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Volume 6, December

Safety, Volume 7, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 16 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Fall-Protection Harness Training: Donning Skill Improves with up to Four Repetitions
Safety 2021, 7(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010016 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 173
Abstract
Injuries and fatalities from falling remain a major occupational safety concern. Among the multiple tactics for preventing fatal falls is the use of personal fall protection involving wearing a harness connected to a secure anchor point. This requires training to ensure trainees understand [...] Read more.
Injuries and fatalities from falling remain a major occupational safety concern. Among the multiple tactics for preventing fatal falls is the use of personal fall protection involving wearing a harness connected to a secure anchor point. This requires training to ensure trainees understand the importance of fall protection and have the skill to implement it correctly. One important skill is donning a fall protection harness and adjusting the straps. Those who conduct training on fall protection need to coach trainees through the steps involved in donning a harness. This study was undertaken to learn the benefits of practicing with the guidance of a coach. The experiment had university student volunteers watch a training video twice and then don a harness four times while being coached. Times for each of the five steps involved in donning and adjusting a harness were obtained for the 22 subjects who completed all steps. Time was used as the measure of skill level. The step of adjusting the leg straps accounted for the most time in all of the four repetitions. Total time to don fall protection was reduced with practice. The reduction followed a learning curve function based on a power model. According to this model, each doubling of the number of repetitions results in a 22.1% reduction in total time to don the harness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods and Instruments for Evaluating and Measuring Safety)
Open AccessArticle
Understanding Police Officers’ Usage of High-Visibility Safety Apparel: The Role of Safety Ethics and Professional Appearance
Safety 2021, 7(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010015 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 191
Abstract
High-visibility safety apparel (HVSA) is personal protective clothing that provides visual conspicuity to reduce police officers’ risk of fatality or injury from road traffic accidents. Under the current U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration regulations, police officers on or near Federal-Aid highways [...] Read more.
High-visibility safety apparel (HVSA) is personal protective clothing that provides visual conspicuity to reduce police officers’ risk of fatality or injury from road traffic accidents. Under the current U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration regulations, police officers on or near Federal-Aid highways are mandated to wear HVSA to enhance their visibility. Although wearing HVSA can significantly prevent traffic-related fatalities among police officers, studies have shown that they do not consistently, or ever, wear it. This study identifies factors influencing HVSA noncompliance among officers by exploring their perceptions of its use and efficiency. Ninety-eight police officers completed a field survey in four cities in Yavapai County, Arizona; their responses were analyzed via predictive decision tree modeling. The results indicated that officers’ HVSA-wearing behavior can be predicted by safety ethics, professional appearance, occupation risk, functionality of HVSA, and safety education. Among these predictors, safety ethics and professional appearance were the most important factors in forecasting officers’ HVSA-wearing behavior. Our study contributes to enhancing knowledge about the psychological aspects of officers’ HVSA-wearing behavior and provides implications for improving their traffic safety policies and compliance in the law enforcement community. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Physical Ergonomic Improvement and Safe Design of an Assembly Workstation through Collaborative Robotics
Safety 2021, 7(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010014 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 255
Abstract
One of the key interesting features of collaborative robotic applications is the potential to lighten the worker workload and potentiate better working conditions. Moreover, developing robotics applications that meets ergonomic criteria is not always a straightforward endeavor. We propose a framework to guide [...] Read more.
One of the key interesting features of collaborative robotic applications is the potential to lighten the worker workload and potentiate better working conditions. Moreover, developing robotics applications that meets ergonomic criteria is not always a straightforward endeavor. We propose a framework to guide the safe design and conceptualization of ergonomic-driven collaborative robotics workstations. A multi-disciplinary approach involving robotics and ergonomics and human factors shaped this methodology that leads future engineers through the digital transformation of a manual assembly (with repetitive and hazardous operations) to a hybrid workstation, focusing on the physical ergonomic improvement. The framework follows four main steps, (i) the characterization of the initial condition, (ii) the risk assessment, (iii) the definition of requirements for a safe design, and (iv) the conceptualization of the hybrid workstation with all the normative implications it entails. We applied this methodology to a case study in an assembly workstation of a furniture manufacturing company. Results show that the methodology adopted sets an adequate foundation to accelerate the design and development of new human-centered collaborative robotic workstations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Securing Schools against Terrorist Attacks
Safety 2021, 7(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010013 - 04 Feb 2021
Viewed by 463
Abstract
The population is nowadays increasingly threatened by events that have an immediate impact on their health and lives. One of the most endangered targets are the so-called soft targets. These are such targets that are characterized by a high population concentration, and low [...] Read more.
The population is nowadays increasingly threatened by events that have an immediate impact on their health and lives. One of the most endangered targets are the so-called soft targets. These are such targets that are characterized by a high population concentration, and low or even no level of security against violent or even terrorist attacks. The research carried out by the authors clearly showed that one of the important and easily vulnerable soft targets are schools. This article focuses on the safety of schools and their facilities. The authors focused on finding out the safety of schools as soft targets in the Czech Republic. The security level of schools was measured at selected nursery, elementary, and secondary schools in the city of Brno. As well as technical elements, other factors contributing to the overall safety of schools were also verified. It was found that although a large number of schools have at least basic elements of security available, systemic and organizational measures are not sufficient for technical measures to be important. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Detecting Risk Factors of Road Work Zone Crashes from the Information Provided in Police Crash Reports: The Case Study of Portugal
Safety 2021, 7(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010012 - 04 Feb 2021
Viewed by 470
Abstract
Several studies have shown that European police crash reports provide different detail degrees of work zone crash-related data. In this sense, the present study aims to verify the possibility of identifying significant risk factors involved in the occurrence of road work zone crashes [...] Read more.
Several studies have shown that European police crash reports provide different detail degrees of work zone crash-related data. In this sense, the present study aims to verify the possibility of identifying significant risk factors involved in the occurrence of road work zone crashes with casualties, based on the official data usually available, through a descriptive, binary logistic, and probit regression statistical analysis. To accomplish the analysis, a total of 2597 police-reports related to 1767 Portuguese work zone crashes that occurred during the 2013–2015 period were considered and binary logistic and probit regression models were estimated by the main type of crash, contributing factor, and driver age group. Fifteen explanatory variables, selected based on the literature review and crash data provided in police crash reports, were considered in the analysis. The results obtained for the estimated coefficients and goodness-of-fit test values were found very similar for both link functions (logit and probit) and it was possible to identify risk factors. The modeling results pointed to excessive speed, disregard for vertical signs, luminosity, intersections, and motorcycle and heavy vehicle involvement as the most significant risk factors. Given the results, it is possible to conclude that binary logistic regression can be used in the statistical analysis of the available police official work zone crash data to identify and get some insight into the risk factors involved in work zone crashes. Data analysis also revealed the need to promote adequate and complete crash report filling by police officers. While police crash reports are not revised and standardized to incorporate more detailed work zone crash information, this approach can be used to support a more efficient road operation decision making and the review of some aspects related to work zone layout design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dilemma Zone: Modeling Drivers’ Decision at Signalized Intersections against Aggressiveness and Other Factors Using UAV Technology
Safety 2021, 7(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010011 - 03 Feb 2021
Viewed by 588
Abstract
Intersection safety and drivers’ behavior are strongly interrelated, especially when the latter are located in dilemma zone. This paper explores, among others, the main factors affecting driver behavior, such as distance to stop line, approaching speed and acceleration/deceleration, and two additional factors, namely, [...] Read more.
Intersection safety and drivers’ behavior are strongly interrelated, especially when the latter are located in dilemma zone. This paper explores, among others, the main factors affecting driver behavior, such as distance to stop line, approaching speed and acceleration/deceleration, and two additional factors, namely, driver’s aggressiveness and driver’s relative position at the onset of the yellow signal. Field data were collected using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology. Two binary choice models were developed, the first relying on observed data and the latter enriched by the latent factor drivers’ aggressiveness and the vehicles’ relative position. Drivers were classified to aggressive and non-aggressive ones using a latent class model that combined approaching speed and acceleration/deceleration data. Drivers were further grouped according to their expected reaction/decision to stop or cross the intersection in relation to their relative position. Both models equally explain drivers’ decisions adequately, but the second one offers additional explanatory power attributed to aggressiveness. Being able to identify the level of aggressiveness among the drivers enables the calculation of the probability that drivers will cross the intersection even if caught in a dilemma zone or in a zone in which the obvious decision is to stop. Such findings can be valuable when designing a signalized intersection and the traffic time settings, as well as the posted speed limit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation System Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Framework Development of an Asset Manager Selection Based on Risk Management and Performance Improvement Competences
Safety 2021, 7(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010010 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
This research focuses on proposing a framework based on an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) for the selection/evaluation of managers in the field of asset management. A hierarchical structure is constructed, encompassing the set of competences under the role of risk management and performance [...] Read more.
This research focuses on proposing a framework based on an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) for the selection/evaluation of managers in the field of asset management. A hierarchical structure is constructed, encompassing the set of competences under the role of risk management and performance improvement of the Institute of Asset Management’s (IAM’s) competences framework. It also describes the AHP implementation and illustrates the entire process with an example that uses IAM competences as model criteria. A sensitivity analysis is also carried out to confirm the robustness of the proposed methodology. As per the findings, the AHP was proven to be a usable and reliable method in selecting the most appropriate asset manager. Therefore, it can help organizations to plan and develop the competences they need to meet current and future needs. This study is among the few studies that focus on competence requirements for people working in asset management. As such, a novel approach for selecting managers in the field of asset management is proposed by this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Disaster Risk Management)
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Open AccessArticle
When the Tension Is Rising: A Simulation-Based Study on the Effects of Safety Incentive Programs and Behavior-Based Safety Management
Safety 2021, 7(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010009 - 28 Jan 2021
Viewed by 574
Abstract
When an organization’s management creates a goal conflict between workplace safety and the profitability of the organization, workers perceive work-safety tension. This leads to reduced safety-related behavior, culminating in higher rates of occupational injuries. In this study, we explored design components of behavior-based [...] Read more.
When an organization’s management creates a goal conflict between workplace safety and the profitability of the organization, workers perceive work-safety tension. This leads to reduced safety-related behavior, culminating in higher rates of occupational injuries. In this study, we explored design components of behavior-based safety programs: audit results and process communication, reward and punishment, and the framing of production goals as gains or losses. This allowed us to directly observe the effects of the goal conflicts and of the countermeasures that we designed in this study. We examined the perceived work-safety tension using a simulated water treatment plant in a laboratory study with 166 engineering students. Participants had the task of conducting a start-up procedure. The operators’ goal conflict was created by a choice between a safe and mandatory (less productive) procedure and an unsafe and forbidden (more productive) one. As participants were told that their payment for the study would depend on their performance, we expected that rule violations would occur. We found acceptance of measures and their design as important for rule related behavior. Work-safety tension emerged as a strong driver for violating safety rules. We conclude that safety incentive programs can become ineffective if goal conflicts create work-safety tension. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Examination of the Strava Usage Rate—A Parameter to Estimate Average Annual Daily Bicycle Volumes on Rural Roadways
Safety 2021, 7(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010008 - 27 Jan 2021
Viewed by 586
Abstract
In Spain, a new challenge is emerging due to the increase of many recreational bicyclists on two-lane rural roads. These facilities have been mainly designed for motorized vehicles, so the coexistence of cyclists and drivers produces an impact, in terms of road safety [...] Read more.
In Spain, a new challenge is emerging due to the increase of many recreational bicyclists on two-lane rural roads. These facilities have been mainly designed for motorized vehicles, so the coexistence of cyclists and drivers produces an impact, in terms of road safety and operation. In order to analyze the occurrence of crashes and enhance safety for bicycling, it is crucial to know the cycling volume. Standard procedures recommend using data from permanent stations and temporary short counts, but bicycle volumes are rarely monitored in rural roads. However, bicyclists tend to track their leisure and exercise activities with fitness apps that use GPS. In this context, this research aims at analyzing the daily and seasonal variability of the Strava Usage Rate (SUR), defined as the proportion of bicyclists using the Strava app along a certain segment on rural highways, to estimate the Annual Average Daily Bicycle (AADB) volume on rural roads. The findings of this study offer possible solutions to policy makers in terms of planning and design of the cycling network. Moreover, the use of crowdsourced data from the Strava app will potentially save costs to public agencies, since public data could replace costly counting campaigns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Motorized Road Users Safety)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Safety in 2020
Safety 2021, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010007 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 531
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Safety maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Comprehensive Approach Combining Regulatory Procedures and Accident Data Analysis for Road Safety Management Based on the European Directive 2019/1936/EC
Safety 2021, 7(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010006 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 979
Abstract
The European Union policy for road safety management is based on the European Directive 2019/1936/EC. Among the safety management procedures and strategies, road safety inspections (RSI) are an effective tool for preventing accident risk and reducing crash frequency and severity for existing road [...] Read more.
The European Union policy for road safety management is based on the European Directive 2019/1936/EC. Among the safety management procedures and strategies, road safety inspections (RSI) are an effective tool for preventing accident risk and reducing crash frequency and severity for existing road networks. The European Transport Safety Council encourages the extension of these measures to the main urban and rural roads by the 5th Road Safety Action Programme. In light of the above, in this study, a safety performance evaluation through the RSI approach is carried out for a high-risk rural road in Southern Italy in order to identify all the road infrastructure-related features with poor safety conditions. Afterwards, the relationship between infrastructure deficiencies and the frequency and severity of accidents is investigated; a significant relationship between accident density/total number of injured people and road markings gap is found. Furthermore, the results confirm that a high density of driveways strongly impacts crash frequency. The analysis of the contribution of multiple infrastructure-related variables on the crash occurrences is proposed by the identification of several mathematical models. A second-order AIC (Akaike’s information criterion) approach is carried out to compare the five fitted models investigated. Finally, a prediction calibrated model is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Safe Road Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analyses of Parameters Influencing Children Pedestrian Behavior in Conflict Zones of Urban Intersections
Safety 2021, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010005 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 678
Abstract
Children pedestrians make up 30% of the total number of children injured in road traffic in the EU. Research shows that children are injured more often in the urban areas, in residential areas near schools and parks, often at intersections and pedestrian crossings. [...] Read more.
Children pedestrians make up 30% of the total number of children injured in road traffic in the EU. Research shows that children are injured more often in the urban areas, in residential areas near schools and parks, often at intersections and pedestrian crossings. In this study, children’s traffic behavior was analyzed by observation of signalized pedestrian crosswalks. According to the same methodology, the research was conducted in three cities in two countries (Enna, Italy, Osijek and Rijeka, Croatia) with different urban and traffic characteristics. A total of 900 measurements were analyzed, 300 in each of the cities at 18 pedestrian crosswalks located in an urban setting in the vicinity of primary schools. A detailed statistical analysis of the influence parameters shows that, as general influence parameters, pedestrian crosswalk length, movement in a group and the age of children can be distinguished. Factors that have proven to have a significant influence on the movement of children in two of the three cities observed are gender, supervision by adults, running and cellphone use. The result can serve as a valuable input for interventions in traffic education as well as a basis for the improvement of traffic conditions at intersections where children are regularly present. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods and Instruments for Evaluating and Measuring Safety)
Open AccessArticle
Traversing Community Attitudes and Interaction Experiences with Large Agricultural Vehicles on Rural Roads
Safety 2021, 7(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010004 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 662
Abstract
Agriculture is one of Australia’s largest rural industries. Oversized and slow moving industry equipment and vehicles, hereafter referred to as large agricultural vehicles (LAVs), use public roads. Restrictions exist regarding their on-road operation, but whether this is a function of the risk that [...] Read more.
Agriculture is one of Australia’s largest rural industries. Oversized and slow moving industry equipment and vehicles, hereafter referred to as large agricultural vehicles (LAVs), use public roads. Restrictions exist regarding their on-road operation, but whether this is a function of the risk that their on-road use represents is unknown. A convenience sample of community members was used to explore perspectives about LAVs’ presence on roads. An online survey was used to explore LAV interaction experiences, risk perceptions, and how best to promote safe interactions. Ethics approval was obtained. The participants’ (N = 239) exposure to LAVs on roads in the last 12 months was variable, but there were clear seasonal points when encounters could be expected. The participants indicated that LAVs have a right to drive on the road (94.8%), and most interactions were neutral, with four LAV crashes reported. Other vehicle types were perceived as representing a higher risk to rural road safety than LAVs. The use of the driver’s license test to increase knowledge about LAVs’ presence, how to respond, and the use of signs were suggested in order to improve safety. The participants commonly interacted with LAVs, and rarely experienced negative events such as crashes. Continued communication about LAV presence on rural roads is an important consideration in order to help ensure safe interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Safety)
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Open AccessArticle
Observations on the Relationship between Crash Frequency and Traffic Flow
Safety 2021, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010003 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 781
Abstract
This work analyzes the relationship between crash frequency N (crashes per hour) and exposure Q (cars per hour) on the macroscopic level of a whole city. As exposure, the traffic flow is used here. Therefore, it analyzes a large crash database of the [...] Read more.
This work analyzes the relationship between crash frequency N (crashes per hour) and exposure Q (cars per hour) on the macroscopic level of a whole city. As exposure, the traffic flow is used here. Therefore, it analyzes a large crash database of the city of Berlin, Germany, together with a novel traffic flow database. Both data display a strong weekly pattern, and, if taken together, show that the relationship N(Q) is not a linear one. When Q is small, N grows like a second-order polynomial, while at large Q there is a tendency towards saturation, leading to an S-shaped relationship. Although visible in all data from all crashes, the data for the severe crashes display a less prominent saturation. As a by-product, the analysis performed here also demonstrates that the crash frequencies follow a negative binomial distribution, where both parameters of the distribution depend on the hour of the week, and, presumably, on the traffic state in this hour. The work presented in this paper aims at giving the reader a better understanding on how crash rates depend on exposure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
What Employees Do Today Because of Their Experience Yesterday: How Incidental Learning Influences Train Driver Behavior and Safety Margins (A Big Data Analysis)
Safety 2021, 7(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010002 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 945
Abstract
Employee behavior plays an important role in the occurrence and prevention of incidents, affecting safety margins. In this study, we examine the potential impact of incidental learning on human behavior in the presence of variation in task design. Incidental learning is the day-to-day [...] Read more.
Employee behavior plays an important role in the occurrence and prevention of incidents, affecting safety margins. In this study, we examine the potential impact of incidental learning on human behavior in the presence of variation in task design. Incidental learning is the day-to-day on-the-job learning that occurs unintentionally. This learning influences which behavior (schema) is more likely to be activated in the employee’s brain. We posit that an incorrect schema can be activated and lead to undesired behavior if the employee is often exposed to (visually) similar tasks that require different behavior. In rail transport, there is a risk of trains passing through red signals. The train driver’s behavior plays an important role in preventing these signal passed at danger (SPAD) incidents. In this study we used speed and location data to analyze train driver deceleration behavior during red signal approaches in the Netherlands. The Dutch rail system showed variation in yellow signal aspects and signal distance. An analysis using 19 months of empirical data indicated changes in behavior when the employee had been previously exposed to different behavior requirements in the same location with a similar yellow signal. These results imply that task design can be improved by taking into consideration what an employee is exposed to during other moments of the shift, and not just during the execution of the specific task. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Reliability Review of an Assessment Tool to Measure Competency in the Seven Elements of the Risk Management Process: Part One—The RISKometric
Safety 2021, 7(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7010001 - 29 Dec 2020
Viewed by 812
Abstract
Ineffective and inefficient workforce involvement can negatively impact risk management practice for work health and safety (WHS) issues. Often the risk management process is undertaken by a single person, or by teams without a facilitator and without regard to the participants’ levels of [...] Read more.
Ineffective and inefficient workforce involvement can negatively impact risk management practice for work health and safety (WHS) issues. Often the risk management process is undertaken by a single person, or by teams without a facilitator and without regard to the participants’ levels of competency in the risk management process. This study aimed to develop a tool to assess the competence of individuals in different elements of the risk management process and then review its reliability. This tool, termed the RISKometric, incorporated a 360° performance review method whereby peers upline and downline colleagues and the individual themselves gave competence ratings. The RISKometric was tested using 26 participants. Results showed that a significant positive relationship existed between the feedback given by peers and downline colleagues. Initial results gained from using the tool suggest it is able to discriminate the competence of participants, in each of the elements of risk management, through the opinions of self and others. In future research, we test assumptions through a further two studies. Firstly, that individuals’ RISKometric results are comparable with their performance in a risk scenario exercise; so, providing validity for the tool. Secondly, that a collectively-optimised team (formed using the Riskometric) can perform a risk assessment exercise better than marginally- or sub-optimised teams. Full article
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