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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 concept of "Industry 4.0" refers to an interconnected industrial production system in which the physical and the digital world merge. 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

These changes offer opportunities for safe and healthy working practices. However, they rely on foresighted and humane work design. 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, the 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

Find out about scientific and recent developments surrounding the topic of new technologies and forms of work.

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 2359 StatusOngoing 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 StatusOngoing 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 StatusOngoing 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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