The study sought to determine the safety skills required by technical college electrical installation students in handling equipment. The study was carried out in Plateau and Kaduna States. A survey research design was employed for the study. The population for the study was 80 comprising of 39 electrical installation teachers and 41 electrical installation workers in the field. The entire population was used for the study. A structured questionnaire item was used for collecting data from the respondent. Four research questions were developed to guide the study and four null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. Mean and standard deviation were used to analyze the data for answering research questions while t-test for independent samples was used to test the null hypothesis of no significant difference at 0.05 level of significance. It was found out that all the safety skills identified in handling hand tools, operating machine tools, workshop safety and the personal protective equipment are required by electrical installation students in technical colleges for effective functioning in the workshop. It was recommended that all the safety skills identified should be integrated into the curriculum of electrical installation trade at technical college level.
Occupational safety is of paramount concern to both workers and students. Students and even parents are much more interested in the level of safety provided in a particular occupation. Graduates who possess required safety skills would always fair better in an occupation, especially technical occupations. The knowledge of safety practice skills by electrical installation students in technical colleges is an essential prerequisite for effective use of tools and machines in the workshop. Skilled electrical worker is not just someone who can perform any electrical job correctly but a worker who can complete every job safely (Oranu, Nwoke and Ogwo 2002). Safety has become a major determinant for effective and successful performance in a job.
In the view of Olaitan, Nwachukwu, Igbo, Onyeamaechi and Ekon (1999), safety is the art of taking precaution for the avoidance or reduction of accidents in order to protect people and property. Oranu, Nkowe and Ogwo (2002) further view safety as the ability to perform every simple task involved in a job without causing damage to tools, equipment or materials used in performing the task. Safety practice is the ability to perform a task with necessary precautionary measures exhibited for the purpose of preventing accidents. Practice means doing something repeatedly in order to improve performance. For students to perform a task with little or no record of accidents in electrical workshop, certain related skills are required by them.
However, Okorie (2000) defined skill as a manual dexterity through repetitive performance of an operation. Skill is a well-established habit of doing something and it involves the acquisition of performance capabilities (Osinem 2008). This implies that skill involves well-established habit of doing things. In this study, skill is the ability of electrical installation students in Technical colleges to establish good habit performance in the workshop by acting, thinking, and behaving well in order to prevent minor and major accidents that is involving in any operation or job that is related to electrical installation and maintenance work.
Electrical installation is one of the trades in technical colleges. It is made up of the following components, domestic and industrial installation; cable joining; battery charging and repairs and winding of electrical machines (NBTE, 2014). In the view of Nwachukwu, Bakare and Jika (2011), electrical installation trade is a vocational course offered by students in technical colleges in order to produce electrical craftsmen and technicians. Electrical installation student is a person who is taking vocational course offered in technical colleges in order to become electrical craftsman. Nwachukwu (2006), opined that electrical installation students learn the basic skills required to operate, maintain, install and repair electrical installation equipment and appliances in technical colleges.
Technical Colleges according to Okoro (2009), are principal vocational institutions in Nigeria which are designed to prepare the individuals to acquire practical skills, knowledge and attitude at sub-professional level, they are also established to train craftsmen in various occupations. Okorie (2001) also saw Technical College as institutions where craftsmen are trained up to obtain the craft certificate of West African Examination Council and advanced craft certificate. Students who have completed the first three years of secondary school education are eligible for admission into Technical Colleges. Technical Colleges are therefore, schools or training institutions where trades are being taught. It is imperative for technical colleges to take into cognizance the safety skills necessary in handling electrical equipment by students to achieve the set objectives of the program. However in this study, technical college is formal place of learning where theory and practical skills are learned by students from the teacher and instructor who give the instruction.
A teacher is a person who had acquired knowledge and had undergone formal training that equipped him/her with required pedagogy for effective transmission of knowledge to the students, Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN, 2002), defined a teacher as a person who had undergone approved professional training in education at the appropriate level and who is capable of imparting knowledge, attitude and skills to the learner. In the context of this study, teacher is a person who is well trained with the required knowledge, skills and pedagogy needed to teach in technical college as a technical teacher. Technical teacher is an individual who had acquired scientific and technological knowledge and skills through formal training on how to impart knowledge to the students. Technical teacher, according to FRN (2004) and Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN, 2002) is a person who is trained in science, industrial technology and pedagogy for imparting knowledge, technical skills and attitudes to the learners. TRCN further explained that qualified technical teachers who are to teach in Nigeria technical colleges must possess a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology Education B.ED (Tech). Ogbaunya and Osoro (2009) stated that technical teachers are those who obtained technical training/theories and practice of education that are related to the advancement of knowledge, skills and attitudes among youths, who will later use the knowledge and skills acquired to improve and solve environmental problems. Technical teacher in this study refers to a person who possesses the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to teach electrical subjects to the students.
According to Hornby (2000), an electrical installation worker is a person who is highly skilled in repair and installation electrical devices. Therefore, electrical installation worker in this study is a person who is highly skilled in repairing, installing and maintaining electrical devices to meet the changing taste or need of the society. Electrical installation worker must possess at least a minimum of National Technical Certificate (NTC) or its equivalent. Electrical installation worker must possess sound knowledge on safety skills for economic gain in any organization, school or industry through the use of equipment, tools as well as machines.
In the view of Simpson (2001), equipment is physical item or tool that can be used to achieve a goal especially if the item is not consumable in the process. Electrical equipment is set of tools and machines used in electrical work. Nwachukwu (2006) described tools as all portable and handy instruments or mechanical devices useful for performing special operations. A tool is a piece of equipment which is used with hands to make or repair something. This can be hand tool or machine tool. Hand tool is any tool or implement designed for manual operation. Also, it is a tool operated with hand without electricity or other source of power. Chao and Henshaw (2002), opined that hand tools are used manually. They further stated that, hand tools include anything from axes to wrenches. The greatest hazards posed by hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance. Olaitan, Nwachukwu, Igbo, Onyemachi, and Ekong (1999) viewed hand tools as instruments or devices that can be handled easily while carrying out special operation as well as instructional and learning activities. Therefore, hand tools in this study refer to instruments or devices used to carry out electrical operations manually in the absence of machine tools.
A machine tool is a device consisting of fixed and moving parts that modifies mechanical energy and transmits it in a more useful form (Olusegun, 2003). Machine in the view of Mukta (2007) is an apparatus with moving parts for converting mechanical into electrical energy or vice versa such as generator or motor, acting either on electromagnetic or electrostatic principles, but not including stationary apparatus such as transformers. Machines are therefore, mechanical or electrical devices for vocational technical operations. Operating simply means to control the way a system or device works. In this study machine tool operation simply means the activities carried out on a machine to do a work in the workshop.
Work is any mental or physical activity directed towards the achievement of a goal (Okoro, 2006). Working in electrical workshop involves all the activities carried out in the workshop in order to achieve learning outcome or set objective of the program. Kadiri (2006) suggested that, these activities include: workshop management and maintenance, organization and environmental safety and the use of personal protective equipment when carrying out any task in the workshop using personal protective equipment (PPE). Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are items and assets intended to eliminate or reduce the consequences of equipment failure or human error in the work place (Mukta, 2007). The use of personal protective equipment in electrical workshop cannot be over emphasized as it provides safety for both students and teachers in the workshop. Electrical teachers must have safety knowledge in order to teach students how to use equipment in the performance of a task. However, Federal Ministry of Education (2005) while addressing key issues and challenges in vocational and technical education noted that the implication of the National Policy on Education would be to make as many students in the nation as possible to be technologically literate. FME further stated that virtually at all levels, vocational/technical education is not adequately backed up with enough human and equipment safety. That is precisely why as many as half of all the equipment are non-functional and students sustain injuries. Hence, the need for the study on safety skills required by technical college electrical installation students in handling equipment in Plateau and Kaduna States.
Due to loss of tools and machines as well as incessant occurrence of accidents that lead to sustenance of injuries and electric shock, many students have been skeptical to participate in practical activities in electrical workshop and as such, shy away from participation. Yakubu (2004), confirmed that students in Technical Colleges often absent themselves from school during practical lessons. This, according to Yakubu, was attributed to the accidents the students experience in the workshops. Similarly, damages to tools and machines as well as accidents occurring in electrical workshop in Technical Colleges in Plateau and Kaduna States seem to have instilled fear into the students which has made them to be absent during practical work. The enrolment level into electrical installation trade in the technical colleges is also on decline because parents and students are apprehensive of the frequent accident rate occurring in the colleges. The safety practice skills required by electrical installation students in Technical Colleges in Plateau and Kaduna State which could reduce the occurrence of accident and damages to tools and machines may be lacking.
Most of the tools, equipment and machines damaged due to lack of safety skills by electrical students and some of the machines are imported ones, the parts are costly and not easy to purchase or replace. The magnitude of damaged tools results in the non-performance of many tools, equipment and machines, and the increase in the rate of accidents in the workshops of technical colleges is still alarming and as such, students tend to shy away from electrical installation practical because of fear of accident. Therefore the problem that this study intends to tackle is the decline in enrolments and the avoidance of practical activities in electrical workshops by students due to fear of electrical accidents. This gave the researcher a great concern to find out the safety skills required by technical college electrical installation students in handling equipment.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to determine the safety skills required by technical college electrical installation students in handling equipment in Plateau and Kaduna states. Specifically, the study seeks to determine:
1. The Safety skills required by electrical installation students in handling hand tools in technical colleges in Plateau and Kaduna States.
2. The Safety skills required by electrical installation students for operating machine tools in technical colleges in Plateau and Kaduna States.
3. The workshop Safety skills required by electrical installation students in Plateau and Kaduna States.
4. The personal protective equipment and materials required by students for work in electrical installation workshop in technical colleges in Plateau and Kaduna States.
Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be of benefit to the electrical installation Teachers, Students, Government, Curriculum planners, Workshop Personnel/electrical workers, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the society/parents and the researchers.
Electrical installations teachers in technical colleges shall from the findings of this study, when published, see the need to improve the teaching of safety skills and to identify the materials needed for safety practice in electrical installation workshop. The findings will also benefit the teacher to pass across instruction with ease and make it meaningful to the students.
The students will benefit from the findings of this study by receiving standard training on safety skills and the use of safety equipment which will in turn improve their safety and academic performance. The awareness from the findings of the study will help the students to identify the personal safety equipment and making good use of them. The findings would assist the students in their everyday handling and operation of equipment and tools in and outside the workshops.
These findings will benefit the Government through Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science and Technology by using the information provided to come up with measures that will ensure effective supply of safety equipment and recruitment of qualified teachers. The Curriculum planners shall from the findings of this study, when published, discover the need to introduce safety skills practices in the curriculum, so that the students’ of this programme shall possess the consciousness and skill in managing electrical equipment. The finding of the study would assist in the curriculum review and updates in areas that lack safety skills.
The result of the study would help the workshop personnel/electrical workers to effectively guide themselves and the students when working on machine or making use of tools during practical works. Understanding of the result of the study would also help the workshop personnel and workers to take adequate care of tools and equipment in the workshop by keeping them clean and placing them in their proper position in the work area.
The findings of this study could be used by National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) as a quality control body to incorporate suitable programme that can enhance safety practice competencies in electrical electronics profession.
The findings of the study will be of benefit to the society/parents at large, when competent electrical installation students practice safety in handling electrical equipment both at home and in the community. The findings shall benefit the society when skilled graduates of electrical installation practice and educate the public on safety measures to be taken when handling electrical equipment.
The information that would emanate from this study will stimulate similar research efforts in other states of the federation on the practice of safety skills required in their institutions. The results may have far reaching implications for national development in general as new concepts would be discovered on safety skills. The findings of the study would provide information to researchers that may wish to carry out similar research in other field in the future.
The following research questions are formulated to guide this study:
1. What are the Safety skills required of electrical installation students in handling hand tools in technical colleges’ workshops in Plateau and Kaduna States?
2. What are the Safety skills required of electrical installation students for operating machines tool in technical colleges’ workshops in Plateau and Kaduna States?
3. What are the workshop Safety skills required of electrical installation students in technical colleges in Plateau and Kaduna States?
4. What are the personal protective equipment and materials required by students for work in electrical installation workshop in technical colleges in Plateau and Kaduna States?
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