Topical Collection "Occupational Health and Safety in A Changing World: Realities, Challenges and Perspectives"

A topical collection in Safety (ISSN 2313-576X).

Viewed by 102055

Editor

Industrial Engineering Department, School of Engineering, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, QC G9A 5H7, Canada
Interests: occupational health and safety (OHS); OHS risk management; OHS performance measurement; decision-making tools; safety engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection 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 Topical Collection 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. Dr. Adel Badri
Collection 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 collection 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 1600 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 (19 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021, 2019

11 pages, 1034 KiB  
Article
Occupational Exposure to Biological Agents in a Typical Restaurant Setting: Is a Photocatalytic Air Purifier Helpful?
Safety 2023, 9(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety9040081 - 21 Nov 2023
Viewed by 504
Abstract
According to many national legislations, biological agents represent an occupational hazard that must be managed in order to ensure safety at workplace. Bioaerosols have been associated to many pathological conditions but, despite many efforts, precise threshold limit values (TLV) are still undefined. We [...] Read more.
According to many national legislations, biological agents represent an occupational hazard that must be managed in order to ensure safety at workplace. Bioaerosols have been associated to many pathological conditions but, despite many efforts, precise threshold limit values (TLV) are still undefined. We planned and conducted an environmental study concerning a typical restaurant that aimed to evaluate: (1) the occupational exposure to bacterial and fungal bioaerosol; (2) the efficacy of a photocatalytic air purifier device in mitigating such exposure. This observational study evaluated two dining rooms (Area 1 and Area 2) of a restaurant which can be considered typical during two consecutive weeks. Based on a national protocol, we monitored total bacterial and mycotic loads searching for two typologies of bacteria, psychrophilic bacteria (environmental contamination) along with mesophilic bacteria (human or animal origin source), and two types of fungi, mold and yeast. Baseline total bacterial load was 346.8 CFU/m3 for Area 1 and 412.9 CFU/m3 for Area 2. When the sanitizing device was operative, the total bacterial load decreased to 202.7 CFU/m3 (−41.50%—p value: <0.01) for Area 1 and to 342.2 CFU/m3 (17.10%—p value: 0.06) for Area 2. Considering the fungal load, the mean baseline value was 189.7 CFU/m3 for Area 1 and 141.1 CFU/m3 for Area 2. When the device was kept on, the total fungal load was 108.0 CFU/m3 (43.10%—p value: 0.055) for Area 1 and 205.0 CFU/m3 (+45.30%—p value: 0.268) for Area 2. Our findings supported the conclusion that, concerning the occupational risk derived from biological agents, a typical restaurant should be considered relatively safe. In order to mitigate or limit any possible increase of such risk, a photocatalytic device may be helpful, but not against the pollution caused by mold or yeasts. Our research also reaffirmed the need of further research assessing the kind of relationship between diseases and exposure levels, before considering the need of setting precise threshold limit values. Full article
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11 pages, 1392 KiB  
Article
Pain Treatment in Polish Emergency Medical Teams—Is the Pain Management Entitlement Being Used?—A Retrospective Study
Safety 2023, 9(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety9040074 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Introduction: Pain has been identified as the most common reason for emergency medical service (EMS) calls. Despite many years of pain research, it is still true that oligoanalgesia is an ongoing phenomenon. This demonstrates the need for the implementation of new solutions and [...] Read more.
Introduction: Pain has been identified as the most common reason for emergency medical service (EMS) calls. Despite many years of pain research, it is still true that oligoanalgesia is an ongoing phenomenon. This demonstrates the need for the implementation of new solutions and for further analyses on the causes of inadequate pain treatment. The study was undertaken to analyze analgesic treatment implemented in specialist “S” and basic “P” Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs). Methods: This retrospective study was based on the analysis of medical records using the emergency medical service card. A total of 1333 medical files were analyzed, of which 539 cases were qualified for the study according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: The analysis has shown that the majority of interventions were undertaken by basic emergency medical teams and that acute pain was the most common reason for contacting the EMS. However, only 62.52% of patients received analgesia. It was shown that the frequency of administering paracetamol, metamizole, and ketoprofen was proportional to the increase in pain intensity. Similar correlations were identified in the cases of morphine, fentanyl, and drotaverine, which were most often administered to patients with the most severe pain. Conclusions: The nature and location of pain, as well as its intensity, affected the choice of analgesia. Opioids were administered more frequently with more extensive injuries and at greater pain intensity. Significant differences were found in the frequency at which acetylsalicylic acid was administered more often in “S” EMTs and drotaverine more often in “P” EMTs. The intravenous route was found to be the most common route of analgesia administration in EMTs. Full article
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17 pages, 1724 KiB  
Article
Potential Effects of Permanent Daylight Savings Time on Daylight Exposure and Risk during Commute Times across United States Cities in 2023–2024 Using a Biomathematical Model of Fatigue
Safety 2023, 9(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety9030059 - 29 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1260
Abstract
Background: Permanent Daylight Savings Time (DST) may improve road safety by providing more daylight in the evening but could merely shift risk to morning commutes or increase risk due to fatigue and circadian misalignment. Methods: To identify how potential daylight exposure and fatigue [...] Read more.
Background: Permanent Daylight Savings Time (DST) may improve road safety by providing more daylight in the evening but could merely shift risk to morning commutes or increase risk due to fatigue and circadian misalignment. Methods: To identify how potential daylight exposure and fatigue risk could differ between permanent DST versus permanent Standard Time (ST) or current time arrangements (CTA), generic work and school schedules in five United States cities were modeled in SAFTE-FAST biomathematical modeling software. Commute data were categorized by morning (0700–0900) and evening (1600–1800) rush hours. Results: Percent darkness was greater under DST compared with ST for the total waking day (t = 2.59, p = 0.03) and sleep periods (t = 2.46, p = 0.045). Waketimes occurred before sunrise 63 ± 41% percent of the time under DST compared with CTA (42 ± 37%) or ST (33 ± 38%; F(2,74) = 76.37; p < 0.001). Percent darkness was greater during morning (16 ± 31%) and lower during evening rush hour (0 ± 0%) in DST compared with either CTA (morning: 7 ± 23%; evening: 7 ± 14%) or ST (morning: 7 ± 23%; evening: 7 ± 15%). Discussion: Morning rush hour overlaps with students’ commutes and shift workers’ reverse commutes, which may increase traffic congestion and risk compared with evening rush hour. Switching to permanent DST may be more disruptive than either switching to ST or keeping CTA without noticeable benefit to fatigue or potential daylight exposure. Full article
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18 pages, 306 KiB  
Article
Leadership and the Promotion of Health and Productivity in a Changing Environment: A Multiple Focus Groups Study
Safety 2023, 9(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety9030045 - 06 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Leaders that focus on preventing risks and promoting safe and healthy behaviors are essential to reducing workplace accidents and illnesses, particularly in a changing environment where technology and the complex interconnection of systems create emerging risks with unpredictable consequences for employee wellbeing and [...] Read more.
Leaders that focus on preventing risks and promoting safe and healthy behaviors are essential to reducing workplace accidents and illnesses, particularly in a changing environment where technology and the complex interconnection of systems create emerging risks with unpredictable consequences for employee wellbeing and organizational productivity. In that sense, this multiple focus group study with 32 experts in occupational safety and health (OSH) aims at providing valuable insight into the most effective strategies for promoting health and productivity in a changing context. Results indicate that a safety and prevention culture is crucial for successful risk prevention and management, with commitment required from both top management and workers. Moreover, transformational leadership is identified as a key to achieving a safety and prevention culture. In addition, training is considered a pivotal mechanism to introduce appropriate safety practices into daily work routines. This requires an interdisciplinary, integrated, and collaborative perspective. Finally, integrating risk prevention into higher education prepares professionals to face current labor market challenges. These results can guide decision making for both training OSH professionals and introducing effective OSH practices in organizations. Full article
12 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Safety Practices and Associated Factors among Healthcare Waste Handlers in Four Public Hospitals, Southwestern Ethiopia
Safety 2023, 9(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety9020041 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Occupational safety is a critical concern for disease prevention and control at healthcare facilities. Medical waste handlers, in particular, are those most exposed to occupational hazards among healthcare workers. Therefore, this cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate safety practices and associated factors among [...] Read more.
Occupational safety is a critical concern for disease prevention and control at healthcare facilities. Medical waste handlers, in particular, are those most exposed to occupational hazards among healthcare workers. Therefore, this cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate safety practices and associated factors among healthcare waste handlers in four public hospitals, southwest Ethiopia from 15 March to 30 May 2022. The study included 203 healthcare waste handlers. The data were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire and observational checklists. The overall performance of occupational safety practices among healthcare waste handlers was 47.3% (95%CI; 40.3, 54.2). Waste handlers with an educational status of secondary and above (AOR 4.95; 95%CI 2.13, 11.50), good knowledge of infection prevention and safety practices (AOR 4.95; 95%CI 2.13, 11.50), training in infection prevention and safety practices (AOR 2.57; 95%CI 1.25, 5.29), and adequate access to safety materials (AOR 3.45; 95%CI 1.57, 7.60) had significantly better occupational safety practices than their counterparts. In general, medical waste handlers’ occupational safety practices were found to be inadequate. Waste handlers’ knowledge of safety measures and training, educational level, and availability of safety materials were predictors of safe occupational practices. Therefore, appropriate strategies and actions are needed to ensure the safe occupational practices of healthcare waste handlers. Full article
18 pages, 1471 KiB  
Review
Prevalence and Characteristics of Ambulance Collisions, a Systematic Literature Review
Safety 2023, 9(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety9020024 - 23 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1924
Abstract
The risk of dying or being injured as a result of traffic collisions is higher for medical emergency responders than for other professional drivers. This systematic review synthesizes the literature regarding the collisions of ambulances, focusing on the prevalence and characteristics surrounding such [...] Read more.
The risk of dying or being injured as a result of traffic collisions is higher for medical emergency responders than for other professional drivers. This systematic review synthesizes the literature regarding the collisions of ambulances, focusing on the prevalence and characteristics surrounding such events. Keywords including paramedics and traffic collisions were searched in papers available in PubMed from January 1990 to July 2021. Two independent reviewers screened the abstracts of 2494 papers and ended up with 93 full-text articles to assess for eligibility, of which 26 papers were finally kept for this review. There was a total of 18 studies conducted in the United States, followed by 3 in Turkey, 2 in Taiwan, 1 in both the United States and Canada, 1 in France, and 1 in Poland. There is a high record of injury and fatal collisions for ambulances compared to other commercial or similarly sized vehicles. Drivers less than 35 years old with low experience and a history of citations are more likely to be involved in such collisions. Ambulance collisions are more likely to happen in urban areas and intersections are the riskiest locations. Most collisions occur when the ambulance is responding to an emergency call (i.e., going to the patient or the hospital) and using lights and sirens. Tailored preventive policies and programs for improving paramedics’ safety should be sought to reduce the burden of these occupational collisions. Full article
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9 pages, 274 KiB  
Brief Report
Relationship between Butyrylcholinesterase Activity and Cognitive Ability in Workers Exposed to Chlorpyrifos
Safety 2023, 9(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety9010012 - 01 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1189
Abstract
Background. The use of Chlorpyrifos leads to a public, environmental, and occupational health problem associated with adverse effects in the exposed population, generating alterations mainly in the central nervous system, such as cognitive function. This study aimed to estimate the association between butyrylcholinesterase [...] Read more.
Background. The use of Chlorpyrifos leads to a public, environmental, and occupational health problem associated with adverse effects in the exposed population, generating alterations mainly in the central nervous system, such as cognitive function. This study aimed to estimate the association between butyrylcholinesterase activity (BChE) and cognitive ability in workers exposed to chlorpyrifos. Methods. We designed a cross-sectional study, where we measured BChE in serum samples as an indicator of exposure to chlorpyrifos. The cognitive ability was assessed by the mean score of the Peruvian version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). We also used a questionary to collect demographic and occupational information. Results. We evaluated 120 farmers with a predominance of males (92%) and a mean age of 32.1 ± 9.0 years. We found most of the workers in fumigation activities (84%). The mean BChE was 6144.7 ± 2355.0 U/L, and 46% presented inhibition enzyme (<5500 U/L). The median MMSE score was 28 (interquartile range: 26.5–31.5; 6% showed an alteration in cognitive ability (score < 24)). The MMSE test found a significant association between BChE inhibition and MMSE score (β: −0.071, 95%CI: −0.108 to −0.025). Conclusion. In this study, 45.8% of workers exposed to chlorpyriphos presented BChE inhibition. The BChE inhibition is significantly associated with the MMSE score in workers exposed to chlorpyrifos. Full article
20 pages, 2790 KiB  
Article
Determination of Requirements for the Improvement of Occupational Safety in the Cleaning of Vertical Tanks of Petroleum Products
Safety 2023, 9(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety9010006 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1581
Abstract
Since the beginning of the second industrial revolution, the use of tanks for the storage of petroleum products ensured the permanent supply of equipment that depended on fossil fuel derived from petroleum, either for direct consumption or as an element for power generation. [...] Read more.
Since the beginning of the second industrial revolution, the use of tanks for the storage of petroleum products ensured the permanent supply of equipment that depended on fossil fuel derived from petroleum, either for direct consumption or as an element for power generation. For correct operation, periodic cleaning of these confined spaces was required, being a common practice for the direct exposure of operators to explosive atmospheres. Currently, there are many industries that keep this kind of deposit, and cleaning works are considered of high occupational risk. In this context, the question arises as to whether human–machine collaboration thanks to the technologies that compose Industry 5.0 can mitigate these risks while generating a sustainable balance by optimizing costs and protecting the environment. In the present work, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method is used to prioritize the requirements that should be compiled to establish safe protocols in tank cleaning works, solving the multi-criteria problem. Results prove that a couple of alternatives improve the working conditions of the people involved in this process: the chemical cleaning and the robotic cleaning, which approximately accounts for two thirds of the decision. These requirements are aligned with the Industry 5.0 paradigm, encouraging the use of robots for high-risk processes, and influencing human behavior. In addition, cost reduction is achieved without compromising on quality of service or delivery schedule, thus enabling a circular economy that promotes occupational safety in company policies. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021, 2019

15 pages, 4416 KiB  
Article
AgISM: A Novel Automated Tool for Monitoring Trends of Agricultural Waste Storage and Handling-Related Injuries and Fatalities Data in Real-Time
Safety 2022, 8(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety8040075 - 09 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1548
Abstract
Availability of summarized occupational injury data is essential for establishing complete incident surveillance systems, targeting incident preventative efforts, assessing the efficacy of prevention programs, and enhancing workplace safety. There are currently limited automated injury monitoring systems for summarizing occupational injuries obtained from electronic [...] Read more.
Availability of summarized occupational injury data is essential for establishing complete incident surveillance systems, targeting incident preventative efforts, assessing the efficacy of prevention programs, and enhancing workplace safety. There are currently limited automated injury monitoring systems for summarizing occupational injuries obtained from electronic news and other sources, or for visualizing real-time data through an output platform. A “near” real-time surveillance tool could enable researchers to visualize data as it is being collected and provide a more rapid monitoring method to identify patterns in injury data. An automated data pipeline method could provide more current, consistent, and reliable information for injury surveillance systems and injury prevention purposes. Such a system could help public policy makers, epidemiologists, and injury prevention professionals spend less time and effort on classifying cases, increase confidence in the data, and respond quicker to “patterns” of specific types of incidents. Currently, injury surveillance approaches generally rely on manual coding of injury data, resulting in inconsistencies in classification of incident, and contributing factors and considerable delays in publishing results. This study focused on developing and testing a more automated coding methodology for use with incident narratives for further data mining, analysis, and interpretation. The concept was tested on 491 documented fatalities or serious injuries involving agricultural waste storage, handling, and transport operations. The approach provided current and real-time summarization of incident data along with data analysis and visualization by using a standard questionnaire for record-keeping, Python data frames, and the MySQL database. Findings in this study provided evidence for the reliability of classifying injury news clipping narratives into external real-time incident categories. Results showed a very encouraging performance for the chosen model to monitor injury and fatality incidents with efficiency, simplicity, data quality, timeliness, and a consistent coding process. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2019

21 pages, 534 KiB  
Review
State of the Art and Challenges for Occupational Health and Safety Performance Evaluation Tools
Safety 2021, 7(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7030064 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5460
Abstract
In industrialized nations, occupational health and safety (OHS) has been a growing concern in many businesses for at least two decades. Legislation, regulation, and standards have been developed in order to provide organizations with a framework for practicing accident and illness prevention and [...] Read more.
In industrialized nations, occupational health and safety (OHS) has been a growing concern in many businesses for at least two decades. Legislation, regulation, and standards have been developed in order to provide organizations with a framework for practicing accident and illness prevention and placing worker well-being at the center of production system design. However, the occurrence of several accidents continues to show that OHS performance evaluation is subject to interpretation. In this review of the literature, we outline the scope of current research on OHS status and performance evaluation and comment on the suitability of the instruments being proposed for field use. This study is based on a keyword-based bibliographical search in the largest scientific databases and OHS-related websites, which allowed us to identify 15 OHS performance evaluation tools. Our principal conclusion is that researchers in the field have shown little interest in generalizing the instruments of OHS performance evaluation and that none of the 15 tools examined is properly applicable to any real organization outside of the sector of activity, economic scale, and jurisdiction for which it was designed. Full article
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15 pages, 1331 KiB  
Review
Designing Impactful Construction Safety Training Interventions
Safety 2021, 7(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety7020042 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 6807
Abstract
Construction workplaces still report an unacceptable number of safety incidents every year. To tackle these disproportionate incident rates, safety training interventions are adopted widely in construction workplaces. Despite their adoption, poor safety performance continues to be a universal and global problem in the [...] Read more.
Construction workplaces still report an unacceptable number of safety incidents every year. To tackle these disproportionate incident rates, safety training interventions are adopted widely in construction workplaces. Despite their adoption, poor safety performance continues to be a universal and global problem in the industry. In fact, recent research has called into question the effectiveness of training programs that are commonly adopted in the industry. There is also evidence that suggests that training interventions, in many cases, do not yield tangible benefits and may sometimes simply reduce to wasted resources. Therefore, it is important for industry stakeholders to possess a good understanding of the characteristics of training interventions that translate to superior safety performance. Towards achieving this goal, the present article concisely summarizes specific safety training intervention elements, which when integrated into training programs, can translate into superior safety performance and outcomes. The objectives of the research were achieved by performing a review of the construction safety training literature from diverse sources. The findings demonstrate that training interventions that integrate visual cues to guide hazard recognition, immersive experiences in virtual environments, andragogical training principles, personalization of training experiences, testing and feedback, and other elements can improve training effectiveness and outcomes. The article will serve as a resource for industry professionals that seek to address the weaknesses of existing training interventions. Researchers may also use this as a resource to inform the development of the next generation of safety training interventions. Together, the presented research can be leveraged to reduce the number of undesirable safety incidents experienced in construction workplaces. Full article
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2019

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2021

24 pages, 5555 KiB  
Article
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 9 | Viewed by 7826
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
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16 pages, 309 KiB  
Review
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 3 | Viewed by 7301
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
13 pages, 2301 KiB  
Article
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 4 | Viewed by 6526
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
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23 pages, 3054 KiB  
Article
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 4 | Viewed by 8284
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
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33 pages, 1291 KiB  
Article
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 23 | Viewed by 12087
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
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20 pages, 461 KiB  
Article
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
Viewed by 6642
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
16 pages, 1740 KiB  
Review
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 46 | Viewed by 14214
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
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9 pages, 218 KiB  
Article
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 11 | Viewed by 9126
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
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