Student research


This search facility showcases work that was carried out by students in an undergraduate or postgraduate role (for example BSc, BA, MSc and PhD students).

There are several ways to carry out your search. The simplest is to enter your key word into the ‘Search Text’ box and click on the search button. For a more advanced search our search facility allows you to define the specifics of the project if you know what you are looking for such as author and institution and the topic of the research. You can also filter your results to order them to your preference whether that be peer reviewed, published or work that is still underway.

Most of the research showcased here is free to access, if your search returns a project that is behind a pay wall we will tell you this by showing a £ sign.

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Keeping the memory alive, preventing...

Completed but not published

Heriot Watt University
Barry Throness

A tool to aid in memory retention and application of learning’s from past process safety events (PSEs) was developed. This consists of four learning activities that will advance learning and memory retention from remembering factual knowledge of PSEs through to analyzing conceptual knowledge of process safety. The resulting knowledge and its’ application should help prevent PSEs.

Not adequately learning from PSEs has proven to be a critical issue within the energy industry, leading to recurring PSEs that often arise from similar contributing causes. All too often an incident investigation does not yield new learning’s, but in fact only reminds one of similar past events that had already been forgotten. It was set out to determine how memory of past events can be improved and through this prevent future PSEs.

To first understand how prevalent such memory loss was, PSEs from an energy company’s past ten years were reviewed through an interview process with various personnel. It was determined that beyond approximately three years, memories within an organization were waning and ineffective, and events were ripe for repeating.

The cognitive sciences were explored to determine how memories are developed and retained. Effective safety communication methods that target memory retention were investigated. The field of education was researched, to understand how educators effectively teach learning to achieve high levels of memory retention. The taxonomy table was discovered as an aid that educators have been using for many years to enhance teaching and learning.

A learning curriculum was constructed, utilizing the taxonomy table and researched information on memory. These learning activities should advance learning and memory retention from remembering factual knowledge of PSEs through to analyzing conceptual knowledge of process safety.
The method is not simple, but the effort to understand past PSEs and apply knowledge in this manner should help prevent PSEs.

Improving management of safety critical...

Completed but not published

Heriot-Watt University
Ajayi Adebayo DADA

Safety Critical Equipment- SCE lifecycle management is the cornerstone of asset integrity management, no doubt it is a mandatory regulation on the business owner (operators) to identify SCE within their facility and develop appropriate Performance Standards for each in some part of the world. However, it is still considered as best industrial practise to understand and enforce management of critical barrier within our facility. This dissertation intends to highlight weakness in the process of managing SCE in Nigeria LNG, identify improvements in term of process and development of the operate phase Performance Standards. It also includes identifying benefits of using SCE and Performance Standards in attaining overall improvements and risk reduction, thus assuring continuous reliability and asset integrity.

The thesis employs critical review of major accidents in Oil, Gas and process industry including the recent plant total power outage incident in Nigeria LNG, and emphasise the roles of failed SCE in these entire occurrence. The implementation of interview base survey questionnaire was carried-out using Nigeria LNG as a case study to provide insight to the employee awareness level and inherent weakness in the existing management process of SCE. Bow-tie methodology was used to identify SCE using barrier counting and LOPA technique to establish tolerability and demonstration of ALARP. The objective of developing Performance standards was met through a cross functional team of Subject Matter Experts using necessary documentations and professional judgement in a brainstorming sessions.

A number of key findings crystals out from this dissertation which include non-inclusion of “verification of SCE through-out lifecycle” step in the adopted management process, non-existence of Independent Verification Body for managing SCE, non-availability of Performance Standards for identified SCE, inclusion of equipment whose major consequence are not high or extreme on health and safety or environment as SCE, robust but insufficient approach of managing deviation of SCE and need to develop a frame work owned by Nigeria LNG for managing SCE.

The main conclusion established from this research is that there is further opportunity for enhancing our understanding and implementation of the processes for managing SCE in accordance with industrial standards, regulations and legislation. However, this dissertation provides ways of improving the process, content and implementation program to ensure conformance to industrial standards, regulations and legislations.

Review of the Prevelence of Perceived...

Completed but not published

University of Birmingham
Mr Nayab Sultan

This study was undertaken on Hackney Carriage Drivers in the City of Birmingham, UK. This appears to be the first dedicated study of its kind in the UK on this cohort. Research findings where consistent with those of other limited studies undertaken internationally.

A survey of fire fighters’ knowledge of...

Completed but not published

University College Dublin
Carol Tully

Background: In the Republic of Ireland members of the fire brigade receive dual training as a firefighter and as a paramedic and they rotate their duty to work in both roles. Firefighters therefore perform invasive, intensive time-critical procedures in challenging conditions and environments. This puts them at high risk of exposure to blood and bodily fluids and thus to Blood Borne Viruses (BBVs). Standard Precautions are recommended to prevent occupational transmission of BBVs among all healthcare workers (CDC, 2007) but compliance with certain aspects of standard precautions is known to be poor among healthcare workers (Cutter and Jordan, 2004; Shariati et al, 2007; Talas, 2009; O’Connell and Hayes, 2003).

Objective: The objectives of this study were a) to investigate compliance with Standard Precautions among firefighters, b) to obtain estimates of firefighter knowledge about the prevention of BBVs and the risks associated with BBVs, and c) to determine whether the length of time since training is associated with compliance with Standard Precautions or knowledge of BBVs.

Methods: A random sample of 186 firefighters from a population of 408 firefighters based in all 12 fire stations in a large urban Local Authority was surveyed using a questionnaire. The questionnaire addressed three areas: demographics, Standard Precautions, and knowledge about prevention and risks of BBVs. It was adapted from questionnaires previously used in similar contexts (Cutter and Jordan, 2003; Mathews et al, 2008; Baheti et al, 2012).

Results: The response rate was 46%. Results revealed that firefighters were compliant with Standard Precautions in the use of disposable gloves (99%) and the correct handling of sharps (89 %); however, the use of safety goggles (14%), face mask (8%), face shields (4%) and coveralls (4%) were poor. The main reasons provided for non-compliance were: a) that it interferes with patient care, b) that some forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) is not available in emergency vehicles, c) that PPE is not required based on a firefighter’s own risk assessment of each patient, and d) lack of training on safety equipment. Over 60% of firefighters had not received infection control training within the previous two years. The time since training was not associated with compliance with Standard Precautions. Over 60% of firefighters reported having one or more occupational blood exposures (OBE’s) in their careers, but knowledge of BBVs and needle-stick management did not reflect practical competence in the concept of Standard Precautions. The time since training was not associated with the level of knowledge about BBV and needlestick management. Most (94%) firefighters reported being vaccinated against hepatitis B.

Conclusion: Firefighters are at a high risk then of contracting BBVs through occupational blood exposures. Despite this, they do not comply with all aspects of Standard Precautions, often for what they perceive to be practical reasons, but also because of lack of training or lack of equipment. A knowledge deficit about BBVs was identified. The findings suggest that strategies must be developed to improve firefighters’ knowledge about occupational blood exposure risks and to improve compliance with standard precautions.

The extent to which the provision of a...

Completed but not published

University of Strathclyde
Craig Cunningham

TITLE: The extent to which the provision of a computer based interactive safety training programme supports and results in positive safety behavioural intentions and attitude in employees in a service industry.

My organisation provides HSE training in e-learning modular format to its approximately 50,000 site based management and front line employees.

A detailed questionnaire was compiled and submitted electronically into a sample of employees.
Improving effectiveness of compliance learning is a corporate objective.

An extensive literature review revealed that minimum research had been carried out into the effectiveness of e-learning on the development of employees in the service industry.
The recommendations of this research could deliver a framework for future training delivery as the business viewed this training mode favourably in terms of financials, efficiency and flexibility.

The research intention was to provide empirical data from a sample of employees who stated live opinions and observations based on their current state of mind. The questionnaires was completed electronically and emailed for a rapid and efficient response and the results were collated centrally using survey monkey.
A five point Likert scale was used to gather data with thirty questions posed around attitudes, reaction/flow experience, outcomes, behavioural intentions and process engagement.
318 (58% response rate) completed.

72.7% agreed that they will think more of their and colleague safety following the learning and a potent 81.8& agreed that they would apply the learning in the workplace to improve safety standards.
There was a unanimous leaning towards e-learning when weighed against other modes of learning.

The positive perception of e-learning bears great significance to our organisation and the corporate journey in Learning and Development of the workforce.
The survey has limitations which are perhaps best expressed by posing further questions which would require further interrogation of the survey sample. Going forward, the transfer of learning could be assessed by practical implication against intentions. The Likert scale revealed a significant percentage of participants with no firm opinion on specific questions which could be worthy of study.

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