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Engineering students receive national safety award

By Costa Maragos Posted: May 2, 2016 3:00 p.m.

At the awards night in Mississauga, (l-r)  Larry Masotti, board member of Minerva Canada, U of R Engineering students Tanner Thomsen and Marlee Wasnik and Anthony Pasteris, President of Minerva Canada. (Student Ryan Schmidt was unable to attend the ceremony).
At the awards night in Mississauga, (l-r) Larry Masotti, board member of Minerva Canada, U of R Engineering students Tanner Thomsen and Marlee Wasnik and Anthony Pasteris, President of Minerva Canada. (Student Ryan Schmidt was unable to attend the ceremony). Photo courtesy of Minerva Canada.

Three students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science have received national recognition for their work.

Ryan Schmidt, Tanner Thomsen and Marlee Wasnik have received the 2016 Minerva Canada James Ham Safe Design Award for designing a portable fall protection system for flat bed trailers.

The system was on display recently at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science’s annual Project Day, which features the final year design projects for fourth year engineering students.

Engineering Students at Project Day
 The students showed off their restraint system at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science’s annual Project Day held at the U of R. (l-r) Marlee Wasnik, Ryan Schmidt and Tanner Thomsen.

“We’re pleased to receive this national award.  We’re very honoured,” says Ryan Schmidt.

The award, which includes a $3,500 prize, was presented at a conference in Mississauga, Ontario and attended by nearly 1500 people representing industry, government, academia and health and safety associations.  

The annual award challenges Canadian university and college students in technology programs to make an original contribution toward integrating safety into engineering design.
 
“Our awards committee was very impressed with the team’s submission,” says Anthony Pasteris, President of Minerva Canada Safety Management Education Inc., a non-profit volunteer-run organization that encourages future engineers and business leaders to create healthier and safer workplaces.

“The design should assist in reducing the number of injuries from falls that occur during loading and unloading of flat bed trucks. The design can also assist companies in Saskatchewan to meet the provincial occupational health and safety legislation requirements in using fall restraints when working at heights over 52 inches.”

Falls account for more than 40,000 worker injuries annually in Canada. According to the national Occupational Health and Safety magazine, OHS Canada, such injuries represent a “significant chunk of lost-time injuries as reported by workers’ compensation boards or commissions. In addition to great economic loss, falls cause pain and suffering and also claims lives.”

 The U of R designed restraint system is portable and easy to install. It is designed for use on various deck sizes and can accommodate a variety of loads.

“Most construction sites do not provide a permanent tie-off point for removing, strapping or transferring goods onto a flatbed,” says award winning student, Marlee Wasnik.

“Our product has been designed for use on various deck sizes and with a variety of loads. We believe there’s a market for our product as it is expected fall restraint, arrest systems for flatbeds will soon become mandatory in the workplace,” added team member, Tanner Thomsen.

The team is grateful for Fussion Management for issuing the problem challenge. The project was completed under the supervision of Dr. Denise Stilling, associate professor of Industry System Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.