Improving Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in Human-System Interaction (HSI) Through Applications in Virtual Environments

  • Peter NickelEmail author
  • Andy Lungfiel
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10917)


Interactions between humans and system components of future work systems may be driven by digitalization, connectivity and agility. Though the design of future systems is not yet known or is not yet available or accessible, it would be desirable to ensure occupational safety and health (OSH) in early stages of development and design. It would also be helpful to learn about potential hazards and risks and prevent them before using work systems across their future life cycle. Since knowledge, experience and imagination might not be sufficient to predict human-system interactions (HSI) it should be possible to apply modeling and simulation such as virtual reality (VR) to overcome some of the challenges in analysis, design and evaluation of future work systems. Similar seems to be true for work systems too dangerous, too complex, or too resource demanding to investigate in reality. The concept on safety and usability through applications in virtual environments (SUTAVE) facilitates effective prevention through design in OSH to be addressed by means of innovative technology. Studies have been conducted to improve OSH in HSI supported by VR simulation; i.e. (a) risk assessments in planning stage, (b) task, interaction and information design in human robot interaction, (c) usability evaluation of safety measures in contexts of use, (d) near misses and course of events in accident investigations, (e) safety concept development. The results are encouraging to face future challenges in HSI as long as its design is taken into account early on and according to human factors and ergonomics principles.


Occupational safety and health Human system interaction Virtual reality Human information processing 



It is a pleasant duty to acknowledge all colleagues and participants for conducting the studies and for immersing in the virtual work environments. The author is very grateful to the efforts of Mr. Andy Lungfiel for technical development of the VR scenarios.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Accident Prevention – Product SafetyInstitute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA)Sankt AugustinGermany

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