June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.1394.1 - 23.1394.5
Teaching Responsibility for Safety in Bioengineering DesignEngineers are responsible for protecting the public from hazards associated with the technologies theydesign and put into use. Bioengineers who develop technologies for the medical and healthcare industriesbear special responsibility for protecting people along the entire supply, implementation, and disposallife-cycle for a technology. As educators of future bioengineering professionals, we carry theresponsibility to instill the commitment and to provide the knowledge needed to design for safety in thebiomedical industry.This paper demonstrates the concept of “prevention through design” as a means for designing safety intobioengineering innovations. Rather than attempting to protect people from hazards by adding shields orby posting warnings, safety is best achieved when a technology is designed specifically to prevent allpossible hazards. Safety designed into the technology from the very beginning is termed “preventionthrough design.” This paper presents a set of instructional materials that prompt consideration of possiblehazards throughout a design project and discusses tools for evaluating hazards associated with differentdesign alternatives.The paper begins with case studies of serious accidents that have occurred in bioengineering-relatedenvironments, raising students’ awareness of the gravity of hazards in this field. Risk assessment tools arepresented for use in capstone design courses to engage students in identifying and assessing theseriousness of potential hazards both generally and in their own projects. Risk assessment tools arevaluable for evaluating the extent to which different design options they consider in their projects mightaddress hazards present there. Similar tools are discussed for assessing the potential for failures to occur,providing students help in designing for reliability. A set of instructional resources (presentation slides,active learning exercises, and examples) prepared by the authors of this paper will be discussed and isavailable for download from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) website.Engineers working in bioengineering fields must be able to design and utilize technologies safely andminimize the occurrence of equipment and procedural failures. An important first step in their designlearning is creating a passion and competency for accident “prevention through design.” This paper willenable bioengineering faculty to prepare their graduates with a safety consciousness and a competence indesigning for safety.
Davis, D. C., & Davis, H. P. (2013, June), Work-in-Progress: Teaching Responsibility for Safety in Bioengineering Design Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22780
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