Engineering for Occupational Safety

Safety Engineering is a branch of the Industrial Mechanical Plants research group that aims to identify methods and means to achieve conditions of maximum operational safety in working contexts and/or in the operation of complex systems.

The Safety Engineering Group works in very closed contact with the occupational health and safety specialists of the Emilia Romagna Region. The result of this collaboration is the Banca delle Soluzioni (Solutions Database) Project.

Banca delle Soluzioni

The aim of the Project is to realize a useful tool for employers and employees, collecting the available technologies to prevent the hazard of critical high-risk work activities.

Research activities analyse critical high-risk activities in industrial plants:

  • Manual material handling and repetitive movements – Ergonomics and the impact of the ergonomic design of workplaces and work procedures on work system efficiency and productivity. The study involves the design of mathematical models improving both the workers’ safety and health, and the economic benefits for companies;
  • Confined space work – Analysis of safety solutions and automated technology avoiding the access of workers in confined spaces. The research activity highlights the availability of automated tools and innovative technologies for confined space work performing different tasks, e.g. cleaning, inspection and maintenance activities, within several industries.

Safety Engineering seeks the optimal performance of industrial and production processes, integrating productivity requirements with ergonomic, anthropometric and microclimatic requirements, ensuring correct manual handling and workstation design, respect for functional recovery and worker comfort. The activities carried out include the design of optimisation models for improving the health and safety of workers and the overall efficiency of industrial plants, and the introduction of tools and procedures for risk prevention.

Safety Engineering analyses the most commonly used production strategies and procedures in the industrial context, such as Lean Manufacturing, Job Rotation, production cell reconfigurability, automation, studying their impact on workers’ health and safety.