Safety Science

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0925-7535
Publications
Article
Although several studies have used logit or probit models and their variants to fit data of accident severity on roadway segments, few have investigated accident severity at a railroad grade crossing (RGC). Compared to accident risk analysis in terms of accident frequency and severity of a highway system, investigation of the factors contributing to traffic accidents at an RGC may be more complicated because of additional highway-railway interactions. Because the proportional odds assumption was violated while fitting cumulative logit modeled by the proportional odds models with stepwise variable selection to ordinal accident severity data collected at 592 RGCs in Taiwan, as suggested by Strokes et al. (2000, p. 249) a generalized logit model with stepwise variable selection was used instead to identify explanatory variables (factors or covariates) that were significantly associated with the severity of collisions. Hence, the fitted model was used to predict the level of accident severity, given a set of values in the explanatory variables. Number of daily trains, highway separation, number of daily trucks, obstacle detection device, and approaching crossing markings significantly affected levels of accident severity at an RGC (p-value = 0.0009, 0.0008, 0.0112, 0.0017, and 0.0003, respectively). Finally, marginal effect analysis on the number of daily trains and law enforcement camera was conducted to evaluate the effect of the number of daily trains and presence of a law enforcement camera on the potential accident severity.
 
Article
Increasingly, automobile designers are utilizing tinted glasses for concept cars, specialty models, or to differentiate their vehicles. The objective of this study was to assess whether alternating different tinted windshields would affect aging drivers' visual acuity and glare response. Two commercially available windshields (bluish and greenish with same transmittance) were compared. The tests of visual acuity, contrast threshold, glare detection, and discomfort glare rating were performed to address the windshield effects on both the older and younger populations. Fourteen elderly and seven young individuals participated in the study. The results indicated that alternating between the tested tinted windshields would not affect drivers' visual performance for both age groups. The implications and future research are discussed.
 
Article
A laboratory study was conducted to evaluate if age-related gait adaptations in walking velocity, step length and heel contact velocity could adversely influence friction demand characteristics (i.e. RCOF) and the likelihood of slip initiation. Additionally, relationship between transitional acceleration of the whole body center-of-mass (COM) and friction demand was assessed between young and older participants. Fourteen younger (7 females and 7 males, 18-30 years old) and 14 older (7 females and 7 males, over 65 years old) adults participated in the study. While wearing a safety harness, all participants walked at their preferred gait speed for approximately 20 min on the linear walking track, and synchronized ground reaction forces and posture data were captured using the force plates and six infrared cameras, respectively.The results indicated that older adults walked slower with slower heel contact velocity, and produced lower friction demand (i.e. RCOF) in comparison to younger adults. However, ANCOVA indicated that the differences in heel contact velocity between the two age groups were due to effects of walking velocity. The multiple regression and bivariate regression analyses suggested that, for older adults, heel contact velocity was a predictor for the RCOF, whereas, for younger adults, walking velocity, step length and transitional acceleration of the whole body COM were the factors contributing to the RCOF.In conclusion, the present study suggested that gait adaptations among the elderly must be considered when predicting the likelihood of slip initiation.
 
Article
Many causes for falls from ladders in construction are related to the user's activities; however, the extent to which users comply with ladder use best practices is unknown and has not been well quantified before. We developed and tested an audit tool that assesses compliance with best practices guidelines for portable ladder use designed for applications in the construction industry. Implemented on a hand-held computer, the assessment tool consisted of a series of checklists categorized in four groups; ladder condition, setup, moving on a ladder, and completing tasks from a ladder. For these four observational categories, the resulting tool contained 31 and 33 questions for step and extension ladders, respectively. Three individuals trained to use the tool scored a set of photographs and videos depicting 25 ladder conditions, 20 ladder setups, 10 users moving on ladders, and 13 users completing tasks from a ladder for a total of 78 observations. The assessment tool had good agreement across and within raters. For the three raters, agreement ranged from 79% to 97% across the questions. Within one subject, kappa coefficients for the intrarater reliability ranged from 0.67 to 0.91. The tool offers a practical method to quantify best practices associated with ladder use that can ultimately inform targeted intervention efforts.
 
Article
The purpose of this research effort was to compare older driver and non-driver functional impairment profiles across some 60 assessment metrics in an initial effort to contribute to the development of fitness-to-drive assessment models. Of the metrics evaluated, 21 showed statistically significant differences, almost all favoring the drivers. Also, it was shown that a logistic regression model comprised of five of the assessment scores could completely and accurately separate the two groups. The results of this study imply that older drivers are far less functionally impaired than non-drivers of similar ages, and that a parsimonious model can accurately assign individuals to either group. With such models, any driver classified or diagnosed as a non-driver would be a strong candidate for further investigation and intervention.
 
Article
A laboratory study was conducted to determine how sensory changes in elderly people affect subjective assessments of floor slipperiness, and associated friction demand characteristics and slip distance. To relate these parameters to actual slip and fall incidents, 30 subjects from two age groups (young and elderly) walked around a circular track on the slippery and non-slippery floor surfaces, while wearing a safety harness to prevent injury in case of a slip or fall. Prior to the walking experiment, the Sensory Organization Test was performed. During the experiment, subjective assessments of surface slipperiness of the floor were obtained prior to walking and after walking on the floor. Slip distance, required coefficient of friction (RCOF) and adjusted friction utilization (AFU) were assessed utilizing motion analysis and force platform systems. The results indicated that sensory changes in the elderly increased the likelihood of slips and falls more than their younger counterparts. This was due to incorrect perceptions of floor slipperiness, and uncompensated slip parameters such as slip distance and adjusted friction utilization.
 
Article
In this study, we evaluated subjective nighttime discomfort-glare responses on three different types of planar and non-planar driver-side mirrors on two age groups. Fifty-six individuals (28 young [18-35 years] and 28 old [65 years and over]) participated in this experiment. Subjective discomfort-glare rating scores on three different types of driver-side mirrors were assessed utilizing De Boer's rating scale in a controlled nighttime driving environment (laboratory ambient illuminant level-l lux with headlight turned off). Three driver-side mirrors included planar "flat mirror": radius of curvature 242650.92 mm, reflectivity 0.60114, and surface reflectance 0.60568; "curved mirror": radius of curvature 1433.3 mm, reflectivity 0.21652, and surface reflectance 0.58092; "blue mirror": radius of curvature 1957.1 mm, reflectivity 0.25356, and surface reflectance 0.54585. The results indicated that with the same glare level (as measured by angle of incidence and illuminance in front of the eyes), older adults reported worse feelings of glare than their younger counterparts. Furthermore, the results indicated that both young and older adults reported worse feelings of glare for planar driver-side mirror than non-planar driver-side mirrors. These results suggest that older adults' criterion of discomfort-glare is more sensitive than their younger counterparts, and importantly, the non-planar driver-side mirrors can be beneficial in terms of reducing nighttime discomfort-glare for both the young and the elderly.
 
Article
This study investigated the available and utilized friction during non-slip gait in level walking, and determined the limit which human starts to walk carefully to adapt to slippery surface. Sixteen floor–footwear-contaminant conditions with different slipperiness (dynamic coefficient of friction, DCOF, from 0.11 to 1.06) were employed. Fifteen harnessed Chinese male performed ten self-paced walking trials in each condition without slips. The utilized friction (COFu) was obtained from the maximum value of shear to normal ground reaction force ratio during the first 25% stance. ANOVA and Tukey tests showed three subsets with similar COFu, and confirmed the hypothesis that the utilized friction drops gradually when the available friction drops below a certain critical limit. Non-linear regression models were applied to the data to determine the COFu to be 0.20 and the limit of available ground friction which human starts to walk carefully to adapt to slippery surface (DCOFlimit) to be 0.41.
 
Article
The risk for injuries in rollover coach crashes are dependent on whether the occupants are belted or not. However, the influence of the different belt systems for reducing injuries has remained unclear. Since many injuries sustained are caused by impacts with the interior, passenger interactions or ejection through a window, the advantages by proper seat belt systems are evident. In this study, representing the most common serious crash scenario for serious injury, 128 injured in rollover cases were analysed with regard to the injury outcome, mechanisms and the possible injury reduction for occupants when using a safety belt. Furthermore, the different belt systems were compared to explain their contribution to increased safety. Based on medical reports and questioning of the passengers, the injuries sustained are recorded according to the AIS classification. The next step was the identification of the injury mechanisms, using the passenger statements as well as results from numerical occupant simulations. It is important to mention that this study was purely focused on detection of the injury mechanism to avoid the reported injuries. The possibility of additional injuries due to the wearing of a belt were not taken into account. However, the analysis of the 128 injured showed a considerable increase in safety for belted occupants through limiting interior contacts, minimising passenger interaction and reducing the possibility of ejection.
 
Article
With a significant list of achievements in traffic safety over some 40 years, Australia’s most successful initiatives have emerged from consideration of the scientific basis for achieving effective results. Over time, the increasing use of scientific methods has matured to an extent whereby road safety strategies for entire jurisdictions are now being formed and optimised on the basis of evidence-based mathematical modelling of predicted strategy performance over periods of ten or more years ahead. This paper describes the approach used in the State of Western Australia (WA) to support the development of its new strategy, ‘Towards Zero’, addressing the 12-year period from 2008 to 2020. Also described is the early development of the modelling approach in the State of Victoria, Australia, subsequently applied, refined and adapted to Western Australia. The ‘Towards Zero’ strategy aims to ensure that road safety policies continue to evolve within a strategic framework, based on Australasia’s Safe System framework, which was derived from the best elements of the Swedish Vision Zero and the Dutch Sustainable Safety visions.The process for the development of the strategy involved a greater degree of community and stakeholder engagement than has been the case previously, based on the fundamental belief that the community should be provided with the best evidence about what works no matter how controversial, so that it can debate and consider the options available to improve safety.It is equally important to have a strategy based on the best possible evidence. The Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) was appointed by the WA Office of Road Safety to identify, describe and recommend proven counter-measures within the Safe System framework and develop a series of scientifically sound directions and options.This paper outlines the modelling technique used by MUARC along with results and summarises the community consultation process.
 
Article
This study is based on an analysis of routine National Insurance Institute data recorded mainly during 1970-1980. Time trends in accident statistics were ascertained via the application of a linear regression model. There was an obvious decrease in occupational accident incidence and a smaller drop in severity both for accidents occurring at work and during commuting. Manufacturing industries accounted for most of the decrease, followed by transport and communication, and services. Males younger than 25 and females aged 35-44 years showed the most extensive decrement in accident incidence. The linear regression procedure is a useful tool for the assessment and comparison of accident statistic trends over a relatively short period of time.
 
Article
All fatal occupational injuries compensated by the Social Security Corporation (SSC) in Jordan during the period 1980–1993 were studied. Variables considered in the analysis included gender, age, nationality, occupation, salary, cause of injury, body part injured and cause of death. The overall fatality rate, of the 705 cases reviewed, was 25.5/100,000/year. The majority (98%) of fatalities were males. The risk of fatal injuries increased with age. Workers over 55 years, had the highest annual fatality rate (37.8). Immigrant workers had a higher fatality rate (32.26) than Jordanians (23.95). Unskilled workers constituted 58.3% of decedents and professionals had the highest fatality rate (52.9). Transportation sector had the highest fatality rate (122.4) followed by construction (50.6). Over the study period, fatality rates tended to decrease significantly in manufacturing, construction and trade economic sectors while no such trend was established by transportation, agriculture and services sectors. The leading causes of fatal injuries were motor-vehicle related accidents (63.0%) and fall of persons (11.1%). Head was the body part most injured and was involved in 46.6% of all deaths. Haemorrhage was the main reported cause of death (24.5%). It is concluded that intervention measures targeting specific occupations (transportation and construction) and causes of fatalities such as motor-vehicle incidents are needed.
 
Article
One co-author of a 1981 accident investigating model paper concludes in hindsight that there might have been theoretical shortcomings on the side of cognition and decision-making to the model, but, more importantly, that there is little evidence that this - or any other - investigation tool was ever used for systematic injury prevention by Safety Professionals in the Swedish industry during the 1980s. Indeed, this author maintains that the limited and highly predictable problem of severe occupational injuries has still not been systematically addressed and that, perhaps, other and simpler epidemiological - or economic - models might be more useful in this respect.
 
Article
Persson, L. and Larsson, T.J., 1991. Accident-related permanent disabilities of young workers in Sweden 1984–1985. Safety Science, 14: 187–198.All 500 occupational accidents resulting in a permanent medical disability (1–100%) reported for persons under the age of 21 to the Swedish No-Fault Liability Insurance (national workers compensation) for the years 1984 and 1985 have been investigated. 96 injury cases with a degree of medical disability exceeding 10% were interviewed.The woodworking industry has the highest injury rate for young people — 7.4 permanently disabling injuries per 1000 employed between 16 and 19 years of age. This represents a risk twice as high as for older wood industry workers. The corresponding figures for the metal workers were 2.4 injuries per 1000 employed and a 50% higher risk level for the young compared to the age group over 19. More than half the interviewed had finished secondary education — most severe injuries take place in regular, industrial work. Only a third stated that they had received training on the machine involved in the injury — two thirds said that they were introduced to work by working under the supervision of a more experienced work mate.The woodworking industry has the gravest problem when severe work injuries and young people are concerned. This industry should consider a proper and established training program for new hires.
 
Article
All reported fatalities among Swedish seafarers 1984-1988 were collected from a number of available sources, i.e. the reports to the National Swedish Administration of Shipping and Navigation, the Swedish Social Insurance Board, the National Board of Occupational Health, and the claims lodged with collective life insurance schemes by the three pertinent Unions, on behalf of deceased members. A comparison with the official register of causes of death held by Statistics Sweden for the years in question was made. It was concluded that nearly half the traumatic fatalities among seafarers (44%) were work related. More than one work related traumatic fatality in four was unknown at the Swedish Work Related No-Fault Liability Insurance. The SMR (standardized mortality ratio) figures of Statistics Sweden 1981-1986 for ratings, seem to underestimate the real relative number of traumatic fatalities by between 25% and 45%.
 
Article
Seafaring has long been recognised as one of the more dangerous occupations as it presents workplace hazards in a combination unknown in other occupations. Most studies on occupational hazards of seafarers have concentrated on nationally manned fleets operated out of Northern Europe. Recent studies on supply and demand of seafarers have highlighted the fact that international shipping is predominantly relying on internationally manned ships. This study examines the records of the Hong Kong Marine Department and presents an analysis of work-related fatalities in an internationally manned fleet. In a 10-year period, 123 deaths were recorded. The victims came from 13 different countries, with Hong Kong-resident seafarers forming only the fourth largest group. The biggest number of deaths was attributed to maritime disasters, followed by deaths due to illnesses, of which the biggest share was due to heart-related diseases. The third biggest cause of non-natural deaths was occupational accident. A review of the occupational accidents identified that personnel in deck occupations constituted the biggest group.
 
Article
It has long been acknowledged that farm work is associated with accident risks. In this investigation it has been determined how these risks have changed over the past 10-year period, and how different factors have affected the risk pattern. All the registered accidents forming the basis for this study (ISA, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) were supplemented with information obtained from the Labor Inspectorate, police, Occupational Health Services, and in many cases, persons from the district having information about the accident. The number of fatal accidents occurring at work is decreasing in Sweden and in many other countries. This, however, is not true for Swedish farm and forestry operations. The frequency of fatal accidents is 11.6 per year per 100,000 persons among those with farming as a main occupation, and 13.6 among those with forestry as a main occupation, and the trend appears to be on the increase. In addition, a number of farmers, persons with other occupations, or senior citizens (mostly retired farmers) also meet with fatal accidents, primarily in forestry. Access or membership in occupational health schemes was lower than expected among the victims. Even among the employed forestry workers, only a minority had access. More than half of the accidents were due to either the victim or a fellow worker not following generally known rules or recommendations.
 
Article
A self-completion questionnaire survey was carried out among employees on offshore oil platforms in the Norwegian part of the North Sea in February 1990 and repeated in February 1994. A total of 915 employees on eight platforms (five oil companies) answered the questionnaire in 1990 and the response rate was 92%. In 1994, 1138 respondents on twelve platforms and nine companies filled in the questionnaire. The response rate was 87%. Significantly fewer of the personnel felt at risk in 1994 compared to 1990. Likewise, a greater percentage of the employees were satisfied with safety and contingency measures, and experienced job stress to a lesser extent in 1994 than they did in 1990.
 
Article
ObjectiveThis study analyzed factors associated with injuries to hospitalized victims of nonfatal immersion-related events in Alaska from 1991 through 2000.DataAlaska Trauma Registry (ATR) records of victims of nonfatal immersion events requiring hospitalization were examined to identify factors associated with injury outcomes. Subjects were divided into two groups: the “immersion only” (IO) group had no additional injuries associated with their immersion-related events, while subjects in the “associated injury” (AI) group incurred additional trauma during injury events.ResultsThere were 176 ATR records of nonfatal immersion events. In 87 (49.5%) cases, hospitalizations were due to the effects of immersion only (IO group). In 89 (50.5%) cases, hospitalizations were due not only to the effects of immersion, but also due to additional injuries occurring immediately before or while immersion took place (AI group). The final logistic regression model revealed statistically significant relationships between age greater than 12 years, female gender, white ethnicity, and operation of water transport vehicles, and increased risk for associated injury outcomes (p < 0.05).DiscussionThis study is the first of its kind to analyze factors associated with the most severe nonfatal immersion-related injuries in Alaska, and identifies target populations for future safety campaigns.
 
Article
ObjectivesTo examine the prevalence of occupational health and safety risk factors among immigrants to Canada compared to Canadian-born labour force participants.MethodsUsing data from Statistic Canada’s Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, we examined the differential probabilities of six different occupational health and safety risks: non-membership in a union or collective bargaining agreement; employment in physically demanding occupations; employment in a workplace with less than 20 employees; regular shift work; irregular shift work; and having non-permanent employment. Our main independent variables were length of time in Canada, visible minority status, mother tongue, and location where highest level of education was attained. Models were adjusted for age, gender, education, marital status, province of residence, living in an urban or rural location, and industry group.ResultsOf the six occupational health and safety risks examined we found that our main independent variables describing aspects of immigration status were associated with five; the exception being irregular shift work. Adjustment for industry did not attenuate these relationships to a large extent.ConclusionsImmigrants to Canada are faced with many occupational health and safety risks compared to Canadian-born respondents. These risks may be heightened among immigrants as they may not have knowledge of workplace rights and protections or have problems communicating health and safety risks or concerns. The timely provision information on occupational health and safety to immigrants before they start working should be a priority as they integrate into the Canadian labour market.
 
Article
Despite significant reductions in mining fatalities, the number of these accidents remains high. Based on the number of fatalities per year, a persistent area of concern in mine safety continues to be equipment-related. The study was undertaken in order to more thoroughly characterize equipment-related mining fatalities and to perform an analysis of those that occurred over the last 11-years, from 1995 through 2005. Equipment-related fatalities obtained from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports are used in this study. Results show that the proportion of total mine fatalities attributable to the equipment ranged from 37% to 88% per year. Among the MSHA equipment subcategories, the greatest proportion of fatalities is related to haul trucks (22.3%), belt conveyors (9.3%), front-end loaders (8.5%), and miscellaneous equipment (36.6%). The relationship between number of equipment-related fatalities and mining experience of the workforce was also examined. Study shows that workers with less than five years of appropriate mining experience constitute 44% of all fatalities that occurred during the period of 1995–2005.
 
Article
In 1996 the Swedish Poisons Information Centre performed a follow-up study concerning poisonings related to ‘do-it-yourself’ activities. The study was supported by the National Institute of Public Health in Sweden. The objectives were to investigate and define monthly variations, route of exposure, type of products and, in particular, exposures to corrosives, age and sex groups, place of treatment, severity of symptoms, place of the accident, special risk products and risk situations. The Poisons Information Centre was contacted concerning 1609 cases, with a peak during the summer months. There was no or uncertain connection between exposure and symptoms in 117 cases. This means that 1492 cases were left to study. Inhalation and eye exposure were the predominant routes, followed by skin exposure and ingestion. Cleaning agents were the most common type of products involved. Of the 1492 cases included in the study 1033 were possible to follow up. Among these, 20–29 year olds and 30–39 year olds predominated, and there was a dominance for men. In total, 28% of those exposed were subject to medical attention, either in hospital or in outpatient clinics. According to the Poisoning Severity Score 78% had mild (grade 1) and 7% moderate (grade 2) symptoms. There were no severe intoxications and no deaths. Severity grade 2 occurred 3.6 times more often among those with exposures involving risk of corrosive damage than among others in the study population. Most accidents occurred in the home. Special risk products and risk situations were exposure to corrosive products, release of chlorine when mixing hypochlorite and acid, ‘fire-eating’, siphoning gasoline and diesel fuel, welding, and inhalation of carbon monoxide from exhaust gases. The Swedish Poisons Information Centre registered 1609 cases of poisoning accidents during ‘do-it-yourself’ activities, which means an average of four to five cases per day. Although this type of accidents is not uncommon, significant poisoning seems to be rare. Some special risk situations were identified.
 
Article
The descriptive study attempts to find house factors associated with earthquake deaths due to the earthquake that struck central Taiwan. Isoseismic area was selected for study to compare building damage and mortality. The rate of houses collapsing increased with intensity of earthquake, inferior constructing, and construction time. According to the ranking by mortality and statistics of death toll in various houses, the poor seismic resistant capacity of mud-brick residence is found to be the major factor that caused great loss of lives. There is 47.6% of the deaths occurred in mud-brick houses though present only 3.8% of all houses. While the reinforced steel concrete buildings had very low damage rate in the major earthquake. Asphyxia and internal hemorrhage were the major cause of deaths in house collapses. These results suggest that improvements in anti-seismic constructing and rescue team efforts could decrease the effect of disaster.
 
Article
A national programme to raise awareness of safety issues for farmers and farmworkers and reduce farmwork-related injuries (FarmSafe) has been implemented in New Zealand since late 2002. The aims of this paper are to describe the implementation of the first stage of this FarmSafe Programme in 2003, present findings from the process evaluation for the first stage, and place this evaluation in the context of a larger and longer-term evaluation programme. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with key members of the five agencies responsible for the programme, with workshop facilitators (n = 6), and with farmers and farmworkers (n = 29) who had participated in the first stage workshop (FarmSafe Awareness workshop). All workshop evaluation forms were analysed for workshop and facilitator quality. Participant numbers (n = 6341) in the FarmSafe workshop exceeded expectations for 2003. Methods of recruitment, and organisational structure and support were major contributors to high participation in the workshop, as was the ongoing quality of the workshop offered. This process evaluation indicates the programme was successful in achieving widespread participation in a safety training programme within an industry that is predominantly one of self-employment or small businesses, and that is renowned for its independence and geographical isolation.
 
Article
The present study aimed to investigate differences in risk perception, the demand for risk mitigation, priorities and worry related to transport among the Norwegian public in 2004 and 2008. Age, gender, education, driver licence and number of injuries in transport were controlled for. The comparison was carried out with questionnaire surveys among representative samples of the Norwegian public in 2004 (n = 1730) and 2008 (n = 1864). The results showed that the perceived probabilities of transport accidents decreased, whereas the perceived severity of consequences increased during this period. Both samples estimated higher probabilities of accidents by private means of transport. The demand for risk mitigation and priorities related to transport safety increased significantly in the same period. The 2008 sample also reported more worry regarding accidents by private transport. Results were discussed in relation to transport safety campaigns, safety measures and significant accidents which occurred in this period.
 
Article
This paper presents an analysis for the crowd disaster at the Mihong bridge on 5 February 2004. The analysis includes the description of the whole process of the disaster, some characteristics of the trample, and with the help of SSM (soft systematic methodology) the factors that led to the disaster, etc. Through the detailed analysis, we conclude that the main causes of the disaster are as follows: the poor estimation of the tourist population, dereliction of duties, deficient communication, and the design fault of the bridge as well. To emphasis the significance of the management on the critical points, quantitative analysis of the crowd gathering process of the disaster were carried out by mathematical model and simulation methods, the results of the two methods are approximately the same. In the trample disaster, asphyxia is the main cause of the death. This paper reports the casualties in the fatality, demonstrating the relationship between the casualty constitution and the force created during the crush.
 
Article
Although road safety has improved enormously over time, and The Netherlands is one of the safest countries in the world, the current annual number of road casualties is still considered as unacceptable. To support next steps the sustainable safety vision was launched in the early 1990s. The idea was to make the Dutch road traffic system inherently safe. Sustainable safety was the guide in the approach of improving road safety in The Netherlands the last two decades. Because implemented sustainable safety measures reduced the number of casualties, the vision can be considered as successful. More than a decade later, SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research judged the time ready for evaluating and updating the original Sustainable Safety vision. The advanced sustainable safety vision is meant to inspire the road safety community and all tiers of government in the way they may improve road safety in the coming 15 to 20 years. This paper presents the (theoretical) core of the advanced sustainable safety vision: the aims of preventing crashes, and where this is not possible, to reduce the chance of severe injury to (almost) zero; the proactive approach to reach this, with ‘man as the measure of all things’ as a starting point, in a balanced combination of the elements ‘road’, ‘vehicle’, and ‘man’. In the sustainable safety vision, five principles are central now: functionality of roads, homogeneity of masses and/or speed and direction, predictability of road course and road user behaviour by a recognizable road design, forgivingness of the environment and of road users, and state awareness by the road user. The vision has been translated into numerous ideas for practical proposals. Special attention is paid to implementation of these proposals given the political and governmental context of The Netherlands.
 
Article
In July 2005, London was awarded the right to host the 2012 olympic and paralympic games. The decision of the International Olympic Committee triggered considerable public enthusiasm across the UK. At the same time, it also created a host of logistical and technical challenges. Amongst these the first concern is to ensure the safety and security of competitors and of the public. This paper extends ‘lessons learned’ techniques to analyze security incidents at previous games. This analysis of previous incidents is used to identify key issues that complicate the organization of olympic events. For example, there is a danger that concern over previous incidents, such as the Munich attack or the Atlanta bombing, will obscure other forms of attack. Conversely, it is difficult to validate risk-based approaches that consider the likelihood of threats which have yet to be realized. The closing sections argue that computer simulation techniques can be used early in planning to help envisage those scenarios that compromise the safety and security of olympic events. They can also be used closer to the games, as training tools to rehearse key tactics and standard operating procedures before live drills are conducted.
 
Article
The 19th century and first half of the 20th century is one of those periods in history of rapid economical, technical and social changes. There is an ongoing mechanization, followed by a movement to rationalize production and to make it cost effective. This has created a heavy burden of occupational deaths amongst workers. In this period occupational safety is developing into a professional field. Engineers are enclosing hazards and fencing heights, shaping up safety technique, and writing very practical publications on occupational safety. These publications, predominantly published in the United States, are leading to quite some safety related metaphors, with the iceberg and the domino’s as the most famous ones. Sociologists, psychologists, and physicians are more concerned with questions related to accident causation, and these specialists are conducting research leading to two different safety theories. Causes of occupational accident are found either in the workers’ capacity to handle hazardous situations, or in external causes, like very long working hours, dangerous machines and the increased pressures of work and speed of production. The Pittsburgh survey, the first extended analysis of occupational accidents in a steel district, strongly advocated the environmental hypothesis, while the so-called ‘individual hypothesis’ is favored by the American Safety First Movement, starting as a private initiative in 1906 by US Steel, and later spreading out over Western European countries. The British Industrial Fatigue Board has given the individual hypothesis its scientific justification. Despite scientific criticism just after World War II on the concept of accident proneness and ‘unsafe acts’, its popularity is not fading. Even nowadays the famous metaphors are still part of the vocational training of safety experts, also in The Netherlands. Apparently professional and scientific developments in occupational safety are belonging to two separate worlds. Before World War II, The Netherlands is not a leading country in occupational safety but a follower, first of France and the German speaking countries. After World War I its focus is directed towards the Anglo-Saxon countries.
 
Article
MAIM is an acronym for the Merseyside Accident Information Model, the current version of which is an intelligent, knowledge-based software system. This paper describes a full scale trial using MAIM to record and categorise data on the causes of injuries. The subjects studied were 2516 patients attending the Royal Liverpool University Hospital for diagnosis and treatment of injuries between September 1992 and September 1993. The aims were to test the MAIM software, to show that it is possible to collect high quality accident information from hospital patients without writing, typing or coding, and to find methods of analysing the database to provide information that can be applied to accident prevention. Subsidiary aims were to show the extent of accidents which occur in sequences of more than one event and to confirm that it is possible to collect routinely the first and final events in accidents. No single description from the accident database could provide a perspective of how the population was injured. The database project has provided evidence on the complexity of accidents and the rare occurrence of identical combinations of all components and there were no two identical accidents. This illustrates the difficulties of preventing accidents. To assist the analysis and to focus attention on information useful for accident prevention, an analysis method has been developed to identify objects and event verbs associated with both the causes of accidents and the causes of injuries. A coefficient can be computed which links events either to the start or end of an accident. The coefficient allows accidents to be grouped so that typical or average accidents can be formulated and accidents with common features can be analysed to show the course of average or typical events reported by patients. This allows a detailed examination of common causes of similar accidents. Difficulties in classifying accidents have been highlighted; this is especially true where accident recording systems attempt to classify accidents into broad groups. The analysis method provides an insight into the mechanisms causing accidents and injuries.
 
Article
This paper describes an integrated system for safety and construction management using the 4D CAD model. Safety is integrated with the construction management process throughout design, planning and control phases. Design information about building components and planning information about activities has been gathered to formulate the 4D CAD model. The rule-based system analyzes this combined information to automatically detect any working-at-height hazards and also indicates necessary safety measures in terms of activities and requirements. These safety measures are inserted into the construction schedule and visualized on the 4D CAD together with the other construction sequences. A prototype is developed and verified with a project case study. The results show that the developed system can be a collaboration tool for designers, project engineers, safety officers, and other project participants. It can raise safety awareness of the team and it leads to revisions of design and plan to be consistent with safety. Safety measures are apparently on the schedule; therefore, right resources are allocated, safety constraints are considered and alleviated ahead of time, and the safety control can explicitly refer to as well. This contributes to the success of safety management in the construction industry.
 
Article
The paper reports on the experiences with implementation of IEC 61508 in recent projects with European, North American and Japanese system vendors. The paper describes problems identified in implementing the standard and proposes a knowledge tool and a combination of software verification methods to mitigate these issues.
 
Article
Some 10 male subjects carried out a repetitive lifting task for 15 min under four conditions on separate days. Subjects used either a squat lifting or a stoop lifting technique with or without an abdominal belt on each day. Measurements of spinal shrinkage, heart rate, perceived exertion and regional body pain were made under each condition. Although there was a significant difference in spinal shrinkage under all lifting conditions compared with shrinkage during 15 min of quiet standing (4.36 ± 2.24 vs. 1.13 ± 1.18 mm), there were no significant differences in shrinkage between the conditions. The subjects' heart rates were higher during the squat lift than the stoop lift (123 vs. 97 beats/min; p < 0.001). While the squat lift was perceived to be the safest lift by 90% of the subjects, 60% regarded this lift as the least preferred method (with or without the belt). Although all 10 subjects perceived the safest lifting method to involve the use of the belt, 50% rated the belt as their least preferred lifting condition. The findings cast doubt on the efficacy and acceptability of both abdominal belts and the practice of training workers in ‘safe’ lifting techniques and indicate that individual characteristics and preferences need to be considered when attempting to improve the safety of manual handling operations in industry.
 
Article
Given the importance of operating teams coping with incidents occurring at nuclear power plants, there are many training programs using training simulators to enhance the skills of the teams. In these programs, instructors observe the behavior of the teams to advise how to improve the handling of simulated accidents. However this advice depends on the instructors' subjective opinion. The purpose of this research is to take initial steps towards developing a method to evaluate objectively the behavior of the teams during the training courses. This paper describes a preliminary study to understand some characteristics of their behavior under abnormal operating conditions on the way to achieving the final purpose. Four types of decision making, under the following two headings, are covered; who makes the decisions and did the team have sufficient communication covering all as aspects necessary to make a strategy decision. It is also shown that both the leader and the followers share responsibility in making decisions according to the situation that they are facing.
 
Article
Risk assessments for hand-transmitted vibration, according to international Standard ISO 5349, are based solely on the acceleration level measured directly on the vibrating surface. An alternative method could be to measure the quantity of vibration transmitted to and absorbed by the operator. These types of measurements have until now only been possible to conduct in laboratory environments using specially-designed handles. The aim of the present project has therefore been to develop portable equipment for field measurements of the hand's absorption of vibration energy. The developed equipment consists of a hand-held adapter placed in the contact area between the hand and the vibrating surface. The adapter is equipped with transducers for measurement of vibration and dynamic forces. For the force measurements, four different technical solutions were tested. An adapter, equipped with a triaxial piezo-electric force transducer as well as piezo-electric accelerometers, was found to be the most suitable solution for field measurements. The adapter is small, has a low weight and can be used for measurement on tools with different handle designs. The adapter has been tested by laboratory measurements and reliable and accurate measurement results were obtained within the frequency range of 3 to 1900 Hz, for all the three orthogonal directions in accordance with ISO 5349.
 
Article
A study was conducted to investigate the effects of time-gap settings and contents of secondary tasks on a fix-based bus driving simulator on drivers’ performance while reclaiming control from ACC in a car-following scenario of emergency brake by the lead vehicle. Thirty professional bus drivers drove on the simulator with the scenario of highway traffic flow under 12 random time-gap settings: from 0.64 s to 2.40 s with the interval of 0.16 s. As for the effects of secondary tasks, subjects were evenly divided into three conditions: no secondary task interference, simple secondary task, and complex task. The results demonstrated that different safety demarcations of time-gaps on subjective acceptance and driving performance can be found out. The integrated demarcations separated time-gaps into divisions that represented different levels of danger. It revealed that the safer time-gaps for different situations were: longer than 1.60 s for none-secondary task distraction and longer than 2.08 s for being continuously distracted by secondary tasks. The demand for simple tasks is relatively high, so a larger time-gap is needed for the driver to remain safe. This research has implications for the time-gap selection of ACC and effects of secondary task distraction on buses. A next logical step will focus on determining time-gaps for lead vehicles on curves or slopes, when multiple vehicles are present ahead, and modeling driver behavior and performance with ACC for cars, buses, and other types of vehicles.
 
Article
This paper considers the role of the controller in future Air Traffic Management (ATM), an industry which is undergoing considerable and rapid change at this time. In particular, the paper focuses on the area of allocation of function, i.e. the determination of what the (human) controller should do, what the hardware and software (machine) should do, and what tasks they should share, and who (or what) is in control, in this increasingly complex system. The premise of the paper is that traditional criteria for allocation of function, so-called Fitts List approaches, are no longer clear-cut to apply, if they ever were. Technology is reaching the point where many traditionally human functions and roles can be supported or even completely autonomously carried out by automated systems. The question is quite simple — what functions, roles, and even responsibilities should be automated? This question is becoming an imperative in currently accelerating technologies such as ATM. As an example, aviation saw a huge insurgence of automation into the cockpit, with four generations of so-called glass cockpit designs, culminating in aircraft which are completely fly-by-wire, and where some aircraft have envelope protection such that the pilot's control actions are monitored and may be overridden by the machine. However, this transition from largely manual flight to glass-cockpit control was not without problems and automation-assisted accidents, and the air traffic industry would do well to avoid such problems. ATM is an area that has been relatively non-automated for the past 30 years. But as traffic levels continue to rise rapidly, there is general agreement that ATM systems must adopt some level(s) of automation support in order to maintain safety and efficiency of air traffic operations. However, ATM development is currently also highly technology-driven, perhaps with most emphasis on what technology can do for us, rather than what we need it to do. From a human factors perspective, the question of what we need from technology and automation is the critical one. As technology continues to accelerate, it is probable that it will be able to deliver whatever functions we wish it to. It is therefore appropriate to consider what the role of the human should be. If such considerations are not made now, then accelerating technology and traffic levels, and the need for ATM systems that can cope, will deliver systems which, if they fail, will lead to the types of negative experiences and fatal accidents that the aviation world has already experienced. Quite simply, if the role of the human is not considered now, it will be too late to consider it. Furthermore, if this occurs, then future as yet unforseen automation-assisted accidents will inevitably be attributed to human error. This paper considers some of the factors and issues surrounding the difficult area of automation and allocation of function, and gives an example of one method, based on error analysis, which has been used to try to answer some of the difficult automation questions currently facing ATM and human factors.
 
Article
In 1997 a workshop was held on the subject of how to cope with accelerating technologies. These are industries such as aviation, air traffic control and biotechnology, amongst others, where the rate of technological development is significant. A number of papers were presented from a range of viewpoints and in a variety of different industrial contexts. The papers ranged from theoretical models to help understand the process of acceleration and its impact on organisational learning, to practical analyses of future potential risks in specific accelerating industries such as air traffic control. The aim of the papers and the workshop as a whole was to provide insight into the problems associated with accelerating technologies, and thereby derive measures to control or cope with such acceleration. The problems arising from acceleration, as predicted by the theoretical models and evidenced by experiences in accelerating industries (e.g. aviation) are manifold. Two examples of particular problems are unforeseen risks in an industry (a lack of forward vision), and a failure to learn adequately (i.e. in time) from incidents occurring in an organisation (a lack of constructive hindsight). There is also an incipient danger of society being driven by technology rather than being led by social needs. Even if each technology ultimately becomes ‘ultra-safe’, it will nevertheless have its own ‘event horizon’, limiting useful further progress. Each of the papers from the workshop is summarised and integrated into a three-part synopsis of the workshop. This covers the context of accelerating technologies, modelling their impacts, and deriving coping strategies. Four of the papers are included in their entirety as separate papers in their own right in this special issue of Safety Science.
 
Article
This paper argues that we need emotions in order to make a rational decision as to the moral acceptability of technological risks.Empirical research has shown that people rely on emotions in making judgments concerning risks. However, this does not as yet answer the following normative question and the main question of this paper: do we need emotions in order to be able to judge whether a risk is morally acceptable? This question has direct practical implications: should engineers, scientists and policy makers involved in developing risk regulation take the emotions of the public seriously or not?In answer to these questions, rationalists would argue that the emotions of the public should be ignored because they are irrational. On the other hand, subjectivists would argue that even though emotions are irrational, they should be a part of the decision making process because they show us our preferences. In contrast to both of these approaches, this paper defends a cognitive theory of emotions according to which emotions are necessary to make a rational practical decision. Emotions are an indispensable normative guide in judging the moral acceptability of technological risks.
 
Article
Several studies have identified a significant relationship between trust in regulatory institutions and the extent of a hazard’s acceptability. Many, however, have overlooked the potential impact perceived risk and perceived benefit may have on the relationship. Our principal goal is to assess empirically the link between social trust in regulatory entities and the degree of public acceptability of hazards in view of interactions among social trust, perceived risk, perceived benefit and public acceptability. A survey was conducted in 2006 in three cities representative of central Mexico. A total of 356 participants answered the survey. Each participant assessed 30 hazards for perceived risk, perceived benefit, acceptability, social trust in regulatory entities, and personal knowledge. Our main finding was that social trust retained a direct as well as an indirect causal link with the degree of a hazard’s public acceptability, independent of hazard, the extent of knowledge, and the magnitude of the hazard’s perceived risk and benefit. The relationship encountered between perceived risk and acceptability was unexpected, as numerous studies have demonstrated empirically the influence perceived risk on how acceptable an activity or technology is. In our results the statistical significance of the perceived risk-acceptability relationship practically disappeared when controlled for institutional trust and perceived benefit. In other words, the net linear relationship between perceived risk and acceptability is mediated by the extent of social trust and the benefit perceived. Comparisons with several prior studies are conducted, and implications for regulatory entities are discussed.
 
Article
Eight male subjects performed pushing and pulling tasks on two level floor surfaces having good and reduced resistance to slipping. Using a four wheel industrial trolley (hand cart), adapted so that the force required to move it could be varied by adding weights to boxes attached to either side, a psychophysical approach was used to determine maximum acceptable loads for 4 experimental conditions. Mean maximum acceptable trolley loads were 439 N (slip-resistant surface/pushing), 430 N (slip-resistant surface/pulling), 453 N (slippery surface/pushing), and 410 N (slippery surface/pulling), with differences between conditions non-significant. The maximum acceptable trolley loads were independent of the floor surfaces used. This was despite differences in ground reaction forces between the two flooring conditions (P<0.05) and significant differences in ratings of perceived slipping (P<0.001). Explanations for these findings include the possibility that subjects may have modified their posture and technique to compensate for poorer footing. Alternatively, subjects may have given little regard to slipping when making their assessment of the maximum load acceptable for the task. It is suggested that a threshold effect may exist, necessitating lower levels of friction or a higher frequency of exposure, before subjects will be prompted to modify their judgements of maximum acceptable load.
 
Article
The Norwegian Risk analysis regulations for the offshore industry require the development of risk acceptance criteria on the part of the oil companies and the use of risk analysis to prove that the acceptance criteria are met. These regulations are examples of a general trend among European legislators to specify the use of risk analysis as a basis for decisions which affect the level of safety. The paper focuses on analyses during the design phases of the risk of occupational accidents. In the first part of the paper, the consistency between available criteria based on measures of the risk of occupational accidents and risk analysis methods is examined. The aim is to evaluate the feasibility of meeting the requirements of the Risk analysis regulations in the area of occupational accidents by applying the present state of knowledge. It is concluded that there are no combinations of types of acceptance criteria and risk analysis methods that cover the full range of occupational accidents and which are unbiased in relation to the size of the installation. Needs of further developments of suitable risk analysis methods are identified.In part II, a new risk analysis method, Comparison analysis, is outlined together with results from the application of the method in a case study. The method fills a gap concerning theoretical estimations of the expected number of lost time injuries per one million hours of work.
 
Article
The prevention and reduction of risks require understanding, development, and application of engineering solutions. Risk is an important factor in many public policy decisions, insurance policies, and regulatory actions. The risk tolerance of people for various circumstances depends on many factors. The risk of death by natural disasters is relatively small in comparison the various life style related activities and home accidents. However, natural disasters result into significant property damage. Some of the recent natural disasters resulted in significant damage from a cost perspective due to extensive environmental and structural damage. Losses due to disasters are usually measured in dollars for comparison purposes. In most cases there are also significant ecological damages which are difficult to estimate from a cost perspective. Property damages due to disasters can be minimized by careful planning and preparation. However, reducing risks comes at increased cost. What is possible and what is feasible are two different measures that need to be evaluated. The cost of recovery could be significantly reduced if specific disaster planning measures are taken to include land development restrictions in high risk natural disaster areas.
 
Article
The aim of the study was to examine the problems related to moving on access paths to and from the safety cabins of mobile machinery, and the applicability of available research methods in studying the issue. The study had four parts: (1) statistics of access path accidents of Finnish farmers; (2) interviews of designers and users of mobile machines; (3) detection of foot and hand contacts during ingress and egress; and (4) motion analysis of pilot trials of two subjects moving up and down on the access path of a backhoe loader. The statistics showed that about 30% of farmers' injuries associated with the use of tractors are consequences of access path accidents. More than half of the accidents lead to injuries of lower limbs, most often strains or sprains. The average duration of disability resulting from access path accidents leading to compensations was 33 days. The interviews with designers revealed that the designers need more knowledge on safety and ergonomics, and only some manufacturers systematically take user feedback into account in design. The analysis of limb contacts from video recordings showed that the operators lost the recommended three-point support several times during both ingress and egress, on an average for 49% of ingress time and 43% of egress time. Motion analysis of the pilot trials revealed possibly hazardous patterns of movements on the access path. The design of access paths should take into account the natural human movement behaviour, which still needs further research.
 
Article
ProblemThe experience of an occupational accident, as a harmful and unexpected event, may elicit a process of construction of meaning. However, research has provided inconsistent results regarding to the role of such an experience in posterior sense-making. This article aims at understanding the association of an occupational accident experience with the explanation and definition given by workers for such events.MethodFifty-six semi-structured interviews were conducted with workers from several sectors. This data was subject to content analysis and HOMALS (Multiple Correspondence Analysis).ResultsAn accident experience was associated with defensive explanations (focused on causes external to workers) and defensive definitions (highlighting the sudden nature of accidents and organizational weaknesses).DiscussionThe study of the construction of meaning about accidents and its variability is highly relevant for understanding posterior preventive behavior and the accuracy in the report of future occupational accidents.Impact on industryOrganizations should be aware of discrepancies in conceptions and interpretations among employees about occupational accidents when planning prevention programs or improvement of accident data registration.
 
Article
In this paper railway accident investigation reports issued by the national accident investigation boards in three Scandinavian countries during a 2-year period have been systematically studied. Content analysis of attributed causes in these reports reveals a considerable emphasis on physical processes, actor activities and equipment (the microlevel). Much less attention is paid to organisational factors (the mesolevel) and conditions related to regulators, associations and government (the macrolevel). This means that lessons will primarily be learned about aspects at the lower of these levels. Interviews show that the factors emphasised in investigation reports typically reflect the competences and experiences of the investigators, i.e. they are inclined to focus on areas of their own expertise. Since failures at the microlevel in many cases merely are symptoms of trouble at higher levels, it is argued that competence among investigators that supplements entirely technical or operational backgrounds are necessary for enabling deeper understanding of the factors leading to accidents. One possible way for achieving this is the creation of multi-modal investigation boards that provide a number of potential advantages, such as increased access to specialist competences that are shared between different sectors. Although a multi-modal approach to some degree has been adopted in all three countries, interviews reveal that these positive effects do not emerge automatically. It can therefore be concluded that multi-modal investigation boards offer a number of possible advantages, but only when these synergies are fully exploited can they provide a potential for more effective learning from accidents.
 
Article
The field of organisational reliability analysis lacks proper qualitative methods in order to interpret data on normal operational organisations and produce diagnoses regarding their reliability. Due to the peculiarities of catastrophic events, and especially their low frequency and multi-causality, such interpretations and diagnoses could not rest on the sole data one may collect about normal operations. Rather, it can only rest on the theoretical knowledge stemming from post-accident studies. Hence normal operations studies require methodological tools in order to regulate knowledge transfer from post-accident cases to normal operational cases. Such tools need not only to be practical, they should also fit with the peculiarities of organisational factors and processes. I argue that comparisons between actual and counterfactual normal operational organisations can be a fruitful although not ideal means to interpret data on normal operational organisations and hence to assess their reliability. This procedure enables to import arguments from post-accident studies and to combine them with empirical data on normal operational organisations in order to produce relative measures of reliability. Organisational complexity sets inescapable limits to this method, but the latter consists nevertheless in better epistemological criteria for qualitative reliability analyses than there existed before.
 
Article
Safety problems on construction sites seem to be largely unresolved as the fatality and injury records in construction continue to plague the industry across the world. The lack of an effective system to interrupt and prevent the precursors and contributory factors on construction sites is argued to be the critical deficiency of extant research and practice. This paper covers research to develop a systematic mechanism to interrupt and prevent precursors and immediate factors (PaIFs) on construction sites. First, the importance of precursors and near misses to further improve safety margins are emphasized. Furthermore, a systematic model of improving safety on construction sites is presented to consummate and perfect extant safety-improving systems on construction sites by reinforcing and accentuating the real-time tracking of precursors and immediate factors. The real-time tracking sub-system is argued to be an effective measure to interrupt and prevent PaIFs. Eventually, an investigative model of PaIFs on construction sites is proposed, indicating how to seek PaIFs from historical accident records and how to obtain near misses and mitigating measures from reported events. Results indicate that model of PaIFs is effective and able to acquire as much information as possible about precursors and near misses and thus, in part, overcome the deficiency of lacking sufficient and adequate historical accident records. This study proposes a feasible approach to facilitate acquiring more useful information from historical records of accidents in order to improve safety on construction sites and serve as a foundation for further study by drawing researchers’ attention to precursors and near misses.
 
Article
Lately, requests have been made to include the contexts of enterprises in models to prevent accidents at work. This paper presents different contextual theories in order to analyze whether this type of theory could be a way to elaborate our understanding of context. A differentiation is made between (a) theories of understanding relations between enterprises and regulatory agencies and (b) theories to perceive the relation between enterprise and the broader context. The last group of theories has its point of departure in an organizational understanding diverging from the classical, rational understanding of organizations and organizational processes. The conclusion is that contextual theories open for an elaborated understanding of the role of contextual relations in accident prevention, but also that an investigation of the potentials for making the theories action-orientated is needed.
 
Top-cited authors
Kathryn Mearns
  • UK Health and Safety Executive
A.R. Hale
  • Delft University of Technology
Rhona Flin
  • Robert Gordon University
Neville A Stanton
  • University of Southampton
Frank Guldenmund
  • Delft University of Technology