The Safety Protocol for Employees Involved in Engineering

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Engineers have played a major role in technological advancements that have created many changes in mankind. Some advancements have improved society, some have been detrimental. Some have aided life, others have created new economic, social, environmental, or safety problems. One noteworthy change brought about by technology is faster, more efficient travel. Not long ago, people traveled approximately 8km/hour or less either walking or via animal-powered conveyances. Automobiles made travel approximately 10 times faster than that, airplanes 100 times faster, and rockets more than 1,000 times faster. A horse drawn wagon could carry a 1- or 2-ton load. Today, a 200-car freight train can carry 20,000 tons, and super tanker ships carry similar or larger loads. Communication and electronics technologies continue to shrink the world and change lifestyles. The Pony Express moved only small pouches of information at one time. Therefore engineers are pay a major role in the world

Keeping people safe involves the work of many disciplines. Engineers have made many contributions to safety and have helped resolve many safety problems; so have many other professions. Engineers need to know what role other professions have in safety and health and need to work with them. Often an interdisciplinary effort is required to identify hazards, to develop effective solutions to safety problems, and to achieve safe products, buildings, operations, and systems.

Engineering Fields

Every engineering discipline has important contributions to make to safety and health within its areas of specialization. Jobs in virtually every engineering discipline include a significant number of safety-related tasks.6 At the risk of slighting some disciplines, contributions of certain disciplines are noted below. Engineers work mainly on the preventive side of safety. In this role, engineers must identify hazards during design and must eliminate or reduce them. They also prevent unsafe behavior by designing products, workplaces, and environments so that unsafe behavior cannot or is not likely to occur. They also mitigate the effects of unsafe behavior through design so that the effects are controlled or of limited scope.

Civil Engineering

Civil engineers have advanced many areas of safety and health. Civil engineers pursue structural integrity of buildings, bridges, and other constructed facilities. Civil engineers seek safe and sanitary handling, storage, treatment, and disposal of wastes. They study and develop controls for air and water pollution and contribute to transportation safety in design and construction of facilities for railroads, motor vehicles, ships, and aircraft.

Industrial Engineering

Being concerned with industrial processes and operations, industrial engineers try to fit jobs to people and make work methods and work environments safe. Many industrial engineers receive some training in occupational safety and health, safety engineering, ergonomics, or human factors engineering.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineers took the lead in establishing safety requirements for machines, boilers and pressure vessels, elevators, and other kinds of mechanized equipment and facilities. They started safety standards for some of these systems before 1900.

Electrical Engineering

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Electrical engineers have contributed to safety through design of electrical safety devices, electrical interlocks, ground fault circuit interrupters, more compact electrical circuits, and other items. Today, electronics engineers and computer engineers must include software safety analysis in their designs to prevent injuries to system users.

Chemical Engineering

Through the design of less hazardous processes, chemical engineers have contributed to safety. They have applied system safety techniques to process design, have helped develop requirements for less hazardous chemicals, and have developed waste reclamation processes.

Safety Engineering

Safety engineering is devoted to the application of scientific and engineering principles and methods to the elimination and control of hazards. Safety engineers need to know a great deal about many different engineering fields. They specialize in recognition and control of hazards, and they work closely with other engineering and nonengineering disciplines.

Ergonomics and Human Factors Engineering

Ergonomics and human factors engineering are very similar. They specialize in the application of information from the biological and behavioral sciences to the design of systems and equipment. Their goal is to improve performance, safety, and satisfaction. They try to improve the fit between people and equipment, environments, systems, work-places or information. Specialists in this field try to improve performance and safety by reducing task errors and physical stresses involved in physical activity. Ergonomics has a strong emphasis on physiological and biomechanical aspects whereas human factors engineering emphasizes the behavioral and cognitive aspects of performance and safety.

Fire Protection Engineering

Fire protection engineering is the field of engineering concerned with safeguarding life and property against loss from fire, explosion, and related hazards. Fire protection engineers are specialists in prevention, protection, detection and alarms, and fire control and extinguishment for structures, equipment, processes, and systems. They design egress routes to allow for safe exiting from fires.

Actions Taken by Engineers

A professional safety engineer is trained in studies that include industrial hygiene, engineering hazard controls, system and process safety, ergonomics, and health management, product safety and construction safety. It also encompasses environmental safety and health, and safety, health and environmental laws, regulations and standards as well as accident investigation and analysis. Safety engineers are usually already engineers in other disciplines such as industrial engineering, mining engineering etc. They develop procedures and design systems that keep workers, users of a facility (or even people in the vicinity) from getting sick or injured and keep property from being damaged. They combine their knowledge of health or safety and of systems engineering to make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture and other products are not going to cause harm to people or buildings. In other words, they anticipate, identify and evaluate hazardous conditions and practices. They develop hazard control designs, methods, procedures and programs which they implement, administer as well as advise others on such programmes. It is not unusual for safety engineers to consider software, chemical, electrical, mechanical, procedural, and training problems at the same time.

Safety engineers look for ways to prevent accidents in the workplace. Sometimes, it’s their job to take into consideration the design and material of buildings and what a building would be used for, as well as emergency exits. Depending on the industry they are employed in, they may also test air and water quality, noise levels and temperature and constantly monitor equipment to ensure all are in top working condition. In conclusion, safety is, undeniably, one of the more important disciplines in engineering and, if not implemented, may lead to disaster and loss of lives.


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