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New Technologies and Forms of Work

Challenges in the design of future forms of work

Technical innovations and increasing digitalisation have an impact on every aspect of work: such as tasks and activities, equipment and interfaces, organisation and the working environment. Further research is needed in this area to ensure the design of healthy workplaces.

Three people at an interactive projection table © Uwe Völkner, Fotoagentur FOX

The "Industry 4.0" concept describes connected systems of industrial manufacturing components – in which the real and digital worlds merge. In many companies, lightweight robots, and new communication technologies, such as smart watches and tablets, have long since been a part of everyday life. However, not only the industrial sector is affected by new technologies. For example, "smart services" are created by combining new types of products with physical and digital services. In nursing, for example, patient's health can be monitored by modern sensor technology, while robotic technology assists nursing staff with routine handling tasks. Furthermore, technical advances allow for completely new, flexible forms of work and give rise to new business processes for companies. Even for "classical" service sectors, substantial changes arise, especially where the service provision can be supported by new types of technology.

Opportunities for safe and healthy work

The changes described provide opportunities for creating safe and healthy work. The basis for this, however, must be a preventive, human-centred design approach. One of the many questions raising is how to implement smart technologies in this context. The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) therefore studies the impacts of new technologies and forms of work in production and service contexts in order to derive practice-oriented knowledge of humane work design. This work incorporates aspects of mental and physical stress and strain, as well as ethical and legal aspects. These aspects are reflected in, for example, questions of technical and organisational design, adequate decision latitude, transparency and feedback, promotion of learning, and competence. This allows the early detection of potential opportunities and risks and the highlighting of design possibilities.
Through its research, BAuA provides innovative contributions to scientific discourse and profound policy advice. We also incorporate our findings into regulation, in particular technical rules or standards.

Publications

Research Projects

Project numberF 2506 StatusOngoing Project Socio-Physical Interaction Skills for Cooperative Human-Robot Systems in Agile Production (SOPHIA)

Find out more : Socio-Physical Interaction Skills for Cooperative Human-Robot Systems in Agile Production (SOPHIA) …

Project numberF 2463 StatusOngoing Project Autonomous Robots for Assistance Functions: Interactive Basic Skills (ARAIG)

Find out more : Autonomous Robots for Assistance Functions: Interactive Basic Skills (ARAIG) …

Project numberF 2418 StatusOngoing Project Human-centered design of human-robot-interaction; Project 3 "Human-Robot-Interaction and assistance systems - task allocation in Smart Factories"

Find out more : Human-centered design of human-robot-interaction; Project 3 "Human-Robot-Interaction and assistance systems - task allocation in Smart Factories" …

Project numberF 2472 StatusCompleted Project Digital Technologies as a Resource for OSH in Service Professions

Find out more : Digital Technologies as a Resource for OSH in Service Professions …

Project numberF 2424 StatusOngoing Project Prevention for safe and healthy working with digital technologies (PräDiTec)

Find out more : Prevention for safe and healthy working with digital technologies (PräDiTec) …

Project numberF 2359 StatusCompleted Project Optimized workload in process control centres utilizing modern ICT equipment

Find out more : Optimized workload in process control centres utilizing modern ICT equipment …

Project numberF 2412 StatusCompleted Project Interactive personalized visualization in industrial processes using the example of the digital factory in electronics manufacturing (Glass@Service)

Find out more : Interactive personalized visualization in industrial processes using the example of the digital factory in electronics manufacturing (Glass@Service) …

Project numberF 2396 StatusCompleted Project Digital Ergonomics: Virtual anthropometry for safe and ergonomic product and work system design

Find out more : Digital Ergonomics: Virtual anthropometry for safe and ergonomic product and work system design …

Project numberF 2351 StatusCompleted Project Individualized socio-technical workplace assistance for industrial production (INDIVA) - Designing individualized work assistance systems using digital human modeling

Find out more : Individualized socio-technical workplace assistance for industrial production (INDIVA) - Designing individualized work assistance systems using digital human modeling …

Project numberF 2313 StatusCompleted Project Delphi survey: "Digital Ergonomics 2025 - Trends and strategies for increasing product usability and designing safe, healthy and efficient socio-technical work systems"

Find out more : Delphi survey: "Digital Ergonomics 2025 - Trends and strategies for increasing product usability and designing safe, healthy and efficient socio-technical work systems" …

Project numberF 2288 StatusCompleted Project Head-Mounted Displays - Conditions for safe and healthy use

Find out more : Head-Mounted Displays - Conditions for safe and healthy use …

Project numberF 2278 StatusCompleted Project Effects on decision making and behaviour from "smart" protective clothing

Find out more : Effects on decision making and behaviour from "smart" protective clothing …

Publications

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