Solutions Database is a research project for the development of informative documents to support and update the companies about available automated solutions and tools improving ergonomics in occupational environment characterized by manual material handling and repetitive work, and for activities in confined space. The study focuses on occupational safety and health issues of several industries, e.g. oil and gas industry, pharmaceutical, food processing and construction industry. The final stage of the project will include the design of new automatic solutions or tools to be implemented in real occupational environments. The project is in co-operation with the Regional Occupational Safety and Health Agency and the Regional Firefighters Agency of Emilia Romagna. The Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Bologna coordinates the research activities together with the regional authorities, fire and rescue professionals and occupational safety and health specialists.
The result is the creation of an informative document to be divulged, aiming to address companies towards the introduction of automated solutions for the replacement of workers during high-risk activities in confined spaces and improving the ergonomics of postures during work, repetitive movements of the upper-limbs and manual material handling.
The aim of the Project is to provide a useful tool for companies and to investigate the state of the art on proper equipment and devices for the risk elimination or reduction, as requested by the Italian legislation in force on occupational health and safety (D.Lgs. 81/2008). The Solution Database does NOT have commercial purposes.
The Project has been developed thanks to a funding from the Emilia Romagna Region to the AUSL Bologna (fondi sanzioni D.Lgs. 758 anno 2011 delibera di Giunta Regionale 2092/2012).
Research Methods and Criteria
The technical solutions held in the Solutions Database were found through several research channels, as the scientific literature, the reports from the surveillance activities of the Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance Services and the international search engines. The researches have been performed by keywords, aiming to recall the investigated activities and industries.
The research aimed to identify the state of the art on automated solutions for activities in confined spaces and to avoid the occupational disorders and illnesses outset due to the biomechanical overload of the musculoskeletal system.
The following collection does not mean to be a complete list, but it represents the first version of a living document, showing the actual state of the technical development. In particular, the included solutions are only the one that avoid the human access in confined spaces (Section Confined Spaces), and that guarantee ergonomics and safety of manual work (Section Ergonomics – Biomechanical overload), as described in page Ergonomic approach and references to the regulations in force.
Solutions Database | Confined Spaces
Members of the team Solutions Database | Confined Spaces:
Luca Cavallone – Ispettorato Territoriale del Lavoro di Bologna
Solutions Database | Ergonomics – Biomechanical Overload
Members of the team Solutions Database | Ergonomics – Biomechanical Overload:
Vincenzo D’Elia – AUSL Bologna
Giorgio Zecchi – AUSL Reggio Emilia