Developing health and safety guidance for geodetic engineering surveyors
Kearns, Oisín Patrick
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Geodetic engineering surveyors are integral to the entire construction process and work in a sector that is considered occupationally hazardous. The aim of this research was to determine the extent of health and safety education that students of this discipline receive while attending higher-level educational programmes in the Republic of Ireland and to propose remedying actions if deficiencies were found. Historical aspects of surveying were chartered and the standard educational experience of surveyors profiled with respect to health and safety. The profession’s training and governing legislation was also examined – with the latter highlighting a clear regulatory exclusion of the profession’s activities. From there, a case study demonstrated the hazards of the occupation. This in turn led to a questionnaire being administered to academic directors and lecturers of the discipline (n = 45) from Irish universities and institutes of technology. Results revealed that the majority of geodetic engineering surveying (GES) programmes do contain some tuition in health and safety, albeit by a narrow margin (+5%). This tuition is provided as a component of a module in 73% of cases. When the subject is offered in a standalone capacity, an average of five European Credit Transfer Accumulation System (ECTS) credits are assigned. In relation to pedagogical approach, 75% of respondents stated that health and safety tuition offered is not specifically designed for GES practitioners. The research concludes that in the Republic of Ireland, higher-level education in health and safety varies greatly on GES programmes. In the majority of cases it is of short duration and very much generic. To remedy the situation, an electronic Safe System of Work Plan (SSWP) application was proposed that is of use in both an academic and professional environment.