Inclusion of construction health and safety in engineering programs in the MENA region: Assessment and potential enhancement

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Construction safety education for engineering students may involve two main aspects: construction site safety and design for construction safety (DfCS). Progress has been made in the developed countries to incorporate both aspects in the engineering curriculum. However, the extent to which engineering students in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region receive construction safety education during their undergraduate study is not known. To assess this extent, two survey forms were designed and distributed to engineering practitioners and construction-related engineering programs in the MENA region. The practitioners’ survey was also utilized to assess the need for comprising construction safety education in the engineering curriculum. The study showed that about 70 % of the surveyed practitioner engineers did not receive construction safety knowledge during their university education. Of those who did, almost half received such knowledge during internship. Meanwhile, about 50 % of those who received some construction safety education ranked the received level as being “average.” Results also showed that the majority of the surveyed practitioners believe that there is a need for more construction safety education at the university level. In terms of inclusion in the engineering curriculum, surveyed practitioners ranked 15 suggested safety aspects as important to very important to be included in the undergraduate curriculum. Responses received from contacted engineering programs indicated that assigning an entire course to cover construction safety is not common in the MENA region. While the majority of construction safety coverage was shown to be either as an integral part of a core course or through the internship, only 40 % of the programs indicated inclusion of construction safety topics as integral parts of elective courses that are commonly offered once a year. A major observation was that construction safety is included in less than 15 % of the graduation project courses offered by the responding programs, indicating a possibly high deficiency in comprising DfCS in the curriculum. In addition, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and in-house developed materials were reported as the most common data sources for teaching construction safety. The study proposes enhancing the current level of construction safety education for engineering students in the MENA region by incorporating a core course in the curriculum and by integrating several suggested topics of DfCS in traditional design courses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Engineering Education in the Middle East and North Africa
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Status, and Future Insights
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages261-299
Number of pages39
ISBN (Electronic)9783319153230
ISBN (Print)9783319153223
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Construction site safety
  • Design for construction safety
  • Engineering curriculum
  • MENA region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences

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