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Applied Science and engineering: managing a safety engineering project.
The safety professionals handbook: management applications, second edition. Haight JM, ed., Des Plaines, IL: The American Society of Safety Engineers, 2012 Jan; :113-147
To properly treat the subject of managing safety engineering work, some discussion should be provided about what safety engineering is. It is difficult to define since it is one specialty in the larger and more broadly defined safety and health discipline, and, as such, it is often loosely defined and discussed. Paul Wright in his book Introduction to Engineering (1989) states that the Accreditation Board of Engineering Technology (ABET) defines engineering as A profession in which a knowledge of mathematical and natural sciences gained by study, experience and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to utilize, economically, the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind. ABET defines an engineer as a person, who by reason of their special knowledge and use of mathematical, physical and engineering sciences and the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, acquired by education and experience, is qualified to practice engineering (Duderstadt, Knoll, and Springer 1982). Wright (1989) adds to this definition: The engineer's knowledge must be tempered with judgment. Solutions to engineering problems must often satisfy conflicting objectives and the preferred optimum solution does not always result from a clean-cut application of principles or formulas. He also states that Engineers are concerned with the creation of structures, devices and systems for human use. In the foreword of James CoVan's book Safety Engineering (1995), Rodney D. Stewart writes: Safety Engineering is an increasingly important and growing 'horizontal' dimension of engineering that cuts across all the traditional vertical dimensions (civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical and software). CoVan writes: Safety is a broad, multidisciplinary topic and this book addresses the engineering aspects of the subject. This indicates that there are engineering aspects of safety that must be managed. Safety engineering is a diverse and often poorly understood subject. Many critics doubt that engineering is involved. A weakness of the discipline that developed to serve the underlying need is that many of its practitioners were untrained and undisciplined in its application (CoVan 1995). Roger Brauer writes in his book Safety and Health for Engineers (1990) Safety engineering is devoted to application of scientific and engineering principles and methods to the elimination of hazards. Safety engineers need to know a lot about many different engineering fields Gloss and Wardle (1984) write in their book Introduction to Safety Engineering: Safety engineering is slowly maturing as a recognized profession. Safety engineering is a relatively new profession and reflects our mounting concerns for the environment, the consumer and the rights of workers. This lends importance to the need to apply established management practices to this new field. Many aspects of the safety engineer's job fit the ABET definition for engineering. While safety engineers do not often create structures or devices as noted by Wright (1989), it can be strongly argued that the safety engineer does create systems for the benefit of humankind. This chapter does not attempt to formally define safety engineering work, but proposes a working definition for the purposes of discussing specific management concepts, principles, and activities associated with projects and work in which safety engineering is inherent. These management concepts, principles, and activities include scheduling, manpower and other resource allocation, budgeting, effectiveness measurement systems, purchasing, work definition, and so on, associated with projects involving the design, construction, installation, operation, maintenance, and dismantling and/or disposal of equipment, systems, processes, or facilities in which safety engineering is an integral component. These types of projects may include excavation protection systems, fall protection systems, energy isolation systems, confined space entry systems, general construction, and general maintenance turnaround activities. It is important to recognize that safety is no different than any other aspect of a project, or of work in general. It is often presented and discussed as a separate entity that must be accomplished and that must be treated individually. However, for the purposes of this chapter, safety is not a noun describing a specific activity; in most cases, throughout the chapter, it will be used as an adjective describing the way in which all work gets done. Even though it is not a separate entity, the safety-related aspects of the job have to be managed just like all other aspects of any project. For example, budgeting, developing specifications, ordering adequate quantities, and dispersing respiratory protective equipment must be done for a confined space entry job just as these must be done for the structural support members for a bridge. This chapter provides discussion on what a project is, as well as what a managed system is. It discusses where safety engineering fits into a project or system. It covers general management principles such as organizing, defining the work, scoping, scheduling, budgeting, and staffing. Workforce issues such as training and learning, motivating, team building, conflict, and leadership are covered, and the chapter also addresses work and workforce analysis concepts such as performance ratings, work sampling, allowances, time study, and resource allocation. Final products and deliverables are discussed and many of the concepts are further illustrated in the form of examples and open-ended problems to work out.
Engineering; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Safety-research; Safety-engineering; Mathematical-models; Education; Engineering-controls
The safety professionals handbook: management applications, second edition
Page last reviewed: November 20, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division