Occupational safety is at its most effective if it has already been taken into consideration throughout the design process of machinery and systems. For the safer and healthier design of machinery, the participating mechanical engineers and product designers require in-depth technical knowledge. Taking safety factors into consideration at an early stage can make a major contribution to ensuring that high-cost reworking, or even the consequences of serious accidents with substantially hazardous products, can be prevented.
To convey this knowledge to students, the Technical University of Dresden (TUD), on behalf of and with the technical support of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), has developed a supportive teaching concept in the form of the PROSUmEr project which is to be applied during lectures at universities in Germany. With 15 double lessons per semester, the teaching’s scope is equivalent to one whole university semester.
The teaching concept consists of five topics with a total of 14 study modules. The modular structure, consisting of classroom lessons as well as practical and consistent application examples, allows for flexible and target group-oriented use in academic teaching. The teaching and study materials that have been developed can be used on PCs, notebooks and mobile end devices (such as tablets), and are provided in the form of an open educational resource (OER). The Creative Commons licence model which is used in this respect allows users to participate in updating and further developing the teaching and/or study documentation.
The teaching concept is provided through the university-spanning learning management system OPAL, which encompasses document management as well as a variety of digital communication and collaboration tools, such as forums and wikis. These extend the methodical application possibilities of the teaching concept as well as professional networking across universities.
The teaching concept was evaluated in the project together with students and experts. The results attest to the high quality of the teaching concept and suggest considerable potential for academic training. In addition to this, vocational schools and companies can also make free use of the teaching and/or study materials.
To ensure that the contents covered by the teaching concept stay up to date following the end of the project, regular software maintenance and content updates are planned for the next three years. BAuA will then carry out another evaluation.
Unit 2.4 "Workplaces, Safety of Machinery, Operational Safety"