A National Study Examining Safety Factors and Training Associated with STEM Education and CTE Laboratory Accidents in the United States

Tyler S. Love, Kenneth Russell Roy, Philip Sirinides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Safety remains a core component of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and career and technical education (CTE). However, research has shown accidents continue to occur in STEM and CTE courses. This study analyzed the survey responses of 718 STEM and CTE teachers from 42 states in the United States. Exploratory correlational analyses were conducted to estimate the magnitude of the associations between various safety factors and the occurrence of minor and major accidents over a five-year period. Eight factors were found to be significantly associated with increased accident occurrences, and 17 factors were significantly correlated with reduced accident occurrences. A series of logistic regressions were then conducted to estimate the change in odds of an accident occurring according to safety training completed after controlling for various safety factors. This revealed classes with enrollments over 24 students had a 48% increase in the odds of an accident occurring (β = 0.3967, p = 0.08, OR = 1.48). Additionally, after controlling for various safety factors, it was found that teachers who received comprehensive safety training had a 49% reduction in the odds of an accident occurring (β = -0.68, p = 0.0073, OR = 0.505). Departments of education, higher education institutions, teacher preparation programs, schools, teachers, administrators, school safety officers, architects, and others involved with facility design and instruction related to hands-on STEM education and CTE programs should utilize these research findings to improve facilities, safety practices, safety policies, and reduce liability.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106058
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalSafety Science
Volume160
Issue number106058
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023

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