The BCIT Joinery Department was awarded the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) WorkSafeBC Safety Innovation Award 2018. Faculty and staff worked together on improving the awareness and quality of safe work procedures in the Joinery shop: signage was posted throughout the shop, safe work procedures were placed on all machinery, and a complete Student Orientation Booklet was created.
The Booklet carries all the safe work procedures, pre-operational safety checks, and notes the potential hazards of shop floor machinery. It also includes the safe checklist for each machine that students sign and date to show they have been familiarized on the equipment.
Two years ago, Wayne Hand, dean, BCIT School of Construction and the Environment (SOCE) made safety a priority. Dave Dunn, chief instructor, Joinery (now, Associate Dean, Building Design and Construction Trades) rose to the challenge. He started by hiring a retired WorkSafeBC safety officer who completed an in-depth audit of all of the school’s trades programs (Sheet Metal, Joinery, Carpentry, Piping Trades, Welding, Steel Trades and Electrical).
The findings confirmed the programs were doing a good job training, but in terms of safe work procedures, proper documentation was missing (the sign-off between instructor and student). Dunn came up with the orientation booklet based on other examples on work safe procedures and included the individual tasks associated with safe work procedures, program and school policies and health related information.
Hand, Dunn, and Paul Schmid, instructor, Joinery were instrumental on the development of the Student Orientation Booklet. The safety improvements were implemented by giving the students a hard copy and/or an electronic version that is stored on D2L (formerly Desire2Learn, a multimedia-based program) which is accessible 24/7 by both students and faculty. This initiative was a collaborative effort and required everyone on board to make it a success.