June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.977.1 - 12.977.8
INTRODUCING SAFETY AND HEALTH ISSUES INTO AN ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM
Abstract Engineers and Engineering Technologists have played major roles in many of the technological advancements that have benefited humanity. While many of the technological advancements in recent decades have been of tremendous benefit, some have created new forms of hazards for the safety and health of mankind. As a result, safety and health issues have played a key role in many fields of engineering and engineering technology. This is especially true in the Biomedical Engineering field whose growth rate has outpaced other traditional engineering disciplines in recent years. In the health care industry, patient safety and health issues lead to many injuries and death with resulting litigation every year. Even though the importance of health and safety considerations is well established for many fields of engineering, it is not taught as an integral part of most engineering or engineering technology curricula, and is not tested as part of the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) or Professional Engineering (PE) licensing exams 1. The recognized importance of safety and health in engineering, however, has led to the development of relatively new degrees in Safety Engineering. The Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program at Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) has recently instituted an option in Biomedical Engineering Technology (BMET). Recognizing the inherent hazards to health and safety in the medical environment, a required course in Health Care Safety was included in the curriculum. This course was intended to focus predominantly on the health care environment, but it was quickly realized that the course could be used as a vehicle for introducing many of the issues related to safety and health that are generic to many engineering disciplines. This paper discusses the rationale, considerations, and development of the Health Care Safety course.
Numerous technological advancements over the last couple of decades have tremendously benefited humanity. Engineers and Engineering Technologists have played major roles in many of these technological advancements. However, while many of the technological advancements in recent decades have been of tremendous benefit, some have created new forms of hazards for the safety and health of mankind. As an example, nuclear energy has provided the potential for a cheap, clean source of electrical energy. However, the waste byproducts from nuclear power plants and the possibility of nuclear explosions provide sources of hazard to the safety and health of humans. As another example, the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in medicine has considerably improved the accuracy of medical diagnosis. Though these machines are invaluable for medical diagnosis, they pose serious hazards for patients with metal implants or implanted pace-makers.
As a result of concerns related to some of these new technologies, safety and health issues now play a key role in many fields of Engineering and Engineering Technology. This is especially
Asgill, A. (2007, June), Introducing Safety And Health Issues Into An Engineering Technology Curriculum Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2670
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