Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Evaluation of NIOSH-sponsored engineering faculty workshops Public Deposited

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  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been sponsoring workshops for undergraduate engineering professors since 1984. The workshops were designed to educate engineering professors about the importance of addressing health and safety issues in their undergraduate engineering curricula. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of these workshops in encouraging and in providing information that would be helpful in shaping the future direction of these workshops and other related NIOSH efforts. The objectives of this study were to determine: 1) if previous participants in NIOSH workshops have continued to use the information and ideas presented regarding the integration of health and safety issues into the undergraduate engineering curricula, 2) the reasons undergraduate engineering faculty give for including or not including health and safety issues in their courses, 3) the sources of materials and information undergraduate engineering professors use to address current health and safety issues, and 4) any trends toward the education of undergraduate engineering students in the area of health and safety. The study population consisted of 108 undergraduate engineering faculty who attended the workshops and 116 randomly selected undergraduate engineering professors who did not attend the workshops. Each faculty member completed an eight-page questionnaire regarding occupational and public health and safety. The questionnaire was divided into three parts: occupational health and safety, public health and safety, and general information. Participants were asked if they currently were addressing health and safety issues, if they had conducted any research in the area of health and safety, where they were finding the materials and information to use in their classes, why they were addressing health and safety issues in their classes or why not, whether they have any exposure to health and safety in their undergraduate education and, what type of support they received from their department and colleagues. A total of 175 surveys were returned for an overall response rate of 54.0 percent. Eighteen questionnaires were removed from the study because of incomplete or inconsistent responses. Tests of statistical significance between the two groups were based on Chi-Square statistics. The results indicated that faculty who attended the workshops believed that their attendance contributed to their decision to integrate health and safety issues in their courses. Of those faculty who attended the workshop 76.8 percent currently are addressingoccupational health and safety and 57.1 percent are addressing public health and safety in their undergraduate engineering curricula. Purdue (75.0 percent), Tufts (62.5 percent), Utah (80.0 percent), and Auburn (55.6 percent) participants felt the workshop was an important source of information for occupational health and safety. Over fifty-eight percent responding in each group marked personal interest and ethical considerations for reasons they address occupational and public health and safety.
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