Mitch Emmons (firstname.lastname@example.org)
AU BUILDING SCIENCE RESEARCHER DEVELOPS WEB-BASED TUTORIAL
AUBURN -- Training in trench safety -- one of the most serious safety issues in the construction industry -- is now available on the Internet because of the work of an associate professor in Auburn University's Department of Building Science.
Cave-ins on construction excavations account for more than 100 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries each year, says Michael Hein, who developed the World Wide Web-based tutorial.
Hein developed the original tutorial titled, Trench Safety: A Tutorial for Contractors, in 1995, but said the construction industry is just now beginning to use it.
"I have been getting e-mail recently that indicates people are just now finding it and putting it to use," he said.
The 10-lesson program is an interactive multimedia training tool, Hein added. Based on the OSHA Excavation Safety Standard, each lesson begins with a set of learning objectives and ends with a set of multiple choice review questions. There are chapte rs on soil properties and classification, the mechanics of cave-in, as well as newspaper articles reporting details of recent construction trench accidents.
Additional chapters cover protective trench construction techniques such as sloping, shielding and shoring, and throughout the tutorial, hyper-links are contained to take the reader to other relevant web sites.
"This is the first application of its kind and it has a broad audience," Hein said.
Hein adds that the topics covered in his trench safety tutorial also cut across other areas taught to Auburn Building Science students, such as soils and foundations, equipment, structures and construction law.
"It's an ideal construction topic to use as a pilot application for both contractors and students," Hein said.
The tutorial provides a new delivery platform for traditional course material, Hein notes. In a paper about the project prepared for Alabama Contractor magazine, he said:
Hein's trench safety tutorial can be accessed at http://www.auburn.edu/academic/architecture/bsc/research/trench/index.html.
CONTACT: Hein, 844-5380 (email@example.com).