The Impact of Advanced Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Affects the Safety and Health of Industrial Processes

A special issue of Safety (ISSN 2313-576X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 3723

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Advanced robotics and artificial intelligence can influence the safety and health of industrial processes. Artificial-intelligence-based systems and advanced robotics are transforming the way work is designed and performed. These systems, which can be either embedded (e.g., robotics) or non-embedded (e.g., smart apps), can perform actions with some degree of autonomy  to perform physical or cognitive tasks and achieve specific goals. This has significant positive implications for business productivity as well as OSH occupational health and safety. For example, workers can be removed from hazardous environments and tasks and workloads can be optimized. These systems can perform repetitive high-risk or non-creative tasks associated with more traditional and emerging OSH risks, leaving workers with low-risk, productive or creative tasks. However, there are several OSH challenges related to the use of these AI-based systems in the workplace, which mainly arise from the interaction between these systems and the workers, e.g., unexpected collisions, over-reliance and other psychosocial and organizational harms. These challenges must be addressed. Research in this area identifies and debates the opportunities, challenges and risks associated with the use of advanced robotics and artificial-intelligence-based systems to automate physical and cognitive tasks, highlighting various additional issues, including human and human–machine interaction.

Prof. Dr. Lucian-Ionel Cioca
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • safety and health at work
  • innovative processes
  • industrial processes
  • safety processes
  • industrial safety
  • process management
  • new technologies
  • new safe work methods
  • process ergonomics

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

24 pages, 7721 KiB  
Article
A Feasibility Study on the Conversion from Manual to Semi-Automatic Material Handling in an Oil and Gas Service Company
by Adi Saptari, Poh Kiat Ng, Michelle Junardi and Andira Taslim
Safety 2023, 9(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety9010016 - 8 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2650
Abstract
In manufacturing companies, manual material handling (MMH) involves lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, moving, and lowering objects, which can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers, resulting in high labor costs due to excessive overtime incurred for manual product preparation. The aim of this [...] Read more.
In manufacturing companies, manual material handling (MMH) involves lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, moving, and lowering objects, which can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers, resulting in high labor costs due to excessive overtime incurred for manual product preparation. The aim of this study was to show how ergonomic measures were used to reduce the risk of MSDs and to reduce operating costs in the warehouse department of an oil and gas service company. A preliminary study using the Nordic Body Map survey showed that the workers experienced pain in various parts of the body, indicating the presence of MSDs. The researchers then used methods such as the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA), Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA), and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) assessments to verify whether the MMH activities had an acceptable level of risk. The results revealed that certain manual material handling (MMH) activities were assessed as low–very high risk, with RULA scores ranging from 3 to 7 and REBA scores ranging from 4 to 11. An immediate solution was to replace the manual process with a semi-automatic process using a vacuum lifter. A feasibility study was conducted using the net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), and payback period to justify the economic viability of the solution. The analysis indicated that implementing the vacuum lifter not only mitigated the risk of MSDs but also reduced the operating costs, demonstrating its viability and profitability. Overall, this study suggests that implementing a vacuum lifter as an assistive device in the warehouse would be a beneficial investment for both the workers and the company, improving both well-being and finances. Full article
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