Nevin Manimala Statistics

A framework for using data and collaboration to drive prevention through engineering design: Reducing injury and severity in greenhouse and nursery workers

J Safety Res. 2023 Sep;86:52-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2023.06.007. Epub 2023 Jun 16.


INTRODUCTION: A framework of collaboration between safety professionals and design engineers was proposed that provided direction for utilizing analysis of quantitative and qualitative data to prevent worker injury. This interdisciplinary, context-steeped approach can be utilized across a variety of industries to promote risk reduction by designing equipment and processes to prevent common workplace injuries in the first place. Safety professional expertise in regional worker’s compensation claims analysis (including statistical analysis on a quantitative basis and qualitative analysis of trends in written injury descriptions of circumstance) provided the starting point for identifying industries of interest for this approach.

METHOD: Followed by education of design engineers on safety approaches (including hazard identification, the ANSI/ASSP Z590.3 consensus-based standard), tools such as risk assessment matrices and methods for effective on-site work observation and interviews with workers affords transfer of knowledge. Design engineers then utilize safety influenced design problem identification and goal criteria to create and select concepts for eventual detail design and prototype testing on-site. This approach was implemented in a case-study at a Midwest greenhouse industry facility site in summer of 2019. Two problem areas were identified and addressed with two unique engineering designs that were prototyped and utilized at the facility with success.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: This approach can apply to other industries and collaborative teams in the future to prevent worker injury by design.

PMID:37718070 | DOI:10.1016/j.jsr.2023.06.007

By Nevin Manimala

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