How Safety Design Must Adapt to New Technology and Generational Changes 2018-01-1204
A well-designed safety system has seamlessly integrated measures that accommodates user needs and makes their tasks easier to perform. Current safety solutions are not adequate when technology and generational trends consistently evolve. However, understanding the factors that drove past development leads to the implementation of relevant future designs.
Current systems reduce risk by physically separating operators from hazards. New technologies enable collaborative applications by embedding inherently safe designs within the machine. Operator interaction also differs based on their capabilities, tendencies, experiences and motivation.
Communication methods may also be shifted. Previous generations of operators received information from printed material. Industry experts provided in-depth understanding of the technology and its use. Now, younger generations of operators receive digital documents, video and audio tutorials, and other information from a variety of online sources. However, multiple choices leave them with the task of deciphering what is correct and applicable for their application.
Past generations were motivated to work for the same company and within the same field for a life-time, thus gaining in-depth knowledge of a limited number of subjects. The trend for those currently entering the workforce is to develop a broad set of experiences through multiple job changes.
To maintain safe factories companies need to integrate emerging technology, effectively communicate hazards and methods, and embrace generational trends.