In fall 2018, Keene State College, Keene, N.H., is scheduled to offer a construction safety sciences degree program, which Keene State College officials say will be the first of its kind in the U.S., according to www.constructiondive.com.
Students will be able to major or minor in construction safety sciences. Officials said the program will focus on skills such as critical thinking, identifying hazards, solving problems and regulatory compliance; those completing the undergraduate degree will be prepared for jobs in the public and private sectors.
The college also will offer a minor in sustainability, which can be useful to those pursuing careers in construction or design. Officials said the two new programs will build on the academic tradition of the school while preparing students for careers by providing them with more hands-on experiences.
Keene State College's new program likely signals the demand for safety professionals in the construction industry who will keep workers safe and help construction companies reduce costs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), lost productivity because of injuries and illnesses costs companies across all industries $60 billion annually. OSHA also says companies spend a total of $170 billion each year on costs related to injuries and illnesses; however, that number reportedly can be reduced by 20 percent to 40 percent with comprehensive safety programs.