Process Operator Students’ Abilities to Assess OSH Risks
Safety competence is an important process operator skill. Due to hazardous work assignment and environments, skills in assessing the risks related to occupational safety and health (OSH) are especially important. Carrying out risk assessments can be difficult, and several problems have been identified. The aim of this study was to discover how well process operator students are able to assess OSH-related risks. Risk assessment exercises with observations were carried out for students (n = 35) in three vocational education and training (VET) organizations. The results showed that all students were able to identify at least some hazards. The students identified the most probable, high-risk, and easily observable hazards. Those with previous training or experience in work and risk assessment were more capable of identifying a wide range of risks. We conclude that successful risk assessment requires related competence, which should be developed via theoretical and practical learning during VET.
KeywordsHazard recognition Risk identification Risk assessment Workplace safety Manufacturing industry
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Finnish Work Environment Fund for the funding of this study and the teachers and students of the cooperating VET organizations for their contributions.
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