Self-Assessment Questions (SAQS) for Study Session 2

Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions. Write your answers in your Study Diary and discuss them with your Tutor at the next Study Support Meeting. You can check your answers with the Notes on the Self-Assessment Questions at the end of this Module.

SAQ 2.1 (tests Learning Outcome 2.1)

Match the descriptions with the following key terms: hazard and pollution, contamination. Explain the reasons for your answer.

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. A mill house is releasing its liquid waste into a nearby river. The community drinks the water below the discharge point. There was no complaint when people drank the water. There were no observations of fish dying. The amount of the chemical was not significant.

  2. Later a new industry releases its liquid waste into the same river. The mill house also continued to release its waste. Fishes in the river began to die. Fishing became difficult. The community downstream did not like the taste of the water.

  3. The amount of the chemical was not known. No one knows if the chemical in the waste is harmful or not.

  • a.Hazard

  • b.Pollution

  • c.Contamination

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = c
  • 2 = b
  • 3 = a


The first description is identified as contamination because there is no evidence of harm. This is in contrast with the second in which the wastewater causes death of fish and makes the water taste bad; therefore this is pollution. The appropriate term for the third description is hazard because we have little information about the agent involved or the probability of it causing harm, but we can say there is a danger.

SAQ 2.2 (tests Learning Outcome 2.2)

Have a walk-through visit at the Health Post in your locality and think about any environmental hazards you might find there. List the types and sources of possible hazards and their health effects.


You may have identified a range of hazards; here are some possibilities.

Type of hazardSource of hazardPossible health effect
Biological hazard: pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, worms)Infected discharges (e.g. blood, secretions, oral swabs, pus) Communicable diseases such as TB, diarrhoea typhoid fever
Physical hazard: slips and tripsWet or slippery floorBroken bones, muscle injuries, twists and sprains
Chemical hazard: drugs, detergents Medicines and cleaning products used and stored in the Health PostPoisoning, skin or lung damage

SAQ 2.3 (tests Learning Outcome 2.3)

Describe the key steps in hazard management planning. Using your answer to SAQ 2.2, what are the appropriate interventions for the hazards you have identified?


The first step in hazard management planning is to identify the hazard including its type, source and the route of exposure. Then the potential to cause harm must be evaluated (risk analysis). When the hazard and risk have been assessed, this information must be shared with other people involved. Possible interventions to reduce the risk or measures to control or remove the hazard should be decided and then put into effect. The outcomes from the interventions or control measures must be monitored to check if they have been successful. Throughout this process, detailed records must be kept of the hazards and actions taken to control them.

Your list of appropriate interventions will depend on your own answer to SAQ 2.2. This is a response for the answer we provided.

Type of hazardSource of hazardIntervention
Biological hazards: pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, worms)Infective discharges (blood, secretions, oral swabs, pus) Personal hygiene (handwashing, hand disinfection); proper disposal of wastes; disinfection and sterilisation of medical equipment
Physical hazard: slips and tripsWet or slippery floorEnsure floors are cleaned properly; mop up spills; warn people of slippery floors
Chemical hazard: drugs, detergents Medicines and cleaning products used and stored in the Health PostStore detergents properly in labelled containers; use according to instructions; use protective equipment such as gloves

SAQ 2.4 (tests Learning Outcomes 2.4 and 2.5)

Think about the possible types of pollution that could be produced from a health centre.

  • a.List the types of pollution that could be produced, giving one example of each type.
  • b.Describe the two main approaches to pollution management. Outline the pollution management methods that could be used for the pollutants you have listed.


  • a.The types of pollution from a health centre could be air, water and land pollution. Water pollution may occur if sterilising fluids are discharged into a nearby river. Air pollution may arise from the burning of wastes. Land pollution is possible if health centre wastes are not disposed of correctly.

  • b.There are two main approaches to pollution management: pollution prevention (which should be used to stop pollution being produced in the first place or reducing any waste generation at the source where possible) and pollution control (the measures taken to control pollution and wastes after they have been generated or produced).

    • Water pollution: chemical waste should not be discharged to a river but disposed of properly.
    • Air pollution: the amount of waste produced should be minimised where possible, by other methods of waste management such as reusing and recycling. If needed, waste burning should be carried out properly to reduce the likelihood of air pollution.
    • Land pollution: again, waste management should be used to minimise the amount of waste produced. Proper waste management facilities should be used, especially as health centre wastes are likely to contain hazardous materials.

Summary of Study Session 2