Safety at work starting with the proper design of environments

From OSHWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Safety at work starting with the proper design of environments

Introduction

The sixth edition of the “Master Course in Design and safety in the Workplace” is underway. The idea of training working-environment designers was born in 2012 from a discussion between INAILTuscany, funder, and the University of Florence; this followed the analysis of several accidents that were caused by non-adequately-designed working environments.

Prof. Pietro Capone, who has been the director of the educational path in all of the master's editions, has placed special emphasis on the importance of designing environments that have the safety of workers in mind. As a matter of fact, the earthquake in Emilia Romagna had just occurred (May 2012) and some workers had lost their lives due to roofs collapsing in some factories built without taking into account the most modern and effective seismic indications.

Distinctive Elements of the Master

The first edition of the course, launched in 2012, and the following two editions held in 2013 and 2014, were qualified as "advanced training courses" before being accredited, since 2015, as Level II Master Courses.

For this reason, in June 2016, INAIL's Regional Director for Tuscany, Dr. Giovanni Asaro, and Professor Massimiliano Lucchesi, Executive of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Florence, decided to sign a three-year agreement with the aim of enhancing the skills of designers, by teaching them how to take into account and pay closer attention to buildings' safety requirements.

The peculiarity of this Master programme is that both engineers and architects can participate: both of them, in fact, are qualified for designing physical environments, buildings with production or professional purposes, and must take into account the specific production requirements and, specifically, the interactions between instrumental factors (machines, tools, forklifts, conveyor belts), chemicals (substances, materials, powders etc.), physical agents (electromagnetic fields, noise, light, microclimate etc.) and, of course, the human factor.

Clearly the ultimate purpose of this initiative is for them to become able to design workplaces by keeping in mind the inescapable need to preserve the physical integrity and moral personality of workers (Italian civil code-article 2,087), while also respecting the high production standards required by an efficient company. The main purpose of the course is therefore not simply to teach how to design factories and offices that just respect the rules of construction, but to go beyond the simple formalities required by law and, through focused analysis of both business needs and health and safety requirements, create efficient and healthy working environments that will maintain the highest level of "organizational well-being".

The educational approach has been multidisciplinary: lecturers and teachers have been chosen among university professors, INAIL and ASL (national health service) directors and skilled professionals, physicians and experts of other research institutes.

During the previous editions, 111 students attended the lessons and passed the final exam of the Course/Master, 85 of them were engineers and 26 were architects. In the current 2018/2019 edition, 11 engineers and 7 architects are attending the course. 

Classroom work, studies and tutorials were enhanced by the different skills that are specific to the students' educational paths (for engineers and architects have a different training and mentality). The lessons also focused on legal and technical aspects, not solely centered on merely deepening the knowledge of construction theories, but also on physical, chemical, psychological, and legal-medical aspects, in order to train students on how to correctly identify the various kinds of risks workers may encounter and how to defend them by designing working environments properly.

In this year's edition, in fact, the lectures have been entrusted to over 30 experienced teachers of subjects identifiable with certain risk factors (for example, fire prevention, noise, mobbing/burn out or ergonomical posture): each of them is an expert in  identifying, measuring and managing these specific analyzed risks.

For the current 2018/2019 edition of the master the number of  teaching hours is 440, 205 of which in the classroom (lectures) and 215 hours of laboratories/sites visits, but we also need to add 125 hours of internship (total hours in the Master: 565). 

In-classroom lectures are held at the prestigious INAIL training center of Villa Lemmi in Florence. The Italian law, in fact, assigns INAIL the task of conducting specialized training in the field of health and safety and it can carry out these educational activities in an appropriate atmosphere offered by a historical building.

Activity sheets

“Design and Safety in workplaces”

Postgraduate course (2012 -2015)

Edition

Academic Year

Students

Engineers

Arch

Total Hours Teaching Activities

Hours

Lectures

Hours

Laboratory and inspections

Hours

Internship

Students employed thanks to the master

1

2012-2013

24

17

7

200

125

75

0

Information not available

2

2013-2014

25

20

5

240

125

115

0

Information not available

3

2014-2015

25

19

6

240

125

115

0

Information not available

II Level Master (2015 -2018)

Edition


Academic  Year

Students

Engineers

Arch.

Total Hours Teaching Activities

Hours

Lectures

Hours

Laboratory and Inspections

Hours Internship

Total Hours

Master

Students employed thanks to the master

1

2015-16

15

13

2

440

205

215

125

565

All

2

2016-17

14

12

2

440

205

215

125

565

All

3

2017-18

8

4

4

440

205

215

125

565

All

4

2018-19

11

7

4

440

205

215

125

565

-

Conclusions

By attending and successfully completing the course, students will achieve various qualifications :

1) Second Level Master Degree

2) Certificate of Safety Coordinator in Construction sites (CSP-CSE)

3) C-module for Head of the Prevention Service in the workplace (Italian Law 81/2008), according to regulations 

4) CFP (Professional credits) for engineers and architects, in accordance with the guidelines of CNI (Industrial Association) and CNA (Artisan Association)

INAIL Tuscany and the University of Florence aim to continue this fruitful cooperation in the future and act jointly in giving those who operate in this sector the specific skills they need in order to be even more effective in developing safer workplaces.

INAIL Director Arezzo-Siena   

                                                                David Maccioni

Contributors

d.maccioni@inail.it