Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - SIDE (Safety in Design Ergonomics)

The Fellowship research focused on Safety in Design. Safety in Design is also known as ‘prevention through design’ or ‘safe design’; it eliminates Occupational Health and Safety hazards, or minimises potential risks, by systematically involving end-users and decision makers across the full life-cycle of a designed product.

The researcher undertook the fellowship from a user-centred perspective, and his approach was multidisciplinary by applying both human factors knowledge and structured risk management methods to the design process. The research developed the ‘Safety in Design Ergonomics’ (SiDE) process: a task-based, user-centred design approach (Horberry et al, 2015). It applied this process to three work domains:

1. Industrial Equipment design
2. Road Transport design (both highways and in-vehicle technologies)
3. Medical device design

The Fellow successfully collected data in all three of these areas. The industrial equipment design research was performed in collaboration with another senior researcher at the host organisation and a leading UK manufacturer of industrial vehicles. The road transport design research was undertaken together with colleagues from a leading UK transport research institute and a Spanish University (the University of Granada). The medical device design research was performed at a leading UK teaching hospital linked to the host (Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).

There have been substantial academic outputs arising from the Fellowship. These include: one edited book, six journal papers (all with the Fellow as the first author), and eight book chapters/peer-reviewed conference papers. Other dissemination has included national and international conference presentations and the Fellow being a member of a medical device design working group at the UK hospital in which he conducted his research.

In conclusion, the research undertaken has shown that using the SiDE process can be extremely beneficial. Focusing on end-users and their tasks, and applying an iterative human factors design process can help achieve safer designs for both equipment and work environments.

The project has led to further research into safe design and ergonomics (including funding by a European manufacturer of industrial equipment, held by the Fellow and another research from the host), and the researcher is now a visiting research fellow with the host (University of Cambridge, UK).

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