Occupational Safety

The University of Utah’s RMCOEH has two distinct routes to training in Occupational Safety that uses different graduate degrees.  Both involve the same faculty, but the training and coursework somewhat differ.  One set of degrees are in Mechanical Engineering (MS, PhD; access hotlink to left) and the others are Occupational and Environmental Health (MSOH, MOH, PhD).  All of these options are multi-disciplinary programs integrating the efforts of engineering, occupational injury prevention, industrial hygiene, and occupational medicine. The field of Occupational Safety applies engineering principles and methodologies to minimize the physical hazards of the occupational environment, while Occupational Ergonomics emphasizes biomechanics.

Students with an MSOH with Safety emphasis gain specialized skills to work in and contribute to many industries - from construction to manufacturing to mining.

The RMCOEH was established in 1977 as part of the University's original NIOSH Education and Research Center grant. The program continues to operate within a world-class, interdisciplinary, occupational health education and research environment. To effectively train students on how to evaluate and design equipment and programs for safety of workers, the RMCOEH Safety Program involves some course work on safety engineering from the Ergonomics and Safety programs in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. These programs are integral participants in the RMCOEH.

The MSOH degree program with emphasis in Occupational Safety is a non-engineering degree program that deals with minimizing the hazards and maximizing the efficiency of a work system, in which the human is a part. The scope of this system can be as limited as a carpenter and a hammer or as complex as the control system of a nuclear power plant. 


Graduates from the program in Occupational Safety sciences achieve the following competencies. Graduates are able to:

  • Effectively manage safety programs.
  • Identify, evaluate, and abate hazards relating to safety issues in the workplace.
  • Interpret government standards and other guidelines relating to ergonomics and safety.
  • Present internal training to address safety and ergonomics issues.
  • Work as a team member with management and engineering personnel to address ergonomics and safety issues and develop program plans to address these issues.
  • Effectively communicate to workers, peers, and management using verbal, visual, and written skills.

Required Courses

Course # Course Title Credit Hours Semester Offered
OEHS 6703 Occupational Injuries and Diseases 3 Fall
OEHS 6370 Occupational Epidemiology 3 Fall
OEHS 6607 Injury Surveillance 2 Spring
ME EN 6110 Introduction to Industrial Safety 3 Spring Odd AY
OEHS 6100 Applied Occupational Biostatistics 3 Fall
ME EN 7110 System Safety 3 Spring Even AY
OEHS 6760 Administration and Management of Health and Safety Programs 3 Fall
OEHS 6311 Research Design 3 Fall
OEHS 6960 Occupational Health and Safety Solutions 3 Spring
OEHS 7530 Design Implementation and Evaluation of Public Health Programs 3 Spring
Electives 8
OEHS 6910 Project Research – MSOH OR 6 Fall,Spring, & Summer
OEHS 6911 Thesis Research - MSOH 6 Fall,Spring, & Summer
MSOH-Safety Total Credit Hours 43