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Occupational Risk Perception, Safety Training, and Injury Prevention in the New Intelligent Yet Complex Work Environments

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2024) | Viewed by 22864

Special Issue Editor

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, MI 48127, USA
Interests: OHS; safety; ergonomics; human factors; risk assessments; accident assessment; smart safety; industrial 5.0; industrial 4.0; safety training; injury prevention; day aways from work; artificial intelligence; smart robots; human-computer interaction; human-computer interface; risk analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the tangible future, the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) could make work more intelligent yet more complex, which could significantly alter the safety concept and practice in modern work environments. The operation of “smart” machines in an autonomous cyber-physical system could introduce many new and unexpected factors that redefine the safe human-machine interaction. While new technologies are rapidly reshaping the modern industrial landscape, significant challenges related to their safe application are emerging. The key challenge of occupational risk perception, safety training, and injury prevention in new complex and intelligent environments is to identify major components, e.g., lethalness, prevalence, and control, that influence risk perception and prevention at work. Whether workers engage in safe behavior is influenced by the worker’s perception of risks, the judgment on the gravity of the consequences, and the perceived control over hazards. To address the challenges faced by the new work environment, the aim of this special issue is to collect the most recent research related to risk perception, safety training, and injury prevention in new era work environments. We encourage original submissions which describe theoretical, methodological, multidisciplinary advancements, and practical applications in the area of consideration.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Risk assessments in new industrial environments
  • Occupational Health & Safety standards and protocols
  • Big Data for risk assessment and injury prevention
  • Safety Training & Education
  • Safety applications for new human-machine interaction
  • Safe communication protocols and interface
  • Safety promotion in new industrial environments
  • Economic impacts of injury prevention in new industrial environments
  • Theories and assessment tools of safety culture/climate.

Dr. Bochen Jia
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • OHS
  • safety
  • ergonomics
  • human factors
  • risk assessments
  • accident assessment
  • smart safety
  • industrial 5.0
  • industrial 4.0
  • safety training
  • injury prevention
  • day aways from work
  • artificial intelligence
  • smart robots
  • human-computer interaction
  • human-computer interface
  • risk analysis

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 2679 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Corrective and Encouraging Accumulated Vibrotactile Feedback on Work Technique Training and Motivation—A Pilot Study
by Charlotta Langenskiöld, Annelie Berg and Liyun Yang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(18), 6741; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20186741 - 11 Sep 2023
Viewed by 848
Abstract
Encouraging feedback is shown to increase motivation and facilitate learning in different settings, though there is a lack of knowledge of applying it in work technique training. This pilot study aimed to evaluate two accumulated vibrotactile feedback strategies for work technique training using [...] Read more.
Encouraging feedback is shown to increase motivation and facilitate learning in different settings, though there is a lack of knowledge of applying it in work technique training. This pilot study aimed to evaluate two accumulated vibrotactile feedback strategies for work technique training using a smart workwear system. Eight women and two men participated in the study. They were divided into two groups, receiving the corrective feedback or the combined corrective and encouraging feedback while doing simulated manual handling tasks in a lab environment. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used to evaluate the motivation, learning, and user experiences. In this small sample size, we saw that both groups significantly improved their work technique of upper arm and trunk postures, and no significant difference between groups was seen. In addition, both groups reported increased ergonomic awareness, were satisfied with the feedback training, and considered the system useful. However, the combined feedback group had slightly lower ratings of motivation and more negative experiences of the corrective feedback itself compared to the corrective feedback group. Both groups had positive experiences with the encouraging feedback. Future research should consider investigating the long-term learning effects of using solely corrective or encouraging accumulated feedback for work technique training with such systems. Full article
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19 pages, 1271 KiB  
Article
Mechanism Models of the Conventional and Advanced Methods of Construction Safety Training. Is the Traditional Method of Safety Training Sufficient?
by Aminu Darda’u Rafindadi, Nasir Shafiq, Idris Othman and Miljan Mikić
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1466; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021466 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1870
Abstract
Cognitive failures at the information acquiring (safety training), comprehension, or application stages led to near-miss or accidents on-site. The previous studies rarely considered the cognitive processes of two different kinds of construction safety training. Cognitive processes are a series of chemical and electrical [...] Read more.
Cognitive failures at the information acquiring (safety training), comprehension, or application stages led to near-miss or accidents on-site. The previous studies rarely considered the cognitive processes of two different kinds of construction safety training. Cognitive processes are a series of chemical and electrical brain impulses that allow you to perceive your surroundings and acquire knowledge. Additionally, their attention was more inclined toward the worker’s behavior during hazard identification on-site while on duty. A study is proposed to fill the knowledge gap by developing the mechanism models of the two safety training approaches. The mechanism models were developed based on cognitive psychology and Bloom’s taxonomy and six steps of cognitive learning theory. A worker’s safety training is vital in acquiring, storing, retrieving, and utilizing the appropriate information for hazard identification on-site. It is assumed that those trained by advanced techniques may quickly identify and avoid hazards on construction sites because of the fundamental nature of the training, and when they come across threats, they may promptly use their working memory and prevent them, especially for more complex projects. The main benefit of making such a model, from a cognitive point of view, is that it can help us learn more about the mental processes of two different types of construction safety training, and it can also help us come up with specific management suggestions to make up for the approaches’ flaws. Future research will concentrate on the organizational aspects and other cognitive failures that could lead to accidents. Full article
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13 pages, 383 KiB  
Article
Identification of Noise Levels for Skill Training Activities, Equipment, Machines and Power Tools at TVET Institutes in Malaysia
by Khairul Azhar Abdul Rahim, Jegalakshimi Jewaratnam and Che Rosmani Che Hassan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15783; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315783 - 27 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1476
Abstract
The use of various machines, equipment and power tools at TVET Institute causes the institute’s environment to be exposed to noise hazards that are similar to the industry. However, not much data has been published regarding noise exposure at TVET institutes. This study [...] Read more.
The use of various machines, equipment and power tools at TVET Institute causes the institute’s environment to be exposed to noise hazards that are similar to the industry. However, not much data has been published regarding noise exposure at TVET institutes. This study was carried out to document the noise exposure of work activities training in public TVET institutes in Malaysia that implement skill training programs in metal fabrication, furniture manufacturing and automotive maintenance. The identification of excessive noise, task-based noise exposure monitoring and source measurement was conducted. The noise contribution from each work activity to the daily A-weighted noise exposure level and sound pressure level emitted by machines and equipment was documented. The findings of this study recorded 20 activities with task-based noise contribution to the daily A-weighted noise exposure level between 75.3 dB and 95 dB. Based on the findings, the training environment at the TVET institutes has a risk of operating with excessive noise. The documented data can be used in planning the implementation of suitable noise control measures in TVET institutes. Full article
20 pages, 1052 KiB  
Article
In Search of Differences in the Perception of Safety Climate by Employees of an International Manufacturing Company
by Marta Znajmiecka, Elżbieta Roszko-Wójtowicz and Marta Stasiła-Sieradzka
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 14980; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192214980 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1077
Abstract
The implementation of effective workforce safety programmes ought to be linked to an understanding of the specificity of the work in the organisation concerned, taking into consideration the assessment of the level of safety expressed by the professional group representing it at the [...] Read more.
The implementation of effective workforce safety programmes ought to be linked to an understanding of the specificity of the work in the organisation concerned, taking into consideration the assessment of the level of safety expressed by the professional group representing it at the executive level. The main purpose of the study presented in the paper, which is part of a broader project of researching safety culture in the organisation, is a diagnosis of the safety climate in the Polish branch of an international manufacturing company. The following research question was formulated: Is the examined international manufacturing company a homogeneous organisation from the point of view of assessing its safety culture? The research was exploratory. In total, 203 respondents, which amounts to 35% of the employees, participated in the study. The selection of the sample was representative—in proportion to the number of employees in individual departments and their positions in the examined organisation. The presented paper includes an analysis of the results obtained on the basis of the abbreviated version of the Safety Climate Questionnaire, a self-developed tool to assess ten separate dimensions of safety climate. The results of a single-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) along with post hoc tests prove that there is a statistically significant difference between the respondents representing different positions in the organisation and different areas of employment. The position held in the company significantly differentiates the employees in a statistically significant way—in eight out of eleven diagnostic areas, including the Summary Safety Climate Indicator (SSCI). In the case of department, statistically significant differences were found in seven out of eleven diagnostic areas. Education proved to be the factor that differentiates the respondents the least in terms of the assessment of workplace safety climate. Statistically significant differences occurred only in three out of eleven diagnostic areas. The observed differences in the assessment of the dimensions of workplace safety climate point to the need for the promotion of more diversified and individualised measures, taking into account the specificity of work and the nature of hazards in a given position, and the creation of practical safety programmes not only in the procedural and technical dimensions but also in social and psychological ones. Full article
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18 pages, 1314 KiB  
Article
Managerial Perception of Risk in an Organization in a Post-COVID-19 Work Environment
by Tomasz Ewertowski and Marcin Butlewski
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 14978; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192214978 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1680
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic drew the attention of all industries and organizations to the importance of comprehensive preparation for various types of crises and disruptions. Without proper risk management for crisis situations, it is impossible to talk about organizational resilience, maintaining organizational continuity, or [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic drew the attention of all industries and organizations to the importance of comprehensive preparation for various types of crises and disruptions. Without proper risk management for crisis situations, it is impossible to talk about organizational resilience, maintaining organizational continuity, or ensuring the company’s ability to protect workers’ lives and health in a crisis. While the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly reshaping the work environment, significant challenges related to risk management are emerging. The purpose of this research paper is to examine the impact of a pandemic on the risk perception in an organization by managers of all three levels (strategic, operational, and line level) and to examine the impact of broadly understood risk management on organizational performance. For the examination of operational risk perception, empirical research was conducted in Polish enterprises. The methodology of the survey is based on a questionnaire of operational risk and risk management perception in a post-COVID-19 work environment. According to the survey results, risk management was generally perceived better than the level of operational risk, compared to the period before the pandemic. Therefore, a substantial improvement in risk management during the crisis allowed the surveyed organizations to cope with the pandemic, and even slightly enhance their performance. Organizations have been able to achieve their goals mainly by slightly reducing risk appetite and lowering the tolerable risk level threshold. Even so, organizations have improved their ability to adapt and seize opportunities. Full article
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15 pages, 5222 KiB  
Article
Lighting a Path for Autonomous Vehicle Communication: The Effect of Light Projection on the Detection of Reversing Vehicles by Older Adult Pedestrians
by Brian Mason, Sridhar Lakshmanan, Pam McAuslan, Marie Waung and Bochen Jia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 14700; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192214700 - 09 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1818
Abstract
Pedestrian understanding of driver intent is key to pedestrian safety on the road and in parking lots. With the development of autonomous vehicles (AVs), the human driver will be removed, and with it, the exchange that occurs between drivers and pedestrians (e.g., head [...] Read more.
Pedestrian understanding of driver intent is key to pedestrian safety on the road and in parking lots. With the development of autonomous vehicles (AVs), the human driver will be removed, and with it, the exchange that occurs between drivers and pedestrians (e.g., head nods, hand gestures). One possible solution for augmenting that communication is an array of high-intensity light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to project vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) messages on the ground plane behind a reversing vehicle. This would be particularly beneficial to elderly pedestrians, who are at particular risk of being struck by reversing cars in parking lots. Their downward gaze and slower reaction time make them particularly vulnerable. A survey was conducted to generate designs, and a simulator experiment was conducted to measure detection and reaction times. The study found that elderly pedestrians are significantly more likely to detect an additional projected message on the ground than detect the existing brake light alone when walking in a parking lot. Full article
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12 pages, 788 KiB  
Article
Perception of Occupational and Environmental Risks and Hazards among Mineworkers: A Psychometric Paradigm Approach
by Mahmaod Alrawad, Abdalwali Lutfi, Sundus Alyatama, Ibrahim A. Elshaer and Mohammed Amin Almaiah
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3371; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063371 - 12 Mar 2022
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 4001
Abstract
This study aims to assess workers’ perception of occupational and environmental risks and hazards using the psychometric paradigm. For this purpose, data were collected using survey questionnaires from 360 mineworkers recruited from mineral and sand mines. Respondents were asked to evaluate eight occupational [...] Read more.
This study aims to assess workers’ perception of occupational and environmental risks and hazards using the psychometric paradigm. For this purpose, data were collected using survey questionnaires from 360 mineworkers recruited from mineral and sand mines. Respondents were asked to evaluate eight occupational and environmental risks and hazards on nine commonly used risk characteristics. The principal component analysis revealed that two components, “Dreaded” and “Unknown”, explained 73% percent of the total variance in workers’ risk perception. The results also showed that the risk of developing an occupational disease was perceived as the most dreaded and unknown type of risk, while landslide, occupational noise, and vibration exposure were the least familiar to the respondents. A practical implication of this research is that the results may offer an insight into the employees’ perceptions of the hazards and risks associated with their working environment. This could help risk management develop and implement effective risk management and communications strategies. Full article
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Review

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14 pages, 629 KiB  
Review
How Virtual Reality Technology Has Changed Our Lives: An Overview of the Current and Potential Applications and Limitations
by Ayah Hamad and Bochen Jia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11278; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811278 - 08 Sep 2022
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 9007
Abstract
Despite virtual reality (VR) being initially marketed toward gaming, there are many potential and existing VR applications in various sectors and fields, including education, training, simulations, and even in exercise and healthcare. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of general understanding of the [...] Read more.
Despite virtual reality (VR) being initially marketed toward gaming, there are many potential and existing VR applications in various sectors and fields, including education, training, simulations, and even in exercise and healthcare. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of general understanding of the strengths and limitations of VR as a technology in various application domains. Therefore, the aim of this literature review is to contribute to the library of literature concerning VR technology, its applications in everyday use, and some of its existing drawbacks. Key VR applications were discussed in terms of how they are currently utilized or can be utilized in the future, spanning fields such as medicine, engineering, education, and entertainment. The main benefits of VR are expressed through the text, followed by a discussion of some of the main limitations of current VR technologies and how they can be mitigated or improved. Overall, this literature review shows how virtual reality technology has the potential to be a greatly beneficial tool in a multitude of applications and a wide variety of fields. VR as a technology is still in its early stages, but more people are becoming interested in it and are optimistic about seeing what kind of changes VR can make in their everyday lives. With how rapidly modern society has adapted to personal computers and smartphones, VR has the opportunity to become the next big technological turning point that will eventually become commonplace in most households. Full article
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