In 2015, legislation was enacted to require mandatory ‘Working at Heights’ training for all construction workers in Ontario. While the legislation has been successful in reducing lost time injuries due to falls, it inadvertently raised barriers for engineering instructors wishing to give their students a field-related learning experience. Although construction management students completed WHMIS, safety awareness, and fall awareness training, the liability related to the risk of injury was sufficient to motivate construction companies to deny student requests to visit their sites.
To adapt to the situation, a novel program of described audio tours was developed, thereby allowing students to visit and learn about different construction sites without jeopardizing their safety or the risk tolerance of hosting contractors. The resulting program improved the learning experience in that students visited 20 to 25 sites during the term instead of one. Listen to one of them in this post.