Investigation of the usability of protective devices of work equipment in commercial sectors
Objectives of the project: The primary objective of this project is the development of methods and tools for interdisciplinary investigations of human computer interfaces for work safety applications within a usability laboratory environment. Special emphasis will be put on empirical research of design principles and the evaluation of the usability of protective equipment, of safety equipment and of work safety concepts of machines and installations. A first prototype of an interactive virtual visualisation environment in which usability tests of work safety applications will be evaluated, will be established based on the Immersion Square technology currently available at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. Developments for the detection and tracking of head position as well as gaze direction have to be performed in detail. Furthermore, the necessary technologies and the psychological principles of practical work safety applications have to be transferred.
Methods and Activities: Firstly, a comprehensive investigation of the state of the art of sample applications in several member companies of the Accident Prevention and Insurance Association will be undertaken. This activity will be supported by an interdisciplinary workshop on the identification of both applicable principles of usability and industrial practical examples for work safety.
A special modus operandi of this project will be its interdisciplinary approach. The technical realisation of the interactive virtual environment is inseparably connected to the development of usability methods applicable to work safety measures. In order to analyse reasons for accidents caused by human-machine interactions from the psychological perspective rather than just the technical view point, new methods and tools need to be developed in close cooperation with engineers and work psychologists.
The selection and development of applicable usability methods is an essential part of this project and should be supported by a systematic study of psychological aspects. In this case technology should follow up the usability methods, not vice versa.