The Safety Management Department has been finding sources to raise $6 million for their new design plan to enhance their laboratory classrooms in the Strain Behavioral Science Building.
They are planning to improve a construction lab and a general industry lab, new sites yet to be determined.
“The Safety Management Program is growing by leaps and bounds,” Norton said at the State of the University Address last week. “We have created a new lab design to try to enhance their laboratory opportunities so that they can accept more majors. The only thing that I need now, because we got the design, is $6 million.”
The department is not getting state support and is still looking for sources to fund the project. So far, they received $25,000 from the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) Foundation and are looking for funding in naming rights.
“We are hoping to get the funding as soon as possible,” Dr. Joseph M. Cali, Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Safety Management, said.
Students have been limited in getting applied experience in the classroom so the department is looking to get applied Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) laboratory experiences.
“Students will be more knowledgeable because of the hands-on experience,” Cali said. “They are going to become more marketable.”
The applied EHS laboratories will teach students problem-solving skills, how to make predictions and how to think like an EHS professional.
“They will be able to, when they go on internships and job interviews, relate to the professionals and talk about the equipment they used in the classrooms,” Cali said.
The Department believes that the way that students learn about science, engineering and technology is by “getting hands-on experience in the field or in the laboratory.”
“They’ll understand scaffolding when they’re on the construction site and all of the safe guards because they have touched it, felt it and dealt it,” Cali said.
Students enrolled in the Construction Safety class will benefit in the construction lab because they will have the opportunity to earn a 30-hour Occupational Therapy and Health Administration (OSHA) Construction card which is what potential employers are looking for.
“Eventually what I want to see is to have a construction lab where we would have the students surrounded by a lot of different safety construction equipment like fall protection and harnesses, scaffolding so that when we are instructing them, we can point to the materials right in the classroom so that they understand the different components of that,” Dr. Angela Mattis Bernardo, Professor of Safety Management, said.
They have six needs for the layout including storage for the Scaffolding System and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Comprehensive Software Program.
“There is a lot of practical application for safety,” Bernardo said. “They need to be able to recognize hazards and understand how the equipment and materials are used.”
Students enrolled in the Hazard Analysis and Legislative Compliances classes would mainly make use of the General Industry Lab.
“It has a lot of equipment that you would use in factories and how you would guard that prevent injuries such as amputation, major lacerations, and cuts,” Bernardo said.
Students in Hazard Analysis, starting in the Fall 2013, will receive their 30-hour OSHA General Industry card when they complete the course. Students in Introduction to Safety, Injury and Damage Incidents Evaluation and Safety Training and Development will work in that lab also.
The Safety Management Department will need a high bay area for large equipment and cranes, a loading dock with a dock and man door, seating for 40 students and equipment such as machine guarding, confined space simulation and electrical safety station.
The National Resource Center at West Virginia University (NRC-WVU) invited Slippery Rock University as well as Virginia Technology School, Pennsylvania State University and Marshall University to operate as a NRC-WVU OSHA Training Education Center Host Site.