Asee peer logo

Extent of Construction Safety in the Engineering Curricula from the Perspective of Practitioners in the MENA Region

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Construction Safety and Risk Management

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.589.1 - 24.589.12

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Essam K. Zaneldin P.E. United Arab Emirates University

visit author page

Dr Essam Zaneldin earned his PhD in 2000 from the University of Waterloo in the area of Construction Engineering and Management. Dr Zaneldin is a professional engineer currently working as an associate professor of Construction Engineering and Management at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, United Arab Emirates University. Dr Zaneldin is also the head of the College of Engineering Requirements Unit at the United Arab Emirates University. In addition to his experience in the academia, Dr Zaneldin has more than thirteen years of work experience in areas related to design, construction supervision, and project management of mega size projects in North America and the Middle East. He has authored and co-authored several journal and conference publications in topics related to engineering education and course management, design coordination, change management, site layout planning, constructability, claims and disputes, and simulation of design and construction operations.

visit author page


Amr M.I. Sweedan United Arab Emirates University

visit author page

Amr Sweedan is an associate professor of Structural Engineering and the Chairman of th Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the UAE University. He is a registered professional engineer in the province of Ontario, Canada (P.Eng.). Sweedan earned his Ph.D. in Structural Dynamics from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He received his M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in Structural Engineering from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. Before joining the UAE University, Sweedan held the position of a Senior Engineer at the head office of Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc. (RWDI), Consulting Engineers and Scientists, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Sweedan areas of research interest include: Modeling and Testing of Solid, Cellular and Castellated Steel Elements; Strengthening of Steel Structures using FRP Laminates; Evaluation of Structural Response to Seismic and Wind Loading; and Design and Behavior of Shell Structures under Hydrodynamic and Hydrostatic Pressures.

visit author page


Munjed A. Maraqa United Arab Emirates University

visit author page

Munjed Maraqa is an associate professor and assistant director of the Roadway, Transportation and Traffic Safety Research Center at the UAE University. His research covers a broad range of issues related to modeling environmental systems, water quality, waste management, and traffic safety. Between 2008-2012, Maraqa acted as an advisor to Al Ain Municipality on the development of an EHS management system for the Building and Construction Sector in Abu Dhabi Emirate. Maraqa holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Jordan, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Michigan State University.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Extent of Construction Safety in the Engineering Curricula from the Perspective of Practitioners in the MENA RegionThe level of safety implied by the construction industry records is significantly low compared toother industries. The construction industry has the most dismal record of safety among allindustrial segments, with a risk of fatality that is about five times higher than in any otherindustry. The higher rate of accidents and fatalities in the construction industry could be due tothe nature of the work; however, several factors have been identified that could affectconstruction safety. Among these factors is the provision of construction safety education toengineering students. It is also believed that there is a greater ability to influence safety on aproject earlier in the project’s life cycle and such ability diminishes as the schedule moves fromconceptual design toward start-up. Thus, provision of construction safety education toengineering students will have benefits both for the project design and later in the procurementstage.Construction safety education for engineering students may involve two main aspects;construction site safety and design for construction safety (DfCS). Progress has been made inthe developed countries to incorporate both aspects in the engineering curriculum. However, theextent to which engineering students in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regionreceive construction safety education during their undergraduate study is not known. To assessthis extent, a survey was designed and distributed to engineering practitioners in some MENAregion countries. The survey was also utilized to assess the need for comprising constructionsafety education in the engineering curriculum. The study showed that about the majority of thesurveyed practitioner engineers did not receive construction safety knowledge during theiruniversity education. Of those who did, almost half received such knowledge during internship.Meanwhile, about half of those who received some construction safety education ranked thereceived level as being “average”. Initial results showed that the majority of the surveyedpractitioners believe that there is a need for more construction safety education at the universitylevel. The study will also suggest some modifications to enhance the current level ofconstruction safety education in the MENA region such as incorporating some topics of DfCS tobe included in traditional design courses in order to address this crucial issue.

Zaneldin, E. K., & Sweedan, A. M., & Maraqa, M. A. (2014, June), Extent of Construction Safety in the Engineering Curricula from the Perspective of Practitioners in the MENA Region Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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: © 2014 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