Product-Safety Engineering Textbook Now Available

A book by the Ergonomics & Safety Program’s Prof. Kenneth d’Entremont is now available from the publisher, McGraw Hill, and through many on-line retailers worldwide.

The book is titled Engineering Ethics and Design for Product Safety (DfPS) and could be the only text or professional book on the topic of product-safety engineering. The book presents an informed, yet unbiased, approach to designing safe products for consumers. The pivotal role of ethics is stressed to current and future design engineers working on products with the capability of injuring their users. The book covers both fundamental concepts and methods for application during DfPS where safe characteristics are designed into a product.

Years of industrial experience as a consulting engineer and later as manager of product-safety engineering for a large designer/manufacturer of hazardous products provided many insights and examples used in the book. A course at the University of Utah, ME EN 5150/6150, served as a mechanism for refining the curriculum which is also presented in the book. That book serves as a textbook for this course.

Among other things, the book and the course help the engineer, and others, answer the questions:

  • How does a priority differ from a value–and why does it matter?
  • Is it possible to teach ethics to engineering students and engineers?
  • To whom does the engineer owe allegiance?
  • When is a product “safe enough?
Prof. Adler guest lectures University of Utah Mechanical Engineering students on "Product Safety and Ethics."

Acting Chair of the US CPSC, Robert Adler, guest lectures product-safety students

Students in Prof. d’Entremont’s “Product-Safety Engineering and Engineering Ethics” course were privileged to hear a guest lecture by the Honorable Robert Adler, Commissioner and Acting Chair of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Commissioner Adler was faculty at the University of North Carolina where he taught law for twenty-two years prior to his time at the CPSC.

Prof. Adler lectured on the important topic of “Product Safety and Ethics” on Monday night. Many consider him to be the the preeminent voice for the American consumer today. His audience was a group of designer’s for some of tomorrow’s consumer products.

The Ergonomics & Safety Program and the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (RMCOEH) wish to thank the Commissioner and his office staff for making this lecture possible and for their time.

Work Vehicle Safety: Eliminating Hazardous Activities While Safely Improving Productivity

I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to present this work related to a highly underrepresented group of employees in the workforce. Field service workers deal with hazardous conditions and many work from a vehicle and in an uncontrolled environment. Some of our early work on this topic focused on studying pick-up truck beds that are upfit with tool storage systems, and the ergonomics and safety concerns on this matter.

The work was presented as part of the 2020 Education and Research Center Webinars that is a collaborative effort on behalf of each NIOSH ERC’s Continuing Education program. For more information and access to these free webinars, please visit the website: https://www.coeh.berkeley.edu/20erc-webinars

A direct link to Dr. Merryweather’s Webinar is found here: Link to Webinar Page

COVID-19 Vehicle Testing Protection Device

As many others around the world, we have been playing a small part in the response to the global pandemic. When tasked with the goal of created a safer way to perform COVID-19 tests in vehicle test stations we developed a low cost portable screen to prevent droplet transmission and aerosol containment to protect healthcare employees. The system is comprised of 1″ PVC, a clear vinyl shield and shoulder length gloves. The shield has strip magnets to help adhere to the vehicle and is suspended from the frame to allow for easier access (ergonomics) and improved containment of any droplets or aerosols during the test. The adjustment comfortably accommodates all vehicles that can be safely accessed without leaving the ground (passenger cars and trucks).

If you would like more information, included a parts list and build plans (takes about 30 min to manufacture and assemble) please email us.

Merryweather & Mortensen Team up for Webinar 2019

Dr. Merryweather and Dr. Mortensen recently teamed up to present a webinar entitled “OpenSim as a Platform for Improving Quantitative Ergonomic Assessments”. This was presented as part of the NIOSH ERC Ergonomics Webinar Series.

The webinar provided a brief overview of OpenSim as a modeling platform to improve ergonomic risk assessment. Dr. Merryweather and Dr. Mortensen demonstrated how OpenSim agrees with other analytical methods, specifically RULA, and present scenarios where OpenSim can be used to evaluate task level risk, including how to account for worker specific risk factors (i.e. previous injury, muscle weakness and fatigue) in conjunction with other physical risk factors (i.e. posture, force, repetition, duration). Finally, a summary of some limitations and future work using OpenSim for ergonomic risk assessment was provided.

2019 Paul S. Richards-WCF Safe Workplace Scholarship

Four of our students were awarded with the Paul S. Richards Safe Workplace Scholarship this year. Our students are fortunate to have such incredible support from the community, and especially WCF Insurance (https://www.wcf.com/). The unwavering support of WCF and the Paul S. Richards Memorial Foundation inspires us to contribute to the safety profession and aspire to be more caring and concerned with the many individuals who work to keep our world turning.

Congratulations Mohammad, Amir, Roya and Dorothy!!

E&S PADS Featured

The PADS (Portable Accessible Dock System) is highlighted in the Student Innovation at the U 2018, 11 Ways Students are Creating the Future…and How You Can Too.  This publication is produced by the University of Utah‘s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.

The PADS was developed by Ergonomics & Safety Program graduate student Nicholas Brown (MSME 2018) and Prof. Andrew S. Merryweather in conjunction with Dr. Jeffrey P. Rosenbluth, Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Acute Rehabilitation Program at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center.

PADS is also discussed in the E&S Program’s Enabling Technology page.

 

2019 Winners of Dr. Paul S. Richards Safe Workplace Scholarships

The winners of the WCF Insurance Dr. Paul S. Richards Safe Workplace Scholarships have been announced.   Four graduate students in the Ergonomics & Safety Program are among those to have been awarded scholarships from this program for 2019.

These students are:

  • Mohammad Homayounpour
  • Roya Sabbagh Novin
  • Dorothy Taylor
  • Amir Yazdani

This scholarship program was originally started by WCF Insurance in 1997 to help facilitate the education and training of people committed to a career of keeping workplaces safe and protecting workers.  Scholarships are available in the the fields of: Occupational Medicine, Safety and Ergonomics, and Industrial Hygiene.

These scholarships will be awarded on April 17, 2019 at Noon at the Falls Event Center in Salt Lake City, UT.