportunities

Occupational health and safety generalists work in business, industry and government - all environments in which potential hazards to safety and health must be identified and controlled.

Technological advances, changing regulations and increasing public expectations all contribute to an ongoing need for attention to health and safety.

This program is of value to Occupational Health and Safety specialists working for small to medium sized employers, HR representatives, members of Health and Safety committees, as well as supervising staff who need an understanding of the health and safety principles.

Entry Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).


It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Knowledge of the prerequisite material is assumed by your instructor and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or an advanced standing for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.

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Industrial Hygiene

This course covers the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of chemical, physical and biological hazards arising in or from the workplace. Workplace Hazardous Information System (WHMIS) and other relevant legislation are also included.

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Legislation for Health and Safety

This course introduces students to the Federal and Provincial legislation governing health and safety, as well as the provincial legislation for compensation following an injury at work. Emphasis is placed on the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations, the Canadian Labor Code and Regulations, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act of Ontario. Students learn: how to access and interpret key sections of the Acts and Regulations, about the legal obligations and expectations placed on employers, how to ensure that their organization is prepared for a WSIB Workwell audit; and how to effectively manage their WSIB claims. The subject also discusses the implications of special legislation such as Bill C-45, which amended the criminal code.

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Environmental Management: An Introduction

This course facilitates the development of analytical and evaluation skills required in the management of environmental issues. Students gain a better understanding of the complexity of environmental policies, legislation procedures, and familiarity with the implications and effects of environmental management strategies. The application and development of site inspections and program auditing are explored to assist in the recognition and analysis of potential environmental risks as they would apply in the development of an environmental management system.

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Management Labour Concerns in Occupational H&S

This course examines emerging trends and current management issues, concepts, and practices pertaining to the field of occupational health and safety. Discussion focuses on several functional characteristics within organizations that pose unique challenges for the practitioner attempting to effectively manage resources, both material and human.

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Fire Protection

This course provides students with specific knowledge related to fire and life safety. Topics include the chemistry and physics of fire, building design for life safety, and other aspects of fire and life safety. Applicable legislation related to fire and life safety is also covered.

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This course provides the student with an introduction to the science of ergonomics. Building on the foundation of anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, and information processing, the student learns how to evaluate job and the workplace, to identify and control ergonomic hazards. The course focuses mainly on industrial and office ergonomics.

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Occupational Health and Safety


However, it is recommended that students begin their studies with HRM701, Introduction to Human Resources Management, if they plan to pursue the Human Resources Management Graduate Certificate.

The student will explore the nature and dimensions of the regulation of health and safety in the workplace by government legislation as well as the role of agencies such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. In addition, the many positive health and safety initiatives made by proactive employers will be examined.

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Upon successful completion of the 7 courses and a valid Standard First Aid Certificate and CPR Basic Rescuer Training Level A, B or C, students are eligible to request to graduate.

Note: Not all courses are offered each semester. Students may begin studies in any semester.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Conduct risk and hazard audits to develop relevant safety programs.
  2. Ensure compliance with relevant and current health and safety legislation (e.g., WHMIS, Occupational Health and Safety Act, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, Canada labour Code).
  3. Analyze potential environmental risks and strategize to minimize them.
  4. Apply basic knowledge of fire protection, fire detection and suppression.
  5. Promote a safety culture by applying the principles of industrial hygiene, ergonomics and by managing a health and safety program and preparing for emergencies.
  6. Manage documentation of investigations, incidents, injuries and claims.
  7. Explore the roles of management and labour related to occupational health and safety.

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Advanced Standing

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.

Requests for Advanced Standing must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60%) is generally required for a course to be considered for Advanced Standing.

Requests for Advanced Standing Forms are available at the Registration office and online.
An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and dropped off  or mailed to Registration. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for an Advanced Standing decision.


If you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a Certificate, Diploma or Degree you must inform the Registration Office by completing a Request to Graduate form and paying the fee. Forms are available at the Registration office and online.

Certificates and diplomas are issued twice a year: Fall (October) and Spring (June). Request to Graduate forms must be received no later than July 31 (for Fall Convocation), November 30 or March 31 (for Spring Convocation).

Minimum Performance for Graduation

No student will be eligible to graduate with a Seneca College certificate or diploma if, in more than 30% of the courses required for graduation, the student has received a "D" grade. (Academic Policy: 8.9)

Residency Requirements

A Faculty of Seneca College may recommended a student for a certificate, diploma or degree only after the student has earned a minimum of twenty-five percent of the credit for that program at Seneca.

Program Contacts

Cherry Langlois
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22523

Vince Bennici
Program Coordinator
416-491-5050 ext.22499