Background of the Study
Safety is derived from the word (Sauf) which is the state of being “safe” that is the condition of being protected against physical, social, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types of consequences of failure, damage, accidents, harm or any other event which could be considered non-desirable. This can take the form of being protected from the event or from exposure to something that causes health or physical losses (Wikipedia 2012). Safety can also be seen as the control of recognized hazards to achieve an acceptable level of risk. Mohammed, Gayus, Oscar and Solomon (2002) see safety as the approaches that can keep participants or user of workshops free from dangers, they are also observable rules, principles, dos and don’ts that may provide condition of being safe from understanding one type of activity or the other in the laboratory or workshop.
Umoumoh (2003) holds the view that safety movement is an evolution, moving from injury prevention to accident control and fatal environment control. Practice simply means to do something repeatedly in order to improve performance in an activity or perform something habitually or repeatedly or could be referred to as repeated performance of operations. Gardner (1979) opined that safety practice is the repeated exercise with appropriate precautionary measures or cautions aimed at preventing accidents when performing an occupational task. Safety practice can be seen as special abilities, habit and capabilities, skillfulness and tactfulness in handling and using tools or materials, and operating equipment or machines consciously. It equally involved following sequences of operations with cautionary discipline when performing task. Safety practice no doubt constituted a vital framework in the prevention of accidents in the workshops.
A Technical College according to Abubakar (1998) is that institution which provides recipients through training with the adequate knowledge, skills and attitudes for gainful employment under the guidance of a teacher, in related occupations, using workshops as work places for practice. Also Okoro (1991) sees Technical College as “the principal vocational institutions in Nigeria that give full vocational training that prepare students for entry into various occupations”. Okorie (2001) also sees Technical Colleges as institutions where craftsmen are trained up to the craft certificate of West African Examination Council and advance craft certificate. Students who have completed the junior secondary education and the successful products of the vocational training centers are legible for admission to Technical Colleges. Technical Colleges are therefore, schools or training institutions where trade or trades are being taught. Technical colleges train craftsmen in several areas among others mechanical engineering practice; fabrication and welding; electrical installation, block laying and concreting, carpentry and joinery; and furniture making.
Workshops play very important roles in technical colleges. It is a room or building which provides both the area and tools (or machinery) that may be required for the manufacture or repair of manufacturedgoods. Workshop safety is of very serious concern to Technical Colleges, and practical in the workshops requires tools and techniques that are inherently dangerous. When working in the workshop it is important to protect the eyes, ears, and lungs, and take great care when using hand and power tools. The workshop, therefore, is a building where practical activities of various trades like building, electrical/electronic, metal work, auto-mechanic and woodwork trades are carried out. The workshops are usually equipped with the basic industrial materials, equipment and tools of industrial technology. In many aspects, workshops are models of various disciplines of the industries. However, increase productivity is usually attained when workers are free from danger of harm. The workers put in their best because they are safe from accident, injury or death and environmental hazards, these facts are the same with technical college student.
Graduate teachers could be seen as those teachers who possess first degree as their minimum qualification for teaching in the senior class of technical colleges and most have gone for National Youth Service and non-graduate teachers are those teachers who possess among others Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE), National Diploma (ND) and are teaching at the senior level of technical colleges.
Many nations of the world introduce technology education early to their children. In developing countries such as Nigeria, science and technology are taught in the schools for general literacy and as a preparation for further activities in related fields. Ogunyemi (2002) encompasses the educational development of personnel such as scientists, engineers, technologist, technicians, craftsmen and artisans. These categories of skilled personnel make up the technological team required to design, produce, fabricate and service products for human use and consumption. Fajimi (1999) explained that the general assumption is that these skilled men have had lessons on safety before graduation.
These skilled men are part of the main components of production among others are materials and machines, any damage to any of these components due to accident may cause serious injury, or disability and disability may prevent a workshop user from using his skill. Injury by a student due to accident will result in the wastage of the skills acquired by the student involved and a great financial loss to the school management, people and the nation in general. It becomes pertinent therefore to investigate into the status of safety practices.
Investigation simply means scrutiny or exploration, examination, inquiry or research in other to express the idea of an active effort to find out something (Encarta 2009). It is a systematic, minute, and thorough attempt to learn the facts about safety practices in technical college workshops. A status has to do with the state at which something is or, the relative position or stand of something (Encarta 2009).
Statement of the Problem
The practical application of basic ideas as contained in the National Policy on Education is one of the measures to be adopted in pursuance of the goal of Technical Education. Furthermore, every technical college shall establish and operate a production unit for on the job training of students and for commercial activities to sustain the college operation (FGN, 2004). The policy gave rise to a lot of practical activities in wood workshop of technical colleges. In such wood workshop, equipment, materials, and hand tools among others are used, perhaps, due to inadequacy of tools in the workshops of Technical Colleges sometimes wrong tools are used for the wrong jobs and this may lead to a lot of accidents and injury in wood workshops
Workshop accidents are of the most serious social and personal problem facing our nation (Olusegun, 2003). Most of these accidents that occur due to noise, vibration, lighting, pollutants, acids, heat, fire, machinery, materials, and hand tools among others in the workshops are not being recorded; the teachers from some of these colleges confirmed this and gave their reason for not taking note of the accident as most of the accident are minor. Those accidents considered as minor may sometimes results in death due to tetanus among other diseases, sometimes in permanent incapacitation; in many cases, resulted to the absence of students from the school. Oranu as cited in Amiseh (2008) stated that recent records in Lagos shows that, 17,000 workers are killed every year, over 2,000,000 workers received injuries and 300,000 are permanently impaired, these workers who are not safety conscious are the product of some of these colleges. Accident such as cut off finger or thumb, cut or stab to the hand or finger, tore off thumb/finger nail, tore off piece of skin, inhaling paint fumes and burns to the face, eye or ear as stated by Jentzema (2009) are very common in wood workshop of technical colleges in Niger State.
The safety of equipments, materials hand tools and students must be ensured, for most accidents which could be avoided or prevented are caused by human action or in action (Okorie, 2001). Ojo, (1994) stated that instructors in technical institutions are expected to impact adequate safety practices to their students in order to enhance their understanding in practicing safety first in all their activities. The need for safety practice skills is important to our lives and properties, for accidents by no means are unfriendly (Olusegun, 2003).
Therefore, prevention of accidents in wood workshops of technical colleges rest not simply with considerations of all the relevant safety but with an in-depth understanding of the principles and practice of safety in wood workshops, there is little substitute for well founded experience in safety and without it accidents will continue to occur. Such accidents as listed above which are most commonand other associated hazards will certainly continue to constitute threat to life when safety provisions are evaded. The non-challant disposition of those concerned continues to increase the degree of worrisomeness. Hence, the need for the study: investigation into the status of safety practices in technical college wood workshops in Niger State.
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of the study is to investigate the status of safety practices in wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State. Specifically, the study will seek to:
- Identify safety practices available in the wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State.
- Identify the mode of accidents in the wood workshops of technical colleges of Niger State.
- Determine the adequacy of safety equipments and materials in the wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State.
- Determine the teaching methods that are frequently used in teaching safety in wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State.
Significance of the Study
The study of an Investigation into the Status of Safety Practices in Technical College Workshops in Niger State is expected to be significant to the generality of the people in view of the important of the role safety plays in the social, emotional and psychological development of an individual. The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to the State Ministry for Science and Technology, Teacher, Students, Curriculum planners, Parents, and other researchers. The information from the findings will be made available to these groups through publications of this work as text materials for consultation in various libraries; for conferences, seminars and workshops. The findings of this study could be used to develop policy framework for safety practices in technical colleges in Niger State in particular and in Nigeria at large.
The findings will enable state ministry for science and technology to take decisions on the kinds of improvements or reorganizations of courses in technical colleges that are necessary in order to enhance the teaching and learning process of safety. Improvements that may be carried out by state Ministries of Science and Technology in the technical colleges will help in increasing the awareness of safety in the workshops for the benefit of students and teachers, in teaching and learning processes.
The findings of the study could be used to establish policy guidelines for the safety of the students in the workshops. The information generated from the study will enable the federal and state ministries of science and technology to reorganize wood workshops and facilities to make them safe and accessible to all students. The findings of this study if implemented in wood workshops of technical colleges could go a long way in helping the technical college- students during training to acquire skills necessary for employment in the manufacturing industry.
The findings of this study would be useful to technical college teachers. This is because based on the findings; technical college authority could make serious effort to provide those tools, equipment and instructional materials identified by the study for enhancing safety practice consciousness in wood workshops of technical colleges. As technical teachers, the findings of this study will also equipped them with adequate information on strategies that will help to increase good safety practices in the workshops.
Curriculum developers in technical colleges will also benefit from the findings of this study, as it will help them to identify and include in the curriculum those courses and facilities suitable for the teaching of safety in wood workshop of technical colleges. More importantly, the findings of this study will help to change attitudinal perceptions of parents towards the injuries their children sustain in the workshops and provide them with empirical data on how to encourage their children to be more safety conscious in wood workshops.
The findings of the study would be useful to researchers in this field because it would add to the existing literature in that area. Thus, future planning based on the formation of new policy on safety practice, will motivate students and teachers and also enhance the teaching and learning processes in technical colleges.
The following research questions were formulated to guide this study:
- What are the safety practices available in wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State?
- What is the mode of accident in wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State?
- How adequate are safety equipment and materials in wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State?
- What are the teaching methods and instructional materials that are frequently used in teaching safety in wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State?
The study will be guided by the following null hypotheses to be tested at 0.05 level of significance:
H01: There is no significant difference between the mean responses of graduate teachers and non graduate teachers on the safety practices in wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State.
H02: There is no significant difference between the mean responses of graduate teachers and non graduate teachers on the mode of accident in wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State.
H03: There is no significant difference between the mean responses of graduate teachers and non graduate teachers on the adequacy of safety equipments and materials in wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State.
H04: There is no significant difference between the mean responses of graduate teachers and non graduate teachers in the teaching methods that are frequently used in teaching safety practice in wood workshops of technical colleges in Niger State.
Scope of the Study
This study would be restricted to an investigation into the status of safety practice in the workshops of technical colleges in Niger State. This would include: Safety practice, the mode of accident and their frequency of occurrence, the adequacy of safety equipment