BCIT hosts Minerva Canada Safety Forum

BCIT School of Construction and the Environment (SoCE) continuously seeks to improve student success in industry. A Minerva Canada Safety Forum, which took place at the BCIT Downtown Campus, was the perfect opportunity to focus on students’ safety education. Run entirely by volunteers, Minerva is a non-profit organization that focuses on integrating health and safety education in post-secondary institutions. Above all, the organization aims to make future business and engineering workplaces a safer and healthier environment for all.

The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CAEB) now looks for safety and risk education in new engineering graduates. Per these new attributes, Minerva encourages post-secondary institutions to consider updating curriculum to include health and safety modules.

Forum Highlights

Wayne Hand, the Dean of the School of Construction and the Environment, opened the forum with a welcome speech. Dave Rutherford, the Associate Dean of Natural Resources and Engineering, shared closing remarks with the president of Minerva Canada, Tony Pasteris. Also in attendance from Minerva was Graeme Norval from the University of Toronto.

Minerva sees the importance of connecting institutions with leaders in corporations and governments. Therefore, government and industry representatives were invited to come out. Industry representatives included PCL Constructors Inc., Fraser River Pile & Dredge (GP) Inc., and Seaspan; and government representatives in attendance were from WorkSafeBC and Technical Safety BC (formerly BC Safety Authority).

Faculty members also attended the forum. There were multiple presentations on how to incorporate teaching and online modules to current or new courses. To facilitate curriculum development, Minerva has free resources and tools available to help faculty set up modules inclusive of health and safety management topics.

Minerva sees the importance of health and safety education: “It would help future engineers better understand their legal, moral, ethical and societal responsibilities and properly prepare them for the workplace.”

Thus, it was important to understand where students currently stood in their health and safety knowledge. BCIT civil engineering graduates presented at the forum to discuss their perspectives on missing elements in their health and safety education at BCIT.

Open-Access Resources

These safety forums have been hosted all across Canada and have grown in size over the years, and the plethora of free modules located on their website shows this growth. Modules include:

Field Safety Considerations and its Design Implications,
Incorporating Safety into Engineering Team Design,
Hazard and Risk Identification,
Radiation Safety,
Hazard and Risk Identification,
Safety in Transportation of Dangerous Goods,
Electrical Safety, Hazard Energy, etc.

Learn more about Minerva and the School of Construction and the Environment.


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