While Industry 4.0 technologies can increase the competitiveness and efficiency of companies by an increased interconnectedness and cooperation of resources, it should not be ignored that health and safety of people must always play a major role in any process of change.

The research analyzed 4.0 technologies that have a direct and observable impact on workers, and has specifically looked at robot/cobot technology, which are increasingly introduced in our production environments. This technology generates new ways of human-machine collaboration.Traditional risk analyses and evaluations may not be adequate to ensure safe implementation of Robots/Cobots. The research group applies a resilience engineering approach, more specifically the Resilience Analysis Grid (RAG) methodology, to develop a model in which companies can self-assess to which degree they respond effectively to changes, disruptions and opportunities; they monitor events, performance and activities with negative and positive impacts; they anticipate the occurrence of events, adverse events and near misses; and finally, to which degree they are able to learn when faced with the current situation from both internal and external successes and failures. The survey result will be obtained by filling out a questionnaire, which will be guided by a member of our research team. This provides companies with support where necessary, and the possibility to generate reliable results.

The participation in the survey guides companies in the process of identifying new risk factors and in the subsequent management of these risk factors. Such activities are essential, for example, in the design of new working environments, during the implementation of technology, or during employee training. Participation in the survey will also give companies the opportunity to take part in workshops where the results are used and discussed. This contributes to the exchange of know-how and creates a safe, knowledgeable, solid, and up-to-date innovation network.

For info: arie.adriaensen@kuleuven.be