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IMproving Occupational Safety & Health in European SMEs with help of simulatION and Virtual Reality

Final Report Summary - IMOSHION (IMproving Occupational Safety & Health in European SMEs with help of simulatION and Virtual Reality)

Executive Summary:
Every year 5,720 people die in the European Union as a consequence of work-related accidents, according to EUROSTAT figures. The International Labour Organisation estimates that 159,500 workers additionally die each year from occupational diseases in the EU. Taking both figures into consideration, it is estimated that every three-and-a-half minutes somebody in the EU dies from work-related causes and that every four-and-a-half seconds an EU worker is involved in an accident that forces him/her to stay at home for at least three working days.

The FP7 Research for the Benefit of SME’s IMOSHION ‘IMproving Occupational Safety & Health in European SMEs with help of simulatION and Virtual Reality’ project aimed to improve the application of OSH regulations in European SMEs by providing low cost and easy to use tools addressing OSH concerns in manufacturing sectors.

The current situation in relation to OSH is that all SMEs in Europe have to obey the national derivatives of the European Framework Directive (89/391/EEG) and its underlying twenty-three guidelines. As there are many more rules to follow, this is felt by many SMEs to be a huge administrative burden.

One obligation according to the European Directive is the risk inventory that the companies should perform. For the SMEs this is a recurrent, time-consuming and complex procedure leading only to the definition of risks, while finding concrete measures to eliminate these risks requires another time-consuming search process.

The main objective of IMOSHION was to stimulate awareness of OSH issues in European SMEs and to support SMEs in their adherence of OSH through training, operation, planning and the design of workplaces. The project results provide low-cost and easy-to-use tools specifically designed for and with SMEs to help them manage OSH issues and provide long-term support for their businesses.

Specifically, the project objectives have been:
1) to improve access to information related to OSH regulation and to support the training of employees in OSH through an “OSH knowledge and learning management system”
2) to help SMEs improve their reaction to critical OSH issues by use of a “workplace simulation tool”
3) to make users of machine equipment aware of OSH issues related to production and maintenance by use of an “immersive training and learning tool”; and
4) to design OSH sound work environments by use of “work station and work place planning tools”.

These four objectives were met as seen during the results, feedback and conclusions obtained at the final conference (D6.5). In addition, the consortium managed to exceed these objectives by providing a ready-to-use, competitive and attractive toolset that SMEs and participating organizations are looking forward to continue using.
Project Context and Objectives:
The IMOSHION project idea was born from a discussion between a few European SME associations that identified a common concern on safety coming from their members. While large companies already understood a while ago the importance of addressing occupational safety and health (OSH) issues and therefore already developed their own solutions to tackle this challenge, most SMEs in Europe were not aware that an efficient prevention of work-related accidents in their companies could both avoid important economic losses and improve their employees’ productivity.

Every year 5,720 people die in the European Union as a consequence of work-related accidents, according to EUROSTAT figures. The International Labour Organisation estimates that 159,500 workers additionally die each year from occupational diseases in the EU. Taking both figures into consideration, it is estimated that every three-and-a-half minutes somebody in the EU dies from work-related causes and that every four-and-a-half seconds an EU worker is involved in an accident that forces him/her to stay at home for at least three working days.

The current situation in relation to OSH is that all SMEs in Europe have to obey the national derivatives of the European Framework Directive (89/391/EEG) and its underlying twenty-three guidelines. As there are many more rules to follow, this is felt by the SMEs primarily as a huge administrative burden.

One obligation according to the European Directive is the risk inventory that the companies should perform. For the SMEs this is a recurrent, time-consuming and complex procedure leading only to the definition of risks, while the finding of concrete measures to eliminate these risks requires another time-consuming search process.

The main objective of IMOSHION was to stimulate awareness of OSH issues in European SMEs and to support SMEs in their adherence of OSH through training, operation, planning and the design of workplaces. The project results provide low-cost and easy-to-use tools specifically designed for and with SMEs to help them manage OSH issues and provide long-term support for their businesses.

Specifically, the project objectives were:
1. to improve access to information related to OSH regulation and to support the training of employees in OSH through an “OSH knowledge and learning management system”
2. to help SMEs improve their reaction to critical OSH issues by use of a “workplace simulation tool”
3. to make users of machine equipment aware of OSH issues related to production and maintenance by use of an ‘immersive training and learning tool”
4. to design OSH sound work environments by use of “work station and work place planning tools”.

These four objectives were met as seen during the results, feedback and conclusions obtained at the final conference (D6.5). In addition, the consortium managed to excel these objectives by providing a ready-to-use, competitive and attractive toolset that SMEs and participating organizations are looking forward to continue using.

The overall strategy of the work plan of the project was to follow an agile software development methodology that drove the development process with minimal impact from possible changes in requirements that always occur in such exploratory projects, thanks to short RTD cycles and continuous validation processes. It enabled the active involvement of end-users in the development process to ensure that their needs were addressed and to increase acceptance. This methodology was modified and updated in order to accommodate the reality of the consortium after year 1 of the project.

Six work packages (WP) were designed to ensure the success of the project. WP1 was designed to perform all the project management activities. WP2 aimed at identifying the specific OSH needs of the SMEs, to establish and coordinate the project communities by involving as many SME members as possible, and to ensure the IMOSHION technology was developed by the RTD performers to address the needs of the SMEs. WP3 targeted the development and integration of all the components required for structuring the IMOSHION solution. WP4 aimed to validate the IMOSHION tools, using input from the SME-AGs and SMEs. Evaluations and validation checks included both the human factors and the technical aspects. WP5 included both iterative demonstration cases and training activities. Finally, WP6 was conducted by each partner of the consortium in order to disseminate the knowledge about IMOSHION and its outcomes through a specific Web-based platform, at different events, through publications and media appearances, and also through a final conference.

The specific work plan for dissemination and exploitation included an Exploitation Manager (EM) who supported the Project Coordinator in monitoring all dissemination, communication, technology transfer, and exploitation issues. The EM chaired the Exploitation Board (EB) which took all important decisions regarding the exploitation of each outcome of the project. The Exploitation Board was in charge of the dissemination, exploitation and technology transfer management of the project and consisted of one senior representative from each partner in the consortium. It took all decisions related to the exploitation of one or more of the project results while carrying out and reviewing the progress of the dissemination plan set up under WP6.

The EM worked with the Project Coordinator and with each of the partners to ensure up-to-date and optimum communication with external parties, so that the project results were optimally exploited. They ensured that the project results were communicated to the widest range of European SMEs as well as to most of the OSH-related organisations in Europe (e.g. policy-makers; associations; lobby organisations; special interest groupings). They guaranteed a broad dissemination of the project outcomes by fostering technology transfer (i.e. implementation of IMOSHION tool) and the exploitation of this technology by any entity willing to take advantage of the project results.

The EM met with the PC on several occasions during the period of the project and has chaired the Exploitation Board meetings with its corresponding minutes updated in the IMOSHION portal.

Project Results:
TOOL A - KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

General information

The Knowledge and Learning Management System (KLMS) aims to support SME Associations, OSH Management organisations and individual SMEs in capturing and collecting current Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) knowledge, procedures, information and standards that are relevant to their industry sectors. The KLMS also functions as a learning management system which supports the training development and management of employees in OSH issues.

Background

SMEs have been shown to often struggle with accessing and managing relevant OSH information to help them comply with regulations and also to organise and manage OSH training for staff. SMEs need low cost and easy to use tools to help them manage OSH knowledge and training on a long-term basis. SMEs cover a broad range of sectors so tools need to be sufficiently generic to be adaptable for any sector although the focus of the project was primarily manufacturing. It was originally envisaged that the KLMS would adopt a wiki-type approach with individual SME Associations able to easily update information regarding general regulations while individual SMEs would be able to provide company specific information on their experience and request additional support. The same wiki approach could be used to gather the information from employees concerning OSH. This could include novel “lessons-learnt” knowledge or day-to-day tracking of OSH. The aim was to integrate constant awareness of OSH within the SMEs, rather than focusing attention on risk assessments at pre-determined time periods.

Initial workshops, interviews and questionnaires established that the most common OSH issues faced by SMEs who took part in the studies included:

• Finding legislation
• Coordinating OSH procedures
• Employee attitudes towards OSH
• Obtaining information on current potential dangers with new equipment/means of production
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) carelessness by employees
• A lack of time for training
• Getting employees to attend OSH courses
• Getting employees to stop neglecting OSH issues and comply with OSH related directives
• Lack of general OSH knowledge amongst employees
• Lack of sector specific OSH knowledge amongst employees.

User requirements for the KLMS initially identified included:

• The need for different levels of user access
• Updated information should be highlighted to users at each new log in
• The system should be regularly updated with new EU and country specific OSH information
• Information should be available in each users’ language
• The system could incorporate an integrated email system, discussion forums and search functions and host video files for use in training
• The KLMS should be accessible using a variety of web browsers
• The systems should be usable by non OSH specialists and be easy to use as the majority of SMEs did not use any computer based training or use a form OSH management system
• Training should include both opportunities to practice applying knowledge and illustrations/exercises to encourage understanding of cause and effect relating to OSH issues
• The system should enable peer to peer training.

Objectives of the Tool

The objectives of the KLMS are to support SME and OSH Management Associations and individual SMES in managing their OSH knowledge, procedures, information and standards and provide a platform for dissemination of these to their employees. It also provides a training management platform for managing access to on-line training materials and it acts as the link to the other IMOSHION tools.

As the project progressed and the differences of OSH management processes in different EU companies became apparent, the need for a more flexible structure for the KLMS became apparent. The final version of the tool is highly adaptable to allow for different structures of OSH management, from an individual SME being able to host and manage their own version of the tool for their exclusive use, to a larger OSH management company using it to manage all of their customers’ OSH knowledge and training management. SME Associations are also able to use it for the benefit of their members as a collaborative knowledge sharing platform, customizable to reflect their own organizational structure and incorporate training for members if required. The KLMS was also designed to be a portal to link all of the IMOSHION tools, with each tool being able to be accessed independently if required.

User profile

The KLMS was developed with five typical user profiles in mind:

• System Administrators who will install and maintain the system in operational conditions
• OSH Regulation Experts who will help to populate the knowledge management system with sector appropriate knowledge and manage any automated systems for OSH data gathering
• OSH Designers who will customise the knowledge management system based on their organizational needs and will create training packages using the learning management system
• OSH Trainers (Instructors) who will implement and monitor training packages for employees
• SME Employees who will access, use and contribute to the learning and knowledge management system.
It was developed as a generic tool that could be used in all sectors of industry but it can be populated with sector specific information as required.

Use case

Introduction

It is envisaged that the SME Associations or OSH Management organisations will begin populating the knowledge management system with generic OSH information relating to their sector which becomes a resource for their member SMEs. The SMEs will be able to customise their section of knowledge management system according to their needs and all users of the system will be able to contribute to the knowledge base if required. OSH training designers from within either the associations or the SMEs themselves will be able to use the learning management system to design on-line learning objects to help staff learn about OSH. The OSH knowledge and data that is held in the knowledge management system can also be used for designing learning objects. The KLMS allows training courses to be designed and generated by the hosting organisation or external on-line training packages can be imported into it. The hosting organisation can choose to share training packages between member organisations if they wish. The KLMS can be accessed on-line from any internet enabled PC or through mobile devices to help support SMEs whose employees may have difficulty accessing training and OSH information when working off-site.

KLMS structure

The structure of the KLMS is shown in Figure 1.

See Figure 1- Structure of the KLMS in the attached pdf.

It is organized into OSH subject categories, which can be modified by the hosting organization as required. Within each subject category e.g. risk assessment, prevention planning etc., individual subject areas can be set up such as Personal Protective Equipment or fire safety training. Within each of these areas, resources and training activities can be added along with links to the other IMOSHION tools. In addition there is, as standard, an internal file store and the KLMS can be linked to an external repository, Alfresco, if additional document management features are required.

User roles

The KLMS offers a number of user roles, each allowing different levels of access to the system. This can be customized according to the needs of the host organization. Roles preset up in system include:

• Administrator
• OSH Manager
• Employee
• Visitor

Roles define what permissions a user has - what they can do in the system and what they can see. All users are assigned a role by administrator/OSH Manager depending on set up of the system. Users with different roles see different functions in the system and an individual’s role can be changed in a particular part of the system if needed e.g. a shop floor manager may need to take on the role of an OSH manager for some training courses.

Users will see a different home page when they log in depending on their role. For example, an employee will see a screen as shown in Figure 2 whereas an OSH manager would see a screen as shown in Figure 3.

See Figure 2 - Employee home page and Figure 3 - OSH Manager home page in the attached pdf.

The content of the KLMS is organized around the OSH management process for companies which involves a continuous cycle of prevention planning; risk assessments and evaluations; action planning; implementing OSH strategies; evaluation and monitoring of the OSH actions. In addition, there are links to other functions available within the KLMS including a news system; legislation stores; discussion forums; RSS feeds for external information feeds into the tool and administrative document stores. There is an in-house email system which allows for employee communication and advanced reporting functions to enable management reporting on training compliance, user access to the system and document viewing.

The hosting organisation has full freedom to decide which areas of the tool individual employees need access to. In addition, within each subject area, OSH managers can either import external training packages (which are compliant with industry-standard formats) or create their own training material using a highly configurable quiz tool which allows companies to track employee progress on learning and also provide a record of training to assist with OSH compliance monitoring. The hosting organisation and individual SMEs are also able to add content to the system in a number of formats. A wide variety of document formats can be hosted in the system along with video and audio files. Within the KLMS, customized ‘books’ can be created. All files can be shared between users if required and can be reused within different subject areas to avoid duplication of effort. A customisable reporting function is included within the KLMS.

Technical

The KLMS is based on Moodle, a web based open source learning management system which has been highly customized for the needs of the end users of the IMOSHION toolset and to provide links to the other IMOSHION tools. It allows the other tools to be run from within the KLMS and for the outputs from those tools to be downloaded and stored in the KLMS. In addition, an external open source enterprise content management system, Alfresco, can be linked to the KLMS if required. The KLMS was customized to provide multi-language options (English, German, Spanish and Bulgarian) with other language options being available from the Moodle community. The system can also be customized to include the hosting organization logo and to adopt their colour scheme for branding. The KLMS can be hosted on an internet enabled server in any organization. The basic requirements for the KLMS are as follows:

Hardware

• Disk space: 5GB minimum
• Backups: at least 5GB (preferably at a remote location)
• Memory: 1GB minimum. 1GB can support 10-20 concurrent users. Please make sure you have sufficient memory for the number of concurrent users.
• A decent broadband internet connection with a good upload speed.

Software

• Windows operating system
• Xampp (which include apache, php, mysql)
• Minimum requirement is an internet browser for accessing IMOSHION Tool A. We recommend Internet Explorer 6 or later.

All end users need a good broadband connection and Internet Explorer 6 or later.

TOOL B - WORKPLACE SIMULATION

General information

To help SMEs increase the OSH awareness of their employees regarding evacuation plans, the Workplace Simulation (WS) has been developed. It includes the following features:

• A Building modelisation utility to create specific factories
• A Scenario planner to build exercises
• A simulation, to conduct tests or immerse an employee into a crisis
• A replayer to help trainer focuses on trainee weak points (after Action Analysis) and can be used to create videos

Background

SMEs usually struggle to find time for real life evacuation exercises. It might either be due to the cost of stopping the business activity even for a short period of time, or either the cost of simulating the event by itself. Usually the SMEs only do the minimal amount of training exercises required by law. Most employees only do evacuation exercises only once or twice a year without being prepared or aware of new legislation or changes in the processes.

See Figure 4 - Workplace simulation graphics in the attached pdf.

Objective of the tool

The Workplace Simulation is a tool aimed to help OSH Manager to test evacuation plan and train their employees to follow that evacuation plan. Using the OSH Manager expertise, the tool will help devise evacuation plans not possible to reproduce in reality, or too costly to be tested, so effectively reducing the cost. With tool, each employee can be trained individually, at a suitable pace and based on his own training needs. The employee will be able to perform better in real life training and in case of a real evacuation.

The tool can also be used to produce educational videos about good and new evacuation plans and these can be uploaded to the KMLS tool.

User Profile

There are two kinds of user profiles and hence two different mode in the Workplace Simulation application.
One is for the OSH Manager or SME manager or engineer or any external OSH Manager. This profile can build a factory or part of it, create a scenario and test it or upload it to the KMLS tool. It can also replay a training scenario from a trainee and help them raise their knowledge of evacuation plans.
The second one is for a trainee, usually an employee of the SME. This profile can load a scenario created by the OSH Manager profile and train and play it to see how well they perform in respect to the scenario instructions.

The tool focuses on user interactivity and targets people with no prior experience on 3D Software or Virtual Reality or Gaming for both profiles.

Workflow

The typical workflow for the OSH manager will be:

• To create the factory layout, or part of it;
• To create multiple scenarios according to what might happen or already had happened, or to what the OSH Manager want to focus on for training;
• Test the scenario, devise the outcomes of the simulation to help him validate or improve the factory layout (when possible);
• If it is a scenario aimed to train employees, create an assignment in KLMS and attached the corresponding zip file containing needed files (provided by the tool);
• To download a replay session from trainee (from KLMS) and validate or take measures with the trainee within the replay session;
• Finally, to create videos from the replay session for educational purposes

The typical workflow for an employee will be:

• Download the zip file from the KLMS
• Unzip it
• Load it using the WS client
• Play the scenario
• Upload the result files to the KLMS
• Review it with the OSH Manager/Trainer

Behaviors & Roles

NPC (non-playable character) can express different kind of behaviors and roles.
Behaviors are based on normal daily activities in SMEs (working, moving in the building etc…) and are evacuation related. Evacuation behaviors include:

• Search and help others
• Raise the alarm
• Move to a safety zone
• Make sure fire doors are closed
• Extinguish fire
• Wear gas mask

Additionally some “bad” behaviors are available like panicking, being lost, or even get back to their desk to grab their personal belongings before evacuating. This will allow a more plausible simulation and training exercise.

The main roles are:
• File closer
• Fire team member
• Employee
• Customer

Each of these roles used a default set of behaviors, the OSH Manager can change this set to create more diversity in behaviors during the simulation.

Technical

The WS tool is composed of two PC executable files that can be run on any medium end PC. They act as in traditional client/server architecture. One is the simulation server which runs the AI NPCs behaviors using MASA Group LIFE technology. The other one is the client front end which display the 3D graphics and takes care of user interaction; it uses Unity3D as the main game engine. Communication between the server and the client used the TCP/IP layer of the PC. While the software architecture is based on the traditional Client/Server approach, the implementation does not allow the client and the server to be on different PC.

The client tool language can be can be set in English, Spanish and German. The server tool has no interface so no language settings are provided. Additional languages can be easily provided.

Recommended configuration:

• Pentium i-5
• Windows Vista, 7 or 8, or above
• 8 Gb RAM
• 10 GB HD
• DirectX 9.1 compatible graphic card
• A Microsoft XBOX360 compatible Controller (optional)

TOOL C - THE IMMERSE TRAINING TOOL

General Information

Tool C, the Immersive Training Tool (ITT) is designed to enable workers to practice and memorise working procedures in Virtual Reality, similar to a serious game.
Tool C is an authoring system for creating OSH training scenarios as Virtual Reality Serious Games. It includes a Virtual Reality Session Player to play these training scenarios. Tool C aims at training to avoid hazards and hazardous situations, lay off bad habits that might have short– or long-term effects, training and memorizing procedures, and practice sequences of tasks/actions by utilizing Virtual Reality (VR): 1st person view, interactive, immersive, and using 3D-Stereo display technology similar to 3D-cinema or 3D-TV.

Background

A user-friendly tool for efficient training for machine operators similar to a serious game was a requirement arising from a survey conducted by SME associations among their members to identify OSH problems to be tackled by the IMOSHION project. Also, “to make users of machine equipment aware of OSH issues related to production and maintenance by use of an ‘immersive training and learning tool’” was identified as one of four main project objectives.

The ITT has two main software components: The Training Session Composition Tool (TSCT) and the Virtual Reality Session Player (VRSP). The TSCT is used to create the Scene (environment – see section “use case and use flow” below for a glossary of terms) which is based on the factory plans; it is also used to design training Scenarios based on models of the (future) work stations and/or OSH issues. This authoring tool enables the user to assign semantics to 3D-objects via a Behavior Model: By means of simple predefined Behavior Models and an input-output-concept, complex cause-and-effect-chains can be implemented via an easy to learn graphical user interface. The VRSP is used to play the Scenarios, it is interactive (game-like training), makes the Scenarios viewable in 3D-stereoscopy, and immersively experiencable. Additionally, the Learning Scenario Definition Tool (LSDT) is provided. This is an MS Excel template to automatically read the output of the VRSP to ease the assessment of the Trainee.

Objectives of the Tool

As stated above, the main objective of the ITT is to enable SMEs to create immersive serious-game-like training scenarios based on their own factory layouts, work environments and machinery. These may be computer graphical replicas of current work stations, for example to enable workers to practice without having to stop production, or train hazardous procedures in a virtual and therefore safe environment. However, these scenarios may also anticipate future work stations, which are already planned, but not yet implemented, so that training can ease the introduction of new work stations to production.

User profile

The ITT aims at two types of users: OSH trainers and their trainees. Therefore there are two versions of the ITT for the respective user type. The Trainee version consists only of a simplified version of the VRSP, containing only the necessary functionality to play through prefabricated Scenarios. These Scenarios are prepared using the “full version” for OSH trainers which contains the full feature-set, including the modules needed to create Scenarios and assess trainees – the TSCT and the LSDT.

Use case and use flow

To ease understanding of how the ITT works and to enable coherent documentation of the Tool, a short glossary of terms for the content created with Tool C, has been established, distinguishing the following terms:

• Scene: Describes the static virtual world created with the TSCT. The Scene consists of 3D-objects, it contains pure geometry, no semantics.
• Scenario: The Scene with added behavior, e.g. animated 3D-objects. The Scenario is created with the TSCT by applying Behaviour Models.
• Session: A particular Scenario, played through by one particular user (“Trainee”) on one particular occasion.
• IMOSHION Object: A 3D-Object created with the TSCT which has been assigned certain IMOSHION-specific properties. It is part of a Scene and the corresponding Scenario. It has a Behavior-Model to define its behavior in the Scenario, which also defines the inputs and outputs of the object.
• PopUp Hint: A special IMOSHION Object without a 3D-representation. It facilitates showing 2D-images to the trainee during the VR-Session, triggered by his/her behavior. These might be warning sign triggered by a trainee’s mistake, OSH-legislation shown for additional information, etc.

The terms Scene, Scenario, and Session are easiest distinguished through a theatre metaphor: A Scene relates to a stage-setting, a Scenario to a script with directions, and a Session to a particular performance of the play, with particular actors, on a certain date…

The standard OSH training workflow with Tool C contains the following five main steps:

Step 1: Define the OSH Use Case (OSH trainer):

The OSH Trainer decides for a working procedure for trainees to practice in VR. Ideally, this procedure is self-contained, contains OSH issues (hazards etc.), and is dangerous or even impossible to practice in reality (because of hazardous material, the workstation not available (yet), etc. During this step the following questions should be answered: Which work stations are involved? Who will be trained? What are the tasks to be completed? (In what order?) What are the hazards to be avoided? What is the lesson to be learned? Will the trainee play the Session alone, or will an OSH trainer be there? Lists should be created of physical objects needed for the procedure, of tasks for the trainee (and criteria for their fulfillment), and of documents or other information for the trainee to see during the Session (written documents, images, hints, OSH rules, instructions, etc.).

Step 2: Create the Scenario (OSH trainer):

This step can be subdivided into the four sub-steps (a) to (d): (a) Model the Scene: The Scene is created using the TSCT. The OSH trainer adds 3D-objects to the Scene (either self-created or prefabricated ones – e.g. work stations etc., from the list of objects created in step 1). These objects are turned into IMOSHION objects. (b) Define Scenario: Behavior is added to the IMOSHION-objects (also using the TSCT). This includes special objects to enable “PopUp Hints” to be shown to the trainees during the Session. These might be created from the list of documents created in step 1. (c) Relate behaviors (TSCT): The user builds cause-and-effect relations, by defining the Behavior Models’ in- and outputs. The trainee’s behavior during the session can be used as a trigger for the behavior of IMOSHION objects, which again can trigger the behavior of other IMOSHION objects. (d) Check Scenario in VR: The OSH trainer tests his/her developments in the VRSP by playing through the Session.

Once a couple of IMOSHION objects are added to the Scene, the order of the four sub-steps described above can be chosen freely by the user. The TSCT and the VRSP are closely coupled (see section “Technical”), so that making changes to the Scenario and testing them is a matter of saving the file in the TSCT and reloading one in the VRSP. The images below show example screen shots of the respective steps.

See Figure 5 to Figure 8 in the attached pdf.

Step 3: Define the Learning Scenario (OSH trainer):

The Learning Scenario can be defined using the LSDT (based on MS Excel). The LSDT can read Objects‘ names and possible ouput-states from the Scenario-file created with the TSCT. Within the LSDT the OSH trainer can then define the tasks to be completed by the trainee during the Session. The tasks are written into the Excel sheet in the order they are to be completed in and with the respective target states (see image below).

See Figure 9 in the attached pdf.

Step 4: Play Training Session (trainee):

Once the Scenario is created it can be played through by a trainee. All the trainee has to do is to open the respective file with the VRSP, enter his/her name and start playing the Scenario. The VRSP will automatically save it as a Session. The respective Session file can be used by the OSH trainer for the next step.

Step 5: Assess the Trainee (OSH trainer):

Depending on the use case and the respective Scenario, the assessment of the trainee's success will be done either by human rating -- the OSH trainer watching and assessing the trainee during the Session, referencing to the list of tasks and criteria created in step 1; or by comparison of the target states of the IMOSHION objects as defined in the Learning Scenario (Step 3) with the actual states of the IMOSHION objects at the end of the trainee‘s Session as output in the Session-log-file (see image below).

See Figure 10 in the attached pdf.

With the above five steps an OSH trainer can populate a data base of Scenes, Scenarios and Sessions and, for example, upload them to the KLMS for an organized training program.

Technical

The ITT uses the off-the-shelf software components Trimble SketchUp for the TSCT and Unity3D for the VRSP.
SketchUp was chosen for the TSCT because it is a very easy to learn 3D-modeller, which is well documented by, for example many tutorial videos available. It is also programmable via a plugin structure.

The TSCT basically consists of SketchUp and the IMOSHION PlugIn to SketchUp. This Plugin enables the user to create dynamic Scenarios via an innovative Scenario abstraction principle. For this purpose, Behaviour-Models have been introduced. With Behaviour-Models, IMOSHION Objects can influence each other via an Input-/Output-concept. This way, cause-and-effect-chains can be implemented.

Unity was chosen for the VRSP because it is a widely used development environment for designing games, providing all the infrastructure to deliver a serious game. The technical innovation of the VRSP is two-fold: Firstly, in combination with the IMOSHION Plugin to SketchUp, one can quickly create 3D Scenes in SketchUp and view them in a Unity based player. Changes to the Scene in SketchUp can be updated in the VRSP simply via an “update” button. Secondly, the VRSP facilitates output in an side-by-side-3D-stereo-format, which can be displayed in 3D stereoscopy by many devices, e.g. most 3D-TV-sets.

During Step 2 of the use flow (“create the scenario”, see above) the software components are used the following way: 2 (a) “model the Scene”: SketchUp; 2 (b) “define Scenario”: The IMOSHION-Plugin to SketchUp; 2 (c) “Relate Behaviours”: The IMOSHION-Plugin to SketchUp; 2 (d) “Check Scenario in VR”: VRSP.

The ITT is putting 3D computer graphics to use for OSH training, it is making a simple 3D-modelling tool (SketchUp) usable to quickly make and edit 3D-stereo (VR) models, and it is letting the user define cause-and-effect chains with the Behaviour-Model concept. It is a learnable tool for non-professionals. The development of Tool C has been focused on OSH but its use is not limited to OSH. Other fields of application might be the planning of factories, assembly lines, and work stations, or the simple 3D-sketching of new products – all viewable in 3D-stereoscopy.

TOOL D - DESIGN AND EVALUATE WORK TOOL

General information

To support SMEs to evaluate health and safety risks, the Design and Evaluate Work tool (DEW) has been developed. Some general features of the DEW-tool are the following:

• The tool can be run by the SME manager, engineer or health and safety responsible or by any (external) health and safety service provider;
• The tool is a stand-alone software program based on MS Excel, which can run on any PC.
• The tool procedure is in line with Framework Directive 89/391, covering both the main risk evaluation steps prescribed and the main health and safety items.
• The outcomes are:
• An overview of hazards and risks per process steps and/or per function
• An overview of the costs and benefits of selected control measures

Background

Legislation

The most important piece of European legislation relevant to risk assessment is the Framework Directive 89/391 in combination with the ‘Practical guide for employers: ‘Guidance on risk assessment at work’ by DG Employment’. This Directive has been transposed into national legislation. This Directive is indeed a framework, with “general principles concerning the prevention of occupational risks… as well as general guidelines for the implementation of the said principles” (Art. 1.2.). It makes employers responsible for ensuring the safety and health of workers in every aspect related to work, and risk assessment is an integral aspect of this mandatory occupational safety and health management (OSHM).

According to the Directive, risk assessment must be the starting point of a comprehensive OSHM process. It has a central role because it enables employers to put in place the measures that are necessary to protect the safety and health of their workers. The purpose of carrying out a risk assessment is to enable the employer to take the measures necessary for the safety and health protection of workers, i.e. measures to prevent of occupational risks. Where elimination of risks is not possible, the risks should be reduced and the residual risk controlled. At a later stage, as part of a review program, such residual risk will be reassessed and the possibility of elimination of the risk, perhaps in the light of new knowledge, can be reconsidered.

The guidance document contains the following stepwise approach:

1. Establish a program of risk assessment at work
2. Structure assessment
3. Collect information
4. Identify hazards
5. Identify workers at risk from these hazards
6. Identify patterns of exposure of those at risk
7. Evaluate the risks (probability/severity in actual circumstances + the presence of adequate measures)
8. Investigate options for eliminating or controlling the risk
9. Prioritize actions and decide control measures
10. Implement controls
11. Record assessment
12. Measure effectiveness
13. Review (after measures taken: assessment still valid or revision needed)
14. Monitor program of risk assessment (has there been a change?)

SME difficulty to comply

Within SMEs as well, employers are responsible for ensuring safety and health of workers, but face difficulty to comply with this principle. For many SMEs, this is felt to be a huge administrative burden. Specifically, the risk inventory that the companies should perform according to the Directive is for SMEs a recurrent, time-consuming and complex procedure leading only to the definition of risks, while finding concrete measures to eliminate these risks requires another time-consuming search process.

The above difficulty arises from:

• Large variety of potential hazards for OSH: many diverse hazards for health and safety related to physical, environmental, cognitive and psycho-social nature may occur
• Large variety of hazard/risk evaluation methods available
• Large variety of risk-reducing measures, but it is difficult to select because
The necessity is often not clear
The risks is often not linked to specific process step
Potential costs and benefits are not clear beforehand

Moreover, risk assessment is usually performed on running work processes in existing environments. In case of risks requiring action, it might be difficult or costly to come to optimal solutions. Therefore, it is favorable from a cost perspective to perform the risk assessment in an early stage of design.

The DEW tool addresses the above difficulties for SMEs to comply with the Directive.
The tool is in line with the Directive. It follows the main steps of hazard and risk assessment. Specifically, it can be used to perform steps 3 to 7 and is supporting the other steps.

It covers many types of hazards and risks and integrates various risk assessment methodologies.
It links risks to process steps, which gives support in selecting the appropriate and specific risk-reducing measures. Furthermore, it gives direction to a follow-up in the form of cost-benefit analyses. Finally, the tool can be applied on future (not existing) work situations.

Objective of the tool

The DEW-tool objective is two-fold:

•to evaluate the physical load, cognitive load, and safety in manufacturing in existing or future (to be designed) work processes by
•defining the exposure to hazards
• determining the risks of these exposures
• to support further implementation of measures to control the risks by providing help for costs and benefits analysis

User profile

The tool is aimed to support the SME manager, engineer or health and safety responsible or any (external) health and safety service provider. The tool has been designed such that it can be run by a non-specialist in terms of health and safety. Tool D has one user profile only: all potential users have similar access rights. All functionality is available to all users.

Use flow

Main steps

The user is guided through the following steps:

• Scope and process definition: identify relevant process steps
• Exposure (hazard) assessment: identify the exposure to OSH items within process steps
• Risk assessment: Analyze the risk to OSH exposures in preselected process steps
• Provide main preventive measures of relevance (related to the risks identified)
• Analyze the costs and benefits for selected preventive measures.

For navigation through these steps, the IMOSHION-ribbon (on top of the computer-screen) can be used.

See Figure 11 - The IMOSHION ribbon in the attached pdf.

Flow description

The user is guided through the following steps and screens:

• The opening screen provides important introductory information, which includes (a) general background information, (b) the aims of the tool and the target group, (c) the procedure that is followed by the tool, (d) information on the setting of the scope of application, (e) some information about ‘how to start working with the tool’, and (f) important information about the settings in Excel that are required.
• The < SCOPE> button on the ribbon brings the user to next slide, in which some general information, which will be archived later on, should be filled in. It is particularly important that the filled-in information unambiguously defines the scope of application, that is: the exact process on which the tool will be applied.
• The button opens the next slide where the process has to be broken down into several discrete process steps. For each process step that is identified here, a separate evaluation on safety and health items will be possible later on. Definition of the separate process steps happens by clicking on the ‘ADD’ button in the IMOSHION ribbon and filling in the process step name and its short description.
• The button starts the assessment procedure. The assessment consists of two steps. The first step is to assess whether the worker in a specific work process step is exposed to a specific OSH item. The second step is to find out whether the exposure to a specific item would also imply an increased risk level. Both steps require the answering of a set of specific OSH related questions.
• The outcome of both assessment steps will become visible in terms of colored bullets in the overview presented on the screen. The meaning of the colors relate to the presence of a hazard and the level of a risk, which is explained in the legend. On the left of this overview, one can see the process steps that were defined before. On the upper part, one sees all the items on Occupational Safety and Health that can be considered, which are subdivided into physical load items, cognitive load items and safety items. In figure 2 the outcome is shown after risk assessment in one process step.

See Figure 12 - The risk assessment outcome in the attached pdf.

• The next step may be of help in obtaining a preventive measure, which could be for example an ergonomic solution like lifting equipment or a revised working method.
• The module helps to make a complete cost-benefit analysis for a specific preventive measure. The cost-benefit analysis requires that you fill in four sets of questions. These include:
1. Questions about the preventive measure that you may want to implement;
2. Questions about the costs related to the implementation and use of the preventive measure;
3. Questions about the effect that a preventive measure might have on productivity or quality;
4. Questions about the potential effect in terms of physical and mental load.
If you have filled in all the information requested, this tool computes the return on investment as well as underlying parameters.
• In the former steps we have identified the risks per process step. You might also be interested in the risks per function or job, you can obtain these as well. Hereto, you first have to identify the functions.
• Finally, you can obtain the results in reports:
1. Report on the hazards and risks per process step
2. Report on the risks grouped per function
3. Report on preventive measures relevant for your situation
4. Report on costs and benefit either for a single (one preventive measure) or a multiple analysis (more measures

All reports can be exported as a PDF file.

Technical

Tool D is a Microsoft Excel based application. The application is based on metrics based process mapping and it is extended with OSH modules for determining the exposures and risk assessments of a large variety of OSH items. Metrics based process mapping is a visual process tool wherein the major OSH issues become visible on a process and system level. Process configurations and evaluations are locally stored and written to an external database. A designer/engineer is able to build a new or modify an existing process by adding or removing the following process.

In order to assist the engineers to build and validate their work process, Tool D encompasses OSH guidelines and checklists. To gain additional OSH information, shortcuts to design norms and guidelines stored in the KLMS will be based upon the actual action of the designer/engineer; the tool will provide various related links to norms and guidelines. These links will be displayed in an external web browser.

Tool D takes XLTM (macro enabled Excel templates) as an input to load saved scenarios. Tool D evaluation results are exported to Adobe pdf-format. A process scenario can be saved into a locally stored database (in Excel format). The application can be performed on any office desktop computer with MS Office 2007 (MS Excel) or higher.

Finally, the tool language can be can be set in English, Spanish and German.

Conclusion

The four expected final results were defined as the exploitable foreground and described as: 1) An OSH documentation management system (KLMS); 2) A visual simulation of OSH practices for a given workplace and a simulation of some significant incidents at the workplace, to learn from experience. A didactic and enjoyable tool, such as a serious game, for nurturing safety culture (Tool B); 3) A user-friendly training tool for production and maintenance operations on machines and A didactic and enjoyable tool, such as a serious game, for nurturing safety culture (Tool C); and 4) An easy-to-use planning tool for workstations and workplace, taking into account OSH practices. An assessment tool to identify exposure to risk and evaluate the related risk. A tool to manage preventive measures. A tool to analyse costs and benefits associated to these measures. A tool to produce reports containing all this information (Tool D).

It can now be said that IMOSHION offers a set of technological solutions for targeted SMEs whose activities are related to the manufacturing-related sectors, for them to be able to gain awareness and know-how in terms of health and safety regulations. This will help the SMES to confirm to existing European norms and regulations as well as meeting regulatory requirements and policy objectives in the area of health and safety at work. Using simulation and VR technologies, compliance with the norms and regulations is now less time consuming, more interactive and more motivating.

IMOSHION deals with occupational safety and health problems which are common to a large number of companies, through a wide variety of industry sectors and at different levels according to the various activities within the companies. The target groups cover a broad range of SMEs, most notably those working in the manufacturing sector, as well as key stakeholders in the OSH field including policy makers, governments and OSH service providers. Through the SME Associations and key partners, IMOSHION plans to reach a high dissemination rate across Europe to make the project results visible and available to a big number of SMEs and stakeholders.

IMOSHION will contribute to the Community’s societal objectives as it essentially aims at improving health and safety for the European working society as well as the basic working conditions while contributing to the adoption of standards and regulations. Improving health and safety at work naturally helps ameliorating the general quality of life of the European populations.
Potential Impact:
IMOSHION deals with occupational safety and health problems which are common to a great number of companies, through a wide variety of industry sectors and at different levels according to the various activities within the companies. The target groups cover a broad range of SMEs, most notably those working in the manufacturing sector, as well as key stakeholders in the OSH field including policy makers, governments and OSH service providers. Through the SME Associations and key partners, IMOSHION plans to reach a high dissemination rate across Europe to make the project results visible and available to a big number of SMEs and stakeholders.

Performance indicators were implemented to continually measure the success of the project. These were related to the feedback and conclusions obtain from the working groups. In this regard, and according to deliverables in WP2, the success of the project was achieved as the specific end-users’ requirements for OSH were met. These requirements were captured during the working groups of the SME-AGs (T2.1) and performance indicators included the measures by which these have been addressed (tasks 4.2 and 4.3).

In accordance with best practice, research indicators were based upon peer review. Specifically, and in order to support the success of the project, IMOSHION results may be further submitted after the end of the project (M36) to leading conferences and high quality peer-reviewed journals to gauge the acceptance of the project by the wider scientific community.

In particular, the objective of increasing awareness of OSH issues (broader understanding/company-wide knowledge) had a target of increasing awareness in 90% of the participants in a representative group. This was met by the fact that all participants in the three regions realized of the importance of OSH issues in normal day-to-day operations. Several questionnaires were filled to capture this perception and the commitment to continually provide feedback and contribution by many of these participants supported the success of this objective.

More than 50% of all participants in the projects, especially in Spain, confirmed during the final conference, where the final version of the tools were handed to key participants, that they were in a formal position to start implementing one or more of the IMOSHION tools in their work places. This was also confirmed after the training courses (D5.12) where all participants provided valuable feedback and evaluation on how to improve this material, as well as requested more advanced training in order to get the best of each tool.

It was also agreed during the period of the project that future work could be done in order to evaluate if accidents at work can be reduced by using the IMOSHION toolset as well as if there is an increased performance through reduced sick leave and more efficient processes. These two factors could be further evaluated since there is a need of time for users to experience with the toolset and provide the information needed to study these factors. In order to do that, the consortium is free to continue monitor the evolution of the IMOSHION toolset in those participants, as well as to look into other funding schemes that will provide the possibility of further evaluate the suitability of the IMOSHION toolset. In this regard, the consortium initiated conversation with the EU-OSHA to look into possibilities of cooperation in their programs and projects and by using the IMOSHION toolset.

IMOSHION has created a set of innovative internet and computer based solutions corresponding to the needs of SMEs in terms of OSH issues. In IMOSHION, four tools have been developed and are linked with foreground and background of the project and the related IPR issues. The main objective has been to deliver solutions which answered the requests of the SME’s and the SME-associations. The following table links the identified themes to the tools. The term “project results” is considered as the so called “foreground” of the project which has been specifically developed in IMOSHION and funded via the IMOSHION project budget.

See table on the attached pdf.

Value has been created in IMOSHION by both RTD-performers and SME-AGs by bringing background to create the tools and combine them to provide the solutions listed in the previous table (RTDs), and by bringing knowledge to create the foreground (SME-AGs). The technologies that have resulted from the IMOSHION project have been delivered in a (quasi) ready-to-market form (for more information see the final version of each tool D3.18-D3.21 and D4.8). Therefore, they require no further research development or demonstration activities after the completion of the project. If necessary, the technologies resulting from the research may only require very small adjustments or refinements. This is why the adoption to market can be considered as immediate after the project (M36).

Exploitation benefits out of the project include:

For the SME-AGs:
1. Enlarge their service portfolio to their members.
2. Enhance their consulting capability in OSH topics.
3. Sell or offer OSH training (performed in their demonstration centres).
4. Sell scenario models.
5. Sell IMOSHION foreground software tools.

For the RTDs:
1. Improve their know-how of OSH topics.
2. Continue software development on basis of IMOSHION outcomes.
3. Sell IMOSHION background software tools needed for IMOSHION solutions through SME-AGs.

For SMEs:
1. Improve work safety and health.
2. Improve their attractiveness at the labour market.

Dissemination of the project results was one of the key focal points of the IMOSHION project. The highly ambitious goal of enhancing the occupational health and safety (OSH) situation in terms of reducing numbers of work-related accidents in the European Union by the help of simulation and virtual reality can only be achieved when many groups start using the IMOSHION tool. Of course, the consortium realized that the full use by many SMEs might be overambitious after this 3-year project, but their requirements and wishes were taken into account to create the IMOSHION tool.

During the course of the IMOSHION project the consortium maintained a completely user-centered approach. This means that SME-AGs have been closely involved in a collaboration that has guided planning, prototyping and the evaluation of the functions of the IMOSHION tool. During this collaboration, users acquired theoretical and technical knowledge about the IMOSHION tool. They learned how to use the tools, and learned how the tool can make an impact on their work. Based on this background, the underlying goals of the dissemination plan were as follows:

• Penetration of industrial target sectors with awareness about IMOSHION achievements and services,
• Promote the utilization of IMOSHION tools among the stakeholders, and transfer knowledge gained within the project to both academic and industrial audiences.
• Ensure the documentation of involvement of user SME-AGs to guide planning, prototyping and evaluation;
• To disseminate knowledge about the research and expertise used to develop the tools and the findings of studies carried out to evaluate the impact of the tools on the work of the user SME-AGs.

All of these objectives have been targeted to ensure long-term sustainability and cost effectiveness. The plan to implement activities around the underlying goals was based on tasks outlined in the IMOSHION Description of Work, section 3.2.2. of Annex I.

Dissemination of results started almost from the beginning of the project with the help of website and partners’ homepages, and press releases were also elements of dissemination as well as the participation of the IMOSHION consortium partners at various conferences related to the topic of the IMOSHION project. Working group meetings with various interested users were organized in different countries of the partners.

The IMOSHION dissemination strategy was designed to make the results of the up to date research and technology development available to a wide audience; to attract a large and active user community that might consider the IMOSHION tool as a resource for their day-to-day OSH activities and responsibilities; and to prepare for future adoption of the developed technologies in the OSH domain. To achieve these goals, the following objectives were identified for the IMOSHION dissemination strategy:

• Raising awareness for the IMOSHION approach and project results,
• Active involvement of OSH stakeholders in the evaluation and usage of the IMOSHION tool,
• Motivating researchers to take part in IMOSHION related research activities,
• Dissemination through publication and communication of results.

It was agreed that the participating SME-AGs will install the complete solutions (all four tools that comprise the IMOSHION technology) at their own premises and will be able to provide demonstrations to their SME members and further interested parties. The training dedicated to the trainers (SME-AGs) and the first experience with pilot training sessions under WP5 should enable SME-AGs to organise further training to their SME members independently, i.e. without the help of RTD performers. This guarantees that the SME-AGs will be able to assimilate and exploit the results of the project with the necessary resources required and ensures sustainability of the project. Conditions for charging their members will be defined by the SME-AGs in this document, when possible, or in their future business model.

It has also been agreed that the technologies developed in the project will be made permanently available in the premises of the SME-AGs as a service offered to their members, so as to enable a wide range of SMEs to access and use the tools. This appears as a practical solution for the SMEs who are not able to invest in such technologies or which will need them for temporary periods of time.

Each SME-AG will define the conditions and rental prices of the use for their members but also for external SMEs, who shall also have access to the tools/technologies developed under IMOSHION. This could be done under the framework of this document (chapter 5) or in future collaboration agreements. In addition, SME-AGs will be able to provide information on the technology to any interested party and will enable the technology to be wider used among SMEs. For further business exploitation, each SME-AG will define which business model corresponds at best for their own purposes: for instance, the SME-AG can serve as a pure distributor of the technology or can re-sell software licenses with added-value. Each SME-AG is free to provide services related to the IMOSHION technologies, by e.g. providing training, demonstration, translation and/or leasing services.

The SME-AGs agree that no future collaboration for the exploitation of the IMOSHION results will take place other than stipulated in this document. The SME-AGs, as owners of the IPR (see next section), decide to exploit the results of the IMOSHION project on their own, unless future collaboration agreements for this purpose will be developed. SME-AGs release themselves from any further responsibility after the end of the project (M36) in the future development of the IMOSHION toolset.
List of Websites:
Public website address: www.imoshion.eu
Relevant contact details:
NEuropa: Mr. Javier I. Millan (jim@neuropa.es)
VDC: Mr. Achim Czaykowska (achim.czaykowska@vdc-fellbach.de)
CCI-SZ: Ms. Krassimira Sokolova (office@chambersz.com)
UNOTT: Ms. Sally Shalloe (Sally.Shalloe@nottingham.ac.uk)
MASA: Mr. Stéphane Maruejouls (stephane.maruejouls@masagroup.net)
FhG-IAO/USTUTT: Mr. Roland Blach (Roland.Blach@iao.fraunhofer.de) and Mr. Matthias Aust (Matthias.Aust@iat.uni-stuttgart.de)
TNO: Dr. Michiel de Looze (michiel.delooze@tno.nl)