2012 Learning Forums
From learning how to instil a culture of safety to providing input on new teaching modules, engineering professors and educators from across Canada left the 2012 Minerva Learning Forums with a better grasp of the importance of teaching health and safety management concepts to their students and with an introduction to the many valuable resources to help them integrate core principles into engineering curricula.
The professors arrived with a variety of expectations:
- To learn more about Minerva and what to teach about health and safety
- To understand health and safety regulations in Canada
- To find out how to tap into all disciplines since health and safety is so multi-disciplinary
- To take away knowledge to impart to students so they can influence change in the workplace
- To discover ways to teach safety that will resonate with students and engage them
- To get updated on Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board requirements for health and safety
- To access a self-contained module on health and safety to insert in the first-year engineering course so students get exposure early in the curriculum.
According to Anand Prakash, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Western University, “This is a very important and good forum. I was here last year and came back because I heard they added some new things.”
One of these is the creation of an Electrical Safety Module by the Electrical Safety Association in partnership with Minerva. “This will mean that all engineering students are introduced to the concepts of electrical safety; which should be taught in all first year electrical courses but aren’t,” says Graeme Norval , Associate Chair and Undergraduate Coordinator, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, who co-chaired this Learning Forum for the fifth year in a row. “And the professors are quite supportive of the move to e-modules which gives them additional e-learning available for the students.”
One of the staples of the Learning Forums was a keynote speech from a leader in the health and safety community. This year featured George Griziotis, Chief Prevention Officer, Ontario Ministry of Labour, who set up Ontario’s first Prevention Office with a mandate to deliver an integrated service delivery model for health and safety in the province. His position was created following a 2010 review of Ontario’s workplace health and safety system led by U of T Professor Tony Dean.