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Safety, Volume 8, Issue 3 (September 2022) – 14 articles

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Article
Developing Indicators to Improve Safety and Security of Citizens in Case of Disruption of Critical Infrastructures Due to Natural Hazards—Case of a Snowstorm in Finland
Safety 2022, 8(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030060 - 12 Aug 2022
Viewed by 219
Abstract
The changing climate inflicts ecological, economic, social, and cultural consequences that are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. Very often, this happens via interlinked critical infrastructures. Preparing these for natural hazards and carrying out risk assessments that consider their cascading effects on human livelihoods and [...] Read more.
The changing climate inflicts ecological, economic, social, and cultural consequences that are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. Very often, this happens via interlinked critical infrastructures. Preparing these for natural hazards and carrying out risk assessments that consider their cascading effects on human livelihoods and well-being is a challenging task. Crisis management institutions can benefit from forecasts based on the idea of systemic risk. This study is based on stakeholder workshops, in which a systemic dynamic modelling method called the Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) was used to support contingency planning to identify the critical infrastructure-related factors, the vital functions in society, and to understand their interrelated nature. Together with the workshop participants (authorities and other service providers of critical infrastructures) we tested whether the CLD tool could help identify three types of indicators (threat factors, vulnerability, and resilience) that can help in assessing the risk level when a natural disaster hits. Our case study was a snowstorm, still a frequent phenomenon in the Nordic countries. This article describes and explains the possibilities and limitations of systemic dynamic modelling in contingency planning. Indicators describing the safety and security risks posed by natural hazards, as well as potential sources of data for these indicators, were identified. Identifying indicators that are relevant for anticipating interrelated and cascading effects offers valuable tools for risk assessment and security planning at operational and strategical levels. Full article
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Article
Gender and Public Perception of Disasters: A Multiple Hazards Exploratory Study of EU Citizens
Safety 2022, 8(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030059 - 05 Aug 2022
Viewed by 363
Abstract
Aim: To explore gender influence on individual risk perception of multiple hazards and personal attitudes towards disaster preparedness across EU citizens. Method: An online survey was distributed to 2485 participants from Spain, France, Poland, Sweden and Italy. The survey was divided into two [...] Read more.
Aim: To explore gender influence on individual risk perception of multiple hazards and personal attitudes towards disaster preparedness across EU citizens. Method: An online survey was distributed to 2485 participants from Spain, France, Poland, Sweden and Italy. The survey was divided into two parts. The first part examined perceived likelihood (L), perceived personal impact (I) and perceived self-efficacy (E) towards disasters due to extreme weather conditions (flood, landslide and storm), fire, earthquake, hazardous materials accidents, and terrorist attacks. The overall risk rating for each specific hazard was measured through the following equation R = (L × I)/E and the resulting scores were brought into the range between 0 and 1. The second part explored people’s reactions to the Pros and Cons of preparedness to compute the overall attitudes of respondents towards preparation (expressed as a ratio between −1 and 1). Results: Although we found gender variations on concerns expressed as the likelihood of the occurrence, personal consequences and self-efficacy, the overall risks were judged significantly higher by females in all hazards (p < 0.01). We also found that, in general, most respondents (both males and females) were in favour of preparedness. More importantly, despite the gender differences in risk perception, there were no significant differences in the attitudes towards preparedness. We found weak correlations between risks perceived and attitudes towards preparedness (rho < 0.20). The intersectional analysis showed that young and adult females perceived higher risks than their gender counterparts at the same age. There were also gender differences in preparedness, i.e., females in higher age ranges are more motivated for preparedness than men in lower age ranges. We also found that risk perception for all hazards in females was significantly higher than in males at the same education level. We found no significant differences between sub-groups in the pros and cons of getting ready for disasters. However, females at a higher level of education have more positive attitudes towards preparedness. Conclusions: This study suggests that gender along with other intersecting factors (e.g., age and education) still shape differences in risk perception and attitudes towards disasters across the EU population. Overall, the presented results policy actions focus on promoting specific DRR policies and practices (bottom-up participatory and learning processes) through interventions oriented to specific target groups from a gender perspective. Full article
Article
Analysis of Vehicle Stability When Using Two-Post Above-Ground Automotive Lifts: Support Pad Slippage
Safety 2022, 8(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030058 - 05 Aug 2022
Viewed by 329
Abstract
Vehicles falling off two-post above-ground (2PAG) lifts is a fairly frequent occurrence. As only limited knowledge is available about the determinants influencing the stability of lifting vehicles with a 2PAG lift, two experimental designs were carried out in order to have quantitative data. [...] Read more.
Vehicles falling off two-post above-ground (2PAG) lifts is a fairly frequent occurrence. As only limited knowledge is available about the determinants influencing the stability of lifting vehicles with a 2PAG lift, two experimental designs were carried out in order to have quantitative data. This paper addresses support pad slippage as a result of external forces being exerted on a vehicle. The experimental design is based on the consultation of the key players that identify the main issues related to the support pads. The controlled factors chosen in this experimental design were lift support pad type and position, smear on pads, arm locking and external force type. Based on the analysis of variance, factors that had a significant influence on the support pad slippage were (i) support pad type, (ii) external force type and (iii) the interaction between those two controlled factors. Arm locking and support pad position were not statistically significant. From a practical standpoint, initial placement of the support pad is, however, a major safety measure, as support pad slippage went up to 53% of the pad half-width. These results should challenge 2PAG lift manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers to come up with support pad and lifting point designs, respectively, that would reduce this inherent risk of the 2PAG lifts. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of a Novel Emergency Braking Task on a Driving Simulator with Haptic Anti-Lock Braking System Feedback
Safety 2022, 8(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030057 - 05 Aug 2022
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Rear-end crashes are one of the leading types of crashes today. The anti-lock braking system (ABS) was designed to assist drivers during emergency braking situations by preventing wheel lock up, allowing drivers to retain control of the vehicle. Not all drivers have knowledge [...] Read more.
Rear-end crashes are one of the leading types of crashes today. The anti-lock braking system (ABS) was designed to assist drivers during emergency braking situations by preventing wheel lock up, allowing drivers to retain control of the vehicle. Not all drivers have knowledge and experience with ABS, especially the haptic brake pedal feedback produced by ABS. There studies introduce a new method to train ABS using an emergency braking task on a simulator and an interactive exercise, Pedals Emergency Stop©. The interactive exercise was designed to prompt participants to press the brake pedal in a motion that is consistent with emergency braking and experience haptic ABS feedback. Participants that depressed the brake pedal quickly to the maximum travel and held that pedal position “passed” the trial. In Study 1, participants (N = 63) completed 15 trials, where it took on average three trials to “pass” for the first time, and 85% of the participants experienced their first “pass” within the first four trials. There were no differences observed between participants with previous knowledge and experience feeling ABS versus those who did not have prior knowledge and experience with ABS. The participants in this study thought that they had enough trials, that the exercise was a practical tool, and recommended the task for new drivers and refresher training, as well as for evaluating fitness to drive. Suggested improvements included a practice followed by three tests, all with four trials each; passing criteria of three out of four trials; and modifications to the feedback presented immediately after completing each trail. Study 2 was conducted (N = 38) to investigate the proposed “passing” criteria, where 95% passed on Test 1. The results revealed that the criteria to pass was reasonable. Future research should examine how the Pedals Emergency Stop© interactive exercise generalizes to on-road driving. Full article
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Article
Injuries and Fatalities Related to Skid Steers: 2015–2020
Safety 2022, 8(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030056 - 03 Aug 2022
Viewed by 401
Abstract
Skid steers are versatile self-propelled machines that are regularly used in a variety of recreational applications and occupational industries. They can be hazardous for both operators and bystanders. The purpose of this paper is to describe patterns of skid steer injuries in the [...] Read more.
Skid steers are versatile self-propelled machines that are regularly used in a variety of recreational applications and occupational industries. They can be hazardous for both operators and bystanders. The purpose of this paper is to describe patterns of skid steer injuries in the US from 2015 to 2020. Data were obtained from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) accident reports and the severe injury database. Agriculture-related incidents were obtained from AgInjuryNews. The study identified 312 skid steer-related injuries (2015–2020) in OSHA, with an additional 68 agricultural injuries identified using AIN. Construction, administrative and waste management, and agriculture industries were the top three industries with the highest number of injuries. Bystander workers experienced a higher number of injuries than operators. Contact with the machine was the most prevalent and more fatal than the other injury events. Agricultural skid steer injuries involved a broad age range of victims, from very young children to adults. These findings emphasize the need for improved safety engineering and clear safety guidelines for skid steer operators and those who are around skid steers. With the increased prevalence of skid steers across industries, it is imperative to have cohesive and comprehensive safety regulations, guidelines, and policy enforcement. Full article
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Communication
Leveraging Intellectual Property to Prevent Nuclear War
Safety 2022, 8(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030055 - 01 Aug 2022
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Although international law forbids nuclear attacks, only nine states have mutually assured destruction available to prevent direct attacks against themselves, while non-nuclear states have few substantive options to deter a nuclear attack. This study analyzes the economic impacts of a theoretical international agreement [...] Read more.
Although international law forbids nuclear attacks, only nine states have mutually assured destruction available to prevent direct attacks against themselves, while non-nuclear states have few substantive options to deter a nuclear attack. This study analyzes the economic impacts of a theoretical international agreement that eliminates patent rights for any nuclear aggressor (i.e., free global compulsory licensing of all intellectual property (IP) for a nuclear aggressor). The results found that all but one of the nuclear states would have a significant economic disincentive to start a nuclear attack if the proposal was put into force. Payback times ranged from 1.2 to 40 years, where the entire GDP of a nuclear aggressor would be needed to offset the loss for aggression, indicate such a mechanism as a whole would be an effective nuclear deterrent. This method would not be universally effective without ensuring all nuclear states are members of the international economy and IP processes. With the growth of open-source products and reduced value of patents, this mechanism does have a limited effectiveness time. Currently it appears to be a policy trajectory worthy of future work that can enhance safety from nuclear threat without causing harm to countries of goodwill. Full article
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Article
Engineer-Centred Design Factors and Methodological Approach for Maritime Autonomy Emergency Response Systems
Safety 2022, 8(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030054 - 29 Jul 2022
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Commercial deployment of maritime autonomous surface ships (MASSs) is close to becoming a reality. Although MASSs are fully autonomous, the industry will still allow remote operations centre (ROC) operators to intervene if a MASS is facing an emergency the MASS cannot handle by [...] Read more.
Commercial deployment of maritime autonomous surface ships (MASSs) is close to becoming a reality. Although MASSs are fully autonomous, the industry will still allow remote operations centre (ROC) operators to intervene if a MASS is facing an emergency the MASS cannot handle by itself. A human-centred design for the associated emergency response systems will require attention to the ROC operator workplace, but also, arguably, to the behaviour-shaping constraints on the engineers building these systems. There is thus a need for an engineer-centred design of engineering organisations, influenced by the current discourse on human factors. To contribute to the discourse, think-aloud protocol interviewing was conducted with well-informed maritime operators to elicit fundamental demands on cognition and collaboration by maritime autonomy emergency response systems. Based on the results, inferences were made regarding both design factors and methodological choices for future, early phase engineering of emergency response systems. Firstly, engineering firms have to improve their informal gathering and sharing of information through gatekeepers and/or organisational liaisons. To avoid a too cautious approach to accountability, this will have to include a closer integration of development and operations. Secondly, associated studies taking the typical approach of exposing relevant operators to new design concepts in scripted scenarios should include significant flexibility and less focus on realism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety—Practitioners' Perspectives)
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Article
FLACS-Based Simulation of Combustible Gases Leaked from the Pressure Device for the Optimizing of Gas Detectors’ Setup
Safety 2022, 8(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030053 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 485
Abstract
The leakage and diffusion of hazardous gases from steam methane reforming (SMR) equipment are investigated by Flame Acceleration Simulator (FLACS) software to optimize the layout of combustible gas detectors. A typical accident scenario, with the gases leaked from converter tubes with leak apertures [...] Read more.
The leakage and diffusion of hazardous gases from steam methane reforming (SMR) equipment are investigated by Flame Acceleration Simulator (FLACS) software to optimize the layout of combustible gas detectors. A typical accident scenario, with the gases leaked from converter tubes with leak apertures of 5 mm, 25 mm, and 100 mm and medium pressure of 0.1 MPa, 1 MPa, and 10 MPa, is established. At the same time, the influence of the environment wind speeds from 0.2 m·s−1 to 6 m·s−1 on the diffusion process is also investigated. The research results show that the leakage source concentration and diffusion distance positively correlate with the leakage aperture. Suggestion on the distance between combustible gas detectors and possible leak point is within 5 m, 10 m, and 15 m in the scenario of the leak aperture of 5 mm (small-hole leak aperture), 25 mm (middle-hole leak aperture), and 100 mm (big-hole leak aperture). The most dangerous scenario is at the static ambient wind speed, and the diffusion process strengthens with the raising of wind speed. The turning point scenario occurs at a wind speed of 1 m·s−1, where the flammable area is minimal. The medium pressure relates to the jet speed of the combustible gases. The wind speed should be comprehensively determined when considering the layout of the combustible gas detectors affected by this factor. The orthogonal experimental design shows that the most significant influence factor on the diffusion process of the combustible gas is the leak aperture, followed by the medium pressure and, finally, by the ambient wind speed. Recommendations are listed for the optimization of the layout of gas detectors in related enterprises. Full article
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Article
Use of Virtual Reality to Increase Awareness of Line-of-Sight Hazards around Industrial Equipment
Safety 2022, 8(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030052 - 14 Jul 2022
Viewed by 551
Abstract
Impaired operator line of sight has been implicated in several pedestrian–equipment accidents and fatalities in the mining industry. Existing training methods for conveying visibility information lack worker engagement and may be insufficient to capture the dynamic, three-dimensional nature of blind spots around industrial [...] Read more.
Impaired operator line of sight has been implicated in several pedestrian–equipment accidents and fatalities in the mining industry. Existing training methods for conveying visibility information lack worker engagement and may be insufficient to capture the dynamic, three-dimensional nature of blind spots around industrial equipment. The present study utilized a custom virtual reality experience intended to shift the way in which visibility information is presented. Visibility knowledge, confidence levels and safe pedestrian behaviors around the load-haul-dump vehicle were examined among participants in control and experimental (virtual reality and conventional training) groups (n = 72). Results demonstrate that the virtual reality intervention was not effective for increasing visibility knowledge and safe pedestrian behaviors relative to controls, although the performances of the virtual reality and conventional training groups were comparable. A discrepancy was identified in the perceived versus actual visibility knowledge and safe pedestrian behaviors at the rear of the load-haul-dump vehicle among the virtual reality training group. The findings suggest poor knowledge transfer between the three-dimensional virtual reality experience and the two-dimensional visibility plot used. The work also speaks to the importance of emphasizing rear-facing visibility deficits around machinery within industry safety training materials. Full article
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Communication
Influence Variables in Occupational Injuries among Men Teachers
Safety 2022, 8(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030051 - 14 Jul 2022
Viewed by 508
Abstract
Background: Occupational accidents suffered by male teachers can be a source of injury to different parts of the body and can lead to absence from work. However, there are only a limited number of studies focused on this topic; the current research evaluates [...] Read more.
Background: Occupational accidents suffered by male teachers can be a source of injury to different parts of the body and can lead to absence from work. However, there are only a limited number of studies focused on this topic; the current research evaluates the influence of the main variables associated with occupational injuries among male teachers. Methods: Logistic regression based on the calculation of the odds ratio (OR) was used on a sample of 42,878 occupational accidents suffered by male teachers in the period 2003–2018. Results: Male teachers under 45 years of age with less than one year of experience obtained better results for most types of injury. In contrast, those older than 45 years and with more experience obtained worse results. Conclusions: No single variable was detected with the same protective or risk effect through the different parts of the body injured. Teachers’ safety training adapted to risk profiles and injuries could improve accident rates in the education sector. Full article
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Article
Traffic Safety at German Roundabouts—A Replication Study
Safety 2022, 8(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030050 - 06 Jul 2022
Viewed by 707
Abstract
Roundabouts are well-known for their ability to improve upon traffic safety, especially for motorized traffic. An in-depth analysis on this topic is known from previous work. It was found that different types of roundabouts have different levels of safety. The work at hand [...] Read more.
Roundabouts are well-known for their ability to improve upon traffic safety, especially for motorized traffic. An in-depth analysis on this topic is known from previous work. It was found that different types of roundabouts have different levels of safety. The work at hand is a replication study for a previous study in this regard. It uses a mix of traditional and a Machine Learning (ML)-based approach, expands on the previous results and replicates some of the previous findings. This was possible especially by using a factor of 10 more roundabouts in the analysis, with considerably less manual intervention. Furthermore, this study could also draw some additional conclusions regarding the safety of bicyclists, which were not included in the original study. Finally, by using cross-validation techniques, a kind of minimal model could be established that needs fewer factors and achieves better prediction quality than straightforward glm models. Full article
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Article
Exploring the Determinants of School Bus Crash Severity
Safety 2022, 8(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030049 - 04 Jul 2022
Viewed by 696
Abstract
Although the school bus is considered a safe form of transportation, school bus crashes are a major safety concern. School bus crashes are a result of driver error of either the at-fault school bus or another at-fault vehicle (where the school bus is [...] Read more.
Although the school bus is considered a safe form of transportation, school bus crashes are a major safety concern. School bus crashes are a result of driver error of either the at-fault school bus or another at-fault vehicle (where the school bus is not at fault). To examine the risk factors associated with school bus related crashes and crash outcomes, this study segments and develops two binary logit models for each school bus crash type. A total of 1702 school bus related crashes recorded between 2009 and 2016 were used to estimate the model. According to the model results, sideswipe collisions were less likely to result in injury outcomes for at-fault school buses than rear-end and side-impact collisions. Speeding, driving impaired or under the influence, and negotiating a curve all have significant positive associations with injury outcomes in not-at-fault school bus crashes. This study’s practical implications include enforcing the school bus safe driving guidelines, training programs for school bus drivers that include elements of nonroutine trips, training for crossing guards, and awareness programs for drivers of other vehicles to instill safe driving practices around school buses. Full article
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Article
Assessing System-Wide Safety Readiness for Successful Human–Robot Collaboration Adoption
Safety 2022, 8(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030048 - 01 Jul 2022
Viewed by 710
Abstract
Despite their undisputed potential, the uptake of collaborative robots remains below expectations. Collaborative robots (cobots) are used differently from conventional industrial robots. The current safety focus of collaborative workspaces is predominantly on the technological design; additional factors also need to be considered to [...] Read more.
Despite their undisputed potential, the uptake of collaborative robots remains below expectations. Collaborative robots (cobots) are used differently from conventional industrial robots. The current safety focus of collaborative workspaces is predominantly on the technological design; additional factors also need to be considered to cope with the emerging risks associated with complex systems. Cobot technologies are characterized by an inherent tradeoff between safety and efficiency. They introduce new, emergent risks to organizations and can create psychosocial impacts on workers. This leads to a confusing body of information and an apparent contradiction about cobot safety. Combined with a lack of safety knowledge, this impedes the introduction of cobots. A multi-step methodology was used, including a literature review and conceptual modeling. This article argues for the need for a system-wide safety awareness readiness assessment in the consideration phase of cobot implementation to alleviate the knowledge deficit and confusion. This work will benefit both researchers and practitioners. In addition, it defends the appropriateness of a maturity grid model for a readiness assessment tool. The building blocks for an easy-to-use and practically applicable tool are proposed, as well as an agenda for the next steps. Full article
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Article
How to Keep Drivers Attentive during Level 2 Automation? Development and Evaluation of an HMI Concept Using Affective Elements and Message Framing
Safety 2022, 8(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8030047 - 28 Jun 2022
Viewed by 720
Abstract
With Level 3 and 4 automated driving activated, users will be allowed to engage in a wide range of non-driving related activities (NDRAs). Although Level 2 automation can appear very similar to L3 and L4, drivers are required to always monitor the system. [...] Read more.
With Level 3 and 4 automated driving activated, users will be allowed to engage in a wide range of non-driving related activities (NDRAs). Although Level 2 automation can appear very similar to L3 and L4, drivers are required to always monitor the system. However, past research has found drivers neglect this obligation at least partly and instead engage in NDRAs. Since this behavior can have negative impacts on traffic safety, the goal of this work was to develop a human–machine interface (HMI) concept to motivate users to continue their supervision task. This work’s concept used message framing in connection with affective elements. Every three minutes, messages were displayed on the head-up display. To evaluate the affective message concept’s (AMC) effectiveness, we conducted a between-subject driving simulator study (baseline vs. advanced HMI) with 32 participants and 45 min of driving time with both L2 and L4 phases and a silent system malfunction. Results show the road attention ratio decreases and the NDRA engagement ratio increases over time only for baseline participants. Participants supported by the AMC did not show a change over time in monitoring behavior and NDRA engagement. However, no effect on the drivers’ reaction to the system failure became apparent. No effects on subjective workload and user experience were found. Additional research is needed to further investigate the safety implications and long-term effectiveness of the concept, as well as a driver-state-dependent design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Human-Machine Interface)
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