Industrial Occupational Safety: Industry 4.0 Upcoming Challenges

Industrial Occupational Safety: Industry 4.0 Upcoming Challenges

Susana Pinto da Costa, Nélson Costa
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3059-7.ch006
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The new industrial revolution will encompass massive change. Manufacturing Companies are pursuing digitalization and trying to figure out how to implement collaborative robots, all the while trying to manage data safety and security. It is a big challenge to deal with all the needed infrastructures to handle the big data digitalization provides whilst having to account for the shielding of it. Even more so when one has to succeed at it while taking care of the workers, the sustainability of their jobs, the implementation of safe practices at work, based on the contributions of the whole, through efficient vertical communication, imbued with Safety Culture and aiming the sustainability of the Company itself. This chapter proposes to address the role of standardization in managing industry 4.0, where culture, Risk Management and Human Factors are key, and how the tools provided by these norms may contribute to nimbly balance each Company's needs.
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As the new industrial revolution sets in, competitive Companies find themselves overwhelmed with the Herculean task of diligently managing the traditional workers’ safety and health, quality, environment, and the increasingly complex sustainability as they try to introduce into it the new challenges brought by industry 4.0. Starting with digitization, whereby all hard copies of product manuals, instructions, customer files and repair handbooks were progressively made available and accessible in a digital format, through digitalization, where the digitization of analog data was used for applications that simplify standard work practices, all the way into digital transformation, made possible because of digitization and digitalization, which enable data to be easily accessible for use across several interfaces, platforms and devices. Digital transformation entails the devising new business applications that integrate all this digitized data and digitalized applications, and has brought artificially intelligent finite-state machines (FSM), predictive maintenance, crowdsourcing and augmented reality tools. Digital transformation business innovations are revolutionizing industry, and are aimed at saving companies’ time and money. Like the demise of Blockbuster® and Kodak®, this new industrial revolution will take a toll on companies who are unable to keep pace with the digital transformation, as they are in serious danger of becoming obsolete.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Standards: Documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose (ISO).

Human Factors: A science field that aims at understanding the interactions between humans and other elements of a system, not only by addressing the most current research challenges with a multidisciplinary approach, but also by applying theory, principles, data, modelling, and other methods to design, in order to optimize both human well-being and overall system performance.

Safety Culture: A subset of the overall Company culture, refers to “the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an Organization’s health and safety management” (ACSNI Study Group on Human Factors, 1993 AU18: The in-text citation "Human Factors, 1993" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Security: The vigilance and protection against possible attacks or hackings on an institution or personality.

Occupational Safety: The discipline that focuses on the study, assessment and control of the risks of operation (e.g., obstacles, sharp edges, safety protection-lacking machinery, falling objects) to prevent the occurrence of accidents and other anomalous situations at work.

Risk Management: The overall process of risk avoidance, mitigation and / or control, encompassing risk assessment, which in turn encompasses risk analysis.

Transnationalization (or transnationalism): explains how interconnected networks of social organization (individually or in society) can influence each other, either in the political or economic sphere or otherwise.

Integrated Management Systems: An organization-wide system that integrates all the systems and processes of an Organization into a complete, efficient and effective structure, enabling the Organization to function as a single unit with unified objectives, optimizing resources for implementation, maintenance and audits to each Management system.

Sustainability: The quality of being able to exist over some time, enabled by the satisfaction of 6 criteria: eco-efficiency, socio-efficiency, eco-effectiveness, socio-effectiveness, sufficiency and ecological equity; concomitant avocation of efficient ecological, economic and social causes in a determined time frame.

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