The future of work is determined by the increasing networking and digitisation across all sectors and branches. This advanced technical development makes use of concepts such as "work 4.0" or "digitisation of the working environment" and redefines the relationship between man and machine in the work process. Work shall be more efficient, but its basic conditions shall also be socially acceptable.
Man is increasingly becoming the decisive authority for supervising, mediating and controlling activities. Working forms become more diverse, the area of responsibility of the individual changes and local flexibility increases. In such a networked working environment, everyone involved in the work process must have the necessary information at the same time and in real time. New technologies such as head-mounted displays (HMDs) are being developed for these conditions. These are small displays that are worn directly in front of the eye, similar to a pair of glasses or with the help of a headset, and provide information. As an assistance technology, they can help people in their multi-faceted tasks.
With the use of such "visualisation tools for the decision-making support of the employees" opportunities and risks arise for the employees, especially with regard to safety and health at work. For this reason, the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) has examined the use of monocular HMDs within the framework of a BAuA research project. In particular, the prerequisites and conditions of an application suited for the most demanding environments were the focus of the epistomological interest. The researchers explored possible suitable applications of monocular HMDs as work aid and determined how their use affects the individual‘s stress and performance.
The content of this “BAuA-Praxis” publication takes up the results of this research project and summarises them for the users of monocular head-mounted displays. It is addressed to interested companies - and in particular to those responsible for work design - and the corporate stakeholders for safety and health. It provides assistance in deciding whether the use of HMDs is useful in any given task, and if that is the case, indications for the selection of the appropriate model. It also demonstrates possible risks to the health of employees and provides recommendations for the ergonomic application of HMDs.
Please download the complete brochure "Head-Mounted Displays - Work aids of the future" (in German only).
Head Mounted Displays - Arbeitshilfen der Zukunft.
1. edition. Dortmund: 2016.
ISBN: 978-3-88261-208-0, pages 30, paper, PDF file, DOI: 10.21934/baua:praxis20160809