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August 3, 2014

Datech Education – Health And Safety By Design

Health & Saftey SignsWhen we teach design and technology is it enough that we teach in a safe and protected environment, should we not actually be instilling the safe ethos in our students. So that when they fulfil their ambitions to be tomorrows designers they will have the safety practices and awareness within them.Health and safety is an integral part of designing a product, and if we put sensible risk assesment in as part of the design process it should make a safer tomorrow… note I say sensible… you must not stifle original thinking by being overly cautious…

At Datech Education we make sure that health and safety needs are considered throughout the design process.

The design process must also consider and try to ensure a safe product manufacture process.

The designer must do his utmost to incorporate the safest materials, and that any material combinations are safe, this applies to both the final product and any tooling.

The Product needs to safe when being used as well, so the designer needs to ensure safety of the product when it is in use, so it falls to  the designer needs to check that:

  • The product has sufficient strength for the intended loads.
  • That the materials are suitable for the intended job and that there will be no unforeseen side effects
  • All potential hazards (electrical insulation, interlocking or moving parts, folding components, etc) sufficiently guarded .
  • Safety of the finished product when disposed of after use

To ensure safe product  disposal, the designer needs consider the following points:

  • Can the component parts and different materials be dismantled without harm?
  • Will dismantling result in the release of toxic or harmful substances?
  • Will recycling materials, eg melting down, cause release of toxic or harmful substances?
  • A designer must consider how the product could affect the safety of the user. If someone could be injured by using or disposing of the product, it should be redesigned.

By introducing these elements at this early stage, students become ingrained with the needs of everyone throughout the process… BUT do keep a balance in this, as overly cautious designers would never design anything…. there has to be room for experimentation…Datech Education work through the whole process in our training to empower the designers of tomorrow by training the teachers of today

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