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Michael Bourke G00315030

Health and Safety (MTW)


Educating students on health and safety plays a crucial role in MTW to
insure student injury is prevented. The MTW syllabus identifies that all
activity either inside or outside the classroom should have firmly
established rules and guidelines regarding safe use of materials and
equipment and this will need to be continually stressed and revised as
appropriate to the activity (The Department of Education and Science,
2009) . Dangerous equipment in the in the MTW room includes machinery,
power tools and hand tools. Other dangers may include dust inhalation.
While on teaching practice I have implemented a variety of strategies to
ensure that students health and safety is promoted. One of the most
important measures in my opinion is leading by example by implementing
best practice when in the woodwork room. This could be referred to as the
monkey see monkey do element of practical subjects. If students
observe a teacher using a machinery incorrectly, they are generally more
likely to act in the same way. Therefore, it is import the follow the
measures bellow when in the using machinery in the woodwork room.
1. No Loose Clothes
2. No Loose Ties
3. Long Hair should be restrained
4. Always Wear Eye Protection (The Department of Education and
Science, 2009)
Wearing the correct PPE when operating machinery in MTW is of upmost
importance. To help enforce this I always look to identify the possible
accidents that can occur if PPE is not worn through higher order
questioning during machine demonstrations. I have also put in place PPE
safety posters above each machine to help students understand what
safety precautions must be taken when using machine. A report by the
department of education identifies this as an effective way of preventing
injury in a report following its subject inspection of construction studies,
materials technology (wood) and technology (Department of Education
and Science, 2007).
Tool maintained also plays an important role for MTW teachers even
though the department of education identified in its subject inspection
report that there is little time available for tool maintenance
(Department of Education and Science, 2007). Take for example a chisel
which is used by students on a day to day basis. A common misconception
of these tools by people outside the woodworking circle is that a blunt
blade is safer than a sharp blade. However, a blunt chisel blade is more
dangerous to use than a sharp blade as it means you will have to force the
blade and risk it slipping and causing injury (DiyEx, 2015). Therefore, it is
key that teachers maintain tools in practical subjects and encourage
students to report damaged or blunt tools.
Inadequate ventilation and extraction can have a detrimental effect on
students health. Unlike other health hazards in MTW rooms saw dust
inhalation does not cause injury instantly but over a period of time. It can
cause a variety of respiratory conditions and exposure over time in some
cases can even lead to lung cancer (Eldridge, 2016).
Therefore, as MTW teachers it is our obligation to insure health and safety
is promoted in the classroom to insure our students understand the
dangers associated to the area of woodwork and how potential dangers
can be avoided by completing processes correctly and safely. This
reflection also identifies how applying strategies such as leading by
example, identifying possible dangers when using machinery/tools and
developing safety posters can help students apply best practice. Lastly
teachers must also insure that equipment is maintained and adequate
ventilation/extraction is in place to prevent short term and long term
negative health effects.

Bibliography
Department of Education and Science. (2007, June 21). Subject Inspection
of Construction Studies, Materials Technology (Wood) and
Technology. Retrieved from Education.ie:
https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Inspection-Reports-
Publications/Subject-Inspection-Reports-List/report1t_61290G_t_.htm
DiyEx. (2015, April 9). Sharpening Chisel Blades. Retrieved from DIY Extra:
http://www.diy-extra.co.uk/sharpening-chisel-blades.html
Eldridge, L. (2016, December 22). Wood Dust and Lung Cancer - Who's at
Risk? Retrieved from Very Well: https://www.verywell.com/wood-
dust-and-lung-cancer-whos-at-risk-3971878
The Department of Education and Science. (2009). Offical Documents.
Retrieved from T4: http://www.t4.ie/MTW/JC_Materails-wood-
technology_syllabus.pdf