More than 800,000 accidents and 1200 fatalities occur within the European construction industry each year. There is a compelling need to address health and safety training with innovative methods including e-learning tools, which offer several advantages in terms of the effectiveness of instructional activities. This paper reports on the progress of an ongoing Socrates-Minerva project that aims to create an instructional design framework for virtual classes to deliver health and safety training. The research is based on the theory of multiple intelligences (MI), which postulates that there are several independent ability areas that individuals possess. Translating MI principles from a traditional classroom into an e-learning environment represents a new and challenging initiative. Pilot virtual classes (VCs), which are being developed by teams from five different countries, focus on falls from heights, which constitute around 40% of fatalities in the European construction industry. The evaluation of the initial results suggests that learners are generally satisfied with the basic elements of the pilot delivery of the VC on hazards of falls, although more effort is needed to incorporate synchronous elements into instruction and create a more interactive learning environment. Personnel with direct line responsibility for health and safety on construction projects, professional and regulatory bodies charged with ensuring health and safety standards and training, and researchers are the principal beneficiaries.
- Falls from heights
- Health and safety
- Multiple intelligences theory
- Virtual class