BCIT's Occupational Health and Safety Diploma program is the most comprehensive training of its kind in Canada. Students learn the skills they need to start a great career in health and safety, in any industry and workplace.
Our grads learn the operations of health and safety and the business side, including human resources, communication, decision-making, and leadership. This is what sets it apart from our Certificate program, which is geared to experienced individuals looking to move into health and safety roles within their existing industry.
Our program has courses in every area of workplace safety. We prepare you from day one. Click on Program Details to discover more about the OCHS Diploma program.
This program is for individuals who:
Does this sound like you? See Program Entry on applying to the program.
BCIT delivers what employers want – skilled and driven individuals. Ninety-five per cent of our Diploma students are hired within two months of graduation. These graduates found work in a wide array of positions including safety inspection, management, planning, and training.
See Graduating and Jobs to learn more about careers in Occupational Health and Safety.
Applications are accepted from October 1st* to April 4th.*
We recommend that you apply early. All supporting documents must be submitted by the application deadline.
*or next business day
Competitive Entry: Two-step process
Preference will be given to applicants with:
*Applicants with preferred entrance requirements are to submit transcripts and supporting documentation with their online application.
Step 1: Meet the following entrance requirements
Applicants who have completed post-secondary studies outside of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand will require a comprehensive evaluation of their credentials by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES). Credential evaluation reports from other Canadian services may be considered. These reports must include course-by-course evaluations and GPA calculations.
Step 2: Department assessment
In order to be accepted to this program, all applications will be reviewed by the program area at the application deadline. Admission is competitive and will be offered to the most qualified applicants.
To submit your application:
The Technology Entry (TE) program is a full-time, day school program which provides academic upgrading to students wishing to enroll in Computing, Engineering, Electronic, and Health Sciences programs at BCIT.
The TE program provides courses in chemistry, communication, mathematics, and physics that meet program prerequisites for selected programs at BCIT. The TE program also includes an introductory course in computer applications and a learning skills course. The program is supportive to those who require English-language training.
Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at my.bcit.ca. We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.
You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within four weeks.
Please see the Full-Time Studies Tuition & Fees page for full-time tuition fees.
Level 1: $956; Level 2: $640; Level 3: $524; Level 4: $745
(general estimated cost, and subject to change)
We require students to obtain CSA.-approved safety footwear in the first term.
Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.
|Level 1 (15 weeks)||Credits|
Business Information Systems
Get a step up on your basic computing skills exploring Office 2003. This course begins the process of teaching the business students to appreciate the microcomputer as an aid to management. It provides an introduction to basic business software, which includes the following: MS Windows XP, MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, the Internet and the World Wide Web.
Chemistry 1 for OCHS
Introduces basic inorganic chemistry. Topics include chemical bonding, stoichiochemistry, formula writing, solution preparation, oxidation and reduction, acid-base theory, titration calculations and buffer solutions. Laboratory exercises consist of qualitative and quantitative analysis. Good laboratory techniques including WHMIS are emphasised.
Communication 1 for OCHS Professionals
This course introduces students to the communication needs of professionals working in OCHS. It covers writing clearly and organizing and presenting information for readers in short reports and instructions. Students also deliver a short oral training session for an OCHS audience.
Technical Mathematics for OCHS
Emphasises the integration of problem solving strategies with mathematical skills in the context of relevant occupational health and safety applications. Topics include unit conversion (metric and imperial, ppm, ppb), ratio/proportion, area/volume calculations, linear, logarithmic and exponential functions with appropriate curve fitting (least squares), vectors and trigonometry. Applications include chemical mixtures, rinsing problems, fluid/air flow, container volumes, noise relationships, force diagrams, radioactive decay, scaling drawings.
BC OHS Legislation
Explores occupational health and safety legislation in BC. The history of BC legislation and how it has evolved sets the tone for discussions on the current legislative system, enforcement, and recent prosecution trends. Introduces the BC Workers Compensation Board structure, mandate, policies, and procedures. Applies key sections of the BC Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation to the workplace. You need access to a copy of the BC legislation. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 1100.)
Provides an overview of the occupational health and safety field and discusses how health and safety relate to an organization's overall management system. Introduces leadership commitment, open communication, and legal accountability as core concepts that form the basis for effective safety programs. Explores the wide variety of functions within the field and the resources available for the safety generalist. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 1000.)
Accident Causation and Analysis
Introduces concepts of how accidents are caused and provides evidence to support the analysis and investigation of these causes. Analyzes a variety of sources, from historical perspectives to current behavioural theories, and their application to today's workplaces. Discusses accident investigation and interview techniques, and their legal, moral, and ethical implications. Reviews and analyzes a number of accident scenarios throughout the course. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 1200.)
Applied Physics 1 for OCHS
Studies basic physical principles and applies them to relevant situations in the OCHS technology. Topics include kinematics, vectors, dynamics, statics, friction, energy, and simple machines. The labs emphasise measurement, data analysis, and experimental techniques as they relate to the lecture material.
|Level 2 (20 weeks)||Credits|
Human Biology for Occupational Health and Safety
This course presents information on the structure and function of human organ systems under normal conditions and in response to challenges from the environment. Specifically we explore ways in which organ systems respond to challenges in various work environments. Structure and function of lungs, skin, liver, kidneys, endocrine organs, ears and eyes are discussed, and potential occupational hazards impacting these organs and related systems are identified. Finally we discuss abnormal function of these organs arising from their interactions with specific hazards.
Introductory Law for OCHS
Introduces the student to the Canadian legal system including its development, constitutional law, the Charter, torts, contracts and business relationships.
Chemistry 2 for OCHS
Offers an applied approach to melding established chemical principles to chemical hazards, their problems and solutions. Terminology encountered in the field is related to principles such as acid-base chemistry, oxidation-reduction, electrochemistry, stoichiometry, equilibrium, chemical bonding, simple thermodynamics, etc., that are linked to potential and real chemical hazards. Laboratory exercises and field trips are designed to complement and integrate lecture material. The language of practical and theoretical applications is emphasized. Prerequisites: CHEM 1115
Communication 2 for OCHS Professionals
This course builds on the skills you learned in COMM 1188. It covers a professional career portfolio, job interview skills, literature reviews, persuasive writing and presentations, and report writing. You will also research, design, and “sell” a proposal for change on an OHS topic. Prerequisites: COMM 1188
Statistics for OCHS
Graphical presentation of statistical data including Pareto analysis. Measures of central tendency and variation. Binomial and Normal probability distributions. Confidence limits and hypothesis testing for means and proportions. Regression and correlation. If time permits, chi-squared test for independence. Applications to data and problems relevant to Occupational Health Technology. Prerequisites: MATH 1881
Explores the general concepts of legislation relevant to the safety field. The history of the Canadian legal system sets the tone for introducing the concepts of workers' compensation, safety regulation, due diligence, consultation, and enforcement. Critically compares OH&S systems in Canada, the United States, and around the world. Introduces Canadian federal legislation and other safety regulations. You need access to a copy of your governing OH&S legislation. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 2100.)
Safety Program Design
Discusses how to coordinate, develop, implement, and maintain an OH&S program within an organization. Explores how political, cultural, economic, and industry climates as well as corporate and personal values influence safety culture. Introduces management commitment, employee involvement, communication, supervision, education and training, safety recognition, safety policy, and safety committees. Provides legal, moral, and economic reasons for implementing a safety program. Outlines how to develop the policies and procedures required for a written OH&S program including workplace inspections, accident investigations, record keeping, first aid, ergonomics, emergency preparedness, job hazard analysis, training, work procedures, and regular program review. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 2200.) Prerequisites: OCHS 1101 or OCHS 2101
Workplace Hazards and Controls 1
Examines health and safety hazards and controls in a variety of work environments. Includes building and plant layout, lighting, ventilation, automated lines, systems, and processes, sanitation and personnel facilities, personal protective equipment, manual materials handling, and electrical safety. Explains how to successfully eliminate or reduce the hazards and risks associated with several work processes. Reinforces the hierarchy of controls - engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment. Discusses both historical and current issues. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 2320.) Prerequisites: OCHS 1111 and OCHS 1101
Workplace Hazards and Controls 2
Examines health and safety hazards and controls in a variety of work environments. Includes building construction, excavations, blasting, ladders, work platforms, hoisting equipment, confined space entry, fall protection, mobile equipmemt, equipment guarding, lock-out, hand and power tools, welding, and cutting. Explains how to successfully eliminate or reduce the hazards and risks associated with several work processes. Reinforces the hierarchy of controls - engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment. Discusses both historical and current issues. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 2340.) Prerequisites: OCHS 1111 and OCHS 1101
Hazardous Materials Management
Introduces legislation regulating hazardous materials used, transferred, and stored in the workplace and the environment. Fully explores Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) requirements. Investigates lead abatement and asbestos management options in the workplace. Discusses the education and training requirements for hazardous materials. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 2420.) Prerequisites: OCHS 1101
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Focuses on the reduction of the effects of disasters through established and proven workplace emergency plans, procedures, and training. Evaluates the issues that arise prior to, during, and immediately following an emergency, as well as the long-range recovery challenges that follow. Discusses the development of an emergency response team and its implications. Includes an overview of community and government disaster services. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 2440).
Applied Physics 2 for OCHS
Covers areas of fluids, thermal physics, vibrations, waves and electricity, as well as light and properties of radiation. Topics in fluids include fluid pressure, buoyancy, and fluid dynamics. Topics in thermal physics include kinetic theory of gases, specific and latent heat, thermal expansion, and heat transfer. Vibrations and waves covers types of simple vibrations, waves, standing waves and resonance and sound. Topics in electricity include DC and AC circuits and electrical safety. Particular attention is paid to the importance and interpretation of noise measurements in the workplace. Prerequisites: PHYS 1288
|Level 3 (15 weeks)||Credits|
Introduces the principles of organizational behaviour, workplace relationships, negotiation skills, conflict resolution, the change process, and team building. Discusses how to successfully run your own OH&S consulting firm, how to register a business, small business bookkeeping, setting goals, taxation, marketing, and determining charge-out rates. Prerequisites: Completion of at least four OCHS courses numbered in the 1000 and 2000 series.
Organic Chemistry for Occupational Health and Safety
Surveys the various classes of organic compounds likely to be encountered in the workplace. Naming, structure, chemical and physical properties, industrial uses, toxicity and occupational hazards are emphasised. Practical work provides experience with organic compounds and processes. Prerequisites: CHEM 1115
Advanced Communication for OCHS
This course prepares students for the Safety Program Review (SPR) completed at the end of the second year. Students write proposals, design questionnaires, negotiate a Term of Reference, deliver progress reports, and conduct an evaluation of a few elements of a safety program. They also present their findings to industry sponsors, the OCHS program head, communication instructor, and classmates. Prerequisites: COMM 2288
Industrial Relations for OCHS
Presents an introductory analysis of the fundamental issues and facts of labour-management relations. Special emphasis is given to collective agreement content and interpretation, bargaining and basic labour economics.
Safety System Analysis
First course is a series (OCHS 3201, OCHS 4201, OCHS 4221) on how to analyze (audit) the effectiveness of an organization's occupational health and safety program and overall safety system. Explores several measurement and analysis tools and investigates various approaches used to determine safety program effectiveness. Explains and contrasts compliance analyses and best practice analyses. Describes several methods for designing and administering review criteria, questionnaires, perception surveys, interviews, and a final report. Analyze either the workplace inspection component or the safety committee component of a safety program at an organization of your choice. Plan to spend about twelve hours at the workplace you choose. Observe the work and the work environment, review documents, administer a questionnaire, and conduct interviews. Present the results of your component analysis in a final report. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 3200.) Prerequisites: OCHS 2201
Occupational Hygiene 1
A theory course introducing the recognition and control of physical hazards in occupational hygiene: noise, vibration, temperature extremes, pressure extremes, nonionizing radiation and ionizing radiation. Explores practical applications including assessing and interpretation of physical hazard-related OH&S Legislation and selection of appropriate engineering, administrative, and PPE controls for these physical hazards. Prerequisites: MATH 1881 and PHYS 2288 and (OCHS 1101 or OCHS 2101)
Occupational Hygiene Laboratory 1
This is a practical hands on course in the use of occupational hygiene instruments and procedures for the collection of exposure and other data for the physical occupational hygiene agents commonly encountered in the workplace. The student will be able to learn the use of the instruments most commonly used to evaluate noise, vibration, temperature extremes, nonionizing radiation and ionizing radiation in the workplace. The student will use these practical skills to collect data and prepare a technical report at a workplace. Prerequisites: MATH 1881 and PHYS 2288 and (OCHS 1101 or OCHS 2101)
Workplace Hazards and Controls 3
This is the final and most advanced course in the Workplace Hazards and Controls series. The course is effectively divided into two sections. In the first section the student is introduced to OHS systems in a number of industry sectors (petroleum, forestry, railway, aviation, etc.) and to several advanced OHS topics (arc flash, traffic control). In the section section, the student is introduced to the practice of full scope risk management. Risk management topics covered include loss categories and the relationship between loss control and risk financing in the practice of risk management. Prerequisites: OCHS 2321 and OCHS 2341
Covers human factors in the scientific study of people at work. Emphasizes strategies and techniques for improving worker safety, health, efficiency, and comfort. Discusses recent trends in the ergonomics field, including the physical working environment, adaptation of tools and the workplace to the worker, equipment design, impacts on productivity, and the importance of involving workers and management in all ergonomics program efforts. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 3520.) Prerequisites: Completion of at least four OCHS courses numbered in the 1000 and 2000 series.
Fire Safety Planning
Begins with the history of fire and how its use and misuse have influenced humanity over the centuries. Theory segments include the chemistry of fire, fire hazards and causes, and fire statistics. Introduces applicable legislation including fire codes and regulations. Discusses fire prevention activities, occupancy requirements, and construction considerations for fire safety. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 4420.)
|Level 4 (20 weeks)||Credits|
Industrial Chemical Processes
This course examines the chemical processes used in various B.C. industries, the chemicals used, the chemical reactions, the products manufactured, the waste products and pollutants produced. The chemical hazards and the toxicity of the chemicals workers may be exposed to are emphasised. Prerequisites: CHEM 3315
Engineering Concepts for OCHS
Covers test procedures for mechanical properties: nondestructive testing and failure analysis, the basic concepts of engineering materials including metals, alloys, plastics, and ceramics.
Writing Safety Program Reviews
This course assists students with their industry Safety Program Review (SPR). Students spend one day per week gathering information at the company, conducting interviews, designing and administering a questionnaire, reviewing safety-related documentation, and inspecting workplace conditions. They also research relevant legislation for the company chosen and using this information, students evaluate the program and present their findings to industry sponsors, the instructor, and the OCHS program head. Students work with industry representatives, handle correspondence, and write a formal report. They also implement one of the report's recommendations in the workplace. Prerequisites: COMM 3388
Human Resource Management OCHS
Provides students with a working knowledge of recruitment and selection performance appraisals, job evaluations and job descriptions.
Disability Case Management
Focuses on return-to-work options for workers who have suffered injuries or disease. Introduces the integrated case management team concept and how to consider the worker's dignity and well-being. Includes an overview of injury management, rehabilitation and return to work, legislation, policies, ethics, collective agreement considerations, basics of assessment and treatment, negotiation skills, case studies, and development of a practical injury management plan for the workplace. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 3620.)
Safety Program Review 1
Second course in a series (OCHS 3201 OCHS 4201, OCHS 4221) on how to analyze (audit) the effectiveness of an organization's occupational health and safety program and overall safety system. Describes several methods for designing and administering review criteria, questionnaires, interviews, and a final report. Consult your instructor and an organization of your choice to determine the type of review you will conduct. Plan to spend about thirty hours at the workplace you choose (may be the same workplace as OCHS 3201). Conduct a comprehensive program review; then compile and submit the data and results from the document review, observations, discussions, questionnaires, and interviews. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 4200.) Prerequisites: OCHS 3201
Safety Program Review 2
Third course in a series (OCHS 3201, OCHS 4201, OCHS 4221) on how to analyze (audit) the effectiveness of an organization's occupational health and safety program and overall safety system. Describes how to evaluate and report on the results of your document review observations, discussions, questionnaires, and interviews. Plan to spend about twenty hours at the workplace you choose (should be the same workplace as OCHS 4201). Compile a comprehensive, professional report that includes an executive summary, introduction, program strengths, areas for improvement, recommendations, and a conclusion. Implement one of your recommendations in the workplace. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 4220.) Prerequisites: OCHS 4201
Occupational Hygiene 2
A theory course introducing the concepts of recognizing, evaluating and recommending control measures for common chemical and biological hazards in the workplace. Sampling protocols and the application of exposure limits for chemical hazards are examined in detail. Prerequisites: OCHS 3301 and OCHS 3311
Occupational Hygiene 2 Lab
This is a practical, hands-on course in the use of occupational hygiene instruments and procedures for the collection of data on chemical and biological hazards commonly encountered in the workplace. Students will learn to use a variety of instruments which are currently used to evaluate a wide range of chemical and biological hazards. Prerequisites: OCHS 3301 and OCHS 3311
An overview of occupational diseases and their causes, prevalence and prevention. Occupational health is a multi-disciplinary approach to the recognition, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of work-related diseases and injuries. Introduces methods to set up and lead an occupational health program. Discusses respiratory, skin, liver and kidney disorders. Explores occupational diseases of the nervous system and reproductive tract, as well as those related to biological and physical agent exposures. A section on occupational cancer addresses this timely and controversial workplace concern. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 4360.)
Fire Safety Systems
Explores fire detection and suppression. Includes fire detection systems, portable fire extinguishers, automatic sprinkler systems, and fire, smoke and heat alarms. Discusses the specific detection and suppression issues relating to chemical and electrical hazards. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 4440.)
Examines environmental law in Canada and explores current trends including air, water, and soil quality, municipal and hazardous waste management, and the environmental assessment process. Explores in depth the current environmental issues, with an emphasis on Canadian industries. Also discusses the roles and impact of the media, partisan politics, and the public. (This course is equivalent to OCHS 4520.)
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
The science-oriented diploma program combines studies in safety, health, engineering and business. This ideal combination prepares the student to understand the potential safety and health hazards of the work environment, as well as the human relations involved in improving the workplace environment.
Two years, full-time beginning in September each year.
The minimum passing grade for all safety (OCHS) courses is 70%. For students those who have taken the OCHS courses through the Certificate Program and applying for credit must have 70% in OCHS courses.
Effective February 1, 2008, the Occupational Health and Safety Department implements the following department policy #005:
BCIT has a national reputation as a leader in occupational health and safety education. Employers often visit our classrooms to recruit because they know what to expect: our Diploma grads deliver amazing results wherever they are.
Occupational health and safety is a dynamic, collaborative career. Our focus on business and leadership skills gives students the tools they need to manage, implement, and drive health and safety initiatives in any workplace.
Annual salary starts from $65,000 - $95,000, with contract work from $40 - $100 per hour in jobs such as:
Occupational health and safety careers offer room to grow. In later stages of their career, many of our grads find work in areas such as advanced leadership, human resources, and in MBA programs.
The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2017-2019 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2016-2018 graduates and for Degree 2015-2017 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.
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