Michigan Tech has a mature safety program in its capstone Unit Operations and Plant Operations courses (senior required laboratories; see accompanying abstract by Sandell et al.). The capstone experience builds on a comprehensive safety program that is spread throughout the chemical engineering curriculum. In this presentation, the authors describe Michigan Tech's introductory safety program, safety in the bioengineering electives, and auxiliary safety program. The introductory safety program is part of our Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering laboratory (required junior class) where we focus on establishing the seriousness of plant and laboratory safety, shared responsibility for safety, and learning to identify hazards. Specific skills addressed include appropriate use of personal protective equipment, ladder safety, use of safety eye wash and safety shower, and chemical labeling. In the bio-focused coursework laboratories, we address the special safety issues that impact biochemical engineering education. In addition to all of the chemical safety skills, students learn about routes of biocontamination and practice using engineering controls that isolate biological samples from equipment or people. Students also learn specific protocols for biosafety level 1 and 2 laboratories by working with graduate students who are trained via our graduate safety program and job safety assessment (JSA) reviews prior to setting up and conducting an experiment. This presentation will highlight the comprehensive efforts in our program to infuse students with a safety mentality.
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