June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Design in Engineering Education
22.1269.1 - 22.1269.16
Safety Policies and Procedures for Engineering Design CoursesStudents taking engineering design courses face a variety of safety issues due to the diversenature of design projects undertaken each semester. To assist students in completing projectssafely, a comprehensive safety program is critical to the hands-on engineering educationalexperience. Our safety program, originally developed for the School of Engineering (SOE)fabrication shops, has grown and matured over the past ten years.Developing safety programs in an academic environment has its unique nature and challenges. Itwas clear that traditional safety program models that have relied on elaborate organizationalstructures would not work. Prior to developing written materials or procedures, the SOE safetycommittee invested considerable time and thoughts into conducting a risk analysis of theLaboratory and Fabrication areas that would be used. Faculty and Staff alike were consulted inthis process. The safety educational program developed was collaborative and distributesresponsibility for safety work practices equally among all of the SOE stakeholders. The firstsafety policy was established in 2001.The committee recognized that the academic environment required the program to be flexible.The development of innovative, unique and/or new materials and devices creates situations inwhich safety mechanisms and safety procedures must be designed in tandem. This requires thestudents and faculty advisors to be aware of a broad spectrum of safety considerations, especiallymultidisciplinary design projects. The Safety Committee meets prior to each semester to reviewpresent polices, revising to them as needed, and distributing them to course instructors andteaching assistants.The projects may include chemical, biological, mechanical or electrical aspects which needclarification. In these cases, students are required to research policies, draft standard operatingprocedures, review the information with an instructor, and request approval from the safetycommittee prior to beginning the project or prior to operating/testing a prototype system. Suchsupports are especially important for multidisciplinary design projects because both studentsand faculty advisors may not have all the expertise required to address safety issues sufficiently.The committee tries to make sure that following the afety guidelines does not become ahindrance to students’ project work. Furthermore, this evaluation causes the students to takepersonal responsibility for the safety in their design, safety in fabrication of a system in theshop areas, and in operation and testing of the system.To flexibly deliver the safety information to students, a web-based safety compliance system wasdeveloped. It insures that the material is presented in a consistent and reproducible manor.Moreover, instructors, shop staff, and TAs are now able to confirm that students have passed theonline policy review and test. The on-line grade book is used as a record keeping system. Thesystem is used to manage over 800 students every semester.Our approach focuses on enabling and empowering students to follow-through with their designsby providing the necessary supports. At the same, it assists the students to learn and follow safetypractices in their projects. This paper presents detailed implementation of our safety program.
Kanai, J., & Chiappone, S. (2011, June), Safety Policies and Procedures for Engineering Design Courses Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18475
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