The role of design issues in work-related serious injuries

T. R. Driscoll, J. E. Harrison, Clare Bradley, R. S. Newson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This study investigated the role of design issues in serious work-related injury in Australia. The concept of design-relatedness is not well conceptualised or practically applied in the literature and therefore no existing definitions or approaches could be adopted. In addition, limited data were a constraint. The focus of the research was serious and fatal injuries resulting from workplace incidents. The National Coroners Information System was the data source for fatal injuries (deaths resulting from workplace injuries on or between 1 July 2000 and 30 June 2002 were included). The source of workers 'compensation data was the National Data Set For Compensation-Based Statistics (serious injuries from July 1997 to June 2002 were included). Seventy seven (37%) of the 210 identified workplace fatalities definitely or probably had design-related issues involved. Design-related issues were most prominent in machinery and fixed plant and mobile plant, but varied considerably between different specific agency types. Design issues appeared to contribute to at least 30% of the 2,705 compensable cases that met the final selection criteria and for which information was received. The proportion varied considerably depending on the agency type involved, but most categories had at least 15% involvement. The main design problems were guarding; poorly situated controls; inadequate interlock safety systems; absent or inadequate rollover protective structures and/or associated seat belts; inadequate fall protection; and failed hydraulic lifting systems. Design continues to be a significant contributor to work-related serious injury in Australia. Most of the main design problems are old issues and appear to provide a lot of scope and opportunity for prevention activities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication41st Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Conference 2005
Subtitle of host publicationTechnology Improving Performance, HFESA 2005
Pages36-41
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event41st Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Conference 2005: Technology Improving Performance, HFESA 2005 - Canberra, ACT, Australia
Duration: 21 Nov 200523 Nov 2005

Other

Other41st Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Conference 2005: Technology Improving Performance, HFESA 2005
CountryAustralia
CityCanberra, ACT
Period21/11/0523/11/05

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics

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