June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.175.1 - 15.175.8
An Overview of Teaching Construction Safety to CET/CM Students Author A
This paper illustrates the need to teach that construction safety is not intuitive. In our construction program, we start teaching safety principles and practices in the student’s junior year and continue to emphasize construction safety throughout the student’s junior and senior years, ending in the student’s capstone graduating class. The key is to get our students understanding that in construction safety, we are talking about human lives. Many safety laws are dictated based on results from severe accidents or even death (e.g.. OSHA Fatal Facts). Understanding these laws is not easy, especially for a 20 to 22 year old who does not have industry experience. This paper reports the trends in our students’ scores on the Constructor’s Qualification Examination (CQE) Level I Exam as well as student responses to a locally developed survey relating to safety. The paper also recounts the various means that the program uses to not only teach construction safety principles and practices but to instill the fact that safety is not intuitive and must be learned and practiced.
This paper follows a similar thread to Peterson1 on student knowledge of and attitude toward safety. Specifically, we wanted to investigate the safety culture of outgoing graduates of our program as the data and literature review show that this age and experience group is twice as likely to become injured onsite. The other concern is that Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data starting in 2003 showed that first-line managers/supervisors of construction trade workers and construction managers were ranked as one of the top eight occupations in the private construction industry for fatalities.
Safety culture is made up of a variety of factors, including attitude; however, a large portion of the safety culture is directly connected to on-the-job work. As faculty, our responsibility is to do our best to prepare our students for this work. Faculty must focus instruction on safety rules and procedures, and we must emphasize the use of communication skills and competency to promote safety in the work environment.
This paper offers an overview of our current approach to teaching construction safety, our plans for the future, and recommendations for safety education for similar programs.
The Construction Engineering Technology (CET) program at Montana State University (MSU) is an ABET-TAC accredited program and was founded in 1960 in the Department of Engineering and Agriculture, which is now the College of Engineering, a college that includes five academic departments, including the Department of Civil Engineering, where the CET program resides. Our 2008-09 enrollment of CET undergraduates in the program was 266 with
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