Psychologist Stresses the Safety Factor of Matching Technology, People

No matter how advanced PPE becomes, or how comprehensive and far-reaching a safety program may become, safety starts at the design phase. PPE is the last step in control; the first is to design out as many of the hazards as possible. This is becoming more and more a reality in the United States as building codes continue to catch up with their stricter European counterparts. But equally as important to safety during this design phase is to consider that match between new technology and the people who use it.

Michael J. Kalsher, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychology at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, will be presenting a pre-conference seminar (session # 416, titled "Building Safety Into the Design") on Sunday, June 24, which promises to take a close look at the critical role technology plays in benefiting and increasing quality of life when physical and cognitive limitations of the workforce are key design considerations.

To that end, Kalsher will show how to use human factors principles that help to ensure a match between new technology and the people who use it, and how to apply it in a workplace.

The main objectives of this seminar are to:

  • Apply human factors principles relevant to safety, to diagnose safety-related workplace hazards;
  • Implement human factors principles to "dissolve" safety problems through design;
  • Evaluate examples of "good" and "poor" designs to recognize design features that either facilitate or reduce safety;
  • Work interactively to use design to solve design-induced safety-related problems.

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