Special Issue "Occupational Health and Safety New Challenges for Industry"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Adel Badri
Website
Guest Editor
Industrial Engineering Department, School of Engineering, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec G9A 5H7, Canada
Interests: occupational health and safety (OHS); OHS risk management; OHS performance measurement; decision-making tools; safety engineering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Competition has intensified in recent years in key industry sectors. The development of new technologies and emerging industrial practices bring about radical changes in organizations, comparable to those produced during the last industrial revolution.

Real-time communication, Big Data, human–machine cooperation, remote sensing, monitoring and process control, autonomous equipment, and interconnectivity are becoming major assets in modern industry. We are starting to see the implementation of new industrial concepts based on decentralizing of information and decision-making.

All of this is intended to meet human needs that never cease to diversify. As the fourth industrial revolution becomes the predominant reality, it appears inevitable that it will lead to a new series of paradigm shifts, which will have an impact on the management of occupational health and safety (OHS).

In this context, the biggest challenge for industry is to transform the difficulties of adapting to the new context into opportunities for the future development of OHS. Under these conditions, industrial companies must meet several challenges associated with new environments marked by complexity and uncertainty. Rigorous management of OHS remains indispensable for monitoring and controlling the various threats that loom over growing companies. Numerous companies thus seek to improve or devise integrated approaches to OHS management.

This Special Issue will explore the new challenges of OHS for industry with a focus on OHS management, OHS risks management, OHS performance, decision-making tools and safety engineering. Researchers are invited to submit manuscripts regarding any aspect of OHS challenges for industry. Papers addressing the interfaces between new technologies, industrial organizations and workers are especially welcome.

Prof. Adel Badri
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 papers will be 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. Safety is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1000 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

  • Occupational health and safety (OHS)
  • New Challenges
  • New technologies
  • Emerging industrial practices
  • Industrial revolution
  • OHS management
  • OHS risks management
  • OHS performance
  • Decision-making tools
  • Safety engineering

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Training Competences in Industrial Risk Prevention with Lego® Serious Play®: A Case Study
Safety 2019, 5(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5040081 - 08 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper proposes the use of the Lego® Serious Play® (LSP) methodology as a facilitating tool for the introduction of competences for Industrial Risk Prevention by engineering students from the industrial branch (electrical, electronic, mechanical and technological engineering), presenting the results [...] Read more.
This paper proposes the use of the Lego® Serious Play® (LSP) methodology as a facilitating tool for the introduction of competences for Industrial Risk Prevention by engineering students from the industrial branch (electrical, electronic, mechanical and technological engineering), presenting the results obtained in the Universities of Cadiz and Seville in the academic years 2017–2019. Current Spanish legislation does not reserve any special legal attribution, nor does it require specific competence in occupational risk prevention for the regulated profession of a technical industrial engineer (Order CIN 351:2009), and only does so in a generic way for that of an industrial engineer (Order CIN 311:2009). However, these universities consider the training in occupational health and safety for these future graduates as an essential objective in order to develop them for their careers in the industry. The approach is based on a series of challenges proposed (risk assessments, safety inspections, accident investigations and fire protection measures, among others), thanks to the use of “gamification” dynamics with Lego® Serious Play®. In order to carry the training out, a set of specific variables (industrial sector, legal and regulatory framework, business organization and production system), and transversal ones (leadership, teamwork, critical thinking and communication), are incorporated. Through group models, it is possible to identify dangerous situations, establish causes, share and discuss alternative proposals and analyze the economic, environmental and organizational impact of the technical solutions studied, as well as take the appropriate decisions, in a creative, stimulating, inclusive and innovative context. In this way, the theoretical knowledge which is acquired is applied to improve safety and health at work and foster the prevention of occupational risks, promoting the commitment, effort, motivation and proactive participation of the student teams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety New Challenges for Industry)
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Validation of Plain English Interpretations of the Seven Elements of the Risk Management Process
Safety 2019, 5(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5040075 - 29 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
A fundamental problem with risk management standards and other associated guiding documents is that the definitions and descriptors of the seven elements of the risk management process within these documents are commonly at odds with each other and are difficult to understand. An [...] Read more.
A fundamental problem with risk management standards and other associated guiding documents is that the definitions and descriptors of the seven elements of the risk management process within these documents are commonly at odds with each other and are difficult to understand. An implication is that personnel within and across organisations interpret the process in different ways. This has led to some companies developing their own interpretations of the elements in their risk/work health and safety (WHS) management systems and thereby exacerbating the problem. A standard set of definitions, terminology and language are vital for addressing WHS issues efficiently and effectively to result in better outcomes. This study aimed to develop a set of plain English interpretations (PEI) for each of the seven elements of the risk management process. These seven elements sit between the scant and technical definitions contained in standards (primary and secondary) and the voluminous guidance in the handbooks and codes of practice. The Delphi-technique was used with 20 risk-experts to evaluate, over two iterations a set of draft PEIs—developed by the researchers. These were finally reviewed for readability and understandability by 24 operators/workers. The implications for these new PEIs is that they could be considered for future standards and guidance documents by the ISO Working Group Risk Management Standard and similar committees and used by organisations for their risk/WHS management systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety New Challenges for Industry)
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Open AccessArticle
How Cognitive Biases Influence the Data Verification of Safety Indicators: A Case Study in Rail
Safety 2019, 5(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5040069 - 15 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The field of safety and incident prevention is becoming more and more data based. Data can help support decision making for a more productive and safer work environment, but only if the data can be, is and should be trusted. Especially with the [...] Read more.
The field of safety and incident prevention is becoming more and more data based. Data can help support decision making for a more productive and safer work environment, but only if the data can be, is and should be trusted. Especially with the advance of more data collection of varying quality, checking and judging the data is an increasingly complex task. Within such tasks, cognitive biases are likely to occur, causing analysists to overestimate the quality of the data and safety experts to base their decisions on data of insufficient quality. Cognitive biases describe generic error tendencies of persons, that arise because people tend to automatically rely on their fast information processing and decision making, rather than their slow, more effortful system. This article describes five biases that were identified in the verification of a safety indicator related to train driving. Suggestions are also given on how to formalize the verification process. If decision makers want correct conclusions, safety experts need good quality data. To make sure insufficient quality data is not used for decision making, a solid verification process needs to be put in place that matches the strengths and limits of human cognition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety New Challenges for Industry)
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Open AccessArticle
Can Complexity-Thinking Methods Contribute to Improving Occupational Safety in Industry 4.0? A Review of Safety Analysis Methods and Their Concepts
Safety 2019, 5(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5040065 - 03 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
With the introduction of Industry 4.0, occupational health and safety finds itself confronted with new types of hazards. Many Industry 4.0 innovations involve increased machine intelligence. These properties make socio-technical work in Industry 4.0 applications inherently more complex. At the same time, system [...] Read more.
With the introduction of Industry 4.0, occupational health and safety finds itself confronted with new types of hazards. Many Industry 4.0 innovations involve increased machine intelligence. These properties make socio-technical work in Industry 4.0 applications inherently more complex. At the same time, system failure can become more opaque to its users. This paper reviews and assesses safety analysis methods as the breakdown of interaction coupling in socio-technical systems on the one hand, and the degree of failure tractability on the other hand; the latter being used as a proxy for complexity. Previous literature confirms that traditional health and safety risk assessment methods are unable or are ‘ill-equipped’ to deal with these system properties. This paper studies the need to introduce new paradigms and safety methods related to complexity thinking with theories borrowed from the study of complex adaptive systems, all to assess the arena of abruptly changing hazards introduced by Industry 4.0. At the same time, this review makes clear that there is no one-solution-fits-all method. Occupational health and safety (OHS) covers many different hazard types and will need a combination of old, new and yet-to-be-developed safety assessment methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety New Challenges for Industry)
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Open AccessArticle
Design of a Self-Audit Tool for the Application of Lockout on Machinery in the Province of Quebec, Canada to Control Hazardous Energies
Safety 2019, 5(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5030053 - 13 Aug 2019
Abstract
Failure to apply lockout procedures for the control of hazardous energies is one of the main causes of machinery-related fatal and serious injuries in North America. The absence of audits of lockout or the lack of proper tools for auditing lockout is prevalent, [...] Read more.
Failure to apply lockout procedures for the control of hazardous energies is one of the main causes of machinery-related fatal and serious injuries in North America. The absence of audits of lockout or the lack of proper tools for auditing lockout is prevalent, and thus the application of lockout is often not fully in compliance with standards and regulations. A self-audit tool for the application of lockout procedures for machinery was developed on the basis of the current standards and regulations, and previous research. The tool was then tested for content validity through experts’ opinions and qualitative feedback from six organizations in the province of Quebec in Canada. The developed audit tool defines the actual procedures to audit, as well as the surrounding conditions that are needed and the prerequisites based on standards, regulations, and findings from previous research. The results showed that the tool displayed a high content validity index and demonstrated that the usability, applicability, and comprehensiveness of the tool were adequate. This self-audit tool helps organizations monitor the application of lockout on machinery for the safety of workers and to ensure that the actual practice of controlling hazardous energy is in compliance with relevant standards and regulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety New Challenges for Industry)
Open AccessArticle
Moral Distress and Resilience in the Occupational Therapy Workplace
Safety 2019, 5(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5010010 - 07 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Healthcare professionals are inherently vulnerable to moral distress due to their frequent work with persons who are suffering or in crisis, in combination with the strong empathic orientation that underpins the very act of care giving. When accompanied by high workloads, deficiencies in [...] Read more.
Healthcare professionals are inherently vulnerable to moral distress due to their frequent work with persons who are suffering or in crisis, in combination with the strong empathic orientation that underpins the very act of care giving. When accompanied by high workloads, deficiencies in management practices such as low recognition, lack of work autonomy, and/or insufficient opportunity for growth and development, persons in caring professions are at an even higher risk of moral distress. There is evidence that professional resilience is effective in mitigating workplace stress. Successful individual-management of moral distress requires attention to the broader institutional conditions under which these difficulties arise. This paper presents findings from 79 occupational therapists in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, who participated in a survey of moral distress and resilience. On a standardized measure of resiliency their scores fell at the lower end of normal. On a standardized measure of moral distress, the highest levels involved issues of: time to do the job properly, deteriorated quality of care, insensitive co-workers, and unrealistic expectations from others. Nearly 50% reported that they had considered leaving a position due to moral distress. The survey was carried out with the goal of developing a teaching module that included education about moral distress and recommendations for the enhancement of both individual resilience and the construction of resiliency-promoting work environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety New Challenges for Industry)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Safety of Machinery: Significant Differences in Two Widely Used International Standards for the Design of Safety-Related Control Systems
Safety 2019, 5(4), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5040076 - 29 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Industrial machines are known to possess many hazards. There are many laws, regulations, standards and practices that aim at ensuring that machines are safe for different workers performing various tasks including operation and maintenance. Safeguards protect workers by stopping hazardous motion when actuated. [...] Read more.
Industrial machines are known to possess many hazards. There are many laws, regulations, standards and practices that aim at ensuring that machines are safe for different workers performing various tasks including operation and maintenance. Safeguards protect workers by stopping hazardous motion when actuated. Those safeguards are integrated into machinery using two widely used international standards for functional safety. However, these standards have some significant differences although they are both based on similar principles. This paper explores those differences and their potential impacts. Subjectivity in the specification and design of safety systems, based on the differences, can lead to different levels of reliability in the safety systems even when considering the same hazard zone of machinery based on which standard is used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety New Challenges for Industry)
Open AccessReview
A Review of Virtual and Mixed Reality Applications in Construction Safety Literature
Safety 2019, 5(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5030051 - 12 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Over the last decade, researchers have used virtual- and mixed-reality (VR-MR) techniques for various safety-related applications such as training, hazard monitoring, and preconstruction planning. This paper reviews the recent trends in virtual- and mixed-reality applications in construction safety, explicitly focusing on virtual-reality and [...] Read more.
Over the last decade, researchers have used virtual- and mixed-reality (VR-MR) techniques for various safety-related applications such as training, hazard monitoring, and preconstruction planning. This paper reviews the recent trends in virtual- and mixed-reality applications in construction safety, explicitly focusing on virtual-reality and mixed-reality techniques as the two major types of computer-generated simulated experiences. Following a systematic literature assessment methodology, this study summarizes the results of articles that have been published over the last decade and illustrates the research trends of virtual- and mixed-reality applications in construction safety while focusing on the technological components of individual studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety New Challenges for Industry)
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