Safety at work

How can we enhance safety at work by using ambient technology? That is the central research question of the new project Safety at work. With this innovation program the Research Centre for Design and Technology responds to questions of businesses in the region (SME).

The manufacturing industry has deep roots in Twente and is important to Saxion. Every year approximately 2% of the Dutch workforce is involved in an accident. The most common injuries are fractures, burns, poisoning, amputations, open wounds and infections. Often these accidents are due to unsafe situations in the industry, for example in working situations of metal workers and machinists. The use of ICT for observation, analysis or warning systems makes it possible to improve security. A large part of this technology can be 'invisible', woven into the environment (ambient). This brings us to the central research question (problem): how can we enhance safety at work by using ambient technology?

Sensors and sensor networks

When it comes to safety materials (textiles) and protective equipment are important. On this subject Twente has a rich tradition and a lot of activity, with TenCate as an important representative. Sensors and sensor networks also play an important part. Safety requires that people are aware of potentially unsafe situations. This requires an analysis of who are present and of what is happening exactly (situational awareness). In addition to the mechanical situation, also human factors, such as fatigue, stress or bad posture are the physical factors that affect safety. Protocols on safety are not always respected, or sometimes deliberately circumvented, because they are 'unworkable'. The so-called 'user interface' of devices is essential, and how it fits in the way of thinking to the user, does the user understands it and does it fit in with what he wants?

The project Safety in the workplace is divided into three research areas, in which research is conducted into a number of further questions.

The project Safety at work starts on 1st January 2011 and has a duration of four years.

Various publications of this research can be found in our Knowledgebase.

More information 

For more information please contact Wouter Teeuw.

Prototype innovatieve veiligheidshelm met sensoren
Zichtmodel innovatieve veiligheidshelm met sensoren