Asee peer logo

Creativity and Workplace Safety: Proactive Safety Practices are Vital in Preventing Employee Injuries

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Assessing, Developing, and Enhancing the Engineering Experiential Education Experience

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.400.1 - 22.400.16



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Ralph Ocon Purdue University, Calumet


Shoji Nakayama Purdue University, Calumet

visit author page

Shoji Nakayama, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership and Supervision in the Department of Construction Science and Organizational Leadership at Purdue University, Calumet. In this position, he teaches safety and health related courses, as well as improving Safety, Health, and Environmental Management curriculum through Academic Advisory Committees. Professor Nakayama has safety related experience in automotive, airline, regulatory agency and printing industries. He recently worked as an Environmental Health, and Safety System Analyst for the telecommunication industry. His research interests include human performance development/improvement, safety performance analysis, integration of safety principles into lean manufacturing, and development of effective online training modules. Professor Nakayama holds a B.S. in Safety Management and M.S. in Industrial Management from University of Central Missouri and a Ph.D. in Technology Management, with specialization in Human Resource Development and Industrial Training from Indiana State University.

visit author page

author page

Opal McFarlane Purdue University, Calumet

Download Paper |


Creativity and Workplace Safety: Proactive Safety Practices are Vital in Preventing Employee InjuriesAbstractToday’s workplace is filled with hazards that can impact the overall success of an organization.Workplace injuries caused by such hazards can significantly affect the operation of an entireorganization. OSHA (2008) has stated, “Recent estimates place the business costs associatedwith occupational injuries at close to $170 billion- expenditures that come straight out of thecompany profits” (para. 10). Therefore, how to manage organizational safety issues has becomea challenge in various industries. The concerns about workplace safety are forcing companies toreevaluate their operations and safety management practices in order to become more safetyconscious while remaining competitive.Traditionally, companies placed emphasis on correcting hazardous situations after an injuryand/or fatality had occurred. An alternative and progressive approach that is currently beingtaught and used in industry, places emphasis on proactive safety programs. Proactive safetyprograms focus on accident prevention. Using creativity, proactive thinking can be developed tohelp identify and correct hazardous situations before injuries occur.As future leaders and professionals in industry, it’s important for engineering and technologystudents to develop skills in proactive thinking to reduce workplace injuries. Therefore, it’sessential for these academic programs to provide students with an understanding of proactivethinking as it relates to safety management.This paper will discuss how creativity concepts and techniques can be used to develop proactivethinking in order to reduce job related injuries. Common workplace safety concerns andproactive strategies to prevent employee injuries will be identified. The authors will also provideideas on how engineering and technology faculty can incorporate workplace safety concerns intotheir courses to help prepare students for future leadership responsibilities in the 21st centuryworkplace.

Ocon, R., & Nakayama, S., & McFarlane, O. (2011, June), Creativity and Workplace Safety: Proactive Safety Practices are Vital in Preventing Employee Injuries Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17681

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015